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Managing those dizzy moments!

Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual coffee morning last Friday, it was great to see so many of you!

If you missed it, here is a summary of the talk given by Heba Jackson, Postural Stability Instructor and Falls Specialist Physiotherapist with a specialist interest in Vertigo;

Dizziness

This guide is designed to provide you with some general information regarding symptoms of dizziness. It can be one of the most common causes of falls and should not be ignored. There are some simple tips that you can try to manage your symptoms, however you must seek the advice of your GP to have the cause of your dizziness diagnosed.

What is dizziness?

What is meant by dizziness can be different for different people. Some people may report that the “world spins”, others may report feeling “lightheaded” or “swarmey” while other may feel “unbalanced.” The different feelings can indicate what may be causing those symptoms, so when talking to a health professional it can be helpful to know:

  • How you would describe those symptoms in your own words
  • What activities bring on the symptoms
  • How often they occur (daily, monthly, yearly) and for how long does it last (seconds, minutes, hours)

Most Common Causes

  • Postural Hypotension
  • Inner ear problems – such as labyrinthitis, Benign Positional Paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s Disease
  • Problems with Heart Rate or rhythm
  • Dehydration
  • Side effect of many medications – particularly those that affect the heart or brain.

Postural Hypotension

A drop in blood pressure that occurs when changing position from lying to sitting or sitting to standing. This leads to a temporary reduction in blood supply to organs and muscles and can lead to falls.

Symptoms

Most commonly occur after standing up and can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness
  • Feeling nauseous, hot and clammy
  • Blurring, greying, blacking or tunnelling vision
  • Feeling vague or muddled
  • Fainting
  • Weakness or Fatigue
  • Pain across back and shoulders
How to Measure

Ideally this should be assessed by a Health Professional. However, many participants have got their own blood pressure machine at home and may want to test their own blood pressure before discussing their findings with their GP.

Follow the instructions provided with your own blood pressure machine.

  • Sit or lie down for at least 5 minutes
  • Measure your blood pressure and write it down
  • Leave the cuff around your arm and rest for 2 minutes to allow your arm to recover
  • Stand up slowly
  • Retake your blood pressure within 1 minute and write it down

If there is a drop in the blood pressure between lying (or sitting) and standing you may have Postural Hypotension. Discuss your findings with a health professional.

Things to do if you have Postural Hypotension
  • Speak to a Doctor/GP/Pharmacist  to review your medication
  • Drink a large glass of cold water before standing up
  • Ensure you are drinking enough during the day
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and large meals
  • Try not to bend over when reaching for something. You should squat with your knees.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods. 
  • Avoid sudden changes in position. Try counting to 10 before moving.
  • Exercise can reduce your symptoms.
Suggested Exercises

Marching

  • Sitting in your chair, march your legs briskly on the spot.
  • Repeat this for 10 seconds, three times.

Leg Extensions

  • Sitting down with both feet flat on the floor. Lift one foot off the floor until your knee is straight
  • Hold for 10 seconds, then slowly lower your foot back to the floor.
  • Repeat three times on each leg.

Ankle Exercises

  • Sitting in chair, place the heel of one foot on the floor then lift it and put the toes on the same spot.
  • Repeat three times on each foot

Vertigo

People suffering from vertigo may report feeling as though the world is spinning or that they are spinning. There are a number of conditions that can cause vertigo and they can be treated in different ways. You may be referred to Audiology or Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) by your GP for further tests or treatment.

Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo (BPPV)

This is the most common type of vertigo and occurs on movements of the head, such as bending down, looking up, turning head quickly, lying down and rolling over in bed. The symptoms are often brief and last less than 1 minute, and are caused by some loose chalk crystals getting into the wrong part of your inner ear.

A health professional with the appropriate skills and knowledge may complete a test such as the Dix Hallpike Test to determine if you are suffering from BPPV. This condition can be then be easily treated with an Epley manoeuvre.

Other conditions…

Many other causes of vertigo or dizziness can be treated with medication or exercises depending on the diagnosis. It is therefore important that you seek professional advice.

Thank you to Heba for the useful guidance. The next virtual coffee morning will take place on Friday 26th February, we hope to see you there!

Is exercise safe for the older population?

You may believe exercise is only for younger people, but think again!

Dr Nick Cavill, a NHS health-promotion consultant says “As people get older and their bodies decline in function, physical activity helps to slow that decline. It’s important they remain active or even increase their activity as they get older.”

So how much exercise should you do?

The recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. This can be completed over a number of days; for instance 10-15 minutes each morning and 10-15 minutes each evening or 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week, will certainly make sure you are reaching the recommendation.

What is moderate exercise?

You need to do an activity that makes your body work a little harder without it being painful or causing you to become too out of breath. You should always be able to maintain a conversation while exercising.

The amount and type of activity will vary dependant on your individual circumstances. Always choose exercises that you feel confident to do safely. As you exercise more, you’ll be able to do more. Always build up slowly and be patient, you’ll gradually see improvements in your general wellbeing as you continue to be active. If in doubt always seek professional medical advice before starting any new activities.

What exercise is suitable?

Ideally, try to do a mixture of activities to help improve your strength, balance and flexibility plus gentle aerobic activity to work your heart, lungs and circulatory system.

Walking is an excellent activity for all levels, include a few of our online WellBalanced exercises to work on your strength and balance and you’ll certainly notice a difference in no time!

Other recommended activities include Yoga, Pilates, Dancing, Tai Chi, Playing Tennis, Golf or Bowls and Swimming. Walking football and Walking Netball have become popular sports for older people, check with your local leisure centre or Wellbeing service to see what is available in your area.

AHS Wellbeing Online offers a range of classes for older people, including;

  • Chair Based Pilates
  • Body Maintenance- Movement, Strength & Stretch
  • Pilates for the absolute beginner (mat based)
  • Stretch Classes with Susie
  • WellBalanced Classes

Visit our home page to find out more

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Find Your Balance with these 5 Lifestyle Keys

If you want to find a lifestyle balance that takes back control of your wellbeing, there are 5 key areas to consider. Each will have a profound effect on your daily life and are a great starting point for unlocking your potential to be the best you can be.

The 5 lifestyle keys are:

1.Food

Research has shown that what we eat affects both our physical and mental health and is associated with our sense of Wellbeing. Keeping a food diary for a week can help you see if you are eating well and help you identify any changes you may need to make to improve your health and wellbeing.

2. Exercise

Being active and taking regular exercise promotes overall health and wellbeing as well as reducing stress. You also become stronger, fitter and less prone to injury. If you’re not currently exercising regularly, try starting with 10 minutes of gentle activity such as walking, dancing to your favourite tune or just try to spend less time sitting and more time moving, you’ll soon feel the benefits!

3. Sleep

We all sleep, but how well do you sleep? Sleeping improves mental and emotional wellbeing. It also allows your body to rest and repair, recover from illness, boosts your immune system and gives you energy. Try to get into a regular sleep routine and make sure you’re sleeping in a restful environment.

4. Habits

We go through each day following our usual habits, often on auto pilot, not noticing what we do! Start to take notice, are these habits useful or are they preventing you achieving what you hope for? If you feel you need to change your habits, check out last weeks blog when we looked at how habits are formed and how we can learn new habits.

5. Thoughts

How is your inner dialogue? Does that voice in your head make you feel strong, capable and in control? Or is it full of self doubt, criticism and negative thoughts. Your inner dialogue can either support or sabotage the changes in the lifestyle you wish for. Notice the thoughts that affect your actions and start to recognise if they help or hinder you.

We will cover these in more detail over the coming weeks and provide some useful strategies to help you find a lifestyle balance that helps you take back control of your wellbeing, so don’t forget to check in next week!

Exercise: What should it feel like?

If you are new to exercising or have other underlying health conditions, it’s difficult to know what you should be feeling and have the confidence to continue if you are unsure.

If you normally have painful joints e.g. Arthritis, you may think exercise will do harm. The opposite is true – Moving and Exercising the joints is essential to keep them healthy and has been proven to reduce pain and improve how well your joints work.

It is so important not to avoid activity because of painful joints, it will lead to increased stiffness and weaker muscles – this is known as the deconditioning cycle

Am I doing more harm than good?

It is totally normal to feel a bit uncomfortable or even sore after exercise – especially if it is something new or you haven’t done it for a while. But remember this does not mean you are doing harm. Any discomfort should settle and as you exercise more regularly, this discomfort will become less and less – a sign that your muscles are getting stronger and joints are working better.

Am I doing enough?

We are recommended to be doing 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week, but what does this mean?

Aerobic exercise is any activity that increases your breathing and heart rate (e.g. walking, swimming, dancing, gardening), and will improve your general stamina and fitness and have many positive effects on your health and wellbeing.

What is moderate?

You should be exercising at a level that increases your heart rate and breathing, you will feel warmer and you should still be able to talk – but not sing! If you like numbers, it should feel like around 5-6 on a scale of 0-10

150 minutes a week sounds like a lot!

If you haven’t been exercising much recently, this may seem like an unreachable goal. But don’t worry, even small increases in your activity levels can have positive effects on many aspects of your health and wellbeing. Create smaller, more achievable goals like aiming for a 10 minute chunk of moderate intensity exercise per day to begin with and slowly build up from there if you are able to.

Strength & Balance Exercise

Including exercise to improve muscle strength and balance is important to maintain independence, prevent falls and make everyday life a little easier. You can do this by using weights, resistance bands or your own body weight.

To see improvements in strength you need to work with a resistance that tires your muscles to a point where you can’t do any more of that exercise, and would need a short rest before repeating another set of the exercise.

Balance specific exercises should also feel like a real challenge. The aim is that you create a little ‘safe’ wobble in your body so that you are working all your proprioceptive nerve endings (that tell your body where it is in space), and your reflex reactions. This is challenging your nervous system and to see results balance exercises should be practiced every day.

These exercises should feel like a real challenge:

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”

Here’s how to make it feel easier!

  • Hydrate – make sure you drink plenty, if you are even a little dehydrated exercise will feel harder
  • Eat well – A balanced, healthy diet will give your body what it needs to work most efficiently for you
  • Exercise with a buddy or group if able to – Increase your enjoyment of exercise and time may pass more quickly
  • Pace yourself – Don’t be tempted to increase your exercise by too much, even if you’re having a “good” day. You may feel wiped out and be put off trying again.

It shouldn’t feel like this:

  • If you experience chest pain, dizziness or you are very short of breath -stop immediately and seek medical advice
  • If you experience any unusual or sharp joint/muscle pain while exercising – first check you are doing it correctly. If it persists stop and contact your instructor for advice.

By Emma Rollings, AHS WellBalanced Clinical Lead & AHS Wellbeing Coach

Check our online classes to see what exercises might suit you!

What does Wellbeing mean?

The use of the word ‘Wellbeing’ has become common place these days. Have you ever wondered what is actually means?

Wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.” and the World Health Organisation describes wellbeing as “enabling people to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, form positive relationships with others and meaningfully contribute to the community” 

Wellbeing has many components including mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual, and there are many ways to define it.

Research shows you can improve your Wellbeing by doing 5 simple things. Developed by the New Economics Foundation and widely used by many health organisations including Mind and the NHS, the 5 Ways to Wellbeing can help you cope better with stress and to live longer, healthier and happier!

Here are the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and some ideas to get started:

1. Connect with people around you

This could be with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

2. Be active

Simply put, try to move more. Try to do something that you enjoy, such as walking, running, an exercise class, dancing or gardening at a level that suits your mobility and fitness. See the Government guidelines to see how much exercise is recommended.

3. Take notice of things around you

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice
the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to
work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around
you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

4. Keep learning new things

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course.
Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an
instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will
enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as
well as being fun.


5. Help others

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile.
Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in.
Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community
can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people
around you.

Need help? Visit our AHS Services to find out how we can help you.

Pilates for all, with Katie Woodgate

Katie is a presenter and freelance trainer and has worked on a variety of projects e.g. workplace health, family programmes, active schools, SENCO alive n’ kickin’, 12 week weight loss programmes and diabetes prevention workshops for Adur & Worthing, Mid-Sussex and East Sussex county councils.

Katie offers a range of classes to suit all levels, so no excuses, find your session and book today

PILATES CHAIR BASED WITH KATIE

A gentle class of movements and stretches to help improve your posture, balance and wellbeing.  Using Pilates moves to stabilise and strengthen your pelvic, core and abdominal muscles and increase posture, flexibility and mobility, as well as build muscular strength & maintain bone health. 

PILATES WITH KATIE

Standing and seated exercise to improve balance, strength and posture. With the aim of making everyday activities such as walking, housework and gardening easier and preventing falls. This class will work on all the key elements needed for better balance and ease of movement.

PILATES – MAT BASED, ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS

Improve your posture, balance and wellbeing.  Maintain a peaceful mind and feel in tune with your body.  Learn to engage your core muscles and use the correct breathing techniques to enhance their effectiveness.  Use Pilates moves to stabilise and strengthen your pelvic, core and abdominal muscles and increase posture, flexibility and mobility, as well as begin to build your muscular strength and maintain bone health.  

PILATES – MAT BASED MIXED ABILITY

Improve your posture, balance, and wellbeing.  Use Pilates moves to stabilise and strengthen your pelvic, core and abdominal muscles and increase posture, flexibility, and mobility, as well as build your muscular strength and maintain bone health. This is a structured yet relaxed class for mixed ability individuals looking to challenge their core strength and flexibility with a range of adaptions and modifications available where required.

MAT BASED BACK CARE WORKSHOP

This 5 week course uses Pilates moves which are safe and can help prevent and decrease back pain; including lower back.  You will focus on your posture and alignment, perform moves to strengthen your core support muscles and stretch those tight back muscles.  You will begin to improve your flexibility, muscular strength and feel more in tune with your body.

One to One Health & Wellbeing Coaching

Working on a one to one basis enables Katie to support you to reach your individual goals.

Katie can support you in many areas, to include:

  • Safe, effective and sustainable weight loss 
  • Reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some lifestyle cancers
  • Making healthier food choices as well as understanding portion control
  • Simplifying your food shop by helping you understand ingredients and food labels
  • Helping you plan your activities for health and ways to find your motivation
  • Looking at the impact stress and poor sleep have on your health
  • Helping you put in place clear and measurable goals for health, wellbeing, & weight loss
  • Learn skills to maintain weight loss and celebrate successes.

Pilates Mat-based; one to one session

A one-to-one Pilates session enables you to work with a tailored plan which supports you to improve your core strength, posture, balance and flexibility.  Perhaps you are recovering from an injury, have a health issue, or are looking to enhance your sports performance and would benefit from a more individualised plan.

Katie can work with you, plan and pace your sessions to ensure you achieve your agreed goals.  In addition to her Pilates qualification, Katie has undertaken additional training that enables her to work with specific orthopaedic rehabilitation conditions e.g. those rehabilitating from a hip or knee replacement, back pain, hyper-mobility, shoulder injuries and pelvic floor weakening.  Working closely with your rehabilitation notes from your health professional, I will support you to continue your rehabilitation.

Note: It is advised to book a six-week block to enable you to get the benefit of your Pilates sessions, however, you are welcome to book these as individual sessions as per the timetable.

Visit our Health & Wellbeing Coaches page to read more about Katie or you can BOOK NOW

Introducing The Alexander Technique

Ever wondered what The Alexander Technique is? Well here, Korina Biggs explains all about it!

Why learn the Alexander Technique?

The AT is a practice that enables you to become aware of how the way you move and carry yourself can effect your energy levels, your breathing and sense of ease.

It helps reduce unnecessary stress and tension and can help you find more pleasure in whatever you do.

How do you learn it?

Usually you meet in person with a qualified teacher who uses gentle guiding hands-on as well as verbal cues to bring more awareness and positive change. However in these socially distancing circumstances the teacher uses her observational and listening skills through the screen to be able to guide you.

Korina works with what you want to work with. It maybe that you get neck pain in front of a computer, or that you want to walk with more ease. It maybe that you want to play your musical instrument with less tension or run more lightly – the AT is a practice that you can apply to whatever you do.

What are the benefits?

Clients say they experience less pain and more ease, that their balance improves and that they feel calmer.

The AT is evidence based and research includes significant improvements for back pain, neck pain and balance. For more information on this evidence basis and in general go to www.alexandertechnique.co.uk

Why not try it? Click Here to book your online session

Strength, Stretch & Tone with Susie

We are looking for 10 people who are really serious about improving their Health & Wellbeing to join Susie’s Strength, Stretch & Tone classes starting next week.

Each week you can join Susie in the following sessions;

Susie’s Strength Sessions work on developing and building muscle, as well as improving posture and overall fitness levels. Focusing on the whole body each session.

Whilst the Stretch Session works the whole body with flow style stretching exercises, focussing on specific areas of the body each session. Designed to alleviate the soreness and stiffness from exercise or everyday life.

Finally, Susie’s Tone Session will focusing on conditioning the body. Concentrating on slow, controlled movement to create a high level of intensity without high impact. Perfect for those who want to avoid stress and pressure on the joints!

These sessions are for all abilities and provide a weekly workout that will bring results in no time!

Want to know more? contact us today or book directly here!

Introducing

Susie Wells

“I’ve struggled for years with my weight, from a young age I had always been overweight and unhappy with how I looked. After trying every diet out there I finally found a love for running and, together with eating right, I managed to lose 4 stone. That was in 2008 and since then, I have become more and more interested in nutrition and different forms of exercise.

This has driven a passion for health and fitness, that in 2015 I decided to change my career, I gave up my job as a manager in University administration and went back to the classroom to gain my personal training qualifications.

After a year with Premier training I qualified with a Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training and became the proud owner of ‘Wellsbeing Fitness’.  I’m motivated by helping people like myself who really want to change their lifestyle and achieve their fitness goals in a sustainable way and truly believe that physical fitness and mental well being go hand in hand.”

Sign up today and see what Susie can do for you!

Struggling with back pain? Take back control!

Join Osteopath Adam on a one to one Lower Back Pain Workshop!

Starting 7th July 2020, this course will run over 5 sessions offering a comprehensive look at how back pain affects you . Each session looks at a different aspect of back pain including your experience of it, how back pain affects your body and your daily life. It will give you specific tools to help you unwind these effects and take back control.

To book just click on the ‘BOOK NOW’ button below and go to the Workshop Tab. Once registered, you can book your course for the discounted price of £250 (usually £300), if you book before 1st July 2020!

If you want to know more before signing up you can book a 15 minutes consultation with Adam for just £1! Just go to the Appointments tabs and select a time to book your session.

About Adam Fiske

Adam Fiske is the Owner and Principal Osteopath of Mid Sussex Osteopaths based in Haywards Heath. This is a multi-therapy practice offering osteopathy, acupuncture and podiatry.

Adam Fiske is the Owner and Principal Osteopath of Mid Sussex Osteopaths based in Haywards Heath. This is a multi-therapy practice offering osteopathy, acupuncture and podiatry.

He has also taught at the British School of Osteopathy as a clinic tutor and worked at the University of Brighton undertaking research into osteopathy. He is currently a member of the Investigating Committee of the profession’s regulator, the General Osteopathic Council. As well as running a Low Back Pain Management course, he also runs a Wellbeing program for the employees and trustees of Borough Market in London.

His practice is built on an ethos of transitioning patients from treatment to activity and movement for their long term health and wellbeing. His extensive experience has led him to a broad approach to low back pain in which patient education, self management and wellness are as crucial to recovery as hands-on treatment is.

AHS Wellbeing Online is now Live!

We have brought together our network of Fitness Professionals and Wellbeing Experts to offer a brand new online service. AHS Wellbeing Online will keep you active whilst you are at home in the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Our brand new online class booking and streaming service is now live. You can book now for our Wellbeing classes, Workshops and One to One Coaching commencing from the week beginning 15th June 2020!

Introducing you to Sal Jefferies

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