Stay on the pitch all summer long

The summer sporting season is in full swing, will you be staying on the pitch all summer or on the side lines?
Unless we leave sufficient time between playing, training or matches an overuse injury will occur.
The use of rehab and fitness products can often help get you back on the pitch more quickly too.

Stay on the pitch all summer long, reduce your injuries and up your game

Stay on the pitch this summer by looking after your body. 
A range of sports equipment, rackets, balls and clubs.
Stay on the pitch this summer by looking after your body

Aims

I want to maximise your health so you can stay on the pitch all summer long, reduce your injuries and stay on top of your game!

The warmer weather is here, the summer sporting season is in full swing will you be able to stay on the pitch all summer long?

How is your season going?

Are you still swinging that golf club or tennis racket as well as you were at the beginning of the season?

Are you slightly off your game when kicking the ball?

Just feeling fatigued?

Is that niggle becoming more troublesome?

Feeling the strain already?

Let’s face it, we abuse out body every single day. Poor sleep, nutrition, dehydration and stress are the main culprits.

Add a regular sporting activity on top of that and something has to give.

Read on to find out the main issues I see regularly and how to avoid them so you can play all summer long and not sit on the side lines.

What is an RSI / Overuse Injury

When we use the body in a repetitive way over time, fatigue, aches and pains creep in.

Every sport has its own techniques and actions. The more we practice or play the more we are going to repeat certain actions over and over and over ….

Unless we leave sufficient time between playing, training or matches an overuse injury will occur.

If you are learning a new skill or sport the stress on your body will be increased.

Most of the time we ignore them but in the longer term, they come back and bite us BIG time!

This is when we really start to feel pain or we acknowledge we have an injury or ongoing condition.

Your next step is whether to seek help and get back to your sport asap or abuse your body even more and ignore the injury or condition, playing on, using pain relief, strapping and doing even more damage to an already damaged area.

Even worse your body is incredibly clever and will compensate when there is an injury which often results on another injury. So, you now have 2 injuries or more!

Prevention

Skills and techniques

Master your techniques before progressing in level of difficulty in your game.

Get the basics right, these will form a solid foundation for everything else to be built on.

Rest days are the important days. This is when your body naturally heals and strengthens itself ready for the next game or match. By incorporating non playing days, your body has more of a chance to keep you on the pitch without any injuries.

This includes sleep! Sleep is underestimated in its powers to heal and restore.

I know you will all laugh at my next comment but really try and get 7 -8 hours good quality sleep every night.

Check out my blog about being a gold medallist sleeper for sleep tips.

Warm Up

Always perform some kind of warm up at the start of your game, match or training.

This can be in the way of aerobic exercise, specific movement rehearsal and dynamic stretching.

In general, a small raise in body temperature will increase blood flow, muscle temperature and lubricates the joints ready for action.

Mental rehearsal and mindset preparation also key areas of a warm up and can make a huge difference to your performance.

Cool Down

Post activity, where appropriate, reduce your activity gradually and incorporate stretches to encourage the muscles to return to their normal functional length.

Stretching has been shown to reduce that nasty tight and sometimes painful feeling 24 – 48 hours after exercise know as DOMs. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

Ice baths are quite popular at the moment and again research shows it may help some people to recover more quickly but it is not conclusive.

Common Issues I See

Elbows

Pictures of common Elbow sports Injuries. Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow
Common Elbow Injuries

They are susceptible to overuse injuries and chronic conditions (issues that annoy you for a long time!) in racket sports, golf, cricket and even weight lifting.

What’s the Difference?

Tennis elbow will affect the outside of the elbow and forearm.

Golfers elbow affects the inside of the elbow.

Both conditions are annoying, painful and can stop you from playing.

The action of swinging the racket or the club continuously with force against an object leads to stresses in the joints.

These conditions are not confined to their namesakes. Any sport or activity involving throwing, hitting or lifting repeatedly even housework can lead to the condition.

Symptoms such as heat, sometimes swelling, aching or a sharper pain accompanies both issues. The condition affects daily movements like gripping, bending and straightening the arm.

In fact, a lot of the movements that you make throughout the day and probably in your work as well. Hence while these are tiresome issues!

Shoulders

Shoulder Injury
Shoulder Injury

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles that work together to stabilise the shoulder.

A tear will often occur after a sudden overhead movement.

Associated with sports like volleyball. swimming and tennis.

Symptoms include heat, limited movement, severe pain and a weakness in that shoulder.

Daily movements like washing your hair will be really difficult.

Hips

Picture showing where hip pian may be found
Hip Pain

A common condition in the hip is a Bursitis.

The hip joint becomes inflamed, overworked and really grumpy.

Pain travels across the hip joint, lower back and down the outside of the leg on that side.

Pain maybe in the form of burning or aching and it is uncomfortable to lie on that side.

A groin strain is caused by over reaching when sprinting or kicking a ball and can also be from a sudden changes in direction.

Sports related to these injuries are of course, football, hockey and tennis.

Lower Back

Picture of man holding his lower back where the pain is found
Lower Back Pain

Muscle strains can be caused by any of the following sports that involve sudden or explosive twisting or rotation. For example golf, cricket and gymnastics.

Pushing or pulling in a rugby match or even just a hard work out in the gym on the bench press could cause a potential back injury.

Fatigue can lead to injury as well.

As the muscle loses power and energy, it has to work harder to deliver . Therefore it actually becomes weaker and more prone to injury.

Shin Splints

Red area on front of shin showing where shin splints occur
Shin Splints

Can be felt as a dull ache and tenderness down the front of the leg during exercise.

Any activity that makes you walk or run faster than normal during a spell of movement can bring on this sensation.

A change in surface can have a similar effect.

Help! What do I need to do?

For any of these conditions or injuries the first thing is to stop the activity immediately.

Next step…….

PRICE

Protect

Protect the area from further damage and support it to alleviate the weight and prevent further compensation or muscle fatigue.

Rest

Then rest the area!

Yes unfortunately, as reluctant as you are, you should stop the activity that is causing the issue.

Alternative ways of training / exercising may be possible depending on your situation.

Ice

In my experience, ice can help to reduce the pain and by using an ice pack several times during the day, you can alleviate the sensation of pain around the area.

Never apply ice directly to the skin always wrap in a tea towel or similar and for 10 mins maximum every 3 – 4 hours.

Compression

Can limit the amount of swelling to the area. A good old TubigripTM type bandage will do the job.

Ideally you want the compression to extend at least 6 inches above and below the injured area.

Any change in sensation or pins and needles in the compressed area, remove immediately and seek medical help.

Elevation

Raise the area where possible to lower blood pressure and encourage drainage and reduce swelling.

Ensure the affected area is well supported with pillows, cushions chairs and so on.

Over the Counter Pain Killers

I cannot recommend the use of these medications as it would be unprofessional but I want to give you the information so you know the differences and can then make an informed decision.

Always follow the dosage guidance contained within the product.

Pain killers such as paracetamol may also help to reduce the pain and can take up to an hour to work.

Ibuprofen and similar medications may help to reduce the inflammation in and around the joint and muscles and can have an affect within 30 minutes.

Beware of stomach irritation though!

Ibuprofen gels may also be effective but take longer to work and you are less likely to overdose on it. Use every 3 – 4 hours and never apply to broken skin or sensitive areas.

Hands on Therapy

Correct massage therapy can have a really positive impact on your recovery. I highly recommend incorporating specific stretches and strengthening exercises to prevent recurrence of the problem.

The use of rehab and fitness products can often help get you back on the pitch more quickly too.

For example, I supply and use physio balls, resistance bands, arnica gel and ice/ heat packs to enhance your recovery programme and prevent the problem coming back.

Reusable ice and physio ball stay on the pitch all summer.
Stay on the pitch through injury rehab equipment

Along with the appropriate corrective exercises you can continue your recovery at home.

A regular monthly massage treatment can help keep you in good nick and iron out any issues before they become a larger problem.

https://kwmassagetherapies.co.uk/#klan

Kinesiology Taping

Kinesiology sports Taping for injury recovery.  Stay on the pitch all summer long.
Kinesiology Taping for Injury Recovery

I love this using this within my treatments for a variety of conditions and injuries. it can also be used as a preventive measure.

A Few Benefits

The tape is non invasive and non pharmaceutical and hypoallergenic.

It helps to naturally assist the body to heal, drain and recover more easily and usually more quickly compared to not using it.

As a result, once taped, the affected area feels more stable, supported and secure.

It promotes healthy circulation by increasing blood flow and allowing more unwanted waste products to be removed.

Pain can be reduced when wearing it.

It comes in all sorts of colours and patterns too!

LymphaTouch

My mobile negative pressure device called LymphaTouch. 
Stay on the pitch all summer long.
LymphaTouch Device
https://kwmassagetherapies.co.uk/#lymphatouch

My favourite mobile device in my armoury!

A highly effective but gentle and relaxing treatment.

Negative pressure = positive results!

A small bag of magic that gives big results and is currently the only one* in private practice in the North East of Scotland.

Using variable negative pressures similar to cupping, tissues can be lifted allowing an increase in healthy blood flow which boosts healing and recovery. In response, the waste products are encouraged into the lymphatic system for faster removal, reducing excess swelling and pain.

Conclusion

Try not to be an ostrich and stick your head in the sand if you have an issue, niggle or injury.

Stop the activity, follow PRICE in the advice above, seek professional help and prevent recurrence by warming up and cooling down and of course booking a regular therapeutic massage session with me!

If you have any questions or would like more specific advice please contact me, I’ll be glad to help.

Wishing you all a safe and happy summer of sport and stay on the pitch not on the side lines!

Kirsty
Kirsty

* currently the one LymphaTouch in private practice in the NE Scotland as of June 2022.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sports-injuries/

Sleep -Are you a gold medallist or a runner up?

Sleep- Are you a gold medalist or a runner up? Do you sleep peacefully or toss and turn all night and wake up grumpy?

Sleep – Are you a gold medallist or a runner up?

As a gold medallist do you sleep peacefully or toss and turn all night and wake up grumpy and a runner up?

Are you a gold medalist or a  runner up? Person in bed wide awake at 1 am
Are you a gold medallist or a runner up?

As March is National Bed Month, I thought I had better focus some attention on it for you!

It was introduced by the Sleep Council ( who knew they even existed?) and the National Bed Federation. This is an annual event held every March to promote sleep, the importance of a decent bed and of course why it impacts your sleep.

Your bed / mattress can make a huge difference to your sleep.

So are you a gold medallist?

I definitely am not!

A poor runner up would be my classification and a comment like “Must try harder” would be applied!

So let’s dive under the duvet and see what we can learn.

What is sleep?

Sleep is time deliberately spent at rest or inactive.

There are 2 main sleep cycles.

REM – Rapid Eye Movement occurs about 60 -90 minutes after falling asleep, this is when you may your most have vivid dreams.

Non REM – Non Rapid Eye Movement is when deep sleep normally occurs.

By the way we need both types.

Why do we need sleep?

This time allows the body to repair, recycle and clean out unwanted information and waste products.

Doesn’t your body, health and mind deserve to rest in comfort?

A disturbed night doesn’t allow your body to do it’s job properly when you are awake.

How much do we need?

We spend a third of our lives asleep.

  • Average adults should have 7-9 hours
  • Children 9 – 13 hours

Wouldn’t you like to wake up refreshed and full of beans and with a smile that makes people wonder what you have been up to all day long?

Your bed and mattress matter

When did you buy a new mattress?

Did you know you should change your mattress every 7 – 8 years?

On average a mattress is subjected to more than 20,000 hours of wear and tear in its 7 year life*. (*National Bed Foundation)

Remember to include your pillows and duvet in your checks and the base your mattress sits on. They work hard for you too, so check them for wear and tear, support and warmth on a regular basis.

Take the Bed MOT using the link and discover the destiny of your current mattress.

Most bed companies offer trial periods when you buy a new mattress and will usually take the old mattress away on delivery saving you a job.

I know what you are going to say…..

Yes, they are expensive but aren’t you worth a gold medal’s night sleep?

A peaceful / restful night of sleep allows your body to focus on healing itself. The muscles will repair themselves making you stronger and fitter from all the exercise you have done that day.

The brain can do its valuable filing and defragging of the information you have taken in during the day.

The digestive system can get the most out of your nutrition making you healthier.

Your immune system can rest after defending you all day.

Now you can start to see the importance of regular good quality sleep.

The odd bad night here and there is less of an issue. In general, these can be attributed to something you are concerned about before you go to bed.

Now, I have been know to get up in the morning and physically kick the bed in total disgust, hence being a runner up.

However, it was not really the bed’s fault.

Causes of being a runner up

You may not like some of this section.

  • Too much alcohol or caffeine before bedtime. They are both stimulants and their job is to wake you up / keep you awake!
  • Overuse of digital devices before bed. Again, it is thought the ‘blue’ light emitted interferes with our sleep rhythms.
  • Eating a large meal before bed. Apart from possibly being uncomfortable, your digestive system will have to work harder, requiring more effort and using more calories and keeping you awake in the process.
  • Uncomfortable – a survey by the *NBF cited that 21% of people say their bed is uncomfortable.

Top tips to become a gold medallist!

  • Allow yourself time to unwind before you go to bed. Treat it like a powering down phase in your body. This will give your body time to adjust and slow down before you hit the pillow.
  • Daily exercise, you don’t have to run a marathon, just move your body, go for a walk, dance around the kitchen, go swimming any activity that you like doing and do it for long enough to get out of breath and raise your heat rate for several minutes.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time. This will establish a routine and your body will thank you for it. (I know there are exceptions and it is difficult with shift work and young children for example but try even a couple of nights a week will make a difference.)
  • Have a warm bath a couple of hours before you go to bed. This will induce sleepy hormones and allow your temperature to lower after the bath.
  • Check the temperature of your bedroom, ideally it should be about 18 degrees centigrade.
  • Use a sleep app to help you get to sleep.
  • Of course regular massage treatments can help too!

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, a good night’s sleep is underrated and we should all try and be better at it.

Haggis doesn’t seem to have a problem with it though!

Dog fast asleep
zzzzzzzzzzz

Let me know what you think, sleep well,

Kirsty
Kirsty

Help Yourself

https://kwmassagetherapies.co.uk/#klan

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/

https://www.thecalmsleep.com/

Sleep – Are you a gold medallist or a runner up?

Headaches! Delving Deep into Headaches and Beyond.

Headaches! Delving deep into headaches and beyond.
We have all had them to varying degrees, intensities and frequencies – yes I am talking all things headaches. Types, causes, recognising symptoms, how to avoid them and what to do when you get one so you can be your best again as quickly as possible.

Headaches! Delving Deep into Headaches.

Headache alert Person rubbing forehead to alleviate tension caused by a headache.

Causes, signs & symptoms and self help advice

Headaches! Delving deep into headaches and beyond. Types, causes and cures. Self massage advice to help you at home or in the office.

We have all had them to varying degrees, intensities and frequencies – yes I am talking all things headaches.

I am on a mission to lift the lid on the most common types of headaches for you, signs and symptoms and most importantly how you can deal with them at home or at work or on the road. Along the way you might see an overall improvement in your wellbeing too with just a few simple changes.

My aim is to give you some self help advice so you can start feeling your best again as quickly as possible.

Let’s get started

A headache is one of the most common health complaints and can last from 30 minutes to several hours.

They are generally not serious and can be easily treated at home or at work and usually affect more women than men.

They can be an indicator of an underlying issue or linked to an ongoing health condition so never ignore a bad headache.

Please, always seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your headache.

That goes for a bump to the head as well. Minor or major accidents, whiplash and injuries should be assessed by medical professionals as soon as possible.

What is a headache?

  • A pain originating in the head, face and sometimes the upper neck.
  • Muscles in the shoulders, neck and head can become tired, fatigued or weak and lead to discomfort and pain.
  • Nerves, muscles and blood vessels can swell and tighten causing pressure on other structures which in turn cause pain.

4 Main Types of Headache

  • Tension
  • Migraine
  • Cluster
  • Hormone

Causes of Headaches

Graphic of some causes of headaches. 
with thanks to Co-Kinetic
Causes of Headaches (co-kinetic graphic)
  • Infections – ear ache, sinus pressure, viruses
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Eye strain
  • Lack of sleep
  • Hormones
  • Weather
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Allergies
  • Medications
  • Hunger
  • Alcohol
  • Accident / injury / whiplash
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Check your mattress and pillows
  • This list is not exhaustive!

Symptoms of Headaches

  • Tight feeling around the head
  • Dull ache around the forehead, nose and eyes
  • Pain around the eyes and sinuses
  • Sharp and or throbbing sensation around the temples
  • Blurred / double or distorted vision
  • Nausea
  • Hypersensitivity to light and noise

Who can be affected?

  • Anyone!
  • Migraines can be hereditary
  • Women can suffer from hormone headaches at certain times during their cycle and during the menopause.

Self help!

  • Hydrate! Probably the most important one. Grab a glass of water as your first line of defence.
  • Hot or cold pack to the affected area for a few minutes. Heat will open the blood vessels improving blood and oxygen flow to the area. Cold will have the opposite effect and reduce blood and oxygen flow. See which one helps you the most. It may depend on the type of headache you have that day.
  • Massage, gentle circles on the temples with your fingertips to reduce tension and improve relaxation.
  • Take some slow deep breaths as you do this too.
  • Firstly, you will slow your heart rate which in turn will lower blood pressure.
  • Secondly, deeper, slower breathing will allow more oxygen into your body and improve feelings of relaxation.
  • Take regular breaks from your screen or laptop. Eye strain can lead to tired eyes and eye muscles leading to headaches.
  • Easiest step to stop looking at your screen! Go for a walk, whether you are at home or in an office. Get up and move away from the screen.
  • Even just closing your eyes will have a similar effect if you can’t leave the screen. Dedicate 5 minutes every hour and see how it helps.
  • Posture when working at a desk. Check if your screen is at the right height. Looking down will cause neck muscles to tire and result in a headache over time.
  • Rest, if you are struggling with a cold, you may need to take extra rest to fight the infection and let your body’s immune system do its job!
  • Hunger. Avoid skipping meals and eat regularly. A drop in blood sugar levels can trigger headaches.

Take a bath

  • A warm relaxing bath can help to reduce the tension in the muscles around the neck and shoulders.
  • Try adding some bath oils with delicate essential oils to really encourage the body to let go.

Sleeping Habits

Sleep
Good sleep
  • Assess your mattress and pillows. Are they providing you with enough support in the right areas? Is your mattress more than 8 years old? If so, it may time for a change.
  • Room temperature this can affect how well you sleep and if you are waking up with a headache.
  • Check if the room is too hot and stuffy, you may need to lower the temperature or open a window to let some fresh air in.
  • Take a glass of water to bed with you so if you wake up in the middle of the night you can hydrate and prevent a early morning headache.

Move!

Kirsty walking her dog in a grassy field
Walkies!
  • Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the frequency of headaches and should be encouraged on a daily basis.
  • Even a short 10 minute walk can have a positive impact on your headache and your overall health and wellbeing.
  • Outdoors is best but if that is not possible even moving around your house or office will have similar benefits.
  • Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi encourage relaxation, mindfulness, meditation and the opportunity for your mind and body to take time out and let go of some of the stresses and pressures of your daily life.

Therapies – get hands on!

Kirsty Wales hands on
Getting hands on during a back treatment
  • Targeted massage can help to reduce muscle tension which can lead to headaches.
  • Products can be used to enhance the calming effects of the treatment. Scents of lavender, sweet almond and coconut oil can help to induce relaxation.
  • A 30 minute session also allows the body to unwind, relax and switch off for a while.
  • Benefits of a treatment include lower blood pressure, more efficient breathing patterns and better sleep.
  • If you nod off during a treatment it is one of the biggest compliments you can give therapist! Go on – let go!
  • Your immune and digestive systems will benefit from a massage as well. Hence the noisy tummy during a massage – it is normal and a good thing!

Eye Health

Eye Test
Eye
  • When was your last eye test?
  • It may be over due.
  • An eye test is not just the size of the letters and the distance you can read them.
  • The test should include checks for the the health of your eyes and can be an indicator of future health problems.
  • Consider it an investment in your health!

Over The Counter Medications

Paracetamol

  • A common pain killer for aches and pains.
  • Can help to lower your temperature and is a common ingredient in cold and flu medications.
  • It can take up to an hour to work.
  • Paracetamol should NOT be used in conjunction with any other product containing paracetamol.
  • Generally safe for most people to use.
  • Safe to use during pregnancy and breast feeding.

Ibuprofen

  • Available to buy over the counter.
  • Belongs to the family of NSAIDs – Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
  • Used for general aches and pains
  • Used to reduce inflammation – muscle strains and joint sprains as well as joint conditions like arthritis
  • Also found in common cold and flu medications
  • Can work in 20 -30 minutes
  • Avoid taking on an empty stomach
  • Works by reducing hormones released that cause the pain and swelling
  • It does NOT mix well with other medications

Kirsty’s Klan

Kirsty's Klan logo
Kirsty’s Klan Logo
  • If you are interested in saving money and having regular treatments have a look at the link below for my subscription service.

https://www.kwmassagetherapies.co.uk/#klan

https://www.kwmassagetherapies.co.uk/#wellness

More resources

Here is a link to a free pdf you can download about tension headaches.

Co-Kinetic leaflet

The NHS have solid information if you want to find out more headaches.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/headaches/

Thank you for taking the time to read this Klog, I’d love to hear how it has helped you or if you would like a specific topic covered in future Klogs.

Kirsty
Kirsty

Check out my website for my other Klogs, services and skin care range.

Website: https://kwmassagetherapies.co.uk/

Hot or Cold Therapy? How to Use Them. March Top Tip.

Hot or Cold Therapy? How to use them? I am often asked about this

Hot or Cold Therapy? How to use them? I am often asked about this and in my experience both have a place in rehab.

Re-Usable Hot / Cold Pack
Re-Usable Hot / Cold Pack

March Top Tip

Hot or Cold Therapy? How to use them? I am often asked about this and in my experience both have a place in rehab. My advice is to experiment. Find what works best for you in the situation and circumstances you find yourself in.

Pain

Do you have an injury? Is it acute or chronic? What type of pain or sensation is it? What do you naturally want to do? Rub it or hold and support it? The list goes on!

Cold Therapy

Cold therapy, will cool an area down by lowering the temperature, reducing blood supply to the affected area and therefore preventing swelling or helping to reduce the swelling and bruising. It is believed the lower temperature helps to block pain receptors in the brain switching off the sensation of pain in that area.

To use cold / ice safely, always wrap it in a damp tea towel and then place it on the area. Leave it in place for 10-15 mins, probably no more than 20 minutes at a time. Never place ice directly on the skin because it can cause an ice burn. Repeat every couple of hours as necessary.

Hot Therapy

Heat therapy, will increase circulation and blood supply to the affected area. This increase can bring comfort and reduce the sensation of pain. As a result, heat is good for muscle aches an joint pain.

To  apply heat safely: wrap the hot water bottle in a towel or cover before placing on the skin. Make sure it is not too hot to burn yourself and set the timer for up to 15 minutes. Repeat every couple of hours. Be careful not to overuse heat as it can cause congestion and more discomfort in the affected area.

Conclusion

Both have their place in first aid, rehab and prevention. Try them both and see which one you benefit from the most.

Stay safe and if you need any help or rehab information, please get in touch.

https://www.facebook.com/KWMassageTherapies/services/?ref=page_internal

https://www.kwmassagetherapies.co.uk

Not Skipping In September, join me…

In line with the Live Longer and Stronger campaign I ran on my social media in August, my main aim is to improve my eating habits in my own Not Skipping in September challenge. (Other aims are exercise and wellness related.)

Not skipping in September. Daily walks boost your health, well being and mental health.
Daily walks keep the Doctor at bay…

Not Skipping In September

Welcome to Not Skipping in September.

September has arrived already and with it the opportunity to set new goals, tasks, challenges or whatever you want to call them. 

What are you not skipping in September

In line with the Live Longer and Stronger campaign I ran on my social media in August, my main aim is to improve my eating habits in my own Not Skipping in September challenge. (Other aims are exercise and wellness related.) 

I noticed I was starting to skip meals / snacks during the day or just  I would just forget to eat.

So what?

Highs and Lows

Your body does not appreciate this! As it is constantly striving to keep your blood sugars level and stable throughout the day.

One noticeable downside is you hit peaks and troughs in your energy levels which leads you to wanting a quick boost.

That piece of cake or those extra biscuits or energy drink, you grab to tide you over, these can lead to an energy high and inevitable low, mood swings and potential unwanted weight gain through the excess sugar intake.

Did you know the body constantly tests your blood sugar levels?

It is checking to to see how high or low your blood sugar levels are.

If there is too much sugar the pancreas will release the hormone Insulin to lower the sugar levels. If the levels are too low, the pancreas will release Glucagon another hormone to increase it to a normal level. 

This is where the peaks and troughs come in as your energy increases or is depleted.

Type ll Diabetes

There is a major link to Type 11 Diabetes in response to a high sugar diet, lack of exercise and poor lifestyle choices. Sadly, this condition is still on the rise.  

Do you have breakfast?

This is one meal I cannot miss whatever the time I have it. It sets me up for the day. The reason it is breakfast is because you are breaking the fast that you have had whilst sleeping.

It is usually an ideal time to fill up your fuel tank before you get going. 

Of course, it doesn’t suit everyone but what you consume could be as simple as a smoothie, a piece of fruit or more traditional cereals, toast or cooked meals. The key is as always to find what works for you. 

So why not experiment this month and join me in your own September challenge.

Consider some of my main principles, eat as well as you can, move more and do something that makes you happy everyday.  

I’d love to hear how you get on and what changes you make. Here is the  Live Longer and Stronger campaign, in case you missed it. 

Until next time, stay safe, stay well and be happy! 🙂 




Please feel free to share this with anyone you think may benefit or check out my website: https://www.kwmassagetherapies.co.uk

Do you control your bounce…or does your bounce control you????

Do you have control of your bounce when exercising or does your bounce control the exercise you do? A sports bra is designed to limit movement. Being in control of your bounce, you can reduce your back / neck and shoulder pain along with increasing your performance, support and security.

Control your bounce……..no, not your Tigger impulses, I’m talking about how you control your bounce when exercising.

Do you have control of your bounce when exercising or does your bounce control the exercise you do?

A sports bra is not just for sport. It can be worn for daily life.

Get Control of Your Bounce

A sports bra is designed to limit movement. Being in control of your bounce, you can reduce your back / neck and shoulder pain along with increasing your performance, support and security.

8/10 women are wearing the wrong sized bra!

44% of women don’t wear one for their activity!

83% of unwanted movement can be reduced by wearing a correctly fitting sports bra.

Control your bounce.
Get control of your bounce

Types, Makes, Models…..

You name the activity, there will be a bra to suit it. Name your colour, it will be there! Nowadays, even odd shape breasts, pregnancy or post surgery can be accommodated too.

Low impact, medium impact and high impact are available depending on the level of impact your activity has. So, Yoga, Pilates would require a low impact bra and some gym activities a medium impact bra, but sports like running, netball, equestrianism definitely need high impact to reduce the bounce.

Now you have chosen the right impact level, let’s think about the rest!

  • shape/ model: racer back, traditional
  • size (more about that below)
  • fastening: front or rear
  • straps, shoulder or cross over
  • materials, wicking, cotton, padded, airtex, net/mesh
  • Style: underwired, moulded cups
  • Purpose: running, yoga, mastectomy, pregnancy, cycling
  • budget
  • colour

Fitting

How to measure correctly yourself.

  • Using a tape measure
  • Measure under the bust, this will give you the Band size
  • Measure around the fullest part of your bust for your Cup size.
  • Use size guide in store or online to find the correct bra size for you. https://www.boobydoo.co.uk/bra-size-calculator
  • You can get this done for you in some stores

Extend the life span of your bra

Apparently, your bra does not appreciate some the ways we do or do not look after it!

Whilst researching for this piece, all the information stated, follow the manufacturers washing guidelines. Who does that??!

Let’s be sensible for a minute.

These items cost money and if we don’t over heat them on a hot wash in the washing machine, wash underwired by hand and don’t put them in the tumble dryer, they will actually last longer meaning our money goes further. (food for thought..)

Time to change?

How do you know?

Simple, there is physical wear and tear.

It has lost it’s support or the elastic is now loose.

It doesn’t fit or feel as comfortable as day one.

You change your activity and start starting with a different impact level

Weight loss

Muscle gain

Body shape changes

Monthly cycles may affect your fit throughout the month too

Conclusion

So ladies, there you go. Control your bounce so your bounce doesn’t control / limit your exercise.

Take time to consider the points above, measuring, fitting, activity, impact and materials when choosing your next bra.

Research the multitude of makes, models and reviews before you buy and take your time.

At the end of the day, you have to wear it all day and you should be able to forget you have even got one on if it is the right fit for you.

Go forth and bounce but under your own control!!

Kirsty's signature

https://www.kwmassagetherapies.co.uk

Love your spine. Care for your back.

Love your spine and care for your back. Spinal health is so important. Well where would you be without it???

Love your spine.

Love your spine. Care for back – anatomy – working from home – sleeping

Love your spine and care for your back
Love your spine, care for your back

Love Your Spine

Spinal health is so important. Well where would you be without it???

How many ?

33 bones, 5 sections and lots of muscles which all have long names!

Your pelvis has 3 bones and likes being kept in a level neutral position. Rather like a bowl of water if you tip it forward or backwards you spill the water. If you tilt your pelvis forward or backwards for too long, your back muscles will become tired and sore.

Love your spine when working from home

When working from home consider:

  • Screen height – is it on eye level
  • Suitable seating – a beanbag is not ideal!
  • Move every 30 minutes, get up and walk around the house, go up and down the stairs a couple of times….
  • The position your spine is in when you are working, it is upright and each bone one on top of the other? This is the ideal BUT without excessive tension to maintain the position.
  • You may need a foot rest to create a comfortable position
  • Avoid lying on the sofa with the laptop resting on your knees, it may be comfortable for a few minutes but not long term

Love your spine when sleeping

Love your spine, care for your back when sleeping too
Sleep zzzzzzz

There are no rights or wrongs but you need to be comfortable and supported in order to maximise the quality of your sleep. The key is to find what works for you.

Sleep allows the body time to heal, repair and restore itself. The brain will ‘defrag’ itself, filing information and deleting unnecessary data. This is part of the reason we dream as the brains sorts itself out ready for the next day.

Most mattresses should be turned on a monthly basis and renewed approximately every 8-10 years.

If you get up in the morning and you hurt, are sore or you just didn’t sleep very well, it may time to change.

Pillows are a very personal thing too. They can be made of memory foam, feathers, orthopaedic pillows are available too. Support and keeping the spine in natural alignment are important.

Pillows are also really useful as bolsters. One idea is to use a pillow between the knees to stop the pelvis rolling forward and twisting the spine, which could help reduce back pain if you sleep in this position.

https://www.kwmassagetherapies.co.uk

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/

Conclusion

So please love your spine and care for your back, it doesn’t like being treated like a Jenga puzzle. Please be kind to it, move it regularly every day and support it when you are sitting or lying down.

Walking Improves Your Health, try 10 minutes a day

Yes, as little as 10 minutes a day will improve your fitness and health

Walking improves your health. Even 10 minutes a day will make a difference.

Walking improves health. Kirsty and her black dog walking along the farm lane.
Striding out!

Still don’t believe that walking improves your health, even in 10 minutes a day?

What is 10 minutes a day walking going to do for me? Is it really worth the effort? You ask…… Well, YES, it is!

How?

If I said could you could reduce your risk of many of the major illnesses, you could live a longer, healthier life, feel less stressed, be able to complete all the challenges on your bucket list, then would you be tempted to try 10 minutes walking a day to improve your health?

5 Health Benefits of 10 Minutes Walking a Day

  • 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • 50% lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • 30% lower risk of early death
  • Lower risk of many types of cancer
  • Lower risk of bone problems, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fractures

There are plenty more benefits but I will save those for another day!

I don’t have time to walk

Yes, you can! Building 10 minutes into your day is really quite easy. No, it doesn’t mean you have to go out in full hiking gear or trail hopelessly round and round the neighbourhood.

I do like to be helpful and find suggestions to make it easy for you, so I have given you 3 simple ideas to think about below.

  1. Have you considered getting off the bus, tram or tube one stop earlier and walking the last part of your journey to work? That still counts towards your daily activity.
  2. How about you walk part of the way to school with your children? Even if you park the car at the end of the school road instead of right outside the gates? Yes, it will still count.
  3. Lastly, shopping. Park your car as far away from the entrance as possible. Want a two for one offer? Think about all the extra calories you will burn pushing the trolly back to the car. Plus, your car will probably get less dents from other vehicles too!

Conclusion

We should all be aiming for 150 minutes a week but if that fills you with horror, please don’t panic every minute you walk will make a difference to your health, heart and stamina. In time, you will see how walking improves your health. Build up slowly, try and get the whole family involved then you can compare the differences you all achieve.

Why not let me know how you get on, all the contact links are on the page. I am always happy to share more advice and suggest ingenious ways to help you get started and feel better. If you have read this and live in Cowfold, you might pass me in the fields walking with Haggis, do say hello.

Eat your way to health, boost your immune system to strengthen your defences.

Yes, you can eat your way to health and wellness.
Boost your immune system by topping up your fluids regularly throughout the day to stay well hydrated.
Boost your immune system by keeping your body moving.

This article has advice on how you can eat your way to health and wellness.

Yes, you can eat your way to health and wellness.

How?

  • Aim to have a variety of colours in every meal.
  • What do you mean by colours? Vegetables and fruits provide this range of colour and each has its own nutritional benefits.
  • Eat more vegetables than fruit, this will help to reduce your sugar intake which has health benefits of its own. Win Win!!

Boosting your immune system is vital so that your natural defences are as strong as possible. This will enable your body to fight against all the bad guys life throws at us.

The good guys and the baddies

Antioxidants are the good guys or soldiers in our bodies who fight the baddies.

Free radicals are the baddies who invade our systems.

Examples of free radicals

  • Pollution
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria

Activities we choose to undertake, smoking, poor food choices, drinking alcohol all have a negative effect on our health and have free radical elements.

Fitness must be included as a negative effect on the body. Really? Yes, it does!

Exercising creates damage in the muscles. The positive comes from the way the body channels this damage and turns it into positive strength, health and fitness gains by repairing and strengthening itself.

If you tear a piece of material and you sew it back together, the stitching makes that area stronger. This is what the body does to repair the micro tears in the muscles that you create through your training sessions.

Nutrition

The Eatwell Guide in full colour. A handy guide to ensure your daily intake of nutrients and the healthy amounts. 
Does your daily intake look like this?
Eatwell Guide http://www.gov.uk

Eat your way to health. Think about your plate containing a rainbow of colourful foods.

Green, reds, yellows, blues and all the variations of those colours help to supply a variety of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep you healthy.

Green and orange foods provide Vitamin A which is an antioxidant. This is essential for cell structure, repair of body tissues and normal vision.

Top up your vitamin C too with some oranges, tomatoes, sweet potato and even milk which contains small amounts of Vitamin C. This is needed to protect the cells from damage, helps iron to be absorbed by the body and for the structure and optimal function of muscles.

How many of these colours can you get on your plate throughout the day? I am not suggesting you try and achieve this in one meal, spread the different colours out across your meals.

The other point to remember is to vary the colourful foods you choose. Broccoli one day and maybe spinach the next. Experiment with different vegetables and find new recipes to cook and ways of including them in your nutrition.

Below are some links to creditable websites which have more information if you are interested in learning more.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/

https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/food-and-nutrition

Water Water Water!

Glass of sparkling water with slices of fresh cucumber for flavour. Boost your immune system with water soluble vitamins and minerals as a way to health.
Sparkling water with fresh cucumber for flavour

Boost your immune system by topping up your fluids regularly throughout the day to stay well hydrated.

Your body is made up of about 70% water, which is why staying hydrated is important on a daily basis.

It is generally accepted we should drink about 2 litres a day. More if you are exercising or it is hot weather.

Tea and coffee can contribute to your daily intake but be aware you may need to go to the toilet more often due to the caffeine content.

Ideally, try and keep fizzy or carbonated drinks to a minimum. Their sugar content is pretty high and not the best way to hydrate on a regular basis.

If you find plain water boring and I do sometimes, jazz it up by adding some fruit or veg to it to give it some more taste and flavour.

Set yourself a challenge and see if you can increase your daily water intake. It might be a good idea to get the whole family involved.

Even if you can manage 1 extra glass of water a day, it will help your system function more efficiently.

Let me know your favourite flavours….. today, mine is cucumber.

Cucumber has water soluble vitamins, so they dissolve in the water, extra boost for me!

Strengthen your defences naturally and easily. Water Water Water!

Full Flight!

Get Moving!

Boost your immune system by keeping your body moving.

In previous klogs, I have written about the importance and value of moving your body. 10 minutes a day can make a difference to how you feel physically and mentally.

Your immune system will benefit from this daily movement as well.

The fitter you are physically, the fitter your immune system will be. Movement increases your circulation. That means your blood supply which is the transport system that carries nutrients, water and other goodies around your body is more efficient and effective.

If you can move every day especially outdoors you can get a hit of valuable Vitamin D as well. Your immune system enjoys Vitamin D naturally not from supplements but from sunlight. It doesn’t mean blazing sunshine either a cloudy day will still have benefits.

Conclusion

So, in summary, eat your way to health and boost your immune system by eating a range of colours in your daily eating habits to get as many vitamins and minerals as you can. Drink plenty of water every day even one extra glass a day will help and lastly keep moving. Walking, dancing, swimming whatever you enjoy! If you are at home walk around the house and the garden every move you make will benefit your overall health, wellness and mental health.

Start to Strengthen Your Defences Today!

I hope this has given you some useful ideas and tips and if you want to ask me anything please get in touch. K. 🤗

https://www.kwmassagetherapies.co.uk

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