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Self Care

Your Guide to Stress Management

Stress can be a killer: from making you lose sleep, to raising your blood pressure and alienating loved ones, it can have a massive impact on not only your mental wellbeing, but your physical health, too. Stress places pressure on your heart, tightens your muscles and causes you to lose flexibility and mobility over time, too; stress can literally rob you of your independence in many ways. This post comes at a time where each and every one of us – globally – has had to deal with more stress overall, and juggling the COVID-19 pandemic, financial pressure, and trying to maintain our physical health, has been taking a serious toll. In this post, then, we offer you some guidelines for dealing with stress – we hope these tips will promote a better, relaxed lifestyle, a healthier body, and a happier you. Follow along and try your best to implement them throughout your day. Here we go!

Exercise Matters!

I think you knew this might be the first tip, right? Stress and exercise are just not compatible – they are a bit like water and oil. As we get stressed, our bodies don’t produce as much endorphins or serotonin as they normally would. Hormone production is relegated to other parts of the body in order to deal with the stress in a bid to deploy crises management strategies. When we exercise, though, we facilitate the production of endorphins and serotonin, thereby lifting our moods and allowing us to tackle stress in a renewed and healthful way. Going for a nice walk, jog, or gym work-out can do wonders in terms of flipping the script on stress – give it a go… after reading the rest of this post, of course!

Cutting down on Caffeine

You might not have wanted to see this one, here… but, it’s true. Caffeine can cause our stress levels to sore, as sadly, it increases anxiety and tension. In fact, your morning Java may be doing you more harm than good because, in addition to increasing anxiety, caffeine disrupts sleep patterns, thereby increasing stress further. Cutting down on caffeine intake by drinking more herbal teas is a good place to start. 

Water for the Win

On that note, stress thrives on dehydration. Drinking enough water throughout your day is vital in maintaining both a healthy mind and body. Water lubricates your muscles, feeds the brain, and gives you a feeling of health and wellbeing that other drinks simply can’t give. Yes, there is water in your coffee, tea, and orange juice, but there is also unwanted sugar, caffeine, and preservatives. Keep it clean and fuel your body with wholesome fluids.

Looking After your Mind and Body: Self-Care

We live in a world that seems to have been spun off of its center: from pandemics, to protests, to technology, to wars, things can seem all but too much. So, self-care is incredibly important. We need to take time to assess our lifestyle choices and our situations – doing so will not only introduce a sense of control, but will also give us serenity in stressful situations. Why not try meditating or doing some Yoga, for example? Step away from the screens, make a nice cup of tea, and take to a mat. While you may not be a Tibetan yogi, taking some time to put a little incense on, listen to some calming music, and concentrate on nothing but your body, is a powerful way of centering yourself and reigning in those stressful thoughts. You can meditate while walking or running, too. If that’s not for you, though, try doing something you love a few times a week; maybe you like to read, go to spas, take long baths, or bake – just make sure you prioritize that time for yourself, as doing so will give you the resilience to tackle the outside stresses.

Breathe Correctly

Isn’t it odd how such an instinctual mechanism can actually contribute greatly to the level of stress you experience? Breathing is essential in maintaining a healthy, happy, stress-free you. Most of us breathe from our chests, thereby resulting in flat breathing… which doesn’t necessarily circulate oxygen as successfully as it ought to. If we focus on breathing from our diagrams, however, oxygen is more readily available and our blood oxygen levels increase significantly. The result? You feel healthier, more energetic, and you certainly feel more capable of dealing with external pressures that cause stress. Breathing techniques can be learned – all that you need is an open mind and willingness to learn! Start taking some deeper breaths, right now!

So, there you have it: some powerful tips for overcoming the stress in your life. It’s not easy, though, and we understand that. But, we also know that keeping on top of stress is a necessary step in maintaining health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically.

If you are unsure of where to start, you feel overwhelmed, or feel the negative physical/mental effects of chronic stress in your life, please contact us. Though you may not have known this, qualified, professional physical therapists can help you relieve your stress. In addition, if an existing injury is in and of itself causing you stress, please reach out. Our physical therapists can help relieve your pain, ease muscle tension teach and guide you through invaluable, tailor-made techniques for avoiding the stresses you encounter on a daily basis, can offer you the tools to help you stave off stress in the future, and can even help you with your breathing! So, please, contact as today – you are not alone and we are here to help.

We really want you to be healthy, happy, and stress free. The tips we went over in this post should act as guidelines for your life – get out there and do some exercise, drink enough water, moderate technology use, and make sure you give yourself time to unwind. Stay healthy and happy!

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The Importance of Core Strength

What do you think about when I say the following: “Core Strength”? It’s natural to think of your core as just your abdominal muscles – surfer ‘6 packs’ and ‘washboard abs’. It’s natural to want that, too! But, what if I told you that core strength is something entirely different? What if it isn’t about having the perfect beach body or wearing a bikini like a model? What if core strength is about being strong… not so that you can pick up boulders, but so that you can stay mobile for longer? That’s exactly what this post is all about: we’re giving you the low down on what core strength is, why it’s important, and how you can achieve it. Stay tuned – here we go!

The truth is, core strength involves more than just your abdominals. In actual fact, it’s the ability of all the muscles in your mid-body to remain supple, strong, and flexible under stress and pressure. Yes, your abdominal muscles are involved, here, but so are your pelvic floor muscles, oblique muscles, and pectorals. Overall, your trunk houses a multitude of muscles, each of which plays a major role in feeding into ‘core strength’.

The medical profession mentions core strength fairly often, and if you’ve been struggling with back problems, in particular, my hope is that you’ve at least heard of it by now! Core strength – the strength and endurance of your trunk muscles – plays a vital part in upper back, lower back, and even leg and shoulder health. Without core strength, these major nerve centers lose structure, stability, and ultimately, mobility. More on that later, though.

When it comes to core strength, the important thing to know is that you ought to keep it up – even if you feel in good health and aren’t currently experiencing pain, it’s in your best interest to maintain that pain-free lifestyle by strengthening this group of muscles. It may actually surprise you quite how much having core strength benefits you. Just take a look at some of the activities core strength can either hinder or improve: sitting, standing, sleeping, working out, running, walking, playing golf, cycling, swimming, picking up your grandkids, driving a car… the list is practically endless! The bottom line? Core strength matters!

The other side of the coin in, of course, that a lack of core strength can result in injury and chronic pain. If you’ve read some of our other blogs, you’ll know by now that muscle function is interconnected – they aren’t independent of one another. Each muscle has an affect on the next – if one fails, the other will overcompensate and, in turn, will fail itself. A dramatic, sometimes life-changing knock-on effect can ensue. It’s no different when it comes to core muscles. If you fail to strengthen them, they’ll affect the other muscles in your body. In this instance, you’re likely to suffer from a variety of issues including, though by no means limited to, headaches, spasms, back pain, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, sciatica, and even foot and knee pain! It’s a bit of an eye-opener, isn’t it?

Luckily, core strength is attainable – and no, I don’t mean you need to eat raw eggs and spend a daily six hours in the gym! Simple, consistent routines and exercises can go a long way in helping you gain – and maintain – your core strength… and thereby, health. Here are a couple of examples you can try right after reading this post!


  1. Lie belly down on a yoga mat or floor.
  2. Place your hands by your side – at shoulder level – and lift your torso up.
  3. Make sure your legs remain straight.
  4. Lift your body off of the ground until your arms are just slightly bent.
  5. Remain in this position for 30 seconds at a time.
  6. Do not let your pelvis drop to the floor – try to remain as ‘straight as a plank’ from your shoulders through to your heels.

Side Planks

  1. As with the plank routine, lie down on your belly.
  2. Turn over onto your side, making sure your heels remain together.
  3. Lift one arm straight up, in line with your shoulder.
  4. Push yourself away from the floor with your other arm.
  5. Make sure your supporting arm remains slightly bent.
  6. Create an unbroken line from outstretched fingertip to supporting hand. 
  7. Lengthen your entire body and make sure it’s straight across – from your shoulders to your heels.
  8. Do not let your hip drop down to the mat.
  9. Hold this pose for 30 seconds at a time.

Bridge Pose

  1. Lie down on a mat, with your back touching the floor.
  2. Make sure your legs are stretched out and your arms are at your side, palms facing down.
  3. Place your feet squarely on the ground, now, and bend your knees.
  4. Without lifting your shoulders or elbows from the floor, slowly lift up your pelvis until you form a straight line from your shoulder to your knees.
  5. Your knees should be bent at around 90 degrees.
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds at a time.
  7. Do not lift your hands from the floor, and make sure your arms do not leave the ground at any point. 


A good way of strengthening your core strength is by doing regular Yoga and/or Pilates. The routines in each form of exercise lend themselves well to overall strength as they vary in focus, yet they are particularly effective when it comes to core strength. Why not try a local class for some inspiration and motivation?

Those suggestions aren’t that hard, are they? None of that body-builder stuff is needed! Fitness is essential in maintaining health, and keeping up your core strength is a massive part of that. If you’re stuck, though, and you’re not quite sure where to start with building up your core muscles, why not contact one of our professional, hands on physical therapists? Not only will physical therapy help you build up your core strength, but it will give you the tools to maintain that strength on your own! How? Well, you’ll get tailor made exercise and stretches! Whether you’re currently suffering from back pain or any other ailment and just want to regain a pain-free, healthy lifestyle, or even if you just want to get started on building up your core strength in order to avoid injury in the future, physical therapy can help. 

Now is a great time to start building your core strength – no matter how old you are, what injury you may be suffering from, or how fit/unfit you think you are… core strength is for everyone! Contact us today for more tips, support, and advice!

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