COVID has brought many challenges for everyone that’s for sure. I’m a big believer that with every challenge comes a blessing. It may however take time to sort through the chaos to find the silver lining. So have you found your silver lining?
As long as I can remember I have valued my health, back learning bush healing skills from my Na as a child. Having a major health scare at 16 then made me consciously realise the importance of my health and there was nothing I wouldn’t have done to get my health back. Since then I have actively continued to learn and implement strategies to optimise my health and believe this will be part of my journey forever. Part of my purpose then became clear that I was to help others realise the value of their health and take action, because they chose to not because they were forced too.
One of the biggest silver linings from COVID for many people has been the realisation of how important their health is and for many the motivation to make the needed changes. I’m so excited to be part of this realisation.
In essence the inarguable things that benefit our health are; whole foods (unprocessed nutrition), quality sleep, positive mindset, exercise, body care and maintenance. These are the pillars of health that must be continually addressed to create resilience – body, mind and soul.
As gyms and exercise studios have just reopened, many people are rushing back, so we have focussed this month on educating and inspiring people on the safest and most effective ways to get back into their favourite classes and exercise. Ideally without getting injured or ill!
Many people have still been exercising during COVID and for some they have had more time than ever to exercise. I know I have never seen so many people and families out riding, running, walking dogs etc. However returning to higher intensity exercise like gym, classes, yoga, Pilates, cross fit etc, is not the same as working out on your lounge room floor or walking / running the streets.
Most people understand the function of the musculoskeletal system when returning to more intense exercise and the need for progressive overload. However what many people don’t fully understand is the important role of the nervous system. The nervous system is responsible for perception from the external environment and has a huge role to play in balance, coordination, movement patterns and recovery.
My top 3 tips to ensure your nervous system is conditioned to control the muscles, tendons and ligaments whilst exercising, decrease the chance of injuries and minimise stress are:
1. Get your nervous system and spine checked by a chiropractor to ensure it’s functioning optimally.
2. Warm up using unloaded functional movement patterns ensuring you include a balance component. The 6 key movements are squat, lunge, hip hinge, push, pull and carry.
3. Ensure you are always working on your breathing. Breathing is one of the most overlooked and poorly understood components of exercise. Essentially you should be able to breath using your diaphragm continuously throughout the entire movement pattern (with perhaps the exceptions of a max lift in the gym or certain yoga asanas). Controlled diaphragmatic breathing enhances nervous system function by increasing vagal tone, therefore moving you away from fright or flight (decreasing stress) and improving overall health and performance.
Part of the vision Nick and I had when we created Health Space was to be able to create a place where no matter what people needed we could provide a health solution. That’s why we have multiple clinics with a multi disciplinary approach and a huge network outside our clinics to ensure we can help you and your family.
The way we see our role in helping you get back to more intense exercise safely and effectively is to educate you about the modalities we have available and provide the best possible practitioners to provide this treatment and advice.
- The nutrition/ naturopathy team are great at providing holistic dietary plans and recommending the right supplements for you.
- Acupuncturists – get great results with muscle, tendon and ligaments issues caused by training.
- Massage therapists are super effective at helping you recover between sessions and for relaxation and stress reduction.
- Chiropractors and Osteopaths are fabulous are enhancing nervous system function and of course treating and preventing sports injuries.
- Physiotherapists are amazing at managing sports injuries and implementing specific rehabilitation programs (including prevention, injury recovery and post operation).
On one occasion every year we give all our valued clients one voucher they can use to either try a new modality or gift to a friend or family member who think would benefit from the services at Health Space Clinics. We think this is the perfect time for you and your loved ones to access this offer. Please download the voucher below and enjoy.
Dr. Kate Wood