Medically Led Fitness Osteoperosis Classes

MidLife fitness linked to less dementia in later life

 A study published in Neurology , April 10, 2018 has presented findings which add to an ever growing body of research that connects heart health to brain health. High levels of cardiovascular fitness during middle age may lower the likelihood of dementia in later life. It appears that keeping fit in midlife is a sound strategy for arresting cognitive decline. 

The details of the study 

The recently published study asked 191 middle aged women to ride a bicycle until they were exhausted. The women were then grouped according to their peak cardiovascular capacity. Just 40 women met the criteria for high levels of fitness. 92 were in the medium category and 59 were in the low category. Here are the most interesting details of the study; Over the next 44 years, the women were tested for dementia 6 times. Five percent of the highly fit women developed dementia, compared with 25% and 32% respectively for those in the moderate and low fitness groups. According to these figures, highly fit middle aged women were 88% less likely to develop dementia than even the moderately fit women. 

Numbers 

These numbers are at once alarming and encouraging. While the numbers do not prove that high levels of fitness prevents dementia, they do show a hugely encouraging correlation between the two. By remaining highly fit in the middle age period, one has reduced the statistical likelihood of developing cognitive decline quite significantly. 

What can you do if you are ‘Middle-Aged’  and want to become fitter? 

If you are Middle-Aged (let’s suggest approximately 58) and want to become fitter , there are a multitude of simple practical things to consider. At www.personalhealth.ie we provide an initial assessment to find out your medical history, medications, injury history, functional movement screening and exercise history (if indeed there is one!). This assessment provides a baseline from which we can work from. Everybody has a different health/illness background, a different physical profile and differing levels of access, time and motivation. 

Barriers to exercise and improvement 

For the vast majority of our clients in Personal Health, they have overcome big barriers to even set foot inside our door. Examples of this may be a recent illness or injury, a chronic health issue or those dealing with progressive health conditions. Often they are working full time and trying to manage family demands, financial challenges and their own personal health. Two of the most common barriers to improving exercise (and therefore overall health) are accessibility and knowledge. 

Accessibility and Knowledge 

It is difficult to get immediate access to experienced healthcare professionals. Essentially the greater the levels of experience, it seems the more elusive they are. At personalhealth.ie we have arranged our schedules in a transparent way, shared with the public on our online booking system (insert link). Why not book an initial consultation now with one of our team, and begin that journey to better physical health, improved mental health and a longer term investment in protecting your cognitive health. 

Cancer, Exercise, Health, Fitness, Physio

Exercise for Cancer Patients at Personal Health

The Guardian newspaper recently (7-5-18) discussed powerful evidence in relation to the benefits of exercise for cancer patients. The published research is from The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia. This research has helped to launch its position statement on the role of exercise alongside surgery, chemotherapy or radiation in cancer care.

Research gets widespread endorsement

The research is endorsed by a group of 25 influential health and cancer organisations, including Cancer Council Australia. It is the first researcher-led push, anywhere in the world, for exercise to be an essential component of treatment for cancer. Indeed the statement goes further, suggesting exercise should be prescribed to ALL cancer patients. Furthermore it states ‘not to do so would be harmful’. A definitive and powerful stance indeed.

Why Personal Health provides Exercise for Cancer patients

At Personal Health, we welcome the position taken by the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia wholeheartedly. A number of our cancer patients have had great results with regular intensive exercise. Their positive experiences have included increased energy levels (or reduced fatigue), maintenance of weight and lean muscle mass, and improved mood. Overall there is an improvement in Quality of Life – and this is objectively measured as opposed to mere speculation.

Evidence is indisputable

The lead author of the research, Prof Prue Cormie from the Australian Catholic University, said the statement was based on “indisputable” evidence. “Really we are at the stage where the science is telling us that withholding exercise from cancer patients can be harmful,” Cormie said. Our philosophy in Personal Health has always promoted exercise as a form of medicine and rehabilitation for people living with prolonged health conditions. Our team of Chartered Physiotherapists & Occupational Therapy are passionate about providing insight and support for Cancer patients.

Exercise is Medicine

Professor Cormie is a huge advocate of exercise in general, and elaborated further in relation to cancer therapy. “Exercise is the best medicine someone with cancer can take in addition to their standard cancer treatments. That’s because we know now that people who exercise regularly experience fewer and less severe treatment-related side-effects; cancer-related fatigue and mental distress. They also have a lower risk of their cancer coming back or dying from the disease’,

Lifestyle Change

At Personal Health, we apply the best evidence to help lifestyle change. A simple way to boost cancer survival rates is to improve diet and include regular exercise. It is simple in concept but difficult to implement regularly. We provide a helping hand, a support network at home or in clinic, and a familiarity with the challenges you face. Some patients have had to maintain lean muscle mass in order to optimise chemotherapy/radiotherapy, others have had to improve range of movement post surgery. There are lots of differing angles and solutions.

Professor Cormie agrees …

It seems Prof Cormie agrees with our approach and vice versa. ’If the effects of exercise could be encapsulated in a pill, it would be prescribed to every cancer patient worldwide and viewed as a major breakthrough in cancer treatment,”  

She further elaborated “If we had a pill called exercise it would be demanded by cancer patients, prescribed by every cancer specialist, and subsidised by government.”

Types of Cancer patients in Personal Health

To date we have worked with patients who have had Breast Cancer, Oesophageal and gastric cancer, Prostate and Bowel cancer. Based on the latest evidence above we see no reason to be exclusive just for these types of cancer. Our service provides benefit for all those dealing with the various difficulties on the journey to recovery.

We offer 10 physio-led exercise appointments for 500 Euro in a non-intimidating gym environment. This is covered under Chartered Physiotherapy in your Insurance Policy.

Call us now to find out more.

01 496 4002

www.personalhealth.ie

MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Exercise, Dietary, Physio

Exercise for Multiple Sclerosis…..and a bit more

We started our Exercise and Dietary programme for MS patients back in November 2017. We began with initial assessments whereby we spent time with people living with the condition. Exercise for Multiple Sclerosis is a key component of managing the neurological change. However it is not a stand alone requirement. Maintaining energy levels or combatting fatigue are a daily battle. We heard from contributors living with MS about the many challenges they face – and we also had a laugh…it’s not all misery!

The Challenge for healthcare providers

The challenge for healthcare professionals is to understand the condition in a multi factorial way. It is most important that the medical side communicates with the specialist neurological input. In turn it is imperative that both link in with the therapeutic services available. The golden nugget is that all work in tandem – wishful thinking? I don’t see why not. At Personal Health, we are communicating regularly with our local GPs and a number of innovative Neurologists who see great value in a community based approach.

The Challenge for the MS population

In clinic we have heard from a small section of the MS population about job related stress, family and relationship issues, emotional and physical fatigue. While lifting some dumbbells we have addressed fear, anxiety and resentment. We address fears around deterioration in general health (over a chocolate digestive or two). Generally though we just turn up regularly and allow the crew do their thing. They exercise with determination, question with a healthy scepticism and cut us in two with a sharp wit.

Shared experiences are positive

In Personal Health, our team includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy and a dietitian. We share the workload and our collective experience is working well together. For the participants, they are working pretty well together too. Physical issues from compromised vision to manual dexterity and urinary urgency are on the table – discretely. While nobody is shouting the roof down, there is comfort in shared knowledge and experience. There is comfort in laughter and comfort in the handrails on the wall. There is a strange comfort in Mark’s dulcet tones of instruction or Marion’s dodgy Spotify playlist. Most importantly there is a sense of empowerment about taking on MS for the participants.

Benefits and outcomes

We measure change in clinic based on our initial assessments. There is not always an improvement. Similarly there has been very little decline. With a progressive condition one of the best outcomes can be maintenance of the status quo. In our profession, there is a big emphasis on ‘outcome measures’ whereby data is used to measure clinical changes. This gives people feedback around changes in strength, endurance, fatigue and balance amongst other things. It gives us quantitative feedback too and in general the results have been rewarding for all concerned. We are all on this journey together, and it has been a great learning experience to date.

 

Diabetes, Fitness, Exercise, Physio, Dietary, Dublin 6, Rathmines

The Personal Health Diabetes Programme

Everybody is scared at the start when it comes to embarking on a new journey! The Personal Health Diabetes programme is no different. We thought we were gentle, approachable, understanding and compassionate people!! But what we didn’t consider was that people with Type 2 Diabetes are petrified about making small changes in their lifestyle. Most participants have waited for years before contemplating and finally making some small changes. But they are all delighted once they start and most comment that they wish it happened sooner.

Guilt and Stigma

When we have got to know our participants after a few weeks, often people have mentioned carrying a guilt and stigma with them for developing a condition like Type 2 Diabetes. The condition is lifestyle related, so they feel they have let themselves down in some way. The reality here is that feelings of guilt and stigma are futile. What is important is to take action now and make small but attainable changes to your lifestyle. Former Chair of International Diabetes Federation, Dr Tony O’Sullivan has visited us here to assess the Personal Health Diabetes programme and was impressed, commenting  ‘This programme is suitable for anyone living with diabetes and will really contribute to better control of the condition’.

Sociable and Friendly

Our participants are a lovely sociable gang. 

Diabetes, Health, Fitness, Exercise, Dublin 6, Rathmines

They meet regularly on Tuesday afternoons in clinic and despite the chats and giggles, they get their work done. The fitness levels, size and shape differs from person to person but all are accommodated. The one non negotiable is that they do some good honest work, ending up a little sweaty and breathless (don’t worry nobody crawls out the door!).

What does Type 2 Diabetes programme involve?

Mark Hynes (Chartered Physiotherapist) is running the Type 2 Diabetes programme along with our Dietitian Caoimhe O’Leary. They are doing a brilliant job! 

Dietary, Dietitian, Diabetes          Diabetes, Fitness, Exercise, Physio, Dietary, Dublin 6, Rathmines

The programme involves turning up on Tuesday afternoons at 5pm. Once an initial screening is complete the client is cleared for progress and the fun begins. The exercise classes (4 per month) last approximately 40 minutes in total. Caoimhe also runs a monthly workshop discussing practical and non sacrificial changes to enable healthy eating.

What are the benefits?

Some people choose to test their progress every few months and this has given participants great feedback.  Some see changes in blood sugar levels. Others experience weight loss. Most improve on strength scores and stability. Others feel steadier on their feet and more confident. Most describe greater energy levels. Crucially, as healthcare professionals we see a group reducing the risks associated with the condition. It is a hugely rewarding experience for all concerned.

What do I wear, what do I do, what happens in general??

People tend to arrive a few minutes beforehand in comfortable, exercise clothing. For those arriving from work , there are clean and spacious changing rooms with showers and storage. During each class there is a warm up , some strength training, balance and co-ordination tasks, some short sharp bursts of activity (High Intensity Intervals), some stretching and functional movements, and plenty of advice about pacing yourself. Turn up people! You’ll be glad you did!

Running, Prehab, Physiotherapy, Hip, Knee

Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery – PREHAB??

 

Are you on a waiting list for joint replacement?

If so, it is an ideal time to manage your recovery – by starting NOW!

We mean start your rehabilitation before surgery – commonly known as Prehabilitation or Prehab!

The stronger and fitter you are before a major surgery the better your response to general anaesthetic or epidurals. This is a medical/lifestyle issue more than anything to do with your arthritic joint.

In the case of joint replacements, typically the decision for surgery has been made carefully and responsibly between yourself and your orthopaedic consultant based on various issues;

  • excessive pain levels
  • day to day basic activities have been compromised
  • difficulty walking even short distances

As your arthritic joint has deteriorated significantly, so too has it’s range of motion. This means all the surrounding muscles for this joint have become shortened and weaker.

Post surgical rehabilitation of these muscles is a long and sometimes arduous journey.

However, addressing soft tissue (muscle/tendon) weakness now can have really positive effects.

With increased muscular strength around the replaced joint your capacity to bear weight will be optimal in the days immediately post surgery.

Also, you will get a quicker restoration of range within the joint. In the case of knee replacements, you will need to bend the knee beyond 90 degrees in the days immediately post surgery – so your preparation now can only aid this process.

Hip Replacement

In the case of hips, you will need strength in the muscles around the replaced hip joint to ensure there is stability in the joint. This prevents any complications such as dislocating the replaced joint. This type of dislocation can happen when the surrounding soft tissue structures are not strong enough to hold the replaced joint in its new position.

A well prepared patient whose has gone through Prehab, usually means slightly quicker discharge times for those who dislike the hospital setting. Some people go to specialised rehabilitation facilities, while others safely return home and choose to work on their recovery with the support of physiotherapists, family and friends.

Start the Journey Today

Ultimately joint replacement is all about the capacity to regain functional activity. It’s about improving quality of life – whether this is simply to enjoy walking again, or golf, tennis (usually doubles tennis!) and even more personal issues such as improved sex life due to reduced joint pain.

Everybody has a reason, or multiple reasons, to embark on this journey. With the support of your consultant, the hospital staff throughout the procedure, and those who deal with you in the months following surgery, everybody is trying to make this a new lease of life for the patient.

So why not give it your best shot in the lead up??

For more information on Preparation for Surgery contact us now:

01 4964002

info@personalhealth.ie

www.personalhealth.ie

Improve your Brain Health – By Marion Slattery

Improve your Brain Health

Over the last number of years, it seems that increasingly in the media we are seeing people live with neurological conditions that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Stroke and other disorders. At the same time there has never been so much emphasis on the benefits of regular exercise and the optimum diet for a healthy body and brain.

We are being bombarded with information written by specialists, experts, bloggers, and anyone with a social media account. Everyone has an opinion on what good health is but is there a simple one size fits all formula to follow?

Earlier this week, I attended the lecture on ‘Our Beautiful Minds: Our Brains and how they shape our lives’‘ by Professor Shane O Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research in Trinity College. I learned that maybe being healthy isn’t as complex as all the newspapers, magazines, and online media make out. The three main points I took from the lecture were simple in their own way. He highlighted the importance of exercise, sleep, and giving your brain a chance to rest. Very simple suggestions but can we actually follow through? Why should we even try?

Stats

Looking at the most recent statistics in Ireland, it is estimated that over 700,000 people in Ireland live with a neurological condition. This represents about 17% of the total population of Ireland. These conditions include acquired brain injury, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other progressive, intermittent or disabling conditions of the brain or spinal cord. While not all neurological conditions are preventable, there are certain things we can do that can reduce our risk of developing these conditions.

Poor health is never far from anyone’s door and it makes no exception to your social status, religion, race, or otherwise. Last year the infamous Billy Connolly came out to speak about his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. In the last few years the country music singer Glenn Campbell, made known for his hit ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ released the movie of his farewell tour as a result of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Last year Amy Huberman and Brian O’Driscoll  featured on the cover of the Irish ‘Parkinson’s Ireland’ Summer magazine as Amy’s father is living with Parkinson’s Disease. As we are living longer we are also living longer with and developing neurological conditions.

With increasing evidence linking exercise and diet, mindfulness and relaxation to improved health, we need to look at what we can do on a daily basis to maintain good body and brain health. Over the age of 30 on average you lose slightly less than 0.5% of your brain each year. It has now been proven that by exercising alone you can increase the size of your hippocampus, a part of the brain that makes memory.  Research also supports being socially active, it reduces your risk of dementia.

Here are some more suggestions to improve your body and brain health:

·         Exercise regularly

·         Maintain a good sleep routine

·         Give your brain a rest

·         Eat a well-balanced diet

·         Challenging your brain

  • Read a book
  • Do a crossword
  • Travel to new places

·         Learn something new

·         Keep socially active

·         Keep a check on your cholesterol/blood pressure/ weight

·         Adopt a positive attitude

Our generation are living longer. We need to ensure that we’re living Better too. Give yourself the best chance at ageing well.