Dark nights make me want to head to the sofa, I’m one of those people who feel like hibernating as the nights draw in. In many ways our natural instinct is to hibernate, to draw the curtains and sit down a little bit earlier on the sofa. The medical term is circadian rhythm when we synchronise our sleep and wake cycle with light and when there is light it is harder to feel awake and active.
One of my patients told me a story of when she was seven years old. She met an elderly Japanese man who told her that he tried to see blue and green each day. Ever since she has thought about what he told her. He made sure he went outside even in his elder years.
As Autumn turns into Winter many of my patients will report new aches and pains. These can develop as hip and knee joints stiffen up as they walk less, neck muscles tighten as they aren’t moving as much or spinal discs in the low back become sore because of increased sitting. To try and prevent this, think about the elderly man and try and see blue and green everyday.
I’m lucky enough to have a job where I don’t sit down. But I still feel the effects on my body when I can no longer go for walks in the park when I finish at 9pm. As I’m always moving, I can really feel the difference. It makes me think about all my patients who sit for long hours and are more sedentary and then sit even more during the darker months.
Walking, strolling, movement, dancing, jogging, cycling, swimming. What is it that you like to do? The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has launched a campaign
Love activity! Hate exercise.
Unfortunately leading a busy full life is not the same as exercise. Exercise increases your heart rate, stretches your muscles, moves your joints, lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk of many health problems such as heart disease, joint pain and Osteoporosis.
It is all about finding something you love to do. Walking that bit faster when you take the dog for a walk is great exercise.
I LOVE being outdoors so if there is a garden and some sunshine being outside to stretch feels amazing!!!! It isn’t a yoga retreat in Spain but we can do it the BRITISH way. A waterproof picnic rug, with my yoga mat on top. A great play list on my phone and I’m happy!
There are so many great resources out there. Search online in your local area for exercise groups, health walks, martial arts, Nordic walking, dance, musical theatre, skiing, ice skating, yoga, Pilates and many many more. Look at your local council website / Mum and baby groups / age UK / council gyms and community centres.
Check out the CSP website https://www.csp.org.uk/public-patient/keeping-active-and-healthy/love-activity-hate-exercise-campaign
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