Maintaining Strength and Range of Motion in Your Elbow

Rear view of tennis player serving during a match.

Whether you’ve recently recovered from a shoulder injury, fracture, tennis elbow or just want to prevent future injuries, strengthening and range of motion exercises can help. By exercising each muscle and moving a joint through its full range of motion, you can keep it flexible, reduce pain and improve strength. Below are some exercises that can help you maintain balance and strength in your elbow.

 

Fist Clench

Weak grip strength is a common contributor to tennis elbow and elbow ligament injuries. Improving grip strength by building the muscles of the forearm can help improve ability to perform daily activities. Fist clench exercises can be completed easily using a table and a towel.

  1. Sit at a table with your forearm resting on top.
  2. Hold a rolled up towel or small ball in your hand.
  3. Squeeze the towel or ball and hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Release and repeat 10 times. Switch and do the other arm.

 

Forearm Supination

Your supinator muscle in the forearm attaches to your elbow and is responsible for turning the palm upward. Elbow injuries often arise from movements involving this large muscle.

  1. Sit holding a 1kg dumbbell vertically with your elbow resting on your knee.
  2. Use the weight of the dumbbell to rotate your arm outward, turning the palm up.
  3. Rotate the hand back the other direction until your palm is facing downward.
  4. Repeat this action 20 times on each side.
  5. Try to isolate the movement to your lower arm, keeping your elbow and upper arm still.

 

Elbow Extension

To improve your ability to fully straighten your elbow, you must work on elbow extension range of motion exercises.

  1. Sit in a chair with your elbow straightened out all the way and resting on a table.
  2. Apply pressure to your forearm or wrist to add overpressure to the stretch
  3. Straighten your elbow out as far as possible and hold for five to 10 seconds.
  4. Release the stretch and allow your elbow to bend a bit.
  5. Repeat the exercise for 10 repetitions.

You can also add to the stretch of your elbow extension by holding onto a 1kg weight.

 

Wrist Extension and Flexion

The wrist extensors are a group of small muscles responsible for bending the wrist. These muscles connect to the elbow and are often subject to overuse, particularly during racquet sports.

  1. Sit holding a 1kg dumbbell with your palm down and elbow resting on your knee.
  2. With your palm down, extend your wrist by curling it towards your body.
  3. Return to starting position and repeat 10 times on each side.
  4. Try to isolate the movement to the wrist, keeping the rest of your arm still.

Do this exercise with your palm facing upwards to exercise your wrist flexors, which are small muscles that work opposite your wrist extensors.

 

Scapula Setting

The strength of your shoulder muscles also plays an essential role in preventing injury and providing overall strength and stability in your elbows. This exercise strengthens your upper back at your shoulder blade.

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides.
  2. Place a pillow under your forehead for comfort, if required.
  3. Gently draw your shoulder blades together and down your back.
  4. Ease about halfway off from this position and hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Relax and repeat 10 times.

 

Physiotherapists in Melbourne and Sydney

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of health services including physiotherapy, massage, clinical pilates, yoga, general health check-ups and more in multiple locations across Victoria and New South Wales. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

What To Do If You Think You Have Knee Bursitis

Man suffering from joint pain in knee

Knee injuries are extremely common and range from soft tissue injuries like ligament sprains and muscle strains to bone conditions and biomechanical dysfunction. Your knees each have a bursa sack that’s filled with fluid. When these get inflamed or infected, the condition is called knee bursitis.

 

What is Knee Bursitis?

Knee bursitis can cause pain above, below or on your kneecap depending on which bursa is inflamed. A bursa is a thin sack filled with synovial fluid, a natural lubricating fluid. This slippery sack allows muscles, tendons and skin to slide over bony surfaces without friction. Your bursa essentially prevents different tissues and structures from catching on one another.

Your knee consists of up to 11 bursae. The ones most prone to bursitis are the:

  • Prepatellar bursa – Lies just above the kneecap between the skin and the kneecap. Prepatellar bursitis is common for carpet layers, gardeners, roofers, plumbers and other professions that require a lot of kneeling.
  • Infrapatellar bursa – Consists of two bursae, one below the patella tendon and one between the patella tendon and tibia (shin) bone.
  • Pes anserinus bursa – Located in the lower inside part of the knee in close to the upper part of the tibia. Bursitis here usually affects overweight people and middle-aged women.
  • Suprapatellar bursa – Extends from beneath the patella under the quadriceps muscle. It can be injured due to acute trauma and repeated microtrauma, for example, falls onto the knee, overuse injuries such as running on soft or uneven surfaces or from jobs that require being on your knees such as carpet laying.

 

Common Causes of Knee Bursitis

Knee bursitis can occur due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Direct trauma or blow to the knee
  • Repeated, prolonged pressure on the knee
  • Overuse or strenuous activity
  • Arthritis in the knee
  • Bacterial infection of the bursa

 

Symptoms of Knee Bursitis

Symptoms of knee bursitis include:

  • Swelling over, above or below the kneecap
  • Redness and heat coming from the site of the bursa
  • Pain when moving your knee
  • Limited mobility of the knee

 

Knee Bursitis Treatment

Depending on the severity of the issue, treatment can range from rest to medication and physiotherapy. If you think you have knee bursitis, try resting for a few days and avoid strenuous exercise. Put an ice pack on your knee 3-4 times a day for 20 minutes at a time. If required, take a mild, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen. If inflammation persists after a few days, you should get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional to determine the exact cause of your bursitis.

If it’s not related to trauma, potential factors may include muscle weakness, tightness, pain inhibition, leg length discrepancy, training techniques and more. From there, treatment may include aspiration (draining the fluid from your knee), physical therapy or a corticosteroid injection. You may also be given knee bursitis exercises to do to assist in your recovery.

 

Quality Physiotherapy in Melbourne and Sydney

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of services including physiotherapy, massage, clinical Pilates, yoga and more in multiple locations across Victoria and New South Wales. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

5 Steps to Maximise Your 1st Online Physiotherapy Consultation

Video consultation
Written by Tom Bosna, Physiotherapist and Director of Pinnacle Health Group.

With the rapid advancement of technology over the last five years, online video consultations (often referred to as telehealth) have become an excellent way of reaching remote, at risk or time poor individuals who need to get their healthcare on the go!

At Pinnacle Health Group we have been offering video consultations for corporate clients for many years – using Skype and Zoom and more recently things have changed fast.

Due to the COVID-19 global crisis we have seen a huge uptake in video consultations for Physiotherapy in the last week. With clients wanting to stay physically active, pain free and mentally sharp – we have reviewed and updated our treatment protocols and staff training to optimise our service delivery.

With so many of our corporate clients working from home, we have reinvested in the most up to date technology available (PhysiApp – download and check it out)  to ensure your video consultation experience is world-class and frictionless.

 

It’s just like a normal consultation

Just like a normal consultation, you can expect a discussion about your wellbeing goals, specific questions relating to your area of concern and discussion about the best way to treat your presenting concern or condition.

For example, a Physiotherapy consultation normally begins with questions about the injury or area of concern, the experienced Physiotherapist will know which questions to ask to ascertain a diagnosis, a prognosis and then treatment pathway that will most likely include rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation will include follow up with the client with a tailored exercise program with an app called PhysiApp. You will also be given evidence based self mobilising, stretching and self release technique advice – with the Physiotherapist ensuring correct technique before the session ends.

To optimise your experience and based on the last three weeks of video consults – here are our top steps you can take to maximise your first online video consultation with our experienced team.

 

1. Check your tech

The video consultation experience is one of excitement for both the Physiotherapist and client. To connect so seamlessly and in the comfort of your home is often reported as a real time saver for clients.

The only thing that can potentially add friction to your experience is dreaded technological issue.

The video consultation can be done via a PC, laptop, mobile or tablet -you choose your own adventure here – but we ask that you ensure a few things:

  1. The camera and sound is enabled on your device
  2. You connect to WiFi
  3. Your battery is charged

I know these points are obvious but we would hate for your appointment to be interrupted by a bad signal or a vintage device!

 

2. Space to move

We love to get you moving and grooving and our advice for the video consultation is simple: get yourself comfortable in your home.

A study, spare room, nook or lounge room is a perfect space for your consultation.

To begin the consultation you will be sitting in front of the device and talking with the Physiotherapists.

Once the session progresses into assessment, it is likely that you will be asked to move into standing or lying to do some movement tests and analysis!

 

3. Dress active

If you have a back or lower limb issue – we ask that you are comfortable enough in your dress, pants or shorts to bend your hips and knees without ruining your clothes. If you are unsure – always wear some leggings or shorts – this will save you time and make the assessment more accurate and effective. An example of a movement test would be the Physiotherapist watching you do a squat.

If you have a shoulder, upper body or neck issue – we will most likely need to look at your shoulder movement – past ninety degrees and over your head. Ideally wearing a t-shirt or some loose clothing will allow the Physiotherapist to see what is really going on. An example of a shoulder test would be asking you to do a push up against the wall.

Dress for activity.

 

4. Bring your tools

Most of our clients will have purchased some mobility or strength tools over the years.

Here is a list of some common pieces of equipment that we would love you to bring.

  1. Theraband (stretchy coloured bands – great for strength, stretch)
  2. Foam roller
  3. Swiss-ball (aka fit-ball)
  4. Dumbbells
  5. Kettle bells

All of these tools, small or large can be so beneficial when it comes to the treatment planning stage of your consultation.

When used correctly – the Physiotherapist can ensure you get the most value out of your initial purchase and speed up progress to your desired outcome – whether that be to run five kilometres pain free or to be able to lift up your children for a cuddle.

 

5. Write some questions

Sometimes when we visit health professionals we have so many questions before the appointment and then we walk out and forget to ask the important stuff! It happens all the time and we encourage you to ask us as many questions as you need. Some of our most dedicated clients actually write a list of questions on a piece of paper. We welcome this and accept follow up phone call or email questions.

Here are some great sample questions we encourage you to ask:

  1. How long do you expect this issue to go on for?
  2. What should I be doing to help this issue over the next 1-2 weeks?
  3. Do you recommend I see any other health professionals to help my issue?
  4. What do you think is the main cause of my issue?

Video consultations are easily accessible and perfect for time poor individuals who want to take control of their issues.

Ensuring you get the most value out of your experience and working collaboratively with your Physiotherapist is the best mindset going into your first video consultation.

 

Online video consultation – Physiotherapists in Melbourne and Sydney

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of online video consultations including physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, dietetics, and ergonomics. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

Don’t Just Feed Yourself, Feed Your Gut Bacteria

Woman eating healthy breakfast food

While some bacteria are associated with disease, others are extremely important for your overall health. In fact, your body is teeming with trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi collectively known as the microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for your immune system, weight, heart and other aspects of your health.

While our understanding is still limited, we know that our microbiome is influenced for better or worse by certain environments, behaviours and food. Studies also indicate that by consuming food that encourages a diverse array of beneficial microbes, you can improve your overall health.

 

What is in Your Gut Microbiome?

Humans and microbes have evolved to coexist for millions of years. Over time, microbes have learned to play crucial roles in the human body, so much so that we couldn’t survive without them now. The gut microbiome begins to affect your body the moment you are born and possibly before, while inside the womb. As you age, your gut microbiome starts to diversify. Having a high microbiome diversity is healthy.

Our gut microbiome changes rapidly over our first year or two, shaped by microbes in breast milk, the environment and other factors. By the time we’re three years old, it stabilises. However, our environment, our long-term diet, stress and the drugs we take, such as antibiotics, continue to play a role as we grow, meaning our microbiome can change throughout our life.

 

How to Increase Good Bacteria in Gut Naturally

You can maintain the health of your gut microbiome but eating a healthy, balanced diet that features a diverse range of foods including fermented food and high fibre foods. Some gut bacteria friendly foods include:

  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Kefir
  • Sourdough bread
  • Almonds
  • Yoghurt
  • Peas
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Artichokes
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Roquefort cheese
  • Kombucha

You should also limit alcohol and avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin. Other ways to improve the gut microbiome include reducing meat consumption, breastfeeding for at least six months, taking probiotic supplements and only taking antibiotics when completely necessary.

 

How Important is Your Gut Microbiome for Your Health?

Over the years, several studies have linked the health of our gut microbiome to our brain, heart and immune system health as well as our resistance to a plethora of diseases and conditions, including diabetes, autism, anxiety and obesity. The gut microbiome has also been linked to how individuals respond to certain drugs including chemotherapy, how effectively we can fight off infections and diseases and even how well we sleep.

We still don’t know for sure whether particular microbes are important or the diversity of the community as a whole. In some studies, particular strains of bacteria are linked to particular effects or conditions, while others have shown the diversity of the microbiome or abundances of species is important.

 

Health Checks in Melbourne and Sydney

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of health services including nutritional therapy, physiotherapy, massage, clinical Pilates, yoga, general health check-ups and more in multiple locations across Victoria and New South Wales. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

How Can You Use Your Heart Rate For Your Running Workouts?

Close up of a white smart watch with health app icon on the screen

All of us have access to an incredibly sophisticated, individualised training tool that can help fine tune your running workouts – your heart. Specifically, your heart rate. Using your heart rate to optimise your running workouts isn’t a new idea but something that is terribly unutilised. Below, we explain how you can use it effectively.

 

Know Your Maximum Heart Rate

Before starting heart rate training, you need to know what your max heart rate is. There are a variety of different methods to estimate this, the most common being subtracting your age from 220. However, these estimates are often inaccurate, especially for older individuals. Factors such as fitness level, genetics, dehydration, heat, altitude, time of day and natural variation can all influence heart rate by up to 20 per cent.

The best approach to finding your true max heart rate is with a treadmill stress test in a lab. You can replicate this by using your own heart-rate monitor. Start with a warm-up kilometre, followed by another at a comfortably hard pace, then slowly increase your speed over 400 metres before running a final 400m as fast as you can. The highest number on your monitor will be close to your max heart rate.

 

Your Heart Training Zones

Once you know your max heart rate, you can find your training zones by multiplying this figure by a percentage. For example, if your max heart rate is 195, you can multiply that by 0.6 and 0.7 to find your zone 1 range (117-136 in this case). Here are the rest of the zones, as created by Janet Hamilton of the coaching website Running Strong:

  • Zone 1 (60-70%) – A comfortable effort used for warmups and cool downs.
  • Zone 2 (70-80%) – Used for a majority of training, this zone takes effort, but you can still hold a conversation.
  • Zone 3 (81-93%) – A harder effort where you can only manage to talk in short, broken sentences.
  • Zone 4 (94-100%) – A very hard effort that you can sustain but only lets you speak a few words at a time.

Each zone has a purpose and where you choose to spend time depends on your goals. For example, someone training for a marathon will probably spend more time training in zones 1 and 2 as a marathon requires a moderate pace over a long period.

 

Benefits of Heart Rate Training

Heart rate training allows you to regulate the intensity of your running workouts, reducing the risk of fatigue or overtraining. It means you can train smarter by recovering properly in time between each of your runs. It also means you can accurately track your efforts during high intensity sessions and moderate the influence of other factors like heat and humidity. Heart rate training is great for tempo runs, where getting your exertion level right is essential to benefit from your workout.

 

Health Services in Melbourne and Sydney

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of services including physiotherapy, massage, clinical Pilates, yoga and more in multiple locations across Victoria and New South Wales. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

The Evidence and Hype For Probiotics

Close up of woman taking probiotic tablet.

The health of our guts, and by extension, our whole bodies is largely influenced by a diverse community of trillions of microbes living in our intestinal tract. Our diet plays a key role in determining the health of our gut flora and since we’ve realised this, health professionals have promoted a variety of foods to maintain our gut health from fermented to high fibre foods.

Probiotics are another popular food product said to improve our health. Today, millions of people take probiotics for gut health and to prevent and even treat some illnesses. But do probiotics live up to the hype? How effective are they? Are some products better than others? We take a closer look at these questions below.

 

Potential Benefits of Probiotics

Since the mid ‘90s, studies have suggested that probiotics can help treat several gastrointestinal ills and delay the development of allergies in children. Research has also suggested that probiotics can be useful in the prevention and treatment of:

  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Vaginal infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • pylori (ulcers)
  • Recurrence of bladder cancer
  • Infection of the digestive tract caused by Clostridium difficile
  • Pouchitis (a possible side effect of surgery that removes the colon)
  • Eczema in children

However, probiotics don’t work for everyone. This is because there are so many extraneous factors involved in your gut health such as genetics, diet, age and health.

 

Why Probiotics Don’t Work

There are a variety of probiotic products available on the market and not all of them are effective. Probiotics may not work for several reasons such as the dose being incorrect, having the wrong strain, poor product quality and incorrect storage. A significant challenge with probiotics is their fragile nature. They must be able to survive the process of manufacturing, distribution, storage and consumption in your stomach acid in order to actually be effective in your gut.

 

Prebiotics vs Probiotics

You may also have heard of prebiotics. Like probiotics, they are beneficial to your gut health but the similarities end there. The main difference between prebiotic and probiotic products is that the latter is live beneficial bacteria caused by the process of fermentation. Prebiotic fiber is a non-digestible part of food which can be found in bananas, onions, garlic, artichoke, apple skin, beans, chickpeas, leeks, seaweed, chicory root, asparagus, oats, cocoa, flaxseeds and more.

Research has found that prebiotics are helpful in increasing and helping beneficial bacteria already in the gut flourish. This reduces disease risk and improve general wellbeing. Prebiotic fiber has the advantage of being not as fragile as probiotic bacteria as it is not affected by heat, stomach acid or time. Unlike probiotics, the fermentation process doesn’t differ depending on the individual. Everyone benefits from consuming these high fiber foods.

 

Health Checks in Melbourne and Sydney

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of health services including nutritional therapy, physiotherapy, massage, clinical Pilates, yoga, general health check-ups and more in multiple locations across Victoria and New South Wales. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

Using Art and Creativity to Boost Your Mental Health

Woman painting in an art studio

Many of us pursue artistic or creative activities because we enjoy them, intuitively feeling that it’s beneficial for us. This intuition is correct as art and creativity can have significant benefits for our mental health. This includes writing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting or other forms of creative expression.

Painting, drawing or moulding objects from clay has been scientifically proven to help people deal with trauma. Art helps us express experiences that are too difficult to put into words, such as a diagnosis of cancer or the maintenance or reconstruction of our identity.

 

Art Therapy for Mental Health

The benefits of creativity for mental health has led to the idea of art therapy. Any application of the visual arts in a therapeutic context can be considered art therapy. This means you don’t necessarily have to see a therapist to benefit from therapeutic artistic expression so long as you are finding relief in the creative expression of your choice. You also don’t need to be a talented artist.

Studies indicate that art therapy is valuable for treating depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and even some phobias. While you don’t need to work with a licensed therapist, doing so can offer advantages such as having someone to tailor activities for your needs, especially if you’re unsure how to get started.

 

Benefits of Art Therapy

Art therapy can be used to complement other forms of mental health treatment, providing a range of benefits including:

  • Offering an outlet for emotional release where you can express and let go of all your feelings and fears. Making art can help you process emotions like anger and sadness which you might be unable to express yourself.
  • Improving your self-esteem by providing a sense of accomplishment.
  • Helping you discover and process feelings that may have been lurking in your subconscious or are difficult to express.
  • Offering stress relief through a relaxing and enjoyable activity, which is beneficial for managing anxiety, depression and emotional trauma.

Creating art can also stimulate the release of dopamine. You don’t need to be a talented artist to benefit, just ensure you keep and open and honest mind.

 

Creative Writing

Studies found that expressive writing also helps people overcome trauma and manage negative emotions. Asking people to write about positive experiences and about their “best self” is also associated with an increased sense of psychological well-being. Writing has even been shown to improve physical health, although it is not entirely clear why.

 

Physical Creativity

Creativity can also be a physical endeavour, as in the case with dance. This mobility brings additional benefits. The mental health benefits of physical exercise are well-documented as it releases endorphins, serotonin and other natural brain chemicals that make you feel good. Studies have also shown that creative activities like dance help people improve their self-esteem.

 

Need Mental Health Advice in Melbourne or Sydney?

Pinnacle Health Group team of expert psychologists and healthcare providers are here to help you deal with workplace or general life stresses, anxiety and depression. We offer services in multiple locations across Victoria and New South Wales. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

Is It Safe To Exercise While Pregnant?

Pregnant woman doing exercise on her bed using dumbbell

Regular physical exercise while pregnant offers a range of health benefits and can help prepare your body for childbirth. This includes better weight control, improved mood and maintenance of pre-existing fitness levels. Exercising during pregnancy can also decrease the risk of pregnancy-related complications such as pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

However, it’s essential to modify or choose suitable exercises you can do while pregnant as your body will respond differently. It’s also a good idea to consult your doctor, physiotherapist or healthcare professional to determine appropriate exercises for you depending on where you are in the pregnancy, your fitness level and other individual factors.

 

Keep it Light to Moderate

Be sensible about the level and amount of exercise you do. Overexerting yourself may be harmful to you or your baby. Don’t exhaust yourself. Your routine should comprise of light to moderate exercise. You’ll need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your maternity team advises you to. If you weren’t active before pregnancy, don’t suddenly take up exercise that tires you out.

A light to moderate level of exercise should allow you to still be able to hold a conversation as you exercise. If you are out of breath as you talk, then it’s likely that you’re exercising too strenuously. Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

 

Exercise Tips

Try to keep active daily. For example, spend 30 minutes walking every day. If you can’t manage that, any amount is better than nothing. If you haven’t been active or are overweight, start with three to four days of light exercise spread across the week.

When exercising while you’re pregnant, ensure you:

  • Warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards
  • Avoid strenuous exercise in hot or humid weather
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids
  • If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is qualified, knows that you’re pregnant and how many weeks pregnant you are.

Walking is a great exercise as it is a moderate aerobic activity but has minimal stress on your joints. Other good choices are swimming, stationary cycling and low-impact aerobics. Swimming is particularly good because the water supports your increased weight.

 

Exercise You Can Do While Pregnant

Aside from light to moderate aerobic exercises, the following exercises can also be beneficial for strengthening your body so it can better handle the pregnancy:

 

Stomach-strengthening exercises

  1. Start on all fours with knees under hips, hands under shoulders and abdominals lifted to keep your back straight.
  2. Pull in your stomach muscles and raise your back up towards the ceiling, allowing your head to relax gently forward as you curl.
  3. Hold for a few seconds then slowly return to the starting position. Take care not to lock your elbows or hollow your back, which should return to a straight position.
  4. Do this slowly 10 times, ensuring your muscles work hard and moving your back carefully. Only move your back as far as you comfortably can.

 

Pelvic tilt exercises

  1. Stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall.
  2. Soften your knees then pull your stomach towards your spine so your back flattens against the wall.
  3. Hold for four seconds and release. Repeat up to 10 times.

 

Pelvic floor exercises

  1. Sit and lean slightly forward with a straight back.
  2. Squeeze and lift the muscles as if you are trying to hold in urine.
  3. Hold the squeeze as you count to 10, then relax for 10 seconds. If you can’t hold for 8, aim to hold for as long as you can.
  4. Repeat as many as you can, about 10 squeezes. Repeat the whole thing 3 times. Keep breathing while exercising and try to avoid tightening your buttocks.

 

What to Avoid

Avoid exercises that involve lying flat on your back, especially after 16 weeks, as the weight of the baby presses on large blood vessels and can reduce blood flow. Don’t exercise in situations where you might get too hot. Your body’s temperature is slightly higher when you are pregnant, meaning intensive exercise can cause your core temperature to rise to an unsafe level for your baby faster than you might expect. Drink lots of water, wear lightweight clothes and only exercise in cool, well ventilated areas.

 

Health Checks in Melbourne and Sydney

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of health services including physiotherapy, massage, clinical Pilates, yoga, general health check-ups and more in multiple locations across Victoria and New South Wales. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

Make Your 2020 Employee Wellbeing Program Fun, Engaging & Rewarding

Given that we are spending our days talking with organisations about their wellbeing plans for 2020, now seems like an opportune time to share some insights into how you can plan and deliver your organisations wellness calendar. More to the point, insights into how to actually make these programmes exciting, motivating and effective to ensure your staff or tenants want to participate and improve the wellness culture in your workplace.

 

1. TIMING & CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING

One of the most sought-after and rewarding health initiatives that we deliver are skin cancer checks for employees and tenants in a range of settings. This one is so exciting because the upsides to detecting a serious melanoma or skin lesion are literally life-changing for the people involved, and the tests are so simple to administer with the right training and qualifications. However, engagement of participants in skin cancer checks can vary significantly for a range of reasons, and a seemingly obvious variable to get right is delivering skin checks at a time of the year when employees actually see the sun. The same goes for any part of a wellness calendar. Matching your wellness initiative with the appropriate time of the year will increase participation. As well as assist in creating monthly or quarterly wellbeing themes that keep the message relevant and contextual for your employees.

 

2. FUN FACTOR!

Wellness Calendars will often involve a mix of staple health initiatives such as flu vaccinations and health checks. But they should also involve some more stimulating and educational items such as wellness seminars, exercise or meditation classes and expos. Throwing in some fun and innovative ideas is crucial in capturing the attention of your staff and keeping them engaged. Consider balancing or prefixing the “standard fixtures” of your programme with some ideas from left field – such as pedal-powered smoothie makers, foyer Zumba classes, tai-chi, health skill tester challenges, employee manicures, table tennis competitions and anything you can think of that gets people involved!

 

3. TECH FACTOR

Along the same lines as the above – is there anyone these days that doesn’t like to know how many steps they have taken, kilometres they have cycled, hours they have slept, calories they have consumed, etc etc? Probably a few – but increasingly so, the average employee’s thirst for knowledge these days is a big motivator for them to engage in healthy activities in the first place. Technology can be used for “wow” factor in health initiatives, and also appeal to the data analyst in all of us! We have engaged innovations such as Heath ATMs (health score and key metrics in a few minutes), online platforms and apps that generate curiosity and interest from a wide population. Even the wellness calendar itself can be accessed by an interactive app with notifications that entice employees.

 

4. ACTIVATE YOUR WORKSPACES

Nothing shows a company or building’s commitment to encouraging a healthy and well culture like physically living and breathing wellness in full view of the workplace. Foyer Pilates classes, seated massage, meditation meeting rooms, roaming healthy snack suppliers – there are so many ways to deliver aspects of your health programme that showcase various parts of your building (from break-out areas to end-of-trip facilities). Activating these spaces is essentially marketing for your wellness programme and building layout, but also showing the workplace that you expect a positive attitude towards being healthy.

 

5. LINK WITH NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES

Finally – it’s a good idea to mirror at least a few of your wellness calendar initiatives with the corresponding “Health Week” or relate your workplace focus areas to those of the broader Australian or global population. Examples of these can be Nutritional & Diet Assessments in Heart Health Month, Mental Health Initiatives in Mental Health Week, and fun events such as National Ride2Work Day that already have large reach, marketing material and awareness campaigns that can help promote and engage.

Try a few of these ideas to spice up your plans, and get your employees raving about their workplace!

 

Push for better with Pinnacle Health Group

An engaging and fun employee wellness program is about so much more than just activities and social media opportunities. It’s an essential part of ensuring that your staff are getting the support they need to live happy and healthy lives. Wellness is what lets us all push for better from ourselves, and for those around us.

If you’re looking for a guiding hand in creating an engaging and rewarding employee wellness program employer wellness for your organisation, you can get started by getting in contact with us at Pinnacle Health Group. Fill out a workplace wellness enquiry form or get in touch by calling 1300 2 PINNACLE today!