Fit for what? An event or for life in general?

Are you aiming to be Fit for a specific event? Fit because it’s good for you?  OR, Fit so you can be active for the whole of your life?

It’s a question I have found myself pondering for a long while and one which has changed my approach to fitness in recent years.

There are several reasons that lead people to join a gym or a class and a several more that prevent people from keeping it up on a permanent basis. To benefit from exercise it must be for life, not just for a few months or in the ‘post-Christmas diet’ weeks.

The question then is what type of exercise can you keep up on a permanent basis? The answer to that question depends on your aim. If you are booked to run a marathon the exercise should be a specific programme ensuring you are in the best physical shape for that event. If you feel that being fit is ‘good for you’ give some thought to exactly what you mean by that phrase. Do you mean keeping your heart healthy, keeping muscles toned, controlling weight gain or simply an all over general fitness? Or would you like to give your body the best chance of keeping you active for the whole of your life?

In recent years I have changed my approach to exercise. I have undertaken extensive training to help those with back pain, arthritis, restricted mobility and other chronic conditions continue to exercise. The results have been amazing and for some life changing. It has made me realise that an exercise programme which aims to keep you active for the whole of your life can be easy to follow and enjoyable as well as beneficial. It is not looking to get you to a high level of fitness where there is a risk of injury. It is not offering any exercises which put unnecessary strain on the joints. It is simply keeping your body in the optimum condition possible while taking account of its current state.

Many of my clients walk, cycle, ride, look after children or are simply busy. In this way they already get a reasonable amount of cardiovascular work. It may be at a low level but it’s done on a regular basis week in week out. What I offer is a complimenting exercise programme to enable them to lead an active life for the rest of their lives.

Key aims are:
Keeping joints mobile
Correcting muscle imbalances
Building a strong core
Maintaining a healthy back
Preventing the deterioration of balance
Ensuring muscles can stretch to optimum lengths.

To take part in a this type of class you won’t need gym clothing and you probably won’t get hot and sweaty. You will benefit from feeling that your body moves more freely, your back aches less, your joints have more range and you will feel more stable when you take part in other activities or sports. You will also benefit from the shared knowledge of what to expect as your body gets older and what you can do to keep reduce the effect of aging process on muscles joints and bones.

Remember that this is general advice. If you have a specific condition I recommend that you book a one to one session first so I can assess the best way to help you.



Kinesio Taping for Tendonitis

‘I have suffered from pain in my wrist and elbow for several years, probably as a result of many years playing club level badminton.  Recently my wrist hurt even more and specifically when I twisted my hand.  I didn’t know what I’d done to it but it felt different to the usual pain so asked Anne if she could help.  She suggested trying out Kinesio Tape.  I was sceptical but willing to try anything.  To my surprise, within a couple of days the pain had almost gone. I call it ‘magic tape’.

This client feedback was particularly interesting as it was a difficult case to treat.  As mentioned in his feedback this client had suffered from joint pain in his wrist elbow and shoulders previously.  The pre-existing pain was likely to be arthritis and a result of general ‘wear and tear’.  The wrist pain was accompanied by swelling and the pain was in a very specific location and occurred on specific movement.  This would indicate tendonitis which can be helped by Kinesio Taping.

Kinesio Tape can be used for a variety of injuries:

It can provide support for weak or injured muscles without affecting the normal range of motion. This works well for elbow and knee injuries.

It can activate muscles that have been weakened after injury, surgery or weakened by degenerative muscle wasting.

It can inhibit muscles that are tight, fatigued or overused, allowing them to relax and recover faster.  This is particularly successful for the lower back.

It can  correct postural imbalances.  I use this most successfully on the shoulder areas.

It can be used to create a negative pressure areas of inflammation, encouraging lymphatic drainage to relieve swelling and improve circulation to speed healing.  This can also help following surgery.

For this particular client I wanted to both provide stability to support the wrist, encourage the flexor muscles to relax and reduce the swelling. I used a technique of ‘I strip’ with 10% stretch over the joint area with a four fingered fan with no stretch, pictured below on the return visit 3 days later.

KTape wrist

The tape stayed on well and by on the return visit the client was pain free and I was pleased with this result.

Much of the success of Kinesio Taping is dependent on the accuracy of application.  It must be placed in exactly the correct place on the muscle requiring treatment, the tension must be accurate and the tape activated.  I have found that practise is crucial to getting the most consistent results and the more I use tape the better the results become.  While most of my experience has been with the lower back and shoulders this case showed that the same principle applied to another area also gives a successful result.

For more information on Kinesio Taping contact me or look at