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Coping With Smoke Polluted Air

December 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

Over the past few months NSW has experienced some of the highest air pollution ever seen before and as you’ve probably noticed, it has been one of the longest periods of air pollution on record for NSW. Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick have put together some information to help you understand how this can affect an individual’s health, symptoms to look out for and what you can do to stay healthy despite the smoke haze.

 

Who is at higher risk of being affected by bushfire smoke?

 

Smoke polluted air is a problem because the fine particles which make up smoke, penetrate deep into the lungs and can cause a range of health problems. The following groups of people are at a greater risk of being affected by bushfire smoke:

 

  • People with pre-existing heart or lung conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, pulmonary disease or chronic bronchitis
  • Pregnant women
  • Older people
  • Young children

 

What symptoms should I look out for?

 

Smoke polluted air can trigger a range of symptoms. Generally, anyone may experience symptoms such as itchy or burning eyes, throat irritation, runny nose or coughing.

Those in high risk groups are more likely to experience symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

 

View of Sydney City from Edgecliff on 5/12/19 at 6pm.

 

What can I do to reduce my chance of being affected?

 

1. Pay attention to media reports and check online for updates on the air quality in your area

 

The ‘Real-time Air Quality Index’ gives a rating of the air quality in your area from good, to moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, very unhealthy and then lastly, hazardous. This can help you determine whether it is safe to be outdoors for extended periods of time.

 

2. Limit time spend outside

 

This is particularly important for children who may be less likely to worry about the impact of spending a lot of time outside in polluted air. Try to keep activities inside when the air is bad and avoid outside jobs such as mowing the lawn or activities such as walking or running when the air is polluted. On these bad days, do an inside workout or head to your gym to still get that workout in.

 

3. Keep medication on hand and follow the treatment plan for your condition

 

If you take medication, make sure to keep it on you wherever you go and seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen. Symptoms can occur several days after smoke is inhaled, so it’s important to stay vigilant with treatment plans.

 

4. Avoid physical activity outside

 

When you exercise you breathe more to get more oxygen to your working muscles. Exercising outside means that you are significantly increasing your exposure to polluted air. There is lots of ways you can stay active indoors!

 

5. Buy a mask

A mask ‘P2’ otherwise known as ‘N95’ can help protect your lungs from smoke or ash. Basically, a thicker mask will filter out very fine particles entering your airway. You can pick up one of these masks from Bunnings, Chemist Warehouse or a number of other hardware stores.

 

If you are experiencing difficulties managing your symptoms and exercising with the continued smoke haze, the Accredited Exercise Physiologists at Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick are able to help you exercise safely and within your limits.

 

Written by Courtney Maher

Longevity’s 10 tips to a healthier festive season

December 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick understand it’s not always easy to stay healthy over the festive season. There’s often a Christmas party or family and friend gathering every weekend leading up to the new year and it can make sticking to your health and fitness goals challenging. That’s why Longevity’s Exercise Physiologists in Edgecliff, Randwick, Marrickville and Lindfield have put together some helpful tips to help you enjoy the festive season whilst also staying on track.

 

 

1. Watch food portions

We know it’s sometimes difficult to say no to that second serving of party food when it tastes so good. And while weight gain won’t happen if you over indulge once or twice, problems can arise when going back for a second serving or having bigger portions becomes normal and habitual. So, try to stay in tune with your serving sizes and how often you are going back for a second serving of food over this festive season.

 

2. Get active with others

The Physical Activity guidelines don’t go on holidays, so meeting them is the goal all year-round. To continue getting at least 2 strength sessions in per week and at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, you may need to get creative. Can you go for a walk with a friend or visiting relative instead of going out for a meal? Can you set up a game of cricket, soccer, or have swimming races, or even a family outing to the gym instead of sitting and watching television or playing video games?

 

3. BYO healthy share foods

Have you been asked to bring nibbles, dessert, or a salad etc…? Why not make sure you have a healthy option that doesn’t undo your health goals by bringing it yourself! A quick google and a few simple ingredient tweaks and you’ll be able to indulge in your favourite foods and save on calories. For example, swapping dips for homemade hummus, bliss balls instead of rumballs or veggies and salad rather than bringing along that indulgent potato bake.

 

4.Watch the alcohol

Alcohol can have a big impact on our daily kilojoule intake without us sometimes realising or taking it seriously. One way to reduce the amount of alcohol consumption without feeling like you are missing out is to opt for a healthier option. For example, could you make a healthy punch with lots of fruit and sparkling water instead of an alcoholic punch or can you alternate alcoholic drinks with glasses of water. It will help keep you hydrated at the same time!

 

5. Challenge the mindset and set time aside for movement

Frantically running around shopping, socialising, and cleaning might seem like it’s exercise, but it may not be enough to keep your fitness on track. Exercise can quickly get pushed too low on the priority list at this time of year, but it’s important to set aside time for movement. Even two bouts of 10 minutes is better than nothing and you will feel a lot better for it.

There is also often a lot of emphasis put on the food at social gatherings. While there is nothing wrong with this, why not challenge your guests to bring their joggers or swimmers with them to the next party, instead of a baked good and plan a walk or swim together.

 

6. Eat mindfully

Allow yourself to enjoy your favourite holiday food and try to take a 10 min break after your first serving of food. You might realise you are full or want only a smaller portion of seconds. Another tip is to only pick the things you really love and leave the rest. Often, we don’t really want it, it’s just because it’s in front of us that we eat it. So, if you can be mindful of this and either practice self-control or move away from the food, it will help you to eat to satisfaction but not over fullness.

 

7. Travelling? Pre-plan how and when you will exercise

Going to a new destination without your usual workout options can mean you forget all about moving your body. That’s why it’s a good idea to think about how you will exercise before you get there because its likely motivation isn’t going to get you past the hotel buffet, pool side cocktails or afternoon sunbaking. Try to view it as an opportunity to explore new training styles such as a local running group, a dance class, or plan to explore a new location by walking rather than using transport.

 

8. Fill up on nutritious foods

Often calorie dense or high sugar foods don’t make us feel full and that’s why it’s easy to eat more of these types of foods. To lessen the temptation to fill up on calorie or sugary rich foods, make sure you’re eating nutritious foods throughout the day.

 

9. Out of sight, out of mind

After eating, try putting away treats in the pantry or fridge so you aren’t tempted to keep eating them. Try storing treats in a place that isn’t the first thing you see when you open the pantry or fridge. Another great tip is to put treats in the freezer and only pull them out when people are coming over. The effort of unfreezing something, will soon make you less inclined to eat it!

 

10. Don’t forget about sleep

Staying up later because of parties or other social events can mean you don’t get enough sleep and are more tired during the day. This can mean you are more likely to opt for sugary foods and have less energy to be active in the day. So, don’t forgot to get enough hours of sleep per night!

 

The team at Longevity hope you enjoy time spent with family and friends this festive season. If you want support staying on track, getting enough movement in this festive season, or perhaps you’ve got time to get started on improving your health, Longevity has a number of Accredited Exercise Physiologists available over the holidays, open every day except public holidays. You can get in contact with the Longevity team on 1300 964 002.

 

Written by Courtney Maher

The childhood obesity epidemic

November 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

Longevity Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick address the issues of childhood obesity and what we all can do to help combat this epidemic.

We hear a lot about adult obesity and the need to increase adult’s physical activity, but what about children? In 2017-18, 1 in 4 Australian children and adolescents aged 2-17 were overweight or obese (1) and only 23% of children aged 5–14 met the National Physical Activity recommendations every day (2). At Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Randwick and Marrickville, we want to get the message across that the increasing number of children who are overweight or obese can be reversed!

 

How do you know if your child’s weight is healthy?

A child’s weight status is determined using an age and sex specific percentile for Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. You can measure your child’s BMI from the Better Health Channel. Click here.

How much exercise?

A common misconception is that kids don’t need to do formalised exercise; that they get their exercise from playing or at school in physical education classes. This is rarely the case since children now spend so much time using technology. According to the National Physical Activity Guidelines, 5-17 years old’s need to accumulate 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day (3), in addition to several hours of light physical activities. Providing children with the opportunity to engage in formalised exercise is essential for meeting this guideline.

 

Formalised exercise simply means that it is planned in advance and normally has a set time frame and goal. For example, organised sport and sport-specific training, walks or bike rides, independent gym training; are all ways children can achieve 60 minutes of exercise per day.

 

Can your child squat, lunge, push, row, hip hinge etc?

The Physical Activity Guidelines also advise that 5-17 year old’s should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone on at least 3 days of the week. Performing strengthening exercises is essential for children’s motor control and coordination development and it lays the foundation for more complex movements and advanced sport training as they get older.

Strength training should start using children’s own body weight as the main form of resistance and then gradually build up to involve additional load. The earlier children are exposed to basic fundamental gym-based movements, the more competent they are going to be and the easier it will be for them to meet the physical activity guidelines as adults.

 

Charlie demonstrating a body weight squat and weighted squat. Weighted squats are much harder, helping to build strength.

 

Keep in mind…

Children should not be held back from being physically active because of any condition, disability or injury. Exercise can play an important role in helping them manage their condition and preventing lifestyle related diseases.

 

 What do we need to do?

  • Make exercise fun and praise and encourage children’s involvement
  • Be a role model: show children you enjoy living a healthy lifestyle yourself and they will model your behaviours and attitude
  • Limit sedentary recreational screen time to no more than 2 hours per day
  • Meet the physical activity guidelines!

 

The Accredited Exercise Physiologists at Longevity have the skills and knowledge to prescribe effective exercise interventions that are individualised to children’s abilities and physical activity needs. If you would like help getting your child or children moving well and more, then get in contact with the team at Longevity on 1300 964 002.

 

(1) https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/overweight-obesity/overweight-and-obesity-an-interactive-insight/contents/what-is-overweight-and-obesity

(2) https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/da014fb0-b424-4743-bb47-05782f21aa2b/6_6-childhood-weight.pdf.aspx

(3) https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-(strateg-phys-act-guidelines#npa517

 

Written by Courtney Maher

You can’t fly without pointing your toes!

November 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

After making your way to the airport, finding a car park, waiting in lines to get your baggage checked and your body frisked, making your way to the gate, boarding the plane, finding room for your luggage and (hopefully) winning the passive aggressive battle for the arm rest, it’s time to relax… right? Based on the most recent evidence, you should probably keep fidgeting.

Benefits to moving during a flight.

  1. Increasing blood flow:

As we know, blood carries all the nutrients required for our muscles to thrive – recovering from workouts, maintaining flexibility and helping to prevent joint pain can all be achieved through simple movements on your flight.

  1. Reduce the risks associated with blood pooling in your legs:

Just as blood will become hard on the surface of a clot, if blood is stagnant for a long period of time it will tend to stick together and form a clot. During a flight, this pooling and subsequent clot can form in your legs and travel back to your lungs and heart, potentially causing a blockage and serious medical issues.

  1. Reduce the risk of postural hypotension at the end of the flight:

Without having the assistance of your leg muscles to move blood back up your body, the amount of blood your heart can pump out often reduces significantly. As a result, when you stand up to stretch after the flight is over, it is possible for you to feel very dizzy, light headed and possibly fall over due to “postural hypotension”. Avoiding this is as simple as the advice in the rest of this blog…. Move! Point you toes, do some stretches and periodically stand up to give your heart a helping hand.

Recommendations on moving during your flight!

  • Do not go more than 2 hours without standing up, walking up and down the isle, or taking some time to flex every muscle in your lower body sequentially from your feet up to your glutes.
  • Regularly point and flex your toes to encourage the blood out of your feet… the more the better!

 

Who is at risk?

If you regularly travel for business, drink alcohol/take sleeping pills to help flights go by quicker, consume birth control, or you are typically inactive you are at a significantly increased risk to experience the negative side effect listed above.

Next time you travel, try this quick stretching routine — 30 seconds per stretch, once every 2 hours:

Written By- Mitchell Hooper

If you are experiencing or have experienced difficulties with any of the issue stated or any other difficulties see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology EdgecliffLindfield, Marrickville and Randwick to assess and empower you to begin moving again, taking the right steps towards reducing your long-term pain!

Back Pain

November 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick regularly treat clients with back pain. According to the WHO, the likelihood that any person in a developed country will develop low back pain at some point in their life is 60-70%, with the likelihood of having low back pain in any given year with the highest prevalence for those between 35 and 55. Back pain is also in the top 10 diseases for years of quality life lost due to poor health, disability or early death.

 

 

If you have back pain, what should you do?

 

First thing first, you should see a qualified allied health professional, such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, to help you along the way. If a single event brought on this pain, you should look to get yourself checked out by a doctor.

 

The prescription for low back pain will vary depending on the individual and the circumstances, but the general principles of an effective program might surprise you:

 

  1. Rest (acute injury)

If you have injured your back during an activity and felt immediate pain, a very short period of rest is likely best for you to start. This should be as brief as possible and you should continue to perform as many light, pain free movements as time permits.

 

  1. Improve your posture

It is well researched that “perfect posture” is not as important as we once thought, but changing your posture is very, very important and the phrase “your best posture is your next posture” accurately sums up the current recommendation.

 

  1. Begin controlled loading of your low back

This should start with very easy, bodyweight movements and work all the way up to proper hip hinging and loading of the low back. This is to avoid the self-perpetuating cycle of injury that can often lead to a larger, chronic issue:

 

Injure your back –> Rest your back –> Use the other muscles instead of your low back –> Low back gets weaker –> Re-injure your low back

 

OR

 

Injure your back –> Short rest –> Progressively overload the tissues of your low back with good technique –> low back increases strength –> Increased resilience and decreased risk of re-injury –> Improved function

 

You may be at any point in this cycle, but regardless a safe and effective program is often more complex than a simple framework, although the framework does not change.

 

If you are experiencing or have experienced back pain see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick to assess and empower you to begin moving again, taking the right steps towards reducing your long-term pain!

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