How to pack a healthy lunch box for work (including snacks!)

Do the words ‘work lunch’ get you dreaming about Uber Eats, dreading squished up bananas at the bottom of your bag, or lusting after your coworker’s delicious home-cooked meals? Although packing a healthy lunch – and actually eating it – seems like a huge effort, it’s valuable time spent on achieving a nutritious diet and healthy metabolism. After all, most of us eat five lunches and ten morning or afternoon snacks at work every week! Read on for some inspiration and tips on packing a healthy, delicious lunchbox, that will leave you as the envy of your office.

The science

Recent studies show that meal preparation is associated with reductions in body weight and improved dietary quality and variety. Packing a healthy lunch gives us the chance to plan what foods we need the most of, and deters us from a tempting vending machine, local takeaway or meal delivery option. Eating regular meals is also associated with an improved metabolism, improved energy levels and concentration, and reduces the risk of excessive hunger leading to over-eating.

So what should we have in our lunchbox? We should be eating a balance of fruit, vegetables and legumes, wholegrains, dairy or dairy alternatives and meat or meat alternatives.

LUNCH

Try following this portion guide that illustrates the types and quantities of foods that we should be aiming to incorporate in every main meal (lunch and dinner):

  • ½ plate (1.5-2 cups) of vegetables or salad
  • ¼ plate (80-120g) of lean protein such as red/white meat, eggs, tofu or legumes
  • ¼ plate (1/2 cup) of carbohydrate foods such as potato, sweet potato, corn, pasta, rice or bread
  • 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds

A healthy salad, homemade stir fry or curry, sandwich or wrap would definitely fit the bill.

SNACKS
 Fruit:
  • 1 medium piece of fruit (apple, banana, orange or mandarine, pear), 2 smaller fruits (apricots, kiwi fruit, plums) or 1 cup of diced, free fruit (melons, berries).
  • Yoghurt covered berries: using a toothpick or clean hands, coat fresh blueberries, strawberries or raspberries in reduced fat yoghurt. Freeze for one hour.
  • Banana toppers: Slice a banana once lengthwise and once widthwise. Coat with thin spread of nut butter (eg. low salt/sugar peanut butter) and topping of your choice (try shredded coconut, chia seeds, blueberries, muesli).
Vegetables:
  • 1 cup raw or salad veg dippers (try carrot, celery, capsicum, sugar snap peas) with nut butter, hommus, or cream cheese (reduced fat).
  • Spiced chick peas: drain and pat dry a can of chickpeas. Coat with 1 tsp olive oil and spices of your choice (try cumin, paprika, ginger, ground coriander). Roast for 30 minutes at 180 degrees. 100g = 1 serve of veg
  • Veggie chips: Peel veg of choice (try sweet potato, beetroot, kale, carrot) into thin slices. Drizzle with olive oil and coat with dried rosemary or oregano. Bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden, turning halfway.
  • If packaged snacks are your go-to for convenience and shelf life, look for snack packs of roasted chickpeas, fava beans, low-cal popcorn, sugar snap peas or edamame.
Breads and cereals:
  • Home made pita chips: brush a wholegrain wrap lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with chilli flakes, parmesan cheese or dried rosemary. Bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees or until golden. Cool and cut into chip-shaped triangles.
  • 1 slice multigrain bread, 3 crispbreads or ½ medium multigrain bread roll. Topping suggestions: Avocado and tomato, cream cheese and tomato with rocket, nut butter and banana, hommus with cheese and tomato, cheese and pear slices, cream cheese with blueberries or banana.
  • 30g muesli (look for no added sugar, check the nutrition panel for >4g fibre per 100g, and read the ingredients list to avoid excessive dried fruit, clusters and honey/maple syrup). Great with: 200g reduced fat yoghurt
  • Packaged options: rice wheels or corn thins are often available in snack-size packets.
Dairy/alternatives:
  • 250mL reduced fat milk, or a calcium fortified milk alternative (check the nutrition label for at least 100mg of calcium per 100mL). Serving suggestion: serve with ice and 30mL espresso for a tasty iced latte. Or blend with fruits of your choice for a tasty smoothie. These store well in a sealed glass bottle to keep in the work fridge.
  • 200g reduced fat yoghurt. Label suggestions: look for 2% fat or less. The healthiest choice is a plain yoghurt, which you can sweeten with fresh fruit if necessary. If choosing flavoured yoghurt, try to find an option with less than 12g of sugars per 100g.
  • 2 slices or 40g hard cheese (a matchbox size). Great with: tomato and a multigrain cracker
Lean meat/alternatives:
  • A boiled egg Great with: sliced avocado, a spread of hommus, cracker pepper or chilli flakes, sliced tomato and cheese on a multigrain cracker
  • 30g unsalted nuts, seeds or nut butter. Create your own trail mix by mixing nuts and seeds of your choice in an airtight container. Try almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds. Add dried fruit with caution, as they have a high concentration of natural sugars and can easily contribute extra calories!
  • Home made bliss balls – at 120 calories per bliss ball, these homemade alternatives are a great low-kilojoule alternative to processed, sweetened options available on the supermarket shelf: combine ¼ cup seeds of your choice, 300g raw whole nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews or a combo of your choice!), 2 tablespoons cacao powder and one teaspoon cinnamon in a food processor. Add 8 pitted dates, 1/2 cup desiccated coconut and 2 tsp vanilla extract and continue processing. Loosen with ¼ cup of water (or as needed). Roll into 3cm balls, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month. Makes 20 bliss balls.

 

This post was written by Regina Tilyard. Regina is an accredited practicing dietitian and longstanding member of the Stafford Physio team. Contact us to book an appointment with Regina. 

Our favourite dietitian-approved recipes

An essential part of a healthy diet is enjoying a wide variety of fresh, flavoursome foods to keep our taste buds happy, help us stay on track and most importantly, provide our body with an array of important nutrients. For a sustainable approach to a healthy diet, focus on enjoying more of the right foods, rather than trying to limit the “wrong” foods. To provide some recipe inspiration and help us appreciate the nutritional value of tasty home cooking, we asked our physiotherapists here at Stafford Physio and Pilates to provide us with their recipe go-tos. Our consulting dietitian, Regina, has provided some commentary as to why the meal is a good choice.

Allyson: Salmon Soba with Ginger and Citrus Dressing

Click here for the recipe by Jamie Oliver from Jamie Magazine

Regina says: Salmon, soba and citrus: a nutritious and flavoursome combination to add excitement to any weeknight dinner. Oily fish such as salmon are not only tasty and refreshing, but a powerhouse of important nutrients. Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3, which is an essential fatty acid that the body can’t produce on its own. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and protect against heart disease. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein, making this dish a great post-workout choice – especially when paired with soba noodles. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, which is a high quality protein based on amino acid composition and digestibility. Soba noodles are also packed with fibre to keep our digestive system healthy. Lastly, the addition of citrus fruit provides us with antioxidants for reducing cell damage, including the powerful antioxidant vitamin C that assists with the synthesis of collagen, connective tissues, bones and teeth. Overall, this nourishing combination provides one serve each of wholegrains and lean meat. To boost the vegetable content to two serves, dish up each portion with a side of 100g steamed green and/or orange vegetables per portion (fresh or frozen).

 

Lucy: Sticky Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Rice Noodles and Pickled Veg

Click here for the recipe from Delicious Magazine

Regina says: When it comes to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, it’s crucial to find ways to truly enjoy the foods we’re putting on our plate. This recipe is a taste explosion providing a great example of how we can combine fresh, whole foods to maximise flavour. Chilli, lemongrass and herbs are an excellent way to flavour food without contributing additional kilojoules or sodium. However, this recipe does contain a high amount of salt and high sodium sauces, making it an occasional treat to enjoy. But for those looking to reduce their sodium intake or those with high blood pressure, there’s a few easy replacements that can be made to enjoy similar Asian recipes. Try using salt reduced soy sauce, and diluting high sodium sauces with lime juice, pineapple juice or even water. Peanut oil, chilli oil and sesame oil are also delicious, low-salt alternatives that don’t sacrifice the desired taste. Once again, this recipe is protein packed due to the contribution of pork. Red meat is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that help us build muscle amongst other functions. Red meat is also a fantastic contributor of many important nutrients including iron for carrying oxygen and making red blood cells, zinc for wound healing and cell growth, and B12 for DNA synthesis and energy production. Lastly, this recipe highlights a recent health trend of “pickled”veg. However, it’s important to keep in mind that pickling foods with vinegar such as this recipe does not have the same fermentation effects of pickling food in brine. Again, these pickled veg are a high sodium choice making this recipe a tasty treat to be enjoyed on occasion. For a low salt alternative, simply julienne or grate some fresh veg such as carrot, zucchini and cabbage. Follow these steps for this tasty, Vietnamese favourite:

 

Fun fact: Ever wondered why our population is split into those who love coriander vs. those who can’t stand it? Based on genetics, some people have highly sensitive smell receptors resulting in the perception of coriander as a soap-like taste!

 

Sandra: Baked Salmon Fishcakes

See recipe below, this one is a family favourite from Sandra’s Mum!

Regina says: Passed down from Sandra’s mum, this seafood favourite is without a doubt worth adding to your repertoire. We’ve spoken about the sensational nutritional value of salmon, which might be made more appealing to the kids and non-seafood lovers when packaged into a tasty fishcake. The Heart Foundation recommends that we consume fish or seafood 2-3 times per week for a heart-healthy diet. As an added bonus, tinned salmon is a cheaper and longer lasting alternative to salmon fillets, making this a perfect dish to whip up as a last minute dinner or to meal prep tomorrow’s lunch. Next up, we have the benefit of carbohydrates from the bread crumbs and potatoes. Despite receiving a lot of negative attention, carbohydrates are a vital part of a healthy diet to assist with chronic disease prevention, weight control, and general wellbeing. As the preferred fuel source for our brains and muscles, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of the total daily kilojoules we consume. Carbohydrates are not something to fear, containing the same amount of kilojoules per gram as protein. Carbohydrates not only provide us with energy, but assist with boosting exercise performance, maximizing post exercise recovery, and improving brain function, mood and concentration. Try swapping half of the white potato for sweet potato for the added benefit of vitamin A. Lastly, plating these fishcakes with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables will make a delicious light meal that boosts your daily vegetable servings. Try including vegetables of different colours, to incorporate a variety of different nutrients and antioxidants. Try a fresh salsa with diced tomatoes, cucumber, yellow capsicum, red onion, mint and pineapple. Did someone say delicious? This recipe definitely deserves a regular spot on your menu:

INGREDIENTS

4 brushed potatoes with skin

4 slices of whole grain bread

1 415g can of red salmon

1 free range egg, beaten

Natural yoghurt.

Coriander to garnish

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line an oven tray with baking paper.

Boil potatoes for 20 minutes until cooked. Drain and mash with skins on.

Put bread in food processor or grate it. Add to the potatoes with the salmon.

Add in the egg and mix well.

Form the mixture into little cakes.

Roll in natural yoghurt and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with coriander on top and with a green salad or steamed veges of your choice.

 

Megan: Jamie Oliver’s Veggie Enchiladas

Click here for the recipe by Jamie Oliver

Regina says: Carbohydrates, protein, fibre, plenty of nutrients from hidden veg, and a mouth watering taste combination = dietitian approved! This recipe is a perfect example of a balanced meal that provides plenty of nourishment at a low kilojoule cost. As we discussed, the carbohydrates provided by the wraps and blackbeans are the preferred fuel source for our brain and muscles, and will help us last through a busy week of work and training. Secondly, this meal is another high protein option given the protein content of beans. Although plant based proteins are not naturally complete on their own (meaning that they are lacking in one or more essential amino acids), the combination of legumes and grains in this recipe provides what’s called complimentary proteins. In short, pairing the black beans with a wholegrain wrap provides an adequate amount of each essential amino acid, resulting in a complete amino acid profile that is desirable to support health. Together, they pack a protein punch that is highly bioavailable, making them a great occasional alternative to lean meat to reduce our saturated fat intake. Beans are also high in fibre, which functions to keep our digestive system healthy and can help prevent diet-related chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Fibre has a low glycaemic index, meaning that it helps stabilise our blood sugar levels and keeps us fuller for longer to assist with weight control. Lastly, apart from providing us with melted, tasty goodness, reduced fat cheese is an important source of calcium. Calcium is important for the development and maintenance of bone, as well as proper cardiac and neuromuscular functioning. Adequate calcium and vitamin D paired with a pilates class involving weight bearing, resistance exercise is an excellent recipe for preventing osteoporosis and skeletal injury. If you’re interested in how this tasty Mexican favourite can be adapted into such a nourishing, healthy meal, here’s how you can give it a go (serves 4):

 

We hope this has given you some inspiration for some delicious new meals to introduce to your repertoire in 2019!

New Year, New You: Pilates + Dietitian Packages

Health, fitness and body shape are amongst the most common topics for new years resolutions. Most people have a goal to make positive change in one or more of these areas! This year, we’ve decided to put together some packages to help you do just that!

Our New Year, New You packages offer a strong foundation to kick off 2019 with a bang while learning sustainable exercise and diet habits with the help of our qualified team.

NEW PILATES PATIENTS PACKAGE

Lucy Beumer | Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy treating pilates clientThis package is designed for new Pilates patients. It doesn’t matter whether you have never done Pilates before, or if you’ve done loads of Pilates at other studios; we create an individualised program for you, incorporating an appropriate level of challenge and the best exercises to help you meet your goals. This package includes:

  • Initial private Pilates consultation + musculoskeletal assessment
  • Private Pilates follow up session
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 4 Pilates classes within a 4 week period (check our timetable here)

$450 (valued at $557)

Any existing physiotherapy patients will receive an additional 15% off

 

EXISTING PILATES PATIENTS PACKAGE

Clinical pilates | Brisbane Physio | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Sandra DayThis package is designed for patients who have done Pilates with us previously and would like to return. Perhaps you got busy, were on a budget or decided to try another type of exercise; there’s no judgement here and we’d love to see you back in the studio! This package includes:

  • Private Pilates reassessment
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 10 Pilates classes within a 12 week period (check our timetable here)

$500 (valued at $605)

 

DETAILS

Initial private Pilates consultation

In this one-on-one appointment we assess your body, including any existing or previous injuries. Before your next appointment we use this information to develop your personalised Pilates program, ensuring that it is safe and that it addresses your needs for maximum benefit.

Private Pilates follow up session / reassessment

In this one-on-one session you learn your tailored Pilates program and how to use the Pilates equipment included in your program.

Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian

Your one-on-one consultation with our consulting dietitian Regina Tilyard will involve:

  • Discussing your current dietary patterns, and other factors that relate to nutrition and health (e.g. other health conditions or health goals, budget, work, lifestyle factors, stressors or barriers).
  • Setting realistic nutrition goals related to what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. These can be focused on the scales, or may simply involve feeling healthier and less lethargic, increased confidence, or incorporating new foods/recipes for yourself and your family.

You’ll go home with:

  • Specific dietary strategies, such as introducing new foods or recipes, swapping foods or finding alternatives, and/or developing techniques to address any emotional eating or food cravings.
  • Tailored and personal dietary education to increase your knowledge of food and nutrition, including written resources and tools.
Pilates classes

After learning your customised Pilates program in your private Pilates session, you’re ready to join our small group Pilates classes. Our classes are fully-supervised by a Pilates-trained physiotherapist, with a maximum of three other people who are all doing their own Pilates program.

 

If you’re ready to book, or have any questions, please call us on 3857 5815.

 

Terms and Conditions

Full payment is required at the time of your first appointment, which must be before 28 February 2019. Pilates classes must be completed within 4 weeks (New Patients Package) or 10 weeks (Existing Pilates Patients Package). If a refund is requested, any used portion of the package will be charged at full price, with the balance being returned. Appointments subject to availability; early bookings recommended to secure your preferred date and time. 

 

5 Healthy Nutrition Habits for the New Year

It’s no surprise that one of the most commonly made New Years resolutions is to eat healthier. And for good reason – the new year is a great opportunity for a fresh start, by setting up simple and sustainable strategies to improve our nutritional status in the long term. To help you achieve and maintain your nutrition-related New Years resolutions, try incorporating some of the following healthy habits into your everyday routine.

1. Eat breakfast every day

This one seems counterintuitive – most people think that skipping a meal equates to skipping kilojoules. Unfortunately, it turns out that our bodies are smarter than this, and studies have shown that regularly skipping meals, especially breakfast, can have the following consequences:

  • Excessive hunger that leads to overeating later in the day and subsequent weight gain
  • Storage of kilojoules as body fat, as our bodies interpret missed meals as “starvation”
  • Decreased concentration, productivity and mood

To improve your metabolism, regulate blood sugar and increase energy levels, it’s best to eat regular meals including breakfast. For some nourishing breakfast options your body will thank you for, try:

  • Whole grain toast with avocado or nut butter
  • Scrambled eggs or an omelette with spinach, tomato, capsicum, or veg of your choice
  • Rolled oats with skim milk and fruit, which can be prepared and refrigerated overnight if you are time poor or tend to overuse the snooze button
  • A fruit smoothie with reduced fat milk or yoghurt is a great option for those who find it difficult to stomach a full meal in the morning
2. Ditch the fad diet

To match the influx of nutritional-related goals, the New Year often graces us with new radical and misleading diet trends. A fad diet refers to any weight loss technique that is not supported by scientific research, often promising that a pricey, restrictive “diet” is the key to weight loss. However, research shows that fad diets lead to weight regain in the long term, and put our health at risk by restricting specific foods or food groups. Instead, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is better accomplished by making small, sustainable changes that assist you to enjoy healthy foods in the long term. Be wary of any diet, product or promotion with the following warning signs:

  • The diet involves skipping meals or excluding food groups
  • The person providing dietary information is unqualified
  • The diet is expensive or involves the purchase of “revolutionary” supplements or products
  • The diet takes the enjoyment away from eating with excessive rules and restrictions
  • The diet is based on anecdotal evidence or celebrity endorsement rather than scientific research
3. Variety is the spice of life

Enjoying a wide variety of healthy foods is useful strategy for maintaining healthy habits in the long term, especially for those who become bored of repetition. Incorporating a variety of foods within each food group, especially fruits and vegetables of all colours, will also help us achieve our recommended intakes of important nutrients, antioxidants and fibre. Exploring the supermarket for new foods or undertaking a weekly “mystery ingredient” challenge are great ideas to start with. Be sure to look for mostly unprocessed foods, and check the nutrition label to limit excessive sugar, fat and salt. For some unique dinner inspiration, try searching for a recipe that incorporates:

  • Salmon, to provide a generous amount of protein and omega 3
  • Whole grain couscous, a high fibre and high protein grain that takes just minutes to prepare
  • Chinese cabbage, an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants
  • Pomegranate, an anti-inflammatory and nutrient packed summer salad favourite
4. Practice mindful eating

Every food choice we make is influenced by factors other than nutrition, including taste preferences, the social aspect of eating, stress and emotions. However, our fast paced lifestyle can make it difficult to recognise and account for these factors. Mindful eating is a helpful skill for maintaining a positive outlook on food and reducing harmful eating behaviours. Eating mindfully involves recognising our body’s signals, engaging our senses, and eating without judgement. Some mindful techniques to practice may include:

  • Rating your hunger levels from 1-10 before having a meal or snack, to help distinguish physical hunger from psychological hunger, emotional hunger or boredom
  • Take breaks when eating to re-evaluate your hunger/fullness levels, by placing your cutlery down every few minutes or taking a sip of water
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your meal by considering the taste, smell, and texture of the food
  • Finish a meal when you feel full or nourished, rather than always eating until your plate is empty. Remember that leftovers can be stored for later.
  • Eat slowly, to help tune into your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Avoid eating when standing, watching TV or working. Eating with friends or family is a great way to eat slowly and take breaks by letting the conversation flow
5. Plan, plan and plan

Taking the time to plan for potential barriers to healthy eating can help us maintain our New Years goals when the going gets tough. After identifying what personal barriers may interfere with your positive food choices, allocate some strategies that may help you overcome these. For example:

  • If you’re time poor and work long hours, try to prepare food in advance or keep spare meals in the freezer (labelled with dates of course!)
  • If you have concerns about your budget, it might be helpful to create a shopping list, purchase fruit and vegetables that are in season, and peruse the specials advertised at your local supermarket
  • If you cook for someone who’s not on board with new foods or recipes, plan how you can adapt existing recipes or improve the nutritional value of your own serving (e.g. having spaghetti bolognese with zucchini noodles rather than pasta)

Hopefully these suggestions are useful for helping you enjoy healthy foods and improve your nutrition habits throughout 2019!

This post was written by Regina Tilyard. Regina is an accredited practicing dietician and longstanding member of the Stafford Physio team.

Why your feet hurt more in summer

Ever wonder why you get arch pain or sore feet in summer? Summer brings the silly season, sunshine, sandy beach trips and more people wearing sandals and thongs, and with that we often see an increase in patients presenting with arch pain in their feet.

The most common cause of arch pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick collagen structure that runs length ways along the bottom of your foot. It is an important structure for the stability and strength of your arch and foot. Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the fascia.

There are two common ways to injure the plantar fascia – compression and tension. Compression injuries result in direct trauma to the tissue. Imagine jumping off a step and landing on a hard surface. Tension injuries are often a result of overuse. The fascia and foot muscles are over stressed caused pain and inflammation.

Tips to prevent plantar fasciitis:

  • Increase your activity or training level gradually
  • Walk on the firmer sand at the beach
  • Wear appropriate footwear for the activity you are doing
  • Replace your running shoes regularly
  • Alternate between barefoot/thongs and joggers
  • If you have orthotics, wear them as much as you can
  • Stretch your feet and calf muscles after exercising
  • Include foot and calf strength exercises in your training program

Early treatment of plantar fasciitis is essential in reducing pain and limiting any secondary complications that can occur. If you suspect you might have plantar fasciitis is important to see your physiotherapist for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.

Treatment of plantar fasciitis may involve: Allyson Flanagan | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Physio Brisbane North

  • Strapping with rigid or rocktape
  • Icing
  • Massage
  • Gentle pain free stretching
  • Mobilisation the foot and ankle joints
  • Strengthening exercises for your foot and arch muscles
  • Strengthening exercises for your core and hip muscles to ensure appropriate alignment of your legs
  • Orthotics
  • Training modifications and advice
Please call or book online to see one of our Physiotherapists.

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre. 

 

How to fit in exercise over the festive season

Silly season is well and truly upon us. In amongst all the festive fun, exercise often falls to the bottom of our priority list. Here are some tips to help you fit in some exercise and maintain your fitness at this busy time of year.

Focus on quality over quantity

Even a short 5-10min workout done well is better than no workout at all! Always focus on technique rather than the number of reps you do.

Snap up opportunities to get in some incidental exercise

Park further away from the shops and get some extra walking in. Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.

Use your body weight rather than gym equipment

There are plenty of body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, calf raises, push ups that can be done without needing to fit in time to actually go to the gym.

Combine play time with exercise

Get the kids involved and go cycling, walking or swimming with your kids. It’s fun AND great exercise.

Set your alarm earlier

Get up just 10 minutes earlier and go for a short walk. Mornings are the coolest time of the day and great for clearing your head.

Turn off the TV or use the ad breaks to exercise

Most TV shows have at least 15 minutes of ads within an hour of TV. Utilise this as workout time! We can give you some simple stretches and exercises that can be done in the lounge room if you’d like!

Plan ahead and make it a date!

If you know you’ll be busy in the morning, plan time in the afternoon for exercise or vice versa. Locking in a set time will help you commit.

Make your Christmas catch-up a ‘walk and talk’

Grab a coffee with your bestie and go for a walk. That’s multi-tasking at its finest!

 

We will be open over the Christmas/New Years period, with a number of Pilates classes running each day (public holidays excepted). Click here for more details or here to book online.

Slope ready: 6 exercises to prep for skiing

Are you escaping the heat and skiing overseas this summer? If so, now’s the time to get ski-fit!

We find that lots of people have ski trips planned for Japan and Canada over the summer months. And unfortunately a couple come back to us in March with injuries from their holiday. Now is the perfect time to get ready for your summer skiing so that you can make the most of it and escape injury-free.

Not to worry if you’re not hitting the slopes; these exercises will help tone up your legs ready for your summer beach trip!

Strengthening your legs prior to your ski trip is the best way to prevent injury and make the most of your time skiing. You might not be surprised to hear that knee injuries are the most common skiing injury. Here are a few exercises to strengthen those legs and prepare your knees for what’s about to hit them! Pilates is also great at building strength and we can customise your program to help get you ready for the slopes. If you need further help, personalised exercises or would like to try Pilates, come and see our experienced physiotherapists.

bridging | bridge holds | best exercises for skiing BRIDGE HOLDS
  • Heels close towards bottom, squeeze bottom muscles and lift hips towards the ceiling.
  • Be careful not to arch your back.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds
  • Do 10-1 2reps
  • 2 sets

 

wall squat | best exercises for skiing | ski stretchesWALL SQUAT
  • Leaning with your back supported on the wall, feet out in front and even weight in both feet.
  • Slowly slide down the wall into a squat (knees bent about 60 degrees or less if knee pain).
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, and then push up through your heels with spine along the wall into standing.
  • Repeat 10-12 reps

 

 

squat exercise for skiing | best exercises to prepare to skiSQUATS
  • With even weight in both feet, slowly bend knees, stick bottom out like sitting back on a chair.
  • Keep your chest up tall. Knees bent no more than 90degrees. Watch knees don’t come forward over your toes.
  • Push up through your heels back into standing.
  • Do 10-12 reps
  • 2 sets

 

 

LUNGES
  • Standing with one foot forwards and one back
  • Both toes facing forwards
  • Lunge by lowering your back knee towards the ground then return.
  • Keeps hips square
  • Make sure front knee stays vertical and in line with your second toe.
  • Do 10-15 reps

 

 

 

single leg squat | ski exercises | stretches for skiing

SINGLE LEG SQUAT
  • Standing on one leg.
  • Keep hips square and level
  • Squat with bottom going backwards and chest forwards (like sitting on a chair).
  • Push up through your heels back into a standing position.
  • Do 10-12 reps

 

 

WALL STANDWall stand exercise for skiing | ski stretches
  • Standing tall on one leg, gently turn out other knee to push into the wall.
  • Raise this foot if you are able to.
  • Hold pressure at wall for 5-10-15 seconds.
  • Do 10-12reps

* You should feel this in the glute on your standing leg

 

 

 

 

If you have questions, or would like personalised exercises to help you prepare for your holidays, please call or book online to see one of our Physiotherapists.

 

Simple lifestyle changes to improve your health and wellbeing

As January draws to a close, only 11 months remain to achieve your New Year goal of improved health and wellbeing. Traditionally, January and February are when people are most motivated – although sometimes the approach is a little too gung-ho. Improving your health and wellbeing is best approached as the turtle not the hare; making small changes slowly is the best way to prevent injuries, make continuous progress towards your goal, and to form new and lasting habits.

Here are some suggestions for a healthier you:

  • If you sit at a desk during the day, try to get up every 30 minutes. Walk to the kitchen/toilet/printer; maybe even do some squats!
  • Shoulder rolls and gentle neck stretches during the day may help relieve neck and shoulder tension, especially if you use a computer
  • Park your car further from the bus-stop, train station or workplace and walk the extra distance (2 minutes or 20 minutes depending on your fitness)
  • Try to be active on your lunch break rather than sitting – go for a walk,
    go to the gym, do some stretches, stand up to eat
  • Assess your workstation ergonomics – check your elbows are at 90 degrees, the top of your computer screen is at eye level, and your feet are flat on the floor
  • Add some stretching to your day – morning, lunch, evening – whatever time suits you
  • Have a walk-and-talk meeting rather than sitting around a table – you can still take your coffee!
  • Don’t forget to breathe. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, then out through your mouth. Repeat 4 times.
  • Schedule time to exercise. If it’s a ‘date’, you’ll be less likely to skip it
  • Exercise with a friend or family member
  • Remember that exercise doesn’t have to mean running a marathon. Find what you enjoy doing – boxing, bushwalking, swimming, Pilates, yoga, running, weights, crossfit. There are so many options out there!
  • When eating, take your time. Chew your food and enjoy it.
  • Have that niggly pain assessed and diagnosed; prevention is always better than cure.
  • And finally, don’t forget to put a smile on your dial – it keeps those face muscles strong and you never know who might be watching. ☺

Not sure how to make small and safe changes to your lifestyle? Our dedicated team of physiotherapists can help. We are movement and exercise specialists who want to help you improve your health and wellbeing. We recognise that all our clients have different goals and abilities and are always happy to help.

If you’re unsure about your body’s abilities, how to perform an exercise, or need further lifestyle advice – we are only a phone call away.

This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor.