With summer here, a lot more of us will choose to jump in the pool for some exercise. Swimming is a great form of low impact exercise to help increase strength, endurance and overall cardiovascular fitness.
‘Swimmer’s shoulder’ is a general term given to a range of overuse shoulder injuries that develop from swimming. Shoulder pain may develop due to a range of issues including poor technique or weak and tight muscles.
A common culprit is a stiff thoracic spine or mid back. Our thoracic spine plays a vital role in shoulder mechanics (the way our shoulder moves and functions), especially during an activity with a repetitive shoulder action such as swimming. If your thoracic spine is stiff, you may be overloading or irritating certain muscles around your shoulder which could develop into pain and an injury. Those who spend long periods during the day in a seated position (ie office workers, students, long drives etc) are more prone to stiffness developing in the thoracic spine.
An easy way to improve the mobility in your thoracic spine is by using a foam roller.
- Place the foam roller horizontally across your back and lay with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Ensure your head and neck are supported by placing your hands behind your head.
- Aim to keep your butt on the floor while attempting to move your shoulders closer to the floor, arching over the foam roller in the process.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds, remembering to breathe.
- Repeat this same process at 3-4 points across your mid back and aim to use this stretch before jumping in the pool!
by Jessica Norton, Senior Physiotherapist.
by Delina Rahmate – Clinical Nutritionist.
Bonus recipe at bottom of blog.
Healthy food substitutes for common ingredients
As Christmas is approaching we can start to panic about parties, gift baskets, alcohol and snack foods being readily available. We may have worked hard to be healthy and then it all goes out the window once the drinks and snacks start to flow.
Socialising is important and most likely inevitable and there is a good chance that we will most likely over indulge. To stay on track in the silly season here are a few tips to help you substitute more processed foods and drinks for healthier options.
If you do overindulge don’t beat yourself up! Just get back on track the following day and move on, it is completely ok, we are allowed to have a bit of fun.
||Healthy Food Substitute
||Quinoa, oats, mozzarella cheese, eggs salt and pepper – stirred and fried use as a burger
Portobello mushrooms – grilled
|Soft Drink and or Alcohol
||Soda stream or soda water with lemon or lime wedges
|Cheese, biscuits, dips and snack platters
||Limit cheese to a few small pieces
Choose olives and veggie sticks over crackers (see the platter comparison picture for ideas)
Make your own hummus or guacamole (see hummus recipe below)
|Salted nuts, beer nuts and roasted nuts often have added bad oils and table salt
||Raw nuts are better. The very best are soaked nuts – soak in salted water overnight, rinse well and then you can dehydrate them (these are what are known as “activated nuts”). Dehydrate in a food dehydrator or oven at a low temperature until completely dried out so they don’t go mouldy.
||Sprouted whole wheat or wholegrain, large green leaves or seaweed nori sheets to wrap
||Choose BPA lined packaging (look on the label) and wild caught
||BPA free can, or cook your own beans. Soak for 8-10 hours overnight and then cook. Place in a mason jar with filtered water (2/3rd full) with salt. Rinse well prior to use.
|Canned Foods or Vegetables
||Try to use fresh seasonal is the best option.
Snap frozen if fresh is not available.
BPA free cans. Watch for other additives. Heat sealing to protect from contamination such as botulism also destroys a lot of the nutrients.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kim-chi and you get the benefits of the good bacteria (probiotics)
||Tamari, coconut aminos or Miso paste (for Miso reconstitution- add a Tablespoon and in warm water, do not boil water as this will destroy the fermented goodness).
||Choose organic low sodium stock with no MSG.
Make your own stock- The cheaper options are to buy a whole chicken take apart to use meat and then use the carcass to make stock or bone broth.
Homemade or bought bone broth (can make in a large batch and simmer for 24 hours) full of immune boosting properties and very good for gut healing.
||Choose Himalayan and Celtic sea salt have higher mineral content then other salts.
|Chips and Corn Chips
||Corn chips choose organic, no artificial colours flavours- these still can be cooked in bad oils (read the labels).
Homemade kale chips and nori or seaweed chips are the healthiest. Cut into shapes slight moisten add salt and bake until crisp.
|Sugar, syrups and agave nectar have a high glycemic index
||Pure maple syrup is a better choice or pollinated raw honey. Try to limit added sugar where possible to 1 teaspoon per serve.
Homemade hummus and vegetable sticks (serves 8)
• 2 cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
• 1-2 Tbspns tahini
• 1-2 teas garlic- minced
• ½ teaspoon of sea salt
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• ½ cup lemon juice
• 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
• Pinch of paprika
• Optional: Add cayenne pepper for a metabolic boost.
1. Blend together until smooth and creamy
2. Serve a ½ cup sized portion with vegetables sticks of your choice.
3. Refrigerate the remainder.
Calculated per single serve (1 cup of celery and ½ cup of carrot sticks are added to the calculation)
by Rachel Jones, Sport & Exercise Psychologist
Sport and performance psychology is all about maximising your mental game, whatever your area of performance might be.
I believe that everyone is a performer, whether it be in sport, business, performing arts, school, work, parenting or everyday life.
Performance is about how you perform any task, and as humans, we never reach perfection, which is a blessing because we can always improve! Your brain is your biggest asset when it comes to performance. You might be thinking that I’m overstating the obvious, however, how often do you actually dedicate time to maximising your biggest asset? It makes good business sense to invest where you can get the biggest return and therefore, a practical understanding of how your brain works can be a great way to get a performance advantage.
Psychology is known as the study of the soul, and, combined with the latest in neuroscience research, gives us great insight and practical strategies that can be incredibly useful in sport, performing arts, academics, business, etc, because of its implications for both mental health and performance. Sport and performance psychology focuses on the interaction between thoughts, feelings, behaviours and the environment and is an important part of physical and mental performance.
Here are 3 things you need to know about Sport and Performance Psychology and how it might apply to you:
1- Sport and performance psychology is about training your brain. The same principles apply to training your brain as apply to training your body. You need consistent, targeted training with high volume and repetition. The equivalent of muscle fibres in the brain are neural pathways and creating new ones are like creating pathways in the bush. The more traffic you send down a particular pathway, the more it clears and becomes established. Finding ways to daily practice good patterns of thinking and behaviour will help to create healthy mindsets and habits. Creating a routine, for example, something as simple as identifying 3 things you did well everyday, will help you to make it easy for your brain to reinforce new habits, similar to having a regular physical training time and focus. A sport and performance psychologist will help you to set brain training goals and implement strategies consistently
to create the change you are looking for.
2- Sport psychologists work with mental illness as well as performance and proactive mental health. Sport psychologists in Australia have the same base training as other psychologists, including general and clinical psychologists, which means that I am trained to work with managing mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders. To become an endorsed sport psychologist I had to do additional training via postgraduate study as well as a registrar program specialising in working with teams and individuals and understanding high performance demands and populations. As a result, I work with a combination of teams and individuals on a variety of performance issues and challenges as well as putting proactive strategies in place to gain an extra edge in performance or to maintain positive mental health.
3- Children, young people and adults can all benefit from sport and performance psychology. Did you know I work with people as young as 10 years old? Sport and performance psychology is very practical with strategies that can be applied across all areas of life. The skills that are worked on and put in place at a young age can create healthy patterns that build resilience and can reduce the risk of mental illness later in life. Older, more experienced adults can also benefit from sport and performance psychology, again by learning new skills and strategies that challenge existing and inhibiting beliefs that may be limiting performance.
For more information on how sport and performance psychology can help you, contact Rachel via email email@example.com or call Physiologic to make a booking on (07) 5578 7155.
Once we would warm-up like these guys! We now know better.
Follow Physiologic’s top 6 tips for the perfect warm-up;
1. Don’t foam roll
This sounds like the exact opposite of what we have been told for the last millennium BUT foam rolling and trigger ball / self massage techniques generally place our muscles in a state of relaxation. For some pain based problems this may be of benefit BUT if we are about to participate in exercise one of the last things you want is a state of relaxation – more so we should be after a state of physical readiness both physically and mentally. Instead of foam rolling to warm up – try it for warming down or just before you ago to bed at night – like a massage you should feel the serotonin flow more readily and calm you rather than amp you up.
2. Avoid static stretching
Bending forward to stretch your back and hamstrings and holding it for 20 secs is not the way our body behaves during exercise. As such there is no real reason to do this when preparing for exercise.
3. Dynamic warm up is best
Movement, mobility work, light resistance and moving your joints / muscles in a way that would reflect what you are about to do is best. Eg. if you are a golfer – you should be working on rotation movements. For a weight lifter you could performing a set of reps at 30-40% of normal load prior to lifting OR if you are preparing for surfing – dynamics squats and single legged landing type movements. Even yoga type exercises that allow your body to mobilise through different positions is often relevant to many types of exercise.
4. Progressively build the intensity
Try to work up a light sweat. Start easy and build the range of movement for your limbs, the speed of movement and the load on each muscle. If you do it right you should feel the transition into your chosen exercise is simple and non stressful.
5. Routine your warm up
Personally I hate trying to think about a warm up routine when I go training. It makes training less enjoyable. It’s much easier to know the same routine off by heart and pump it out at will – then you can move through it without thinking and enjoy the rest of your training / exercise.
6. Keep it short
Currently there is no evidence to say that a longer warm up is more beneficial than a shorter one. It seems to be more related to the way you do it rather than the time it takes. My advice is to keep it short but build it up quickly. Short warm ups mean your overall exercise time doesn’t have to be too long – in this day and age time is critical and if you are anything like us at Physiologic its not always easy to fit the time in for fitness etc.
by Josh Meyer, Principal Physiotherapist B.Ex.Sc.M.Phty
Mark Barrett was recently a guest on the Beyond Bariatric Surgery podcast.
To hear Mark’s best tips on how to boost your metabolism and jump starting weight loss with interval training click the link below.
Click here if to listen now
Over the past few months I have been seeing an increasing amount of patients with shoulder related pain who are complaining of very similar issues.
These things include :
“ I have pain laying on my shoulder at night”
“ My Shoulder pain warms up and becomes sore only after exercise”
“ It feels weak and painful”
“ Im finding it difficult reaching behind my back – in particular getting things out of the back seat in the car”
“ I find it painful only when I put the washing on the line or taking my shirt off “
If these things are familiar with your shoulder, here are things to keep in mind:
- DON’T PANIC – forget the imaging results! Research now suggests that findings on MRI and Ultrasound may just be normal for you age and function and may not be actually causing your pain. Consult your physio before over-analysing scan results!
- STRENGTHENING – rest most likely WILL NOT HELP! Your muscles and tendons will respond well to appropriate exercise. There is a good chance your shoulder is just not “fit” enough to tolerate certain movements – YOU can retrain this!!
- THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE – the biggest RISK FACTOR for a poor outcome / surgery with shoulder pain is in fact a patients LACK of understanding of their shoulder condition. Understanding their pain and how to manage their pain guided from your Physiotherapist is KEY – NOT GOOGLE.
- Shoulder pain is MULTI DIMENSIONAL – meaning other risk factors in your life may be making your pain more susceptible to staying there for a long time. These can include; Stress / Inactivity / Obesity / Smoking
If your someone suffering from recurrent shoulder pain and your not sure where to go from here or what exercises may help… We can help you get back on track
by Tim Rigby, Associate Physiotherapist