Keep moving with tips from Physio First

Physio First is run by Chartered Physiotherapist Lauren Naughten MISCP and is located just off Main Street in Roscommon town (F42 HC94). This week, Lauren answered Roscommon People reporter Dan Dooner’s questions on all things movement…

What services do you offer at Physio First? 

I do assessments and provide rehabilitation programmes as well as one to one training with people. I also do movement work similar to Pilates and any movement and exercise. It all boils down to what the person enjoys and creating an exercise or movement regime around their lifestyle. 

What advice would you give to those returning to exercise after a lengthy period? 

Start slowly and sensibly and pick something you enjoy doing. If you enjoy doing it then it’s not going to seem like hard work. If you enjoy running, go run, or if you enjoy going to the gym then go to the gym. It’s all about enjoyment because that’s what’s going to keep you involved. Start slowly once a week then build it up to twice a week and three times a week and so on. Make sure to find the best time to exercise for you and stay consistent.

How can we prevent injuries and when should we step back?  

In order to prevent injuries you have to be mindful not to overload or jump into anything too quick. If you’ve started a New Year health kick then begin slow and steady. Don’t try and train every single day because the likelihood of injuring yourself increases. If you do have an injury, whether it’s muscle aches or joint pain, then you might need to back off a little bit. If the pain is still there and you can’t get back training then that’s when you need to consult a doctor or a physiotherapist.

What is the best way to maintain mobility into old age?  

Movement of any kind. We are made to move and we don’t like to be stationery. There’s no such thing as good or bad movement; it’s just doing something regularly. For people with a desk-based job like yourself, where you may be stuck for several hours, then the key is to move when opportunities arrive. Can you stand up to take a call? Take regular short walks even if it’s just to boil the kettle. Flexibility work is great too and I think people enjoy activities such as yoga and Pilates.

For those short on time, what daily movements would you recommend?  

So let’s say you have 15 minutes a day to get some movement in. Strength is so important as we get older. By having strong muscles and bones we reduce our risk of falls and improve our ability to do everyday tasks. My top three exercises would involve holding a couple of weights in your hands (water bottles to start). Exercise one involves standing up out of a chair and then sitting back down fifteen times; Exercise two is reaching the weights above your head ten times; Exercise three is pushing up onto your ‘tiptoes’ fifteen times. You can repeat these as much as you like and they will increase the strength in your legs and upper body while reducing the risk of falls as we get older.