August 2012

  • 28 August 2012

It’s all good!

It is important to be aware of your posture as it can affect your entire health.

Good posture is when your body stands and moves without unnecessary muscle tension and with minimum stress on the joints. The body moves in a relaxed manner, gracefully and effortlessly.

Bad posture wears you down and is tiring. It puts you at risk of injuring your spine and harming your body.

Good posture is crucial to your well-being.

  • Good for your joints: It counteracts the compression on the joints caused by gravity, so prevents wear and tear.
  • Good movement: It allows efficient movement so the body wastes less energy.
  • Good for your heart: It allows proper breathing and improves circulation, so lessens stress on the heart.
  • Good for your digestion: It creates space for the internal organs to function efficiently.
  • Good for your nerves: It calms the nervous system as the overall stress on the body is decreased.
  • Look good! It makes you look better and feel more confident.
  • Feel good! It lifts your mood and improves emotional well-being.

It is easy to learn and requires little effort to maintain! Stay tuned!

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Welcome!

Too many people hurt themselves unnecessarily through bad postural habits. As a pilates teacher (since 1999) and a back4good® practitioner, I deal with it daily!

Recently I’ve noticed that my clientele is getting younger, fit 30 year old men with slipped discs! This is an extremely painful and debilitating situation. Forget footy at the week end with the mates, playing with the young children or sitting at a desk working. Welcome to a very vicious circle where you need to move to get better, but can’t because of pain.

The cause of their downfall is too much slouching: slouching at the desk, slouching in their car or public transport, slouching on the sofa…. The workouts in the gym and sports don’t make up for the hours of slouching!

Postural awareness and the correct choice of postural exercises see them through but it takes time and patience. They all make the same remark:”I wish someone would have told me earlier!”.

 

So I created Posture4U (workshops to teach the fundamentals of good posture and ergonomics) and Posture4Me (one-to-one postural evaluation, exercise program and ergonomics for people who prefer or need personal attention). For more information: www.posture4u.co.uk

 

This is the blog, full of useful tips to avoid bad postural habits that could lead to pain.

I know my stuff!

You can trust my judgement and expertise.  I’ve been in the fitness industry since 1992, teaching Pilates and Yoga since 1999 and becoming a Back4Good practitioner, the latest training for chronic lower back pain in 2011.

I’ve been running a very professional Pilates/Yoga/Dance studio in Barnes, London, since 2003. I’ve ‘fixed’ an impressive number of bodies since then. So you are in good hands!

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Back to school!

This is a sum up of a very interesting article and TV program. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2144429/Is-childs-school-bag-harming-spine.html#ixzz1uw9xPBvp

 

As it’s revealed many youngsters haul half their body weight… Is your child’s school bag harming their spine?

By LOUISE ATKINSON PUBLISHED: 02:59, 15 May 2012 | UPDATED: 10:09, 15 May 2012

80% of children in the UK regularly carry bags that are up to 20% of their body weight on their back, according to research from the charity BackCare.

Studies show children should not carry any more than 10% of their body weight and that anything over 15% can be damaging.

Musculoskeletal experts are warning we are facing an epidemic of back problems in young adults when the long-term effects of this early damage starts to appear.

Dr Skew, vice-president of BackCare, adds: ‘Children’s skeletons are still developing, and having a heavy bag slung over one shoulder can exert unnatural force on the spine, muscles and attachments. Rather like exercising only one side of your body in the gym, you quickly get unilateral muscle-loading, which can cause the small muscles in the back to tighten and compress the spine.’

A 2007 British study showed that 13 to 50% of 11-17 year olds have experienced back pain.

If you thought driving them to school would avoid the problems, think again.

‘Picking up and swinging a heavy backpack onto your shoulder multiple times a day is potentially more damaging to a growing body than having to walk a long distance with a static load,’ says Dr Skew.

It’s not just getting to and from school that’s the problem, because most schools no longer provide lockers or desks to store books (children sit at tables), so children have no choice but to carry everything around with them all day.

Dr Skew says young people are made even more vulnerable to back problems by their increasing inactivity — muscles don’t develop properly if you spend your time playing computer games instead of running around.

This is compounded by poor posture and one-size-fits-all furniture.

The type of bag your child is carrying can contribute to pain and strain.

The ideal school bag (according to Lorna Taylor, a pediatric physiotherapist)Not-too-large backpack

  • Wide, padded straps to spread the load, adjusted so the pack sits high on the back and close to the spine.
  • Heaviest items should be closest to the spine, which is the centre of gravity, to reduce the strain.
  • Weigh no more than 10 per cent of their body weight
  • A waist strap allows some of the weight to be taken on the pelvis.

 

 

 

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High heels for kids!

This was on Yahoo:

“Little girls no longer have to wait for their teen years to act grown up now that designers are making heels for children. And amazingly parents are buying them.

Michael Kors has unveiled the Keely Wedge in US sizes 1-5 youth which correlates on the size chart for girls aged between six and ten years old.
The brown boho-style espadrille has three-inch heels and is encrusted with rhinestones. It’s one of a collection of heels for girls from the designer that are available to buy from online shoe and apparel shop Zappos.com priced between £34 ($50) and £47 ($74).

After Suri Cruise was seen wearing a pair of gold child-sized kitten heels three years ago, there has been a running debate both online and in parenting magazines as to whether wearing heels is suitable for a child.

At the time, experts explained why high heeled shoes for kids were a health risk. “The fact children can wear these is worrying,” said podiatrist Gregor McCoshim. “Any heel above 2cm increases the risk of twisting an ankle. Wearing them can cause strains in the back which is a potential problem for their growth and development.”

But despite the argument, and warnings from podiatrists, it seems heels for little girls outside the dress-up box are becoming increasingly popular.

One review for a pair of Micheal Kors wedges read: “So cute my child saw them and as soon as possible she threw off her shoes and started strutting it. She was so cute. I bought them she would not take them off… But cost a lot of money!” [sic]

Another young reviewer added: “These shoes are so cute. Unfortunately my mom said that I cannot get them as I am not allowed to wear heels.” [sic]

Michael Kors isn’t the first designer to market heels to a younger generation. The Jessica Simpson Kids and Steve Madden Kids range also make heels for girls.

In 2010, high street store New Look was slammed by parents for selling a range of high heels starting at size one – about the shoe size of an average eight-year-old – including a pair of £16 dark blue platforms with a 3.5 inch heel.

Justine Roberts, of the parenting website Mumsnet, called for the shoes to be withdrawn from sale, describing them as “totally inappropriate for an eight-year-old.”

The high heels have been compared to other products that are said to be sexualising girls too young, including a first make-up kit for girls of five, padded bras and a toddler t-shirt from Primark emblazoned with the slogan ‘Future WAG’.”

High heels lead to short achilles tendons and calves muscles so eventually the foot cannot dorsi-flex correctly. When walking, the action heel/toe is lost, the feet get stiff so proprioception and balance are compromised.

High heels increase lumbar lordosis (arched back). The lower back muscles shorten, the abdominals and buttocks get weak which eventually lead to back pain.

Children and teenagers, like adults, need to stay active. Strutting is not being active. Correct walking is.

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