Proper Cycling with the Aid of a Physiotherapist

As a very active person, I tend to put my body under a lot of strain while exercising or doing sport. Beyond that, I am always at a risk of injuries especially when I go out biking, my favourite activity. Living in a country where there are many beautiful destinations to see by bicycle, I take every chance I get to go riding. However, my weekly cycling trips have eventually led to some pain in my knees and my back.

The best way to deal with the pain and figure out its root cause is to consult with a physiotherapist in Werribee. It got to a point where my mobility was affected, so it was necessary to go for therapy to strengthen my body again. Doing so will also allow me to take part in my favourite activities again but hopefully, avoiding the errors that have led to my injuries. 

When looking for an expert to handle your therapy, it is always an advantage to work with someone who has extensive knowledge and experience in sports injuries. Russell Thompson, an experienced physio in Werribee area, has handled similar cases in his many years of practice. More than that, he himself is an avid cyclist who has also travelled around Europe on his bicycle. During our first meeting, we spent some time talking about our passion and I knew immediately that he was the perfect person to get me back to cycling.

In our first consultation, I described the pain I was feeling and what activities I have been taking part in. A full assessment was conducted, checking parts of my body that were too strained because of biking. Beyond that, I also demonstrated my techniques so that he could diagnose my mistakes. After all, I have not been professionally trained nor do I work with a coach that can direct me in my cycling technique so I knew the chances were high that I was not doing it properly.

I also came to understand the normal injuries that cyclists endure and how physiotherapists like Russell Thompson help treat them. As he explained them to me, I realized that I may have had more signs of bad cycling practices, ones I have completely been ignoring.

1. Leg Cramps

Almost everyone who spends a few hours on the bicycle will come to expect this injury afterward. Because of the work the leg muscles have to do, they contract and become stiff. This can really lead to some serious pain later on. While it may be normal, experiencing it regularly and too intense aching that keeps you from biking is not a good sign.

Your physiotherapist can greatly provide relief to your aching legs through deep tissue massage therapy and passive stretching. He may also be able to give advice on how to prevent cramps in the future.

2. Knee Pain

When biking steep elevations, cyclists who use the wrong gears or even have the inappropriate bicycles can certainly feel some pain in their knees. If not careful and when done repeatedly, there is a real risk of causing long-term damage to their knees.

This is why consulting with an expert in cycling is very helpful. First of all, he can help choose the right kind of bicycle, depending on the activity you engage in. He will then be able to look at how the bicycle is set up, how high the seat is and if the handles are at the right level. Even the position of the pedals and the pedalling technique matters, so a full assessment should be done to correct these mistakes and lessen the strain on the knees. Your physiotherapist may also introduce the right warm-up and stretching exercises to prime you for a gruelling ride.

Despite this, cyclists can still expect a bit of knee pain especially when they are frequently climbing steep hills. Visiting your physio clinic can help address these symptoms and help you strengthen this part of your body to prevent recurring injuries.

3. Back Injuries

Hunching over for hours while biking can certainly take its toll. Worse, when the road is not as smooth, any bump will affect your back. Even if you have the best posture, you will still benefit from visiting your physiotherapist to deal with your back pain, especially since this is an issue you can expect to have regularly as a cyclist.

Working with your physio clinic can help reduce the pain through soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, and passive muscle stretching. Improper posture can also be corrected, and core strengthening programs can be done to avoid future injuries.

Your qualified and experienced physiotherapist can be your partner in making sure that you are biking properly and safely. After all, there is a huge difference between cycling in the city for 10 minutes to go to work and doing it for hours, climbing steep hills. It can be very strenuous and dangerous to your body if not done with the guidance of an expert. Lastly, they may also help you with pain and strain that it causes, helping you get stronger and fitter to continue doing your favourite activity.

Caring for Your Crowning Glory

We are all familiar with the phrase, “a woman’s hair is her crowning glory”. This is nothing new to us and although I did not get its significance before, I do now. 

When I was a kid and a teenager, I never bothered fixing my hair. It was naturally unruly because I was born with curls similar to Goldilocks’. While growing up and having several haircuts, my hair changed from being curly to wavy. I still do not have any explanation to this, and although my hair is wavy, it is still easy to curl with the use of my hands. As time passed and I outgrew my teenage years, I started recognizing the hair styles of the women around me. Some are naturally straight, some are colored perfectly, and some are plain disasters. I also started liking the hairstyles of other celebrities, especially the straight and blonde hair of Amanda Seyfried, the lob of Anne Hathaway, and the red mane of Julia Roberts. 

When we went to visit Melbourne, I told myself I would try something new. I wanted a new haircut or a hairstyle – anything really that was different and would give me a fresh look. As I was looking for hair salons to go to, I came across a site that recommended salons. I saw Rakis on Collins as one of the most famous salons in the area. They had great reviews from people and they also mentioned that the hair styles they got definitely gave them more confidence since experts were the ones who styled it. The hairdressers at Rakis on Collins Melbourne were famous both for their dexterity and reception. 

I did some research on the place and it seemed to me that their selling point was their customer service. “We’ve never taken our clients for granted,” says the owner, Stavros Tavrou. I have been to several salons already and I have never come across a selling point like this. Although it is a given that hair salons are there to bring out the best in your hair, they do not usually market this in that way. Most bank on their expertise and the number of services they can offer to consumers. 

Since Rakis on Collins caught my attention, I called up the salon and set an appointment. I went there around 2:00 PM on a Tuesday (they are closed on Sundays and Mondays) and met with a senior stylist. The senior stylist was kind enough to listen to my vague description of hairstyle I preferred. After saying my piece, he went to talk about my face shape, hair density, and lifestyle. It felt like a consultation more than anything else actually. I was not aware that this was a part of the service they give. Each client goes through a four-point consultation where the stylist explains the person’s face shape and the kinds of hairstyles that emphasize or hide it. He also asked me about my hair routine. I mentioned that I just had a basic hair care routine (shampoo and conditioner every day). After that, the senior stylist told me about the density of my hair and the type of hair I have. My hair turns out to be frizzy because of the damaged curls I had. I have a number of dead hair too! This amazed me because it sounded worse than it looks. I definitely did not realize that about my hair. 

In the end, the consultation ended with a recommendation to avail of a pure keratin relaxing treatment. At first, I was iffy because all I wanted was a visible change in my hair, hence, a drastic change in hair style. But then I was convinced that the first step before styling hair is to ensure that my hair was healthy. I then went on with their keratin treatment. 

The treatment was meant to bring out the nutrients to my hair. The end result would be a more youthful looking mane. What happened after amazed me. I mentioned earlier that I had unruly hair. The keratin treatment straightened my hair and made it look shiny. After that, I was more confident of how my hair looked. And since it was healthy enough to get styled, I still continued on having it styled. 

Overall, my experience at Rakis on Collins was the best salon experience I have had. I definitely felt that I was the center of attention (at least for my stylist) and my concerns regarding my hair were valued. Their expertise was no doubt a great plus too. Because of that salon appointment, I’ve known more about my hair than if I went to another salon. It gave me the confidence to wear my crowning glory out proudly.

If you find my story interesting, you can actually be delighted for more. Click here and read a variety of health-related topics that will inspire you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Why Tennis is One of the Best Ways to Stay Physically Fit

A lot of individuals have this thinking that physical fitness can only be achieved if one spends lots of time in the gym, pumping iron and running the treadmill as well as performing a lot of those other exercises. But I tell you now, you don’t need to go to the gym to stay in excellent shape. You only need to ask yourself what physical activity you enjoy doing. And if you happen to love a particular sport but haven’t really given much thought about it, maybe it’s about time you did? One of the best and most effective ways to stay physically fit is to play tennis. Sure, you can also go for basketball, soccer, or even rugby. And since we’re Aussies, we can always go for water-related activities like swimming and surfing. The point is that any sport can be a really good way to keep ourselves physically fit and healthy.

However, let me just share with you my thoughts on why I consider tennis to be a particularly good exercise. Let me just reiterate that this has nothing to do with the on-going Australian Open, although I would like to believe that it is a very timely event to share with you what I have learned the past several months playing tennis with a friend.

Here are some of the more important reasons why tennis is one excellent way to stay physically fit.

  • Superb cardiovascular training 

Bjorn Borg once said that playing tennis on a competitive level is like performing a thousand and one little sprints. It’s like having high intensity interval training for a couple of hours running towards the net like crazy before backpedalling towards the baseline to hit a slammer. Running from one corner to another and towards and from the net will require tremendous amounts of energy. This increases both your aerobic and anaerobic metabolic demands which can easily translate to more efficient fat burning process as well as improved energy utilisation. 

  • Helps in muscle development 

Have you seen how tennis players can shift their weight in a split second to make sure that they hit the tennis ball for that fantastic return? They won’t be able to do this if their muscles are not properly toned and conditioned. I must admit, I can feel the muscles in my arms, upper body, and legs already starting to take shape while also becoming a lot firmer after only a few months of playing tennis. It’s the shifting movements that help train and condition the muscles to be as explosive as they can be when needed. 

  • Improves visual motor coordination 

As a beginner, I have to say I really couldn’t hit the ball. Most of the time, I guess, I was thinking that there’s a large invisible hole in my racquet that the ball passes through every time I take a swing at the ball. The point is, my brain must be able to make accurate estimations as to where the ball will pass so that I can direct my arms holding the racquet to hit the ball. From my visual senses, electrical signals go to my brain, get processed there, and then electrical signals again are sent to my arms to initiate the action of swinging the racquet. It is this visual and motor coordination that is superbly enhanced by tennis. Why is this important, you ask? Other physical activities require good coordination between what we see and what we do. With tennis, we are actually sharpening this particular skill so we become better at other endeavours. 

  • Enhances flexibility, agility, and dynamic balance 

Just changing direction many times in a particular game can greatly enhance your flexibility, agility, and dynamic balance. The whole point is to return the ball at all cost as long as it’s within the boundaries of the court. Hitting the ball while running also requires superb balance as the forward momentum can definitely throw you off your feet.

These are just some of the reasons why I believe tennis is one of the best ways to be physically fit. I am absolutely certain that there are hundreds of other reasons why you’d benefit the most when you play tennis. Now, don’t you think it’s about time taking a swing with your racquet? All you need to do is to invest on a reliable sports equipment and then enrol for tennis club membership in our area. If you are just a beginner, then tennis classes can be of great help. So you are not just enjoying an exciting sport activity, you too are keeping yourself physically fit.

How Chinese Acupuncture in Melbourne Changed My Life

acupunctureAcupuncture is a very popular Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment where thin needles are used to stimulate specific points in the body. From this thousand-year tradition, it is now a common treatment found in most big cities. However, most people remain doubtful as to how a Chinese acupuncture session can really benefit them.

I am a big fan of acupuncture, being someone who has benefitted a lot with the treatment. I had suffered a lot because of migraine. These were not the same as normal headaches because it would hurt even in my neck and I would also have problems with my eyesight. Sometimes, I would literally be unable to do anything and would have to stay in a dark room for hours. The problem is, there is no clear reason why I was having the migraine episodes and going to the doctor was useless because he couldn’t do much about it.

A colleague who had heard of my problems suggested going to a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic. She informed me that relieving migraines was one of the benefits of Chinese acupuncture. At first, I was not convinced but after a while of trying other ways without any success, I was getting desperate. I just wanted to finally find a way to reduce these episodes. Although drinking pain medication helped a bit, it was not necessarily the solution I was looking for long-term.

Much like other people, I was worried about whether acupuncture will hurt, because of the use of needles. The acupuncturist, however, tried to reassure me by showing me how the needles look like and explaining how he will be doing the treatment. Contrary to what I thought in the beginning, they were not scary and big so I was less worried. Because I also went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic, which practices acupuncture based on the centuries-old beliefs, they could also explain the basis of the treatment. The acupuncturist was also, of course, well-trained and experienced, so I knew I was in good hands. I find it very important to always turn to qualified experts whenever I go through procedures.

My decision to go through acupuncture was to reduce my migraines. However, there are also a number of reasons why other patients go for a session:

  1. Headaches and Migraines

Acupuncture has been proven by research to be helpful in treating those who suffer from tension-type headaches. This is great news in providing patients an option other than taking pain medication. Even as the study followed up on the participants, those who received acupuncture treatment during the study reported a continued decrease in frequency and intensity of headaches. On the other hand, the control group who did not receive any treatment at all has not had any change in their symptoms at all.

  1. Chronic Pain 

Pain can occur in various parts of the body, from the neck, back, or knee. Moreover, some conditions, like arthritis, can also make life very uncomfortable and painful for patients. Treatment of chronic pain is one of the traditional benefits of acupuncture, offering people a medication-free option to deal with aches and throbbing that they suffer from.

In fact, there have been numerous studies that have tried to test the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic pain. When it comes to back pain, researchers in the University Medical Center of Berlin have shown that going for sessions significantly reduced symptoms compared to those who have not had any treatment done.

Moreover, a more recent study by the Memorial-Sloan-Kettering Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics covering more than 17,000 patients has shown that the procedure has successfully managed not just back pain, but also neck pain, arthritis, shoulder pain, and chronic headaches.

  1. Insomnia

If you are suffering from sleepless nights, you might also find acupuncture beneficial. Going for sessions has been shown by researchers are more successful in dealing with sleep problems than taking medication or other herbal treatments. Moreover, there are no side effects compared to taking sleeping pills.

  1. Chemotherapy and Cancer

Those who are suffering from cancer suffer from a lot of side effects of chemotherapy, and adding acupuncture sessions can help reduce these. Additionally, research has shown promise in acupuncture boosting immunity, helping patients recover faster after treatment.

  1. Cognitive Decline

A study done by the Department of Neurology of the University of Maryland School of Medicine has reported improvements in symptoms of cognitive decline after 16 sessions of acupuncture. That means, 85% of patients were able to walk, write and process information better. Other symptoms of cognitive conditions like tremor, confusion and anxiety were also reduced.

  1. Pregnancy, Labor, and Postpartum

More women are turning to acupuncture during and after pregnancy. Because acupuncture is believed good for stress relief and hormone balance, it might help women reduce strain and anxiety during this time. It is also used to prepare the body for labor. However, as there are some points that should be avoided when the patient is pregnant, make sure that you have a session with someone who is specifically knowledgeable in this area.

In fact, acupuncture is one of the most studied treatments out there, with many scientists trying to check whether acupuncture is somehow a placebo. As more studies are done and published, it becomes even clearer that these benefits are real, and that going for regular sessions can truly bring a lot of benefits and even support other treatments like chemotherapy.

Happy and Healthy – Kids Thanks to Zumba

zumba-for-kidsIt’s true that mothers will only want nothing but the best for their children. As a mother myself, I find joy seeing my kids happy and achieving during their childhood. I want them to learn more than what the books offer, to experience things on their own, and to make the most of their time. However, kids these days have so many distractions that mothers like me find it difficult for them to do anything without a gadget in hand. And as the concerned and responsible mother that I am, I enrolled them in Zumba classes in Bendigo, for a change. 

Every waking moment and every bedtime, cellphones or tables are the last things my children hold.  Because of technology’s grip on them, they refuse to stand from the couch or go outside their rooms and socialize with others. No longer do they find physical hobbies entertaining as they are already best friends with their gadgets. Thankfully, I was offered Zumba classes for my kids, which I thought was a better option than online surfing. 

I no longer needed much introduction about Zumba because I, myself, take classes with my own circle of friends. Zumba is fitness program in the form of dance that integrates Latin dance steps (specifically Salsa), with aerobics, even martial arts, in the routine. Personally, I found this very appealing as it seemed a fun way of burning all the calories in my body. Truth be told, it is fun. All the instructors and my classmates dance their hearts out, not minding the sweat, but only focusing on the dance. With upbeat Latin music in the background and well-crafted choreography, it felt undemanding to be active. As I loved Zumba more, I wanted my children to have the same fun experience while staying mobile. 

At first, I was reluctant to enroll them to Zumba classes thinking that they might not be able to catch the dance steps and afterwards feel embarrassed if they do so. Fortunately, all the instructors were very understanding, patient, and eager to help or assist them as they dance. I knew that my children weren’t fond of dancing, most especially with a group, thinking that they are uncoordinated. But after two sessions, they were very eager in going to their classes. Thanks to the Zumba program for Kids, they found a new hobby that involved their mind and their whole body to be active for an hour and thirty minutes. 

In this program, children aged seven to eleven years old are exposed to intensity dance routines suitable to their abilities, social games and activities, and lastly, cultural learning because of the elements incorporated in the dance. Initially, my kids were scheduled twice a week, but because they were really amused of the routines, they went to the studio four times every week. From cough potatoes, they turned into eager beavers for dance and fitness. 

There are many benefits of having regular sweat sessions with Zumba. First, I saw that my children were able to channel their energy into something more positive and useful. We all know that our youngsters tend to be restless and impatient at times, so why not encourage them to express themselves through dance. Unconsciously, their bodies become stronger, slimmer, and flexible throughout the classes. 

Additionally, they developed a better hand, eye, and foot coordination. This dance workout required them to follow stops which needs control; thus enabling them to be conscious of every hand flick, arm reach, leg kick, and hip sway. In return, they find it less awkward to move their body and feel more confident in every action they make.  

Zumba also prompted my children to learn how to socialize and communicate. Before, they were just hiding in front of high-lit screens and now, they are able to face individuals in the same age group. Because of this newly-found interest, they acquired the skill of creating new relationships. My kids found a new audience for their thoughts and actions other than social media and I am really happy that they now have more friends. 

Not only did these workshops benefitted them, but they also positively affected mothers like me. On weekends, Zumba became our quality time, as we all go as a family to the studio and the dance the day away. We enjoy each other’s company more and learn more about ourselves in a span of two hours or less. Other than this, busy moms like myself are given a break from all the babysitting. We can use this time to run errands or to pamper ourselves with a massage. 

At first, I wanted my children to be physically and mentally fit and healthy. But after one summer of these classes, I realized that both my children and I were able to support, respect, and love each other more. And as a mother, I’d want nothing more than that. 

Cardio Workouts for Pregnant Women

pregnant-cardio-exerciseStaying fit is important for the wellness of one’s body, especially for pregnant women. Surprising as it may seem, pregnancy is a good go signal to hit up the gym or to enroll in classes. While common notion is that expecting mothers should limit themselves from physical activities, most pregnant women is advised to have a moderate routine of exercise or workout. 

Cardio exercises during pregnancy are the recommended activities of most physicians. Movement exercises are known to decrease body pains, most especially in the lower back. Since the body, mostly the legs, are the main parts doing the work, swelling in legs and feet are lessened. Other payoffs of staying fit include better sleeping patterns, reduced mood swings, and improved blood circulation.  What most women find encouraging in taking gym sessions or yoga lessons is that they increase stamina levels, strengthen and tone the muscles, and encourages proper breathing patterns. Eventually, they will find it easier during labor as it reduces the labor time, helps one have better control of their muscles, also, provide them with boosts of energy all throughout the process. And most probably, it’s going to be faster for them to lose weight after delivery. 

Before putting on the activewear and enrolling in classes, mothers-to-be should always consult with their physicians. If the doctors have no objections, they can ask a list of recommended exercises and activities. Likewise, they can request for individualized or personal program crafted by them. After getting the physician’s permission, women should go to health and fitness centers and register under trainers or experts with experience or certification with pregnancy exercise. With a guide throughout the program, their activities will be adjusted to their needs and circumstances.

Some reminders that one shouldn’t forget are as follows:

  1. Always be hydrated.
  2. Do proper warm-up before the activity.
  3. Be attentive of the heart rate.
  4. Stop as soon as signs of swelling, nausea, and headache are seen and felt.
  5. Take a break every fifteen minutes or so.
  6. Do not exercise every day to avoid over fatigue. 

The body changes all-throughout the 9 months, which is why there are specific sets of exercises per trimester of gestation.

For the first trimester, swimming, jogging or walking are the ideal forms of exercise. Many expecting mothers fear that any active movement might harm the baby, so it’s better to start with low intensities and gradually increasing them. Swimming keeps the body toned, while it raises the heart rate. Because of the water’s density, there’s no chance for them to fall flat on their stomach. Walking or jogging is also a simple cardio exercise that won’t put too much strain on the body. Just remember to put on the right shoes and take extra caution where one’s passing. These two exercises can be done all throughout the pregnancy period. 

Having a stationary bike for one’s disposal is also favourable. Rather than going outdoors to bike, one can exercise without being exposed to too much heat or to other dangerous obstacles. Plus, with this equipment, there will be less stress exerted on the body as it acts as a support for one’s weight.  Additionally, weight lifting is relatively doable because mothers can still carry much weight with less risks of injury because of the joints near the muscles are strengthened.

During the second trimester, the baby bump becomes bigger and more evident; thus making it more difficult to do a lot of bending and jumping. In this stage, many future mothers attend yoga and aerobics classes. There are centers that have special programs for pregnant women, making all the positions, the steps, and the pace, easy for them to follow as they reap benefits from them. Many don’t feel the strengthening of their muscles doing yoga because of the gentle, relaxed, and peaceful manner instructors conduct their sessions. Likewise, this approach can be carried over during labor, wherein the mother can be calm and not frantic. For both activities, they should avoid standing for a long period and staying in a lying position. If not, oxygen circulation and blood flow will be harder for the baby. 

The last three months of pregnancy are crucial. In one wrong or sensitive move, one’s water might break or it can cause an unavoidable fall. For this reason, lightweight cardio exercises such as water aerobics, yoga, and walking, are the most advisable things to do. Water aerobics is the favorite of many future moms, since it won’t worry them of falling, neither will they feel extremely hot in the pool.

Though exercising have numerous known advantages, women should not risk their welfare and the baby’s condition just for those. If there are signs or difficulties, it simply means stop. If one’s feeling dizzy, finding it difficult to breathe, or sees the calf swelling, she should no longer push herself to do more. 

Overall, cardio activities are rewarding during and after pregnancy. It can help women cope with their physical and emotional changes as they wait for the arrival of their child. However, one should always keep in mind their limitations for the sake of her baby and her own health. 

Count Your Steps Towards Health And Wellbeing

yoga

Anything worthwhile cannot be achieved overnight similarly, a healthy life is a result of long established healthful practices. The health habits that are formed today remain the groundwork for tomorrow. An upbeat and active lifestyle that is practiced in the present day contributes to a healthful life even at the age of 80. Simple steps that you take forward now to remain healthy go a long way in benefitting later. The more you wait, the harder it will seem, so count your steps towards healthy living right away. Here is a sneak peek look at the some of the simpler steps to enable overall wellbeing.

Staying active remains the number one mantra for a healthy life. It’s time to get up from the couch to discover the benefits of an active lifestyle. A brisk walk in the park for around 30 minutes has a galore of advantages to offer. The early morning sunshine is an abundant source of vitamin D. Walking helps in weight control, improves circulation, strengthens bones, tones muscles, offers flexibility, improves balance and coordination. Walking is said to prevent as well as help in the management of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. It trims the waistline and lowers the risk factors for several diseases.

asanas

Walk up the stairs and step into an active lifestyle to stay fit and robust all through the life. Remember to care for your knees and joints during the adult life. As you age, many of the bone disorders become irreversible. At adulthood with exercise and proper diet, there is a possibility to prevent or reverse knee and joint problems. A sedentary life aggravates knee problems so make sure to be physically active through the day. Consult a physiotherapist at the right time to reduce the intensity of a paining knee.

Yoga remains the best solution to maintain positivity and good health. Yoga also enables one to strengthen the core, enhances flexibility, improves circulation and eliminates stress. Learning yoga from a trained instructor enables a healthy living which would serve to be a boon in the future. It eliminates depression and apathy. It enhances emotional and physical health thereby contributing to a good quality of life. A well-balanced diet coupled with exercise can work wonders with respect to healthful longevity. A healthy diet that provides carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins in balanced proportions have positive impacts.

Choose organic foods. Enjoy fruits and vegetables as such. Whole grain cereals add fiber to the diet. Include high biological value protein such as eggs and animal protein. Avoid trans-fats and processed foods as much possible. Learn to cook delicious and nutritious meals. Fruits and vegetables act as a storehouse of antioxidants. Consume them as fresh as possible. Eat varied colors of fruits and vegetables to stay hale and healthy. Be vigilant of your body’s signs and signals. Visit a general physician once or twice in a year and get yourself assessed completely. Quit smoking to enhance health and longevity. Add life to your years ahead by staying healthy.