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Fight COVID-19 with exercise!

Movement for Good Health – as important now as ever

The doors to the gym are closed, but we started to run, walk the dogs and cycle.

 

How do we keep ourselves fit? Because exercise is not just essential for toned bodies and strong muscles; it is the foundation of health, and currently, that means resilience, a body that is able to take on pathogens and win.

 

In addition, COVID-19 strikes the lungs: exercise is vital for lungs that work well and have good capacity.

 

We can keep in other ways than formal exercise programmes, however. We can harness the crucial power of NEAT, or Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is – energy expenditure that’s associated with spontaneous movement, not planned physical exercise. Children are brilliant at it, fidgeting and wriggling and bouncing; we can all learn a lesson or two from watching them.

 

“Habitual exercise improves immune regulation,” scientists wrote in a review of evidence published in May last year. Those who exercise, who move more, have a reduced risk of illness.

 

It is not necessary to give up on movement for good health just because you’re stuck at home.

“It wasn’t that long ago that people moved all day long – every activity of daily life, from making food to visiting family to making furniture, involved physical activity,” says SASP President Rogier van Bever Donker. “Today, thanks to modern automation of many processes, many things that used to involve manual work no longer do. Low levels of what is called NEAT put people at risk of a range of conditions, from obesity to diabetes to cancer and more. All day, every day, you need to look for opportunities for physical activity that goes beyond the gym or running track, the ordinary physical movements of normal life.”

 

Even small increases in light-intensity physical activity can reduce your risk of poor health, scientists have found – if you add as little as 30 minutes a day, broken up into chunks of ten minutes or even less at a time, if you like.

And home is a great place to do this.

Get vigorous in the kitchen – chop and grate and beat and knead, using muscle power instead of small appliances.

If you need to have a phone chat, get up and walk while chatting.

Do your own housework as much as possible – washing walls and pushing mops are great movement tactics.

Take time to do renovations – scrubbing down gutters, varnishing doors, painting walls. It is all great exercise, and will make you feel better mentally, too.

Make a habit of moving even when you are still: clench your toes and ‘circle’ your feet while watching TV; do scissors leg exercises on the bed while reading.

Have fun with your children – nothing like robust physical play to get the blood moving!

 

Celebrate Movement for Good Health Day NOW by getting your blood pumping and boosting your immunity.

 

Article courtesy of the South African  Society of Physiotherapy. ( www.saphysio.co.za.)

Beat COVID-19 Stay calm Keep moving!

Movement for Good Health – as important now as ever

Normally, the physiotherapy profession’s body, the South African Society of Physiotherapy, celebrates Movement for Good Health around 10 May. Because we are all stuck at home and asking ourselves, how do we keep ourselves from losing condition?

 

Not a problem. You can – and must – move for good health in your own home.

 

Formal ‘exercise’ – going to gym, canoeing, running and the like – is good, but science is telling us that regular movement, throughout the day, is, if anything, better. “Our bodies evolved to move all the time, not just in short bursts of strenuous activity,” says Rogier van Bever Donker. “Our ancestors used different muscle groups in constant activity, whether milking cows or ploughing fields or scrubbing clothes on a washboard.” The wonders of modern technology enable us to spend much of our days sitting in front of screens or operating vast machinery at the touch of a joystick or keyboard.

 

Being stuck at home provides you with a great opportunity to learn how to boost your NEAT, or Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – energy expenditure that’s associated with spontaneous movement, not planned physical exercise. It is also a chance to learn how to do a bit of useful exercise when gyms and running clubs are not available.

 

Do not forget that exercise and movement are crucial to good health. A body which has regular exercise moving the lymph through the lymphatic system is better equipped to deal with onslaughts by pathogens. COVID-19 strikes the lungs: exercise is vital for lungs that work well and have good capacity.

 

“Habitual exercise improves immune regulation,” scientists wrote in a review of evidence published in May last year. Those who exercise, who move more, have a reduced risk of illness.

 

Even small increases in light-intensity physical activity can reduce your risk of poor health, scientists have found – if you add as little as 30 minutes a day, broken up into chunks of ten minutes or even less at a time, if you like.

And home is a great place to do this. Get creative, think of ways to move more. Some of our suggestions:

  1. Do not sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. Plan to get up – set your phone to remind you. Walk around the house briskly, outside, or inside.
  2. Or get up and loosen up your neck – turn your head from one side to the other, look down so your chin is pressed into your chest, look as far up as you can aaanndd repeat!
  3. Use your children as exercise equipment. Swing them over your head to give your arms some exercise; lie down and do push-ups with a small child on your back – a great game which will have them giggling.
  4. Put on some music and dance. Aim to use your arms, legs and pelvis in the dance, no matter how funny this looks (a good laugh is great therapy, anyway)!
  5. Find online exercise classes and work up a sweat with them.
  6. Got kitchen steps? Every time you go in and out of the kitchen door, go up and down the steps five or ten times.
  7. Work your brain (yes, brains need exercise too!) by implementing time off from screens for crossword puzzles, board games and the like.
  8. Indulge in some spring-cleaning this autumn – use muscle-power to clean windows and reduce the clothes-mountain in your cupboards. Set stuff aside to donate to communities feeling the pinch.

 

Celebrate Movement for Good Health Day NOW by getting your blood pumping and boosting your immunity!

 

Article courtesy of the South African  Society of Physiotherapy. ( www.saphysio.co.za.)

 

WE. WILL. PREVAIL. #strongertogether

Following the presidential announcement last night, 23 March 2020, we would like to reassure you that the safety of our patients and staff is of utmost importance to us. We have immediately endorsed and implemented the WHO, SASP and RSA health authorities’ additional preventative measures last Monday, 16 March 2020.

Some important extractions from Mr Ramaphosa’s address to the nation last night …

“It is a week since we declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster and announced a package of extraordinary measures to combat this grave public health emergency.

Over the past week, South Africans have demonstrated their determination, their sense of purpose, their sense of community and their sense of responsibility.

We reiterate that the most effective way to prevent infection is through basic changes in individual behaviour and hygiene.

It is essential that every person in this country adheres strictly – and without exception – to the regulations that have been put in place.

The National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March.

The categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown are the following: health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic.”
The South African Society of Physiotherapy is waiting for full clarity on “health workers in the public and private sectors”.
OUR SERVICES CONTINUE AS USUAL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. We also want to reassure you that we are here to help, so if you have any questions or concerns about your health or injury, do get in touch with the team. – even if we are affected by lockdown.

Last of All, THANK YOU!

We have been humbled by the messages of hope, of support, and shared positivity from our patients. We thank our team too, for their efforts to work through this unprecedented challenge.