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The Physiotherapy Corner



Welcome to The Physiotherapy Corner! A brand new blog brought to you by Holywood Pilates and Physiotherapy from our little corner of Holywood, Sullivan Place. I am Erin, a Chartered Physiotherapist and it is my hope that reading this blog will inspire and entertain you, give you something to think about, and provide you with some tips and tricks for your health and well-being.

 

Walking in Holywood:


With the brighter mornings and evenings and the better weather on its way, we start to think about getting out from underneath the blanket and venturing further away from the couch. Spring always feels like a new start, and as with all new starts, comes the opportunity for change. With this in mind I thought it would be nice to discuss walking and how we can incorporate more of it into our busy lives.


It may be that you already regularly exercise, in which case give yourself a well deserved pat on the back; however, regardless of where you are in your physical activity journey there is always room for improvement and I would urge you to think of walking as not only good for your physical health, but also essential for your mental health and well-being.


We all know that physical activity is good for us. As a minimum, National guidelines recommend that we get 30 mins of moderate physical activity 5 days out of the week.

What is Moderate Physical Activity?

You can think of moderate physical activity as any activity that raises your heart and breathing rate, but allows you to continue to hold a conversation.

Examples: Walking briskly, swimming, cycling

What is often overlooked, but arguably more important, is how much time a day you spend being inactive. Have you ever added up the hours that you sit everyday? It is incredible how quickly the hours can build up: 15 minutes at breakfast, 45 mins driving to work or doing the school run, 30 mins in a meeting, 2 hours at the desk, 30 minutes eating lunch and before you know it you have been sitting for 4 or more hours with very little movement, and that is before we consider the rest of the working day, commute home, or any time spent in front of the TV or on our devices. So yes, adding up our sedentary time is a bit of a downer, but the good news is, is that we are able to do something about it, and just being aware of the amount of time that we spend sitting is half the battle.


Humans, like all other mammals, are designed to move. Spending too much time in any posture, whether that is sitting at a desk (even one that is ergonomically set-up for you) or standing in one spot, can lead to aches, pains, loss of flexibility and weakness. If you are working, why not use the time given to you at lunch to get away from your desk, the phone, the emails, and do something good for yourself? If you are not working, but are struggling to find the time to fit physical activity in, consider literally scheduling time in your diary and making it a priority. Have a look at the list below of reasons to walk.

Why Walk?

It is free, and cheaper than petrol!

You don't need specialised equipment

It is enjoyable, can be social, and your dog loves it!

Improves the quality of your sleep

Reduces risk of Heart Disease, Stroke, & Type 2 Diabetes

Lowers your risk for Cancer

Helps maintain a Healthy Weight

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Reduces Blood Pressure

May boost Immune function

Improves Bone Health

Maintains and improves Balance

Helps you get your daily dose of Vitamin D




Holywood Walking Routes:


We are rather spoilt here in Holywood with green areas throughout the town, views of the sea and mountains, and a beach to boot! Did you know that you can walk down to the beach from High Street in approximately 5 minutes? I have put together and tested 3 Holywood walking routes that you can following during your lunch break that range from 10 - 25 minutes in length. Check them out below, and feel free to make your own routes, as these routes are the product of a wandering Canadian who doesn't really know her way around Holywood yet! You can also check out these longer walks from Holywood Walks.


The 10 Minute Walk:

Who: Anyone who prefers to walk on the flat or for a short period of time.


Why: 1/3rd of your physical activity for the day done, you can pick up your lunch on the way.


Highlights: Views of the Lough, Black & White Mountain and Cave Hill.


Points of Interest: Daffodils at the church, cherry trees in blossom.








The 15 Minute Walk:

Who: Anyone who loves the sounds/smell of the sea, flat route, easy walking.


Why: To clear your head, take your lunch to the beach, up your step count.


Highlights: Views of Cave Hill, White & Black mountain and the sea!


Points of Interest: Cool artwork on the subways, 19th century Priory.



The 25 Minute Walk:

Who: Your boss clearly loves you and gives you a decent lunch break. Anyone who wants to work a bit harder as there are gentle hills involved.


Why: You will only have 5 minutes of physical activity left to do for the day!


Highlights: You feel like you are getting into nature and out of the town.


Points of Interest: Twissel Bridge, Flower displays, beautiful church, old houses.



What I saw on my walks that made me happy:




Things to do on your walk


Walking is a great time to be "off-grid" and alone with your own thoughts, particularly if you are searching for a solution to a problem; however, I appreciate that not everyone enjoys walking, and I have often heard people say that it is a bit boring. If that rings true with you, here are a few things you can do on your walk to alleviate the boredom.

  1. Listen to this great 12 minute Podcast on the benefits of movement: https://drchatterjee.com/bitesize-the-benefits-of-movement-and-how-to-get-more-professor-daniel-lieberman/ .

  2. Listen to your favourite music or make a playlist just for walking.

  3. Rope your friends or colleagues into coming with you, or even better start a lunch time walking group.

  4. If you have an Apple Watch you can get a free trial of Fitness+ and listen to a Time to Walk episode, which includes inspiring guests and music.

  5. Walk or run from Zombies . Honestly, this App is the most fun you will ever have on a walk or a run.

  6. Take photos of points of interest and post them on your Instagram feed and tag us at #thephysiotherapycorner.


Other ways to get active:


If I haven't convinced you to walk more on your lunch break, here are a few other ideas of how you can incorporate more physical activity into your busy life.

  1. Attend "Away from your Desk" Pilates with us! It's only 30 minutes and you don't have to change!

  2. Couch to 5K from the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week/.

  3. Walk or cycle to work.


Wherever you are on your physical activity journey adding more activity and walking into your day is only going to benefit you. Just remember that every little bit of activity counts and makes you a healthier version of yourself, so set yourself a goal and see what you can accomplish this Spring! Thanks for taking the time to read The Physiotherapy Corner, and I will be back in a few weeks time for another instalment.

 

If an injury or disability is preventing you from walking, consider attending Physiotherapy with us to see how we can help.


Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions expressed above are those of the author and always remember to seek medical advice before starting any new exercise programme.






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