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By Nick Syrett, Senior Physiotherapist, Doctorcall, St Ann's Square, Manchester

If your January 1st started with great intentions for more exercise this year with some serious goals in the calendar, please consider a rounded, balanced approach. A full on 100mph approach to New Year’s resolutions can often end up in frustration and missed targets. It is an annual trend for me to see people at the end of January/early February with overload injuries. To avoid some of the usual pit falls, please consider this...

Build steadily

Depending on what has gone before it and when you were last exercising, build your base slowly.

If you are running more and aiming for a particular distance, the 10% rule has stood the test of time. Increase your running volume by 10% per week. This will also mean a slow build up to start with. If you’re starting from zero miles, then look up the many couch to 5km apps/programmes and consider joining up with a group who are doing the same.

Fuel it right

If your exercise levels have gone up, you’ll need the right type and right amount of food/energy to sustain it. Balanced meals ticking as many food groups as you can manage will provide the fuel. Getting the quantity right to achieve your goals is a challenge.

Buddy up

It’s much easier to have an exercise buddy when you’re not feeling it during the dark winter months. Commit to a schedule and guilt each other into sticking to it.

Enjoy it

Pick some exercise or styles during your week that are enjoyable or fun. You will struggle to stick at something you don’t enjoy. If running, mix up the distances, paces and surfaces/gradients if possible.

Mix it up

The body craves variety and balance. Different types of movement in different directions is excellent for building all round muscular fitness and protection for the body. If running is your thing, then cross training (or doing something other than running that still gets your heart rate up) varies the normal direction of travel to help the body cope with the extra stresses. A good idea to avoid running on consecutive days.

Chill out time

If your exercising hard and “smashing it” amongst a busy work and maybe family life, your body is on the go ALL of the time. Creating some specific time to zone the brain out via mindfulness/Yoga/relaxation sessions will help to balance the chemicals produced in greater quantities when going full speed. Too much of these aren’t helpful. Offsetting them is good for your physical and mental health. Swapping exercise time for sleep time can be counterproductive. Sleep is important. Structure your week smartly and allow time to recover from hard exercise sessions.

You will need the right amount of flexibility and strength to achieve the best performance and avoid injury. Start slowly and your body will often adjust naturally to some unfamiliar moves. If you are embarking on a BIG challenge you will need to make time to increase all of the other factors mentioned in this article. You can’t really skimp and get away with it. Proper planning and preparation are key.

Good luck with your exercise goals and targets this year!!

Me? I’m aiming to build up my longer fell runs this year with a view to some bigger and bolder races next year…

City Physio at Doctorcall

City Physio at Doctorcall has 2 clinics conveniently situated in Manchester city centre offering appointments from 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday. Sessions can be booked online or email admin@doctorcall.co.uk for further information.

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If you work in an office, chances are you spend most of your day sitting down, which can have serious consequences on your health. If the idea of Pilates, HIIT classes or the treadmill scares you, however, there are plenty of things you could implement in your daily routine to help you keep fit. In honour of National Fitness Day, a nationwide celebration that highlights the importance of physical activity in helping us to lead healthier, happier lifestyles, here are a few helpful tips from Doctorcall to help you kickstart your way to a new era of health and fitness.

As summer ends, soon the new year will be ushered in, along with the plethora of gym-related resolutions that will be taken up only to be dropped again the following month like a humble squat. You do not need to wait until the new year however, to get moving on your fitness goals. Physical activity is always more enjoyable when there are more people involved, so if you’re stuck in second gear (or fancy some friendly competition), get your friends and colleagues involved and try out our 6 tips to keep fit at work.

The one where you go on a break

Take a break from the screen and stretch your legs. It’s easy to spend the day tied to your desk – in fact a new survey found that most people (81%) spend between four and nine hours a day sitting at their desk. Taking a break, however, not only boosts productivity and creativity, but also helps to reduce stress and exhaustion. Constant sitting, on the other hand, leads to a sedentary lifestyle, putting you at higher risk of heart disease, depression, obesity and diabetes. Just a 5 minute walk every hour is beneficial to physical health. So take a break, grab some frozen yoghurt or something.

The one where you go out

Studies show that more than a third of British employees choose to have lunch at their desk – more than 1 in three British employees work through their lunch every single day. Employees often feel chained to their desk due to high workloads and demands, but (even when the rain starts to pour) making the time to get some fresh air can help you to combat the afternoon slumps, with research showing that it’s not only physically beneficial but also helps you to feel more enthusiastic and relaxed.

The one where you … Pivot!

Instead of using the lift, try taking the stairs instead, even if it’s just one floor. If your busy schedule is preventing you from taking the necessary steps you need to get fit, even the smallest of changes can help make a difference. Exchange your shortcuts for one that is not cut in half.

The one where you run

Try incorporating exercise into your commute, whether it’s running or cycling, or even if it’s just switching part of your journey to physical activity. If you drive to work or take public transport, try getting off one stop earlier, or parking slightly further away and walking the rest of the way. Be so far from the line that the line is a dot to you.

The one without all the cheesecake

The office can prove a dangerous place for the waistline, amidst the birthday cakes, the biscuit tins and Christmas. So ask yourself, what are they feeding you? and stock up your drawer with healthy snacks instead such as nuts, protein bars and dried fruit – or switch to fruits, to help curb the afternoon hunger pangs.

The one with the Routine

Finally, staying fit is about commitment. We spend the majority of our waking hours in the office, so just making some small changes to your daily routine can help make a big difference to your health.
Create a routine and stick to it, and most importantly, make sure that you enjoy it – whether it’s chatting to friends while you’re out walking at lunch, or walking to your favourite coffeeshop.
Evidence from ukactive shows that the average adult spends eight times longer watching on-demand TV than exercising. Being active does not only help support our physical health but also improves our mental health.

The last one

If you are experiencing any pain or injury or other health conditions preventing you from physical activity, get in touch to find out about our range of Physiotherapy services, available through our clinics in Manchester.

National Fitness Day takes place on Wednesday 25th September – all across the country, employees are being encouraged to trial a new fitness regime. Follow #FITNESSDAY for all updates.

Manchester International Festival launches on 4th July and City Physio at Doctorcall have once again been asked to provide physiotherapy support to this year’s performers.

The festival occurs every 2 years and brings together artists from different art forms and backgrounds to create dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking new work. It is City Physio’s role to support the festival and keep it in fine physical fettle.

The event is staged in a rich tapestry of venues across Greater Manchester – from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks.

City Physio have been proudly associated with the festival since its early years in 2007, and once again the team will be pulled all over Manchester to support the 5 movement-based companies plus any niggles that other acts experience.

If you haven’t had a browse of exciting range of artists performing, take a look here: mif.co.uk/whats-on

As a leading physiotherapy centre in Manchester, City Physio guarantees to provide fully qualified physiotherapists at short notice and at the best price. All its staff have worked with a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal problems, from those affecting high-level athletes and dancers to the aches and pains encountered by keen weekend warriors and office junkies.

City Physio has 2 clinics conveniently situated in Manchester city centre offering appointments from 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday.

Click here to book an appointment today