We caught up with Fleur and Maddy from the Positive Motion Rehabilitation Kingston Physio for the final day of Women’s Health Week 2022 – Move and Improve.
Fleur is the director and a physiotherapist at the clinic and Maddy is a physiotherapist. Together they put on their move and improve hats and shared with us some key reasons on why you should exercise, not just for your body but also for your brain! Check out their answers below.
Q. Why is it important to exercise?
A. Exercise is important to not only help maintain or reduce weight but it also helps to improve brain function through the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all your tissues. This influences your sense of wellbeing and improves your mood through the release of serotonin.
Exercise also helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by improving bone health and can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Exercise can help to improve your cardiovascular system thereby improving circulation to increase your energy levels and give you the willpower to make healthier choices.
This in turn can improve sleep quality and sex drive enhancing arousal for women and reducing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men.
Q. How does exercising benefit not only your body but also your brain?
A. Exercise can be a form of letting go and allows the person escape the day-to-day hassles that can clog up the brain. It releases endorphins which help relieve stress in the brain and can help you de-fog when you’ve had a stressful day.
Practising things like mindfulness can help to connect the body and the brain better, things like yoga and tai-chi can create a sense of calm, as often we can switch things on easily but can struggle to switch off.
Breathing exercises can also help to improve mood, and promote relaxation.
Q. How can exercising help during other times?
A. There are lots of different examples of how exercising can help women at all stages of their life. For women going through the changes which menopause bring, hormone levels will change. This puts the women at a higher risk of various diseases and tendon stresses.
There is also a linear relationship between weight gain and incontinence in women. Weight loss alone for those considered overweight can have a terrific impact on improving pelvic floor control and continence.
Some of these hormones help protect the body from things like osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease so it is important to exercise to help reduce the risk, especially muscle strength and resistance work for bone health and cardiovascular health are important.
Women if they choose to, go through pregnancy and childbirth, this obviously impacts the body and can sometimes create issues immediately post, e.g pelvic floor weakness and leakage, however, a woman may be fine until they hit menopause and the associated hormonal changes which kept them at bay then may affect them and they can start to experience issues.
If a woman has had a baby and wants to return to higher impact activities or exercise having a review by a women’s health physio is very important. It can direct the women if she needs to strengthen some muscles to safely return to the activity and can also give confidence to the women that she can get back to some of her activities that she may have had to stop during pregnancy.
For a lot of women knowing that there is help at hand is really important. Sometimes simple changes can greatly affect quality of life, so seeing a health professional with an understanding in this area can be life changing.
Q. Tell us a bit about your clinic?
At positive motion we assess everyone as an individual and take the time to listen to the client about what their goals are and how we can help them. This may include more clinic work and hands on work by the therapist or exercising in our gym downstairs. We offer different types of classes in our gym which include circuit style, pilates based, program based and also classes specially designed for people post cancer.
Time is spent to understand the clients needs and make sure the appropriate class is picked and caters to their needs. Although we treat a range of conditions we see a lot of people especially women post cancer treatment.