Safe Return to the Gym

With the latest Government restrictions being lifted the world is appearing to return back to ‘normal’! We’ve all remained wary of mixing with too many people, but at the same time longed to get back to our usual routines especially our exercise ones.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to reduce your chances of picking up an injury on your return.

Don’t jump straight back into your pre-pandemic gym routine 

Unless, you’ve been regularly lifting weights throughout the pandemic, it’s unlikely you’ll be at the same level you were at previously. It can be tempting to jump straight back into your old gym routine, but this could potentially increase your risk of picking up an injury. 

Be kind to your body. Your goal should be to get back to your pre-pandemic strength level within 3-6 weeks, not straight away. Don’t be disheartened if your strength levels are reduced, with regular training they’ll be back up in no time!

Focus on technique

You probably haven’t performed a lot of your usual gym routine movements for a while. For more challenging movements like squats and lunges, etc. use the first few sessions back to relearn the technique again.

Reduce the frequency to begin with

Reduce the number of times your train per week. After a few months away from the gym, you can be sure that there’ll initially be high levels of post-exercise muscle soreness. To avoid excessive muscle soreness and to ensure our body can fully recover, reduce the number of days per week that you train, gradually increasing this over the first 3-6 weeks back. 

Place more emphasis on training recovery

Weight bearing exercises are likely a stimulus your body hasn’t been exposed to in a while, so it will need all the help it can with recovery. 

When it comes to recovery, things like foam rolling and stretching have their place, but where you should really be focusing is on getting a good 8 hours of sleep per night and getting sufficient protein and overall calories in your diet. 

Please don’t forget to warm-up

The RAMP warm-up was developed by Ian Jeffreys, it has proven to be the most effective
warm-up for athletes and is used by many elite coaches around the world.

The RAMP warm-up is the most scientifically proven warm-up to prepare your body for competition. The acronym ‘RAMP’ stands for:

  • Raise – Increase muscle temperature, core temperature, blood flow, muscle elasticity and neural activation. – Treadmill/ Bike
  • Activate – Engage the muscles in preparation for the upcoming session. – Lunges/Push-ups
  • Mobilize – Focus on movement patterns which will be used during the game.
  • Potentiate – Gradually increasing the stress on the body in preparation for the upcoming competition/session.

In Summary: 
Don’t jump straight back into your pre-pandemic gym routine. 

Focus on technique rather than weight on the bar. 

Reduce your training frequency for your first few weeks back in the gym 

Place more emphasis on training recovery. 

Don’t forget to warm-up. 

Noisy Knees!

Have you ever had or still have noisy knees? Are you concerned that those strange noises in your knees might be causing you damage? Possibly you might have even avoided certain exercises or activities because of the noises? Maybe you have even imagined “bone-on-bone” rubbing within your knee. In this blog I will try to relieve some of those  fears regarding the extremely common occurrence known as knee crepitus.

Graphic Courtesy of Freepik

What makes the noise?

Noise coming from a joint is called crepitus or joint crepitations. These can be described as sounds and feelings such as grinding, popping, clunking and clicking within a joint when movement occurs. Whilst these noises and sensations can come from separate causes, they are all grouped together under the term ‘crepitus’. These noises may or may not be associated with pain. McCoy et al., (1987) investigated 247 symptomatic, and 250 normal knees and found that 99% of normal subjects had patellofemoral crepitus – that means it is extremely normal.

The actual cause of these noises is not completely understood and has no definitive answer as of yet. Several theories have been proposed including:

  • Synovial fluid gas bubbles popping within the joint (just like cracking your knuckles)
  • Fluid movement within the joint and particularly through the patellofemoral joint
  • Snapping of ligaments/ tendons over bony prominence’s
  • Hyper-mobile or discoid meniscus

Should I be worried?

Most likely not! But this can be hard for people to understand as they often hold extreme beliefs about their noisy knees. Usually they link the crepitus to some sort of tissue damage within the knee joint. It doesn’t help that you can use Google and find articles and YouTube videos telling you these are early signs of “big problems to come!”.

Fortunately for us, more recent research fails to find any strong links to weaker outcomes of knee health for those people who have knee crepitus. In 2018, de Oliveira Silva et. al. found that women with patellofemoral pain were four times more likely to have knee crepitus however, the noisy knees had no relationship with function, physical activity level, pain climbing stairs or squatting. The same author in a separate study also found there was no difference in objective or subjective findings in women with patellofemoral pain whether they had crepitus or not – meaning the crepitus itself didn’t influence their condition.

It should also be comforting to know that a large study observing over 4000 knees was also published in 2018 showing that knee crepitus gave no indication that a person would need a total knee replacement in the following three years. For people who have knee osteoarthritis , knee crepitus is associated with lower self-reported function and worse quality of a life however it is not related to deficits in objective function such as knee extensor or flexor strength. In reality, peoples perceptions of their knees doesn’t match their function. And the obvious assumption is that despite their being no physical impairment due to the crepitus, people are limited by their own negative beliefs surrounding their noisy knees.

What should I do about it?

The quick and easy answer is nothing! Keep moving and do not be scared of a few knee noises here and there.

Our bodies can not be likened to an old car or van, just because there is a new noises it doesn’t mean there is something wrong. Unfortunately, this isn’t the message people often receive and shows a poor understanding of knee crepitus which in turn causes negative emotions, inaccurate beliefs and ultimately leads to altered behaviour.

If there isn’t any pain occurring with the knee crepitus than it is more than likely completely harmless and needs no intervention from health professionals. If there is pain or history of trauma associated with the noise in your knee than the noise isn’t the problem, it’s the underlying pathology and this should be treated with best-practice, evidence-based treatments.

In reality 99% of us have noisy knees!

Manipulative Therapy – Is it for you?

If you’ve ever visited a physiotherapist the chances are that they’ve used some form of manipulative therapy to treat your ailment. Manipulation & mobilisation are manual techniques used by physios in order to improve the mobility and function of your soft tissues, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. 

Manipulation is usually performed as a very fast, accurate movement on the neck or back area and provides pain relief and increases flexibility. Physios are highly trained, experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to the intricacies of bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage and joints of the human body, so they can manipulate patients to relieve pain and encourage healthy movement and alignment.  

What conditions can manipulative therapy be used for?

Some of the most common conditions physiotherapists encounter on a daily basis can be treated with manipulative therapy. 

Almost anything that’s musculoskeletal in nature, affecting the joints, muscles and tissues can be approached with some sort of manual intervention to provide relief for the pain or problem. It’s a non-invasive, science-based methodology that can address neurological, neuro-musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular issues. 

Conditions that a physiotherapy clinic will tackle with manipulative therapy include:

• Reduced range of motion 

• Tenseness or stiffness in muscles or joints 

• Soft tissue swelling or inflammation 

• Back and neck pain 

• Sports injuries 

• Repetitive strain injury (RSI) 

• Whiplash 

• Sciatica 

• Headaches

Often issues such as neck pain are caused by stiff muscles which need relaxing. A trained physiotherapist will be able to identify the cause of a problem and manipulate the parts of the body in a way to alleviate the symptoms, sometimes over a series of sessions. 

  • Local professional physiotherapist based in Southport
  • Physiotherapy Treatment in Birkdale, Southport
  • Physiotherapy in Birkdale, Southport

What to look for when considering manipulative therapy 

The most important thing when looking for a course of manipulative therapy is the expertise of the practitioner. You need to trust that the healthcare professional manipulating your body knows what they’re doing and their interventions are going to help, rather than harm you further. 

It’s crucial that you go to a qualified specialist who is going to permanently solve your issue by going to the root cause, not just provide short-term relief. A physiotherapist who is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists is guaranteed to be properly trained and up to date with the latest scientific research.

Importantly there are a few cases where manipulative therapies are not recommended.
These include patients with:


• Some spinal conditions, recent fractures or dislocations

Those on some blood-thinning drugs. 

These are the factors you should discuss with your physiotherapist during the consultation.

If you are unsure if manipulation is right for you call David on  01704 550977

Lockdown and trying to keep fit, focused and sane!

Cat Stretch


Physical fitness is not just crucial for a healthy body but essential for a healthy mind and emotional well being. Even though laziness seems the new normal amidst others ‘newness’ that staying at home has brought, there’s no substitute for self-care.


As we have been navigating through our professional and personal lives during the Covid-19 lockdown, it is important to drive home an important point: the importance of health and fitness. Physical fitness is not just crucial for a healthy body but essential for a healthy mind and emotional well being. While there are some who always make the most of any situation, will find ways to stay fit and motivated through social media, writing, reading, etc. There are others who are probably still in shock from it all, who have spent their time binge-watching Netflix, Now TV and other similar TV channels . Some will list their biggest achievement as developing a good sleep cycle, not to be knocked, after all an important aspect of good health. Even though laziness seems the new normal amidst others ‘newness’ that staying at home has brought, there is no substitute for self-care and fitness in every way – physical, mental and emotional.

Physical exercise has obvious benefits for the body. But did you know that moving your body and breaking a sweat also improves your mood, alleviates depression, and aids cognitive abilities? That rush of endorphin and dopamine when you finish a challenging yet satisfying workout are just what you need to stay mentally and emotionally fit.

There are various social media groups and YouTube channels all with home workouts to help you stay healthy and mobile. These social media pages have found an increased audience as everyone, however fit they have been previously, have taken to working out together while practicing social and physical distancing and keeping their motto of staying fit in mind.

The Government of course, throughout have encouraged everyone to take one walk per day alone or with other members your family. However now that the lockdown rules have been eased slightly we can meet up with up to 6 people from different households outdoors (still following strict social distancing) it does mean that we get to meet up with friends and family that we haven’t seen in person for so many weeks now.


Birkdale Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre, hope you are all keeping well and staying safe.

See you on the other-side!

 Photograph Courtesy of Matt Seymour & Unsplash 

The importance of soap & water in the fight against Covid-19

Wash Your Hands-001

We’ve all been hearing “wash your hands” as the singular best way to stay healthy during these dark days of Coronavirus Covid-19.
It seems so basic— after all, it’s what we teach toddlers even before they are able to stand up on their own. Every parent has asked their child, even tweens and teens: “Did you wash your hands?” followed by a “Yes” and an eye roll, followed by “With soap?” followed by…. silence and said eye rolling and slouching child returning to the sink to wash with said soap.      

Washing with soap and water is not a new phenomenon it didn’t just become a new hot latest and greatest practice weeks ago. It has been said that the ancient Babylonians invented soap around 2800 B.C.

However, the current health advice for washing hands with soap and water is based on the ability of soap molecules to interfere with lipids in the Covid-19 virus membrane, breaking down the outer fatty (lipid) layer of the virus. Moreover, the soap molecules can compete with the other non-covalent bonds between the proteins, RNA and lipids, effectively ‘dissolving’ the glue that holds the virus together. The soap can also disrupt the interactions between the virus and the skin surface, removing viruses from the skin.

What is it about soap that gives it such superpowers? (the science bit!)

Plain old hand soap, no, not antibacterial soap (remember, this is a virus we are dealing with, not a bacteria), contains molecules called ‘soap molecules.’ 
Each soap molecule has a hydrophilic (‘water-loving’) head and a hydrophobic (‘water-hating’) tail. Viruses are surrounded by a ‘lipid-bi-layer’ made up of two bands of hydrophobic tails sandwiched between two rings of hydrophilic heads. When exposed to soap and water, viruses are prised apart, as the hydrophobic tails of the soap molecules attempt to escape from water and wedge themselves into the lipid envelopes of the virus rupturing the viral membrane. In effect breaking down the proteins to help prevent the virus from entering the cells on the skin.

Why soap and water is the ‘Gold Standard’ and NOT alcohol-based hand sanitizers?

There are two types of hand sanitizers alcohol-based and alcohol-free. Only sanitizers with a high concentration of alcohol (more than 60%) are effective against Covid-19.
Ethanol and other types of alcohol are solvents and are therefore more lipophilic
(‘fat-loving’) than water. This means that alcohol does dissolve the lipid membranes and disrupt the virus. These hand sanitizers are useful when soap and water are not available. Even so, soap and water will still remain the ‘gold standard’ as the virus detaches from the skin and falls apart readily in soapy water.

To sum it up!

  • Clean hands protect against infection
  • Protect yourself
  • Clean your hands regularly.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly.
  • Use alcohol-based hand rub if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water.
  • Repeat often.
  • Tell a friend.

How do I wash my hands properly?

Washing your hands properly takes about as long as singing “Happy Birthday” twice, which is around 20 seconds and following the images below:

Clean hands protect against infection-001

Chart Courtesy of  the World Health Organisation


Healthy & Happy Holiday Guide!

With the current miserable weather and no sun for what seems like forever, many of us are dreaming of, or in the process of booking our next holiday!

You’d be surprised to know how many people get in touch to arrange a last-minute appointment before jetting off somewhere hot and sunny.  If you are carrying an injury and want to go away injury free so you can fully enjoy your holiday, get in touch as soon as possible. Recovery can take time and you don’t want to be one of those people who say, “I’ve had this for months, I should have come sooner.

Holidays should be a time to relax and unwind. But the stress of packing and travelling can put holidaymakers at risk of picking up strains and sprains before they even hit the beach!

DW Holiday 1

Here are some simple tips to avoid pre-holiday injuries.

Packing a bag: Place your bag on a higher surface such as a bed, to avoid repeatedly bending over to pack. Break up your packing over a few weeks or days, so you’re spreading the preparation out and not rushing to do it quickly at the last minute, doing many repeated movements in a short space of time, which the body often doesn’t like.

Managing luggage: If you’re not used to lifting heavy items or your case is large or awkward, lift it with care. You can find yourself lifting a case many times on a journey (in/out of car boot, on/off luggage trolley, on/off check in and carousel etc.) which can take its’ toll. People often think of back problems associated with lifting, but we also see many people with wrist or shoulder injuries from travelling, having carried luggage and bags around. Minimize the amount of lifting you do as much as possible, choosing a case with wheels and not over packing! If you’re travelling as part of a family, spread the load so you have more cases, with less weight in each. Try and choose light weight cases to lessen the burden. If you are lifting, use your powerful leg muscles to take much of the weight and keep the weight of the case close to your body – this just helps to minimize too much stress.

Standing in queues: There can be a lot of queuing when travelling. Use this opportunity to do some exercises! When standing and waiting, practice good posture. Stand up straight, with your tummy muscles pulled in and shoulders back and down. If you are standing for a very long time, stand as tall as possible and transfer weight from one leg to another to boost your circulation. Try some heel raises – going up and down on your tip toes, or mini squats. Circling your shoulders forwards and back and doing some neck stretches to ease any built-up tension, can be good too.


Travelling: As well as standing in queues, you can spend a lot of time sitting down when traveling. When seated, try to sit with your buttocks pushed to the back of the seat. Make sure your lower back is well supported and you are not slumped. You can always take a small towel or lumbar roll with you if you like to have back support. If you are driving, ensure your position is as supported as possible and move the seat to make yourself comfortable. Whenever possible, break up your journey or get out of your seat and have a good walk around.

Holiday activities: Holidays can often be a chance to try out a new activity – whether its beach volleyball, extra-long hikes, mountain climbing or surfing! If you’re trying something physical that’s out of the ordinary for you, start off gradually. Don’t rush straight in – especially if you’ve spent the last 6 months sat at a desk and the last 10 hours travelling! Having time to spend being more active is fantastic, but you don’t want to overdo it and pickup an injury to spoil your holiday. Listen to your body and warm up for your activity suitably. Pace yourself and make sure you get time to rest in between!

DW Holiday 3


Most of all, whatever you have planned for your next holiday  –  enjoy!

DW Holiday 2


Important Questions to Ask Your Physiotherapist!

For people who have never been to a physiotherapist the first visit can be a little intimidating! Here you are, perhaps in pain and weakened by your injury, and someone you have never met will be asking you detailed questions.

A physiotherapist (as well as most other health care providers) will ask some probing questions to get a better sense of your problem and how they can go about helping to get you better and back to living the way you’d like. Physio’s encourage an open dialogue and your active participation in your own rehabilitation. We don’t want to do all the talking!

You will probably have questions too, below are some question ideas that you may find useful to ask:

  • What’s wrong with me/Why do I hurt?

An important question. Everyone wants to know what the problem is and what can be done about it. The way the physio responds to this question can help instil confidence in his /her knowledge and help allay any fears arising from internet searches or an overly technical explanation from your consultant perhaps. In addition to asking you about your problem, the physio will perform various tests and measures to make their assessment of your condition, including a plan and goals to get you better.

  • How did this happen and how can I fix it?

The first question found out the “what,” this question can help with the “why.” Knowing the root cause of a problem can help prevent recurrence and promote a healthier lifestyle as well. Perhaps you have poor posture at work, and it has caused your headaches. Or maybe using poor lifting techniques during a recent move threw out your back. Regardless if you have an acute or chronic injury, understanding how it happened is important to prevent it from ever happening again.

  • What do you expect from me?

There is only so much a physio can do on their own in a clinic. This is a good question to ask because it will signal to the physio that you are an active participant in your own health care, and motivated to get better. Some common responses may be showing up on time and properly dressed to exercise, notifying the therapist or front desk of any missed sessions in advance, performing your home exercise program as recommended, and applying ice or heat at the recommended frequency.

  • How long will it take to get me better?

This isn’t always an easy question to answer for the physio who is just getting a sense of your problem, but they have seen many other patients with similar issues to you, so they can draw on those experiences. They should give you an estimated time frame, and a recommended frequency of sessions every week. The idea is to work towards achieving the goals that have been set for you. It takes time for you to recover from injury, and everyone recovers at a different pace, so be patient with yourself.

  • Will you be my physiotherapist? Who exactly will be treating me every time I come in?

By visiting a smaller physiotherapist practice like Birkdale Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic you have the peace of mind that all your treatment will be carried out by David Wordsworth. Visiting larger practices with multiple physiotherapists could mean seeing a different physio each time or being passed on to an aide to do an exercise routine, this could lead to miscommunication, confusion and a less successful outcome of your treatment.

  • What will my physiotherapy sessions entail?

The first session will include a comprehensive assessment of your problem. You will be asked about your medical history, the events that led to your problem, what aggravates and eases your symptoms, how your condition impacts your everyday life, and what your goals are for your physiotherapy treatment. The physiotherapist will perform a physical examination.  From all of this a treatment plan is developed and goals are set. These goals may be different from what you told the physio your goals were but should be related to how you want to be when the therapy concludes.

After that initial session, you will then start your regular treatment sessions. These will involve the being asked how you are feeling, and if there are any changes in your condition. Treatments should include instruction in exercises you can do at home, as well as manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, balance training, pain modalities, and any other intervention appropriate for your injury. You should leave each session feeling as though you have worked hard! If your symptoms are worse, please let your physio know. We never want to make you worse, but it is important for us to know what helps you as well as what doesn’t!


I hope these questions are helpful. Seeing a physiotherapist should be a fulfilling, rewarding experience for you. Be prepared to attend all of your sessions, work hard and communicate often with them. You will find you will have a trusted health advocate, a champion for your health and well -being, a compassionate listening ear, and a very knowledgeable, skilled health care provider. Good luck!

Reducing the risk of injury at work!

Improve your posture

Image designed and supplied courtesy of  Freepik

If you were asked to name the biggest injury risk for workers who perform desk jobs, what would your answer be?

If you are like most people, you would likely answer repetitive motion.
However, the actual answer is poor posture.
Poor posture includes not just your back or sitting posture, but how you hold your arms, where your legs/feet are placed and how your workstation relates to you.

The study of ergonomics means fitting the workplace to the person. If you look around your work environment, you will notice work areas are set up almost the same. The desk heights, chairs, computer and keyboards are identical. However, if you now look at people, none of us are the same. Even if we are the same height, our body proportions may be different.

Let’s review strategies to reduce the risk of injury:

Chair: Review the adjustments the chair may/may not have. Some chairs have only height adjustments, while others may have many adjustments. Start with sitting back in the chair with your back supported against the back rest. Place feet flat on the floor and check that hips and knees are the same height. If not, adjust the chair up/down until they are even, or your knees are slightly lower than your hips. You should be able to put two fingers between the back of your knees and the front of your chair. Too little space can cut off the blood flow to your lower legs. Too much space may leave your legs unsupported.

Now, sit back and place your elbows at your sides bent to 90 degrees and make your wrists/forearms straight and level. Turn your chair to your keyboard and see where your keyboard lines up. If the keyboard is above your hands, it is too high. If it is below your hands, it is too low. Remember: arm rests are for resting, not for supporting arms as you type.

Keyboard: The keyboard should be placed where your hands are when you are sitting back in the chair with elbows at your sides and forearm/wrists are level. Be sure to put the tabs down on the back of the keyboard. Using the tabs on a keyboard forces wrist extension, which leads to fatigue in forearms, wrist and elbows and increases pressure in the carpal tunnel area. The ideal keyboard should be angled down away from you (a negative tilt) to allow wrists to remain in neutral while typing. The mouse should be close to you and not where you have to reach away from your side to use it.

There are many ergonomic keyboards and mice to choose from. The best way to choose is to go to an office supply store and look at the different options. Try them out and see which ones fit you best. Do you use the numbers pad often? If so, try moving the mouse to your left side. This will decrease the overuse of your right hand. If you don’t use the numbers pad, you may want to consider a smaller keyboard without a numbers pad so you can keep the mouse closer to you.

The standard desk height is 29” to accommodate a two-drawer file cabinet underneath, which can cause the keyboard to be too high. An adjustable keyboard tray may be the best answer as they can be adjusted to fit many different heights. Look for one with controls that are easy to reach and use. Also, look for a tray that can be angled to a negative tilt. It should be large enough to hold the keyboard and mouse. If you can’t get or use a keyboard tray, you can raise your chair, so your arms are properly positioned and add a footrest to support your legs.

Monitor: For normal vision, the monitor(s) should be adjusted so the top of the monitor is at eye level and the distance is arm length away from you. If you wear progressive or bifocal lens, you will need to lower the monitor so you can focus without having to extend your neck. Adjust the distance so it is comfortable for you to read without having to lean forward away from the back of your chair.

If you use two or more monitors and use them equally, centre the keyboard and angle the outside of the monitors toward you slightly to decrease head turning. If you use one more than the other, centre your keyboard at your dominant monitor and place the other one on the side of your dominant eye. Angle it toward you to decrease neck rotation. Place the items on your desk that you use the closest to you.

Lastly, let’s touch on postures and positions to avoid.

These include:

  • Slouching forward
  • Neck extension (looking up) and over rotation (looking side to side)
  • Wrist extension (when in position to type, hands are higher than the forearms)
  • Prolonged positions
  • Bending elbows past 90 degrees
  • Leaning on elbows
  • Crossing legs
  • Sitting without good back support

While we can’t stay in perfect position all the time, using good postures and positions when you can, and taking micro breaks every 30 minutes, can make a big difference in how you feel.


Diabetes and Exercise!

People with diabetes are encouraged to exercise regularly for better blood sugar control and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The reason for this is that muscles which are working use more glucose than those that are resting. Muscle movement leads to greater sugar uptake by muscle cells and lower blood sugar levels.

Additional benefits of exercise include a healthier heart, better weight control and stress management. Exercise is the common term used to describe any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.

Why is exercise important?

As well as strengthening the cardiovascular system and the body’s muscles, many people exercise to keep fit, lose or maintain a healthy weight, or purely for enjoyment.

Frequent and regular physical exercise is recommended for people of all ages as it boosts the immune system and helps protect against conditions such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer and other major illnesses

In fact, it is known to cut your risk of major chronic illnesses/diseases by up to 50% and reduce your risk of early death by up to 30%.

Other health benefits of exercising on a regular basis include:

  • Improves mental health
  • Boosts self-esteem/confidence
  • Enhances sleep quality and energy levels
  • Cuts risk of stress and depression
  • Protects against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Furthermore, exercise is free, can be carried out anywhere at any time and has an immediate effect on your health.

What counts as exercise?

In the UK, regular exercise is defined by the NHS as completing 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week.

Aerobic activity at moderate intensity basically means exercising at a level that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. This includes a multitude of sports. For example:

  • Fast paced walking
  • Light jogging
  • Bike riding
  • Rowing
  • Playing doubles tennis or badminton
  • Water aerobics

Cutting the grass, cleaning your home and other daily chores such as shopping don’t count towards your 150 minutes of weekly exercise as advances in technology have made these activities far less demanding on the body than for previous generations, who were active naturally more active through work and manual labour.

However, the less time you spend sitting down, the better it will be for your health. Sedentary behaviour, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, increases your risk of weight gain and obesity, which in turn, may also up your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Are there any precautions I should take when it comes to exercise?

There are some exercise precautions which people with diabetes must take, however, when done safely, exercise is a valuable aid to optimal health.

Exercise precautions are designed to help people with diabetes avoid problems which can result from unwise exercise choices.

Hypoglycemia can occur if a person who is taking blood sugar lowering medication has:

  • Eaten too little carbohydrate (fruit, milk, starch) relative to the exercise.
  • Taken too much medication relative to the exercise
  • Combined effect of food and medication imbalances relative to the exercise

Those who do not take diabetes medication do not need to take these precautions. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to stay well-hydrated.

Precautions for people on insulin or oral medication

Precautions to take if you take insulin or oral diabetes medication:

  • If your blood sugar level is less than 5.5 mmols/l (100 mg/dl) prior to exercise, consider eating a carbohydrate snack prior to beginning the exercise.
  • If your blood sugar level is higher than 5.5 mmols/l (100 mg/dl) before exercise, it may not be necessary to take a carbohydrate snack before a light exercise session, but you may need extra carbohydrates during or following the exercise. Check your blood to see if your blood sugar dips below 4 mmols/l (70 mg/dl) following exercise.
  • If you experience hypoglycemia then treat the hypo. You could then consider following up with your doctor. You may be advised to lower your medication on days you exercise providing your blood sugar levels are well-controlled and usually within target range
  • For long duration and/or high intensity exercise sessions, you could plan to consume carbohydrate snacks during the activity.
  • Always carry a fast-acting carbohydrate food such as glucose tablets when exercising in the event blood sugar drops too low and hypoglycemia symptoms develop during exercise.
  • Wear a form of ID, which identifies you as having diabetes, particularly if you are exercising alone so that others may help you appropriately in the event something unexpected happens.


Information courtesy of Diabetes logo 2 

For more information about Diabetes visit


What a pain in the neck!

Neck Pain Freepik

Photo Courtesy of Freepik

                                                  Pain in the neck?

Here are four easy and quick things to do at your desk to relieve neck and back pain.


  1. Sit at your desk and look straight ahead. Are you looking at the top part of your screen? If not, change it so you are. No excuses, I know you’ll find a way. Poor screen positioning is the number one cause of neck pain at work.


  1. Change what you sit on. Try sitting on a stability cushion (which can be used on your existing chair). They are great for adding movement into your day and changing the position of your neck. Try it for 20 minutes to begin with and build the time you are on it up gradually.


  1. Tuck the arm you use your mouse with into your side. Much of the pain we get at the end of the day in the top of our shoulders is from holding our arm away from us all day. Keep the elbow tucked in and your neck and shoulders will thank you for it.


  1. Stand up when a colleague comes to talk to you, or when you are on the phone and don’t need to look at a screen. Take every opportunity during the day to stand up, sitting for long periods is overrated and frankly bad for you!


Desk Job Freepik

Photo Courtesy of Freepik

Still in pain? Maybe it’s time to see your physio!