How do you cope with life?

Chatting with Kimberley, a colleague at The Studio Warwick, over coffee last week we came to realise that her real skill is in helping people cope with life. I’ve talked with many of you about the ups and downs of life over the years and it occurred to me that you might find Kimberley’s skills useful. Her own experience and the variety of training that she has undertaken gives her a better understanding than many people in this area. As a result she has a number of strategies she can share to help you manage common problems associated with today’s society. These problems take many forms, such as stress, emotional overeating, comfort eating, lack of confidence, worrying about little things, being unable to relax, sleeping problems or just feeling lost.

Kimberley can help you with any of these feelings using techniques as varied as coaching, counselling, self-defence and exercise.

She works most days including weekends and early mornings so do get in touch to see how she could help you.
Kimberley is based in Warwick but does work using Skype so she can help people who are not in her local area.
Contact Kimberley: kwarwick@hotmail.co.uk

HIIT Pilates – What is it and should you be doing it?

The latest fitness trend to be big in the UK is HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.  Everyone is doing it, teaching it, and apparently loving it.  Last week I saw HIIT Pilates classes using Pilates equipment to gain the high intensity workouts.  My reaction to that was simply WHY?  Pilates and HIIT are two different regimes with different aims.  I don’t believe they mix at all.Pilates is a fabulous fitness programme which tones specific areas, encourages the correct muscle engagement, uses breath, focus and concentration to achieve great posture, alignment and muscle balance.
Pilates can be practised as rehabilitation post-surgery or as an exercise programme to help with arthritis or other chronic conditions.
Pilates concentrates on small, slow, controlled movements to train the body to engage the correct muscles for everyday movement and strengthen them where they are weak.
Pilates is suitable for almost everybody.
Pilates is NOT intended to be an aerobic work-out.  It will not improve your stamina nor enable you to lift heavy weights
HIIT on the other hand is targeted to improve your stamina and dynamic fitness, a completely different aim.
So, is HIIT something you should be doing as well?
That depends on the benefit you are seeking to gain and how much effort you are prepared and able to put in to achieve it.
If you are healthy, enjoy pushing yourself to meet new physical challenges and are looking to increase strength and cardiovascular capacity it could definitely help you.  If you are an athlete or sportsman looking to improve your performance then HIIT could be a beneficial part of your program, as could a bio-mechanics program and regular Pilates classes.
On the other hand, remember that it is high intensity exercise. If you have any medical history which precludes pushing your heart rate up this is not for you.  If you have joint pain or disease it could aggravate it.  If you do not use correct technique it is easy to pick up injuries.  And finally remember that it’s not the only exercise programme which delivers results, a gentler progressive programme may suit you better.
Don’t follow the latest trend because it is promoted in the glossy magazines with celebrity endorsements, choose a programme that gives you the benefits you are looking for.
HIIT Pilates is ‘HIIT’ using Pilates equipment.  It is not Pilates in any shape or form. Don’t be confused.

Post Operative Advice

This week I have spent quite a bit of time with clients who are back home following surgery or other treatment and needing more support than the NHS can offer.
It seems (in the areas I cover) that with reduction in health service budgets there is less funding for post operative physio and follow up care.
For the clients I have seen this week my input has been invaluable and I feel that I have made a real difference to their recovery time.

The first client is recovering from a hip replacement. The prescribed exercises were hard to follow as his leg was extremely swollen. Following a discussion covering the recovery to date I assessed that it was appropriate to try Manual Lymphatic Drainage to see if the swelling was due to excess fluid. This was successful and enabled the client to resume the exercise programme.

The second client is undergoing chemotherapy as a preventative measure post abdominal surgery.  He was keen to start exercising again and to prevent joints becoming stiff through inactivity.  I took this client through an exercise programme to loosen all the main joints and encourage circulation.  The aim in this case is to do enough exercise to give a benefit but without tiring the client too much.  This will be an on going programme throughout the chemotherapy treatment and the exercise will vary depending on the clients level of energy.

The third client was referred to me by a local GP.  The client was suffering from back pain which had no specific cause.  An MRI scan showed the average wear and tear to be expected by a person in their 50’s but no structural damage.  I assessed the biomechanic function of the pelvis and tested the muscle activation achieved through movement.  As a result of these results I prescribed three simple exercises to try at home and suggested regular attendance at one of my small ‘SELECT’ classes where individual care is given in a class setting.

Many conditions can be helped by specific exercise or massage therapy so do consider this when looking for solutions to pain or for help in recovery from illness and surgery.