February – the month of love! We hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and to continue those feel-good endorphins, we’ve made sure that there’s so much to love in this newsletter. You’ll find some information on our sporting partner, The North Sydney Bears, and our upcoming workshop. And our Education Quarter explains more about making the most out of your time in the gym! Enjoy…
Getting grizzly with the North Sydney Bears
We can BEARly contain our excitement! We are so proud to be the North Sydney Bears physio again this year. Our very own Peter will be looking after the Canterbury Cup team, Chris and Angus will be treating the Jersey Fleg league, and Josh will be looking after the Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams. As you can see, Peter has already made friends with Barney, the mascot, at a recent meeting – it was a BEARy good day out! Follow us on social media to see more of our work with the Bears throughout the season.
Do you have Osteoarthritis (OA), or do you have a family member with OA? Or maybe you’re a professional who comes in contact with older people? Join Peter on Thursday 2 April for our osteoarthritis session at Norths Cammeray. Peter will give you the run-down on what OA is, how to treat and manage it, and what to do to improve your pain and your quality of life.
Book by calling Norths Cammeray on 9245 3000, or sign up in person when you’re next at the Club.
What do you know about your Osteoarthritis (OA)?
Currently one in seven Australians have osteoarthritis, and it’s estimated that it will become one in five, by 2050. Osteoarthritis is basically the ‘wearing out’ of the cartilage surfaces of synovial joints, and the reasons are usually about 50% genetic and 50% environmental. In short, it’s all about load verses strength – usually OA occurs when there is too much weight and not enough strength to support the knee/hip joint.
There are many ‘traditional’ treatments, which unfortunately are largely ineffective – these are things like arthroscopy, injections, stem cell, Panadol and anti-inflammatories. All the current research is showing that exercise, weight loss and education are the best treatment for OA. The solution is for people to lose enough weight and build up enough muscle strength to support their knee/hip joint. For example, if a person can leg press their body weight, it’s likely that they can support themselves walking up stairs or squatting without pain.
And when it comes to getting information about your condition, scans – like X-rays and MRIs – provide only limited information. Physical testing (such as Body Mass Index (BMI), six-minute walk test, questionnaires, 80% heart rate max on stationary bike, strength testing in the gym) provide more useful information.
And that is why we started our OA program at Norths Fitness. It takes time to build an effective exercise program that people can continue independently. Our program currently runs once a week for eight weeks, with a small group only – just four people. This is so we can ensure you have a program bespoke to your needs and a professional to guide you through it.
And leaving you on an important fact, if you did eventually need to get a knee or hip replacement, do you know the best age to do so? It’s 70! This means the replacement will probably last you the rest of your life. So if you are 55-60 years old, you need a 10-15 year plan to keep your symptoms under control. This will save you, the health system, and private insurance loads of money – it means one joint replacement in your life instead of two (or revision of your original). Knowing all of this, it’s also important to know that only 80% of knee replacements are successful. That means four in every five people are happy. One in five are either no better, or worse. So, our message to you is: Don’t have surgery until you have exhausted all other options. Surgery is a pain-relieving operation, not an operation that will allow you to improve your lifestyle. It only takes about a 10% loss of body weight to make a 50% improvement in your knee pain, so try a non-invasive exercise and strengthening program first.
So, if you’d like to learn more about managing your osteoarthritis, or that of a family member of friend, come along to our information session above where Peter will explain more and you can ask loads of questions – we’re happy to help!
The Education Quarter!
How to be productive in the gym
We’re a time-poor world these days and unfortunately for a lot of people, spending time looking after their bodies is not always a priority. Whether it’s because their lives are packed with work, families or a busy social calendar, most people get very little ‘me’ time. Even for those who do ‘gym it’, we regularly see an attitude of get in, get it done and get out in time to take the kids to gymnastics. We regularly get asked what a person can do to maximise their time in the gym, and lucky for you – that is exactly what this blog is about!
We appreciate that life is busy, but read on for some handy tips on keeping a productive gym schedule:
Go with a friend or family member: Many people hate going to the gym alone because they find it hard to motivate themselves. Having a gym partner means you can motivate each other during those really hard slogs on the exercise bike or pushing for that last rep. If you’re time poor, this allows you to kill two birds with one stone by getting in some socialising whilst working out (no animals were hurt during the writing of this blog).
Get a PT: What better way to be productive in the gym than having a personal trainer (PT) to guide you along the way and keep you motivated. You’ll also have the benefit of having someone there to offer advice on technique, so you avoid injury. Obviously PTs cost money, but if you can’t afford a one-on-one, think about small group classes, where you still have personalised attention, but with less impact on the wallet.
Sign up for a class: There are heaps of class types out there to cover all bases of exercise. Try a HIIT class (which stands for High-Intensity-Interval-Training) if you’re after a big calorie burn in a short space of time.
Train smart: If you want to maximise the burn and time is short, then be smart with your exercise choices. Choose an exercise that targets several muscle groups (i.e. squats into overhead press), or perform two exercises that focus on the same or different muscle groups, one after the other (called ‘super-setting’ – i.e. squats then lunges, or squats then push-ups).
Avoid peak times of business: Hit the gym during a quiet time to avoid having to deal with long queues for equipment, allowing you to get your routine done in minimal time.
Have a plan: If you know what you are doing before you go to the gym then you’ll be less likely to find yourself wandering around between exercises mulling over what to do next. Write down your routine on paper so you can tick off the list as you go along.
Have water on hand: We recommend having your favourite, eco-friendly water bottle with you at all times. Keeping hydrated throughout will mean you’ll be able to see your routine through to the end without having to stop several times to queue for the water dispenser.
Switch devices to airplane mode: Text messages, emails and phone calls are potential distractions from your workout. Simply switch to airplane mode and you’ll be working out distraction-free, which means more time for dedicated exercise.
Listen to music: Music has been shown to enhance people’s performance during exercise. It’s personal preference but if you’re looking for motivation, having a playlist of up-tempo tracks could be just what you need to keep the energy levels up.
We hope these handy tips mean your future gym sessions will now be as productive as possible. And if you’ve held off from the gym in the past because of a lack of time, we hope we have convinced you that time doesn’t have to be a factor if you’re organised. Hit us up if you have any further questions. See you next month!
Happy to help.
If you’d like to book an appointment, or have questions about any pain or injury you may be experiencing, please get in touch.