Blog Focus on Health and Fitness

Best Ways To Promote Fitness In The Office

We all know that sitting at a desk all day is bad for us, but it’s easy to overlook how bad it is for our employees, too. Rising healthcare costs have business owners looking for ways to reduce their employee insurance expenses. Unhealthy office environments and stressed employees add to the bill in the form of sick days and reduced productivity. You don’t have to sacrifice coverage to cut down on healthcare costs. The answer can be as simple as encouraging your employees to get up and move.

Physical fitness is crucial for health, but the benefits don’t stop there. Exercise can help lower stress levels, improving both physical well-being and in-office productivity. Promote a healthier office environment by giving your staff access to fitness equipment. You don’t need to invest in costly gym memberships or sacrifice a chunk of your office space to a gym. By choosing your equipment wisely, you can transform minimal space and some choice pieces of commercial fitness equipment into an on-site health centre.

Treadmills
It’s no surprise that spotting treadmills in Sydney offices is becoming more common. In addition to being a great cardio workout, running provides whole-body exercise that helps the core and leg muscles stay toned. Fitness studies suggest that running is one of the best forms of exercise, and treadmills let your employees customize their workout. They can go for a leisurely stroll, choose a number of circuit laps to run and even run on an incline for a few minutes during their lunch break. Treadmills offer a variety of options in a relatively small piece of equipment, and many models can be folded up for easy storage.

Rowers
Running isn’t everyone’s favourite exercise, and it can be painful for anyone with arthritis, back pain, foot pain or other injuries. For a solid cardio workout without straining the lower body, rowing machines are an ideal choice. Rowers work the upper body and can help promote better posture. Best of all, the machines are the same size or even smaller than treadmills. Offering both a treadmill and a rower will put some variety into your employees’ fitness routines and help them maximize their calorie burn.

Weights
Whether they prefer strength training or want to mix up their workouts, employees will enjoy having weights available at the office. Weights promote muscle strength, tone and flexibility that employees could otherwise lose when stuck at a desk all day. Pin or plate loaded weights are the best option. If you’re unsure which to choose, ask your staff. Fitness buffs might have a preference and will appreciate having some input.

Not only does having a health centre promote fitness and reduce healthcare costs, it can also be a draw for prospective employees. Adding a commercial fitness equipment room to your offices can be surprisingly affordable and easy to do. Fitness Equipment King has a range of options suitable for any budget and space constraints. Visit http://fitnessequipmentking.com.au/ to learn more.

Three Ways That Pilates Can Improve Your Health

Pilates has been practiced since its creation as Contrology in the early 1900s by Joseph Pilates, and since then has increased in popularity throughout the world. The core strengthening movements that form the majority of Pilates routines can seem very different from other popular forms of fitness exercises such as aerobics, yoga or weightlifting. Pilates has often proven successful in helping both men and women lose weight and remain fit.

Here are three ways in particular that taking a Pilates class can not only improve your health, but also improve your health and your well-being.

1. Improved sleep – Sleep better by reducing stress. Pilates practitioners have long regarded the core exercise routines as a way to combat stress. Through increased body awareness, you can more easily regulate the patterns of tension in their bodies. You can consciously release the muscle tightness that you feel. Since stress and tension are causes of insomnia, a regular Pilates exercise regime can help improve nightly sleep by reducing bodily stress from imbalanced muscular tension.

2. Less pain – Many people living in this world suffer from some type of chronic pain in their back or neck. This type of pain is often due to poor posture and the misalignment of the spine that it causes. Relaxation, painkillers and massage can relieve occasional back and neck pain, but Pilates exercises address the chronic problem by strengthening the core muscles of the body and making sure that the spine is carrying the body’s weight correctly. Once good posture becomes habitual, then the pain due to incorrect patterns of sitting, standing and walking will also begin to disappear.

3. More energy – When low energy occurs during the course of the day, reaching for stimulants like coffee, tea or energy drinks is habitual for many people. The caffeine helps to increase wakefulness for a while, but too much can increase jitters instead of increasing alertness, and eventually caffeine lose its effectiveness. Good exercise practices like Pilates, on the other hand, give you a natural lift by stimulating the spine and core muscles and increasing circulation. Using good posture lets you breathe more deeply bring more oxygen into your lungs. The increased flow of oxygen through the body will naturally boost your alertness. You’ll also find that making smooth, balanced body movements with good posture takes less energy so that you’ll have more energy for daily life.

As you can see, Pilates is recognized worldwide for its ability to improve the lives of its practitioners.

Pilates is easy to do on your own from books or videos, and you can take classes at a gym in the company of others. Since it involves body movement and flexibility, there’s no need for special clothing or equipment that might deter a beginner.

If you seek rehabilitation of posture, spinal alignment and stability following an injury, it’s wise to consult an expert in rehabilitation and core stability training among the many osteopaths in Melbourne. You will find Pilates offered as a part of rehabilitation and core stability training at centers such as City Osteopathy. Learn more about their services at cityosteopathy.com.au.

Tai Chi For Pain Relief

Pain has a negative impact on your physical, mental and emotional well being. Anyone who lives with chronic pain, such as those with arthritis, know that the pain they experience has a direct impact on their daily activities. Major health organizations, including the Arthritis Foundation, recommend Tai Chi as an alternative therapy. Tai Chi for arthritis is considered safe and effective because of its low impact movement. The gentle, graceful moves that are a part of Tai Chi help relieve pain, restore balance, strengthen muscles and increase flexibility. The loss of flexibility can have a large impact on your ability to perform daily tasks. Maintaining balance is a good preventative against falls which can lead to debilitating injuries.

Deep breathing and meditation are also elements of Tai Chi that produce numerous benefits for anyone participating in Tai Chi. Just as arthritis affects every aspect of your daily life, Tai Chi addresses various aspects of your life. Physically, it gives you an opportunity to move in a meditative manner to comfortably increase your range of motion. The deep breathing and meditative aspect of Tai Chi helps you focus on your breathing rather than on your external surroundings. This meditative state makes it possible for you to quiet your mind and relax your body. Even though you may not be consciously aware of it, when you are in pain, your body tends to tense and your thoughts become focused on the pain.

4 Must-Have Accessories for the Gym

The right accessories can elevate a simple trip to the gym into an extreme workout experience that’s been calibrated for physical fitness and mental acuity. But where can you find these magic tools? Here are just four supplies everyone should have in their gym bag.

1: Heart Monitor

They aren’t just for jogging. A high-end heart monitor will keep track of everything from beats per minute to calories burned over a certain time frame, allowing you to optimize your workout for the strongest performance and the best results.

2: Earbuds

Everyone likes to listen to music at the gym, but few people take the time and expense to get themselves fitted for high-quality, custom-made earbuds that won’t fall out every other minute. If you can’t break a sweat without a backtrack, consider making this investment.

3: Versa Gripps

Improve your weight training experience with Versa Gripps (VersaGripps.com). Not only will they isolate your muscles for a stronger, more targeted workout, but they’ll also protect your hands after a long day of lifting.

4: Cycling Shoes

Do you spend a lot of time spinning? Unlike regular sneakers, cycling shoes are made to fit and clip into the pedals, giving you a much more comfortable session and maybe even the drive to beat your personal best.

Climbing on the treadmill is only the first step. If you’re serious about strengthening your body, disciplining your mind and improving your overall health, these are just four essentials for your next visit to the gym.

How to Reduce Hip Surgery Recovery Time

How to Reduce Hip Surgery Recovery Time

Dec 6, 2013

Patients who have experienced the chronic hip pain associated with degenerative arthritis or other conditions understand that undergoing hip replacement surgery may be the best option to alleviate their condition. This is a major decision, and many factors should be considered with a doctor before electing to proceed with the surgery. If the decision has been made to undergo the surgery, there are a number of steps that should be taken to reduce hip surgery recovery time. Investing time and effort into recovery will greatly improve the likelihood that the surgery will be successful and that the patient will be able to regain functional use of their hip.

 

Preoperative Preparation

 

The recovery process from hip surgery actually begins in the preoperative phase. There are a number of activities that preoperative patients can engage in that will increase the likelihood of a successful surgery while also helping to ensure a relatively quick recovery process. Engaging in physical activity will help to build muscle and strengthen the tissues around the hip, which can help to combat the loss of muscle strength in the postoperative period. Stretching can also be of great benefit, as increased flexibility is an important goal in the postoperative physical therapy. Any activity taking place before surgery should be first approved be a physician, and performed only if the patient is strong enough to do so.

 

Postoperative Physical Therapy

 

During the postoperative period, physical therapy is the most important aspect of recovery. Therapy can begin as soon as the day after the surgery, with patients performing exercises while seated, and with the assistance of a physical therapist. The routine prescribed by the physician and physical therapists must be strictly adhered to, though it may be modified by the doctor or therapist depending on a patient’s progress. If the program is not adhered to, there are a number of potentially negative outcomes:

  • Contractures
  • Excess scar tissue
  • Mobility limitations

Through physical therapy, the muscles around the hip are strengthened and flexibility is improved. If the therapy is ignored, contractures can result from the formation of excess scar tissue. The excess scar tissue will then serve to impede the patient’s mobility, and will threaten the success of the surgery.

 

Explore Alternative Hip Surgery Methods

 

New techniques are being developed that may allow patients to recover much faster than traditional surgeries. These new methods use a smaller incision and do not surgically dislocate the hip. This procedure allows patients to recover significantly faster, with some patients being able to walk the same day as the surgery was performed. This is because there is less trauma to the muscles and tendons surrounding the hip, thereby reducing the amount of physical therapy necessary in the postoperative period.

 

Having surgery to replace a hip is a very major procedure, and must be taken seriously in all aspects. Preparing for the surgery by engaging in strengthening exercises can help to reduce recovery time, while proper performance of physical therapy will also aid in the recovery process. Additionally, patients can explore alternative surgical methods that are less invasive, leading to a significant reduction in the recovery time necessary.

Source: www.medicinenet.com, “Total Hip Replacement,” W.C. Shiel, 2013