The key to healthly exercise is just that.Let’s take another look at why we should exercise so we can hold a green fitness key.Today I find that humans are far too sedentary, all too
often sitting in front of a computer by day, followed by
sitting in front of a TV at night. This lack of physical
activity causes emotional and physiological imbalances,
but we can change this by looking at how we exercise; improving your
fitness changes your chemistry, acts as a powerful antidepressant, promotes
mental clarity, and reduces the likelihood of cancer.
If you’re not happy with either how you look or feel about your weight,
then with correct guidance, you can break out of inactivity and be rewarded
by smiling at yourself whenever you see your reflection. I will guide you towards 4 green keys to health and tonight is fitness.
You can learn more about how and when you should
exercise, as getting the correct mix can extend your life.
When I am working at my clinic, I hear echoing around the walls: I am too
old to exercise, too old to work. Are you too old to exercise? Well, no one told
Jiroemon Kimura (born 1897) that he was too old. He passed away recently
at age 116, farming until he was 90 years old. Remember the Carry On films?
Well, did you know that Barbara Windsor carries on exercising in her late 70s?
You can find her in her gym wear keeping fit outside in Hyde Park.
Over 450,000 people in the USA and over 70,000 people in the UK risk total
knee replacement every year. Want to talk pain? Then talk TKR. What’s
worse is that it is unsuccessful 10% of the time, and you can even die from
having total knee replacement. Furthermore, the age for TKR is constantly
dropping. Why? Anybody want to hazard a guess? That’s right: obesity.
Now, this isn’t proven yet, but it is most likely the biggest cause.
So, what happens when you get fat? Ladies, take the ‘C’ off chips and you
know what you get! Guys, you put it on around the waist and lose sight of
your favourite toy! What you probably don’t know is that your knees are
loaded with up to four times your weight, so every extra stone (14 lbs) is
an extra four stone (56 lbs) on your knees – that’s why knees are so often
the first casualty with OA. If you want to know why the four times multiple
occurs, it’s because of leverage. Now, you are intelligent people, and you are
surely interested in health or you wouldn’t be here. So, why have you made
the decision to get arthritis? Made the decision to get lots of pain? Made
the decision to risk surgery and even death? It’s because much of the pain
associated with the pleasure of eating too much is too far away, and anyway,
going to the gym is a pain for most. We need to change the way we think
about exercise, and hopefully this chapter will go some way to doing that
Here’s some more cheery news: an in-depth study into retirement found
that men in their sixties are every bit as good at driving business than those
physically and mentally in their prime. In later life, prescriptive exercise is
more effort than swallowing a pill, but it is well worth it; in a nutshell, you get
less senility and less pain. Exercise weaves its magic, strengthening the heart,
releasing more neurotransmitters for cell communication, boosting BDNF
for improving neural connections in the brain, aiding metabolism, improving
blood flow, stimulating toxic disposal systems, and strengthening bones.
This next fact gets me out running in howling gales and rain: current research
in Sweden shows that exercise alters the way genes work in the tissue that
stores fat, and changes in adipose tissue storage sites were measurable even
with just two workouts a week. Epigenetics has always fascinated me since
studying biology, and this is the study of how chemical alterations will
change how genes work in a cell. This allows us to fine tune our body to a
Exercise alters this process in muscle cells and improves how sugar is
processed. Furthermore, adipose tissue (fat cells) is an organ in its own right, producing active chemicals that have profound effects on the body. In
this tissue, 18,000 markers were found on 7,663 genes! This is leading to a
greater understanding of why exercise helps fatty tissue do its job properly,
which means that as we get older, we don’t have to have such a lumpy,
bumpy body. This smooth body needs a good structural support.
How exercise helps your bones,
Bones are remodelled throughout their life, as they respond to stresses put on them by activity, and every day, millions of old bone cells get replaced by
new ones. Fibres within the bone matrix act like bridge girders and need weight bearing exercise to trigger reactions at connecting stress points. This
triggers a cascade of biochemical reactions which, in turn, stimulates bone growth. In space, weightlessness cannot trigger bone matrix repair and bones thin. Remember the film Gravity? Sandra Bullock had wobbly legs
when she landed from space. George Clooney gives me wobbly legs, but that’s a whole other story…
In the same way as being in space, running, cycling, and swimming is not enough to reverse osteoporotic changes. In one study of mature ladies looking at a year of aerobic exercise resulted in an average of 4% bone loss. Weight
building exercises took two years to reverse the loss. The American College of Sports medicine and the Osteoporosis Society (to name just two) insist, on the prescription of cardio exercise to include weights.
Did you know?
Just three hours of immobilisation, and we start to rot. Disuse means death.
Don’t be a couch potato.
Exercise is vital for healthy ageing, so get out of that chair!
Also want to keep your own joint?Then use MRT [magnetic resonance.]That means treatment that helps to regrow cartilage cells without stem cell work or surgery.
Gone are the days where we doomed to inactivity and pain in later life. Exercise helps your bones if done with weights,get good nutrition inside you,lead a purposeful life and give a youthful bounce back to your step. Exercising your bones is much like medicine – it doesn’t have to taste nice, but the outcome
is more than worth it. Being disciplined about getting your exercise is your key to longevity, so exercise regularly and effectively. Most people will say they don’t like it, that it’s boring or painful, that they have no time to do it,but they’re just in denial for the need to move. Well, couch potatoes, here
are some more facts for you:
• In the UK, in the 16 to 24 age group, 42% failed their recommended activity level. At 65 years old, 93% of men and 96% of ladies failed too.
Embarressed you should be.
Traffic light approach to health, what do I mean ?Traffic Light Approach to Health
At my clinic, I always ask my patients to fill in a questionnaire about their
current health, and their answers are incredibly useful in letting me see
where they need to improve their mindset, their nutrition, their fitness and
their lifestyle. I call it the traffic light approach to health because we analyse
these areas by saying whether the patient is green (good), amber (room for
improvement) or red (poor). These are your fitness keys, and they will tell
you where you need to improve. With this in mind, I have developed four
questionnaires – one for each key – and have placed them in the appendix
of this book. If you want to get the most out of this book, I urge you to
complete the questionnaire at the start of each chapter, and again after
you’ve absorbed the knowledge and implemented some of my suggested
changes into your life. Soon, you should start to see your traffic light scores
changing from red or amber to green on all counts. When this happens, you
are likely to be at your optimal health for your age, which means you’ll be
giving yourself the best possible chance if a disease or injury should occur.
So, to those therapists and doctors who want to go beyond their specific
training and look at the synergy of everything they know in order to create
their own map, here is mine.
If you don’t want to commit to a new, healthy you, then now is probably a
good time to leave my blogs. If, however, you desire to work towards a healthy, fit,
pain-free body, here we go. It’s time to take your health into your own hands
and get rid of all the pain that has been holding you back
The 4 keys to health, what is it about? A question that now rings in my ears most days from those that as yet have not read my book.This book is life transforming if you take in the advice and act on it.My dear friend who had always said she would love a book dedicated to her, died yesterday with the book in her room knowing the healing work we started, so many years ago will go on, in this and future books and talks.Rest in peace June.
Everyday I bump into people telling me their life story and how the 4 keys to health has changed the way they think about life and empowered them to make the changes they needed to.This warms my heart, and today it was suggested I regularly blogged about it.
Here is an exert from my book describing what it is about.
I have spent my life searching for ways to treat pain, and I have travelled
all over the world, meeting and learning from countless specialists and
professionals during this quest of mine. Now, I want to pour all of that
knowledge and all of my experience into this book, so that my methods can
become your methods, and so that you can conquer your pain, allowing
you to have a long, happy life. It sounds relatively simple, doesn’t it? Well, it
may be simpler than you think.
This book will discuss healing through an understanding of how neuroscience
works, and I believe that this holds the keys to wellness, mental excellence,
physical fitness, prosperity, relationship skills, society contribution and
having a purpose to live – not to mention, of course, keeping out of pain. I
like to imagine all of these things as breaking down into four main sections:
the four keys of health, featuring mindset, nutrition and hydration, fitness,
and lifestyle. You will be able to read about each of these four keys in the
following chapters, and you can learn about the fifth key – how to deal with
individual health problems – in my next book, The Human Garage. This
will talk about what is lovingly nicknamed the ‘clinic of last resort’ by my
Drawing from both modern medical technology and ancient healing
wisdom, this book will guide you through your health journey, giving you
the knowledge and the tools you need to create the best lifestyle for you. Say
goodbye to pain and say hello to a fitter, healthier, happier you.
Spring is upon us, promising longer days, warmer weather, and a feeling of freshness and growth. It is the time when we start to squeeze out of jumpers and coats and see the winter plumpness with disdain. It is a perfect time to take that move to committing to being more active again.
Exercise is a word that for many invokes a sense of dread and ‘it’s not for me’. The fact is that exercise takes effort and the pain of committing to that effort is too much for many to get going. For those of you who need persuading, let’s look at the balance of what’s in it for you.
The downsides of exercise usually come down to making time to exercise, being prepared to work hard enough at it for it to do any good and feeling comfortable in an exercise environment with others. If we are honest with ourselves, we generally have quite a bit of time to sit in front of the TV. Just three shows less a week would make a difference, so lack of time is an excuse, not real, especially when you know the shows will be repeated anyway. You can of course choose to exercise on your own, if you feel awkward about exercising with others. So that just leaves the effort you put into it, which I will leave you to ponder on after I tell you about the consequences of not exercising.
So ‘what’s in it for me’ if I don’t exercise? Take a good look around next time you go shopping, obesity seems to be an epidemic. Around 50% of over 65’s are already on a cocktail of five or more drugs as GP’s try to fight off health problems. Their task is going to get a whole lot tougher when the next generation hits retirement age.
When we slouch in our chairs, watching TV, we don’t breathe correctly causing less lung capacity, lower oxygen intake, poorer blood flow, a weaker heart and less nutrient delivery. Muscles will contract to take up slack and blood pressure will rise. The reduced blood flow cannot sustain sudden movements any more, leading to dizziness and the increased risk of accidents.
The gut slows and digestion fails. Sugar metabolism struggles and diabetes is more likely to take hold. Men’s sexual potency falls. Bones get weaker making fracture more likely.
This list doesn’t make good reading does it? The pain coming your way if you don’t exercise is most probably going to make the effort to exercise look insignificant.
Exercise is vital for healthy aging. Whether you are 40 or 80, regular exercise will help you stay physically and mentally healthy and improve your life. It is widely acknowledged that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. A recent study suggests that intense physical activity may offer greater benefits for brain function in later life than less intense, but regular exercise. The researchers found a gradual increase in memory scores with higher intensity exercise.
If you are new to exercising, start with a few minutes a day, a small start puts you well on your way toward longer periods of exercise. Walking is a wonderful way to start exercising.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean you have to endure lengthy intense programs or take on a gym membership, although I think the discipline of going and the social angle is great.
If you are exercising on your own, you still need to add in working out with weights as well as aerobic exercise such as walking.
Your bones are remodelled throughout your life and they respond to stresses put on them by weight bearing activity. Space travel confirmed this when it was discovered that weightlessness prevented bone matrix repair and the bones thinned.
In the same way, running, cycling, and swimming are not enough to reverse osteoporotic changes. A one year study of mature ladies doing aerobic exercise only, without any weight bearing activity, showed an average 4% bone loss. This may not sound much, but it took two years of weight building exercises to reverse it. That’s why both the American College of Sports Medicine and the Osteoporotic Society insist on the prescription of aerobic exercise to include weights.
A word of caution. Exercise is an integral part of keeping healthy muscles and bones, however don’t push through bad pain whilst exercising, as all you will do is create chronic tissue damage. If you have an injury or are suffering arthritis, then exercise alone is not a worthy substitute and never will be for hands on treatments such as physiotherapy combined with modern technology, so visit us first.
Springtime is about new beginnings and inspirations. Spread the word about the benefits of safe, enjoyable exercise.
We have previously touched upon the significance of mindset in health. For example we all know that when we feel a bit down, everything feels that much harder to do and yet when we feel really good, it all seems so much easier.
Even though we all know this and have experienced this, it is sometimes difficult to take the next step and realise that by controlling your mindset you can control your ability to achieve, or not achieve your goals. Understandably, you may never have made this link. So, how can you control your mindset, you may ask?
Well, let’s start by looking at what words we use. After witnessing a car accident, if you were asked “did you see lots of glass after the window was smashed?”, would you be more likely to say yes, than if you were asked “did you see lots of glass after the window was broken?”. Absolutely. Tests have proven exactly this. Why? Because smashed evokes a stronger emotion than broken and alters the perception of what happened in reality.
Another example. We all get into situations where somebody lets us down or cheats us. What words you use will affect how you feel. Imagine saying to yourself ‘I’m really angry, I could hit him’. The emotions you would feel would be totally different than if you said ‘I’m feeling let down by you’. Try it yourself. It will feel different. If you suffer from anger problems, simply changing your words can change how you feel and act.
Now if you think about health, what words you use will again affect how you react. “I am a fat person” evokes a different feeling than “I am carrying a little bit of extra weight”. For some being fat will be painful, because it will involve loss of confidence and self esteem. But the thought of exercise and of going on a diet seems even more painful, so it’s easier to convince yourself, “hey I’m just carrying a little bit of extra weight. Besides I like my cakes and chocolate and exercise is so boring.” Isn’t this just using different words to control your mindset? Of course it is.
The outcome? Well in this case, the pain of being a little overweight is less than the pain of doing something about it, so nothing happens. Can we change this? Of course, change your words and it will change the feelings that you associate both with being fat and doing something about it. Then it becomes a lot easier to make positive improvement.
What’s the point of this story, well so often at our clinic we have patients who maybe are heavier than they should be, who probably haven’t exercised for many years and don’t have a real commitment to change. The result? Well pain, stiffness, creaky joints and arthritis for a start. But the perceived pain of having to do something about it is worse than the physical pain, so patients use different words to justify their condition. That is, until the pain gets too much.
Sure, we can work on the physical pain, we have great skills for that, but the benefits are amplified when we change the mindset and get true commitment to get involved. How?
The first step is to get a real commitment for the need to change. This usually only comes about when you get to that point where you have had enough, where the pain of not changing is worse than the fear of change.
Once there, then it’s a matter of breaking the thoughts and associations you have that has kept you where you are and then replacing it with a new set of beliefs that make you really want to change. This means that not changing means more pain and changing means moving away from that pain to something better.
If we go back to the overweight example, research has shown that in the majority of cases diets don’t work. The weight lost is back on within two years. That’s because dieting is just a temporary change of habit. Besides, dieting for most means moving towards pain. Not eating what you want, when you want and exercising is painful, right? But if you get the change of mindset, then the weight will come off and stay off.
Real improvements can come about if you want, all you need to do is to be shown how to change your mindset.
For more information about Nicky Snazell’s Pain Relief Clinic call 01889 881488 or visit www.painreliefclinic.co.uk
With our hectic modern lifestyle, there can be so many reasons why we don’t have a healthy spine and as a result suffer back and neck pain. As I have explored in my previous articles, keeping healthy involves four key things; state of mind, diet, exercise and posture.
The spinal cord and nerve roots are housed in a bony structure, the spine, to minimise fraying and compression to sensitive neural structures, further protected by cushioning discs and strong muscles.
If you are unable to eat a healthy diet or have chronic stress, the gut cannot absorb nutrients effectively. The body then starts to crave these missing nutrients and literally rapes the spinal bones of minerals to sustain the vital organs. This accelerates wear and tear in the small finely chiseled spinal facet joints that allow us to twist and turn. They become prematurely arthritic and fire off pain receptors.
Daily impacts due to heavy footsteps on solid surfaces, cause faster wear and tear. Furthermore with sustained poor posture in walking and sitting, amplified by not drinking enough water, the cushioning discs will crack and bulge. Then the fragile nerves are put at further risk by weak muscles. They turn into sensitive dysfunctional nerves which cause muscle contractures, accelerating arthritis, disc damage and general aging.
Hence the way we move will affect the harmonious flow of movement up through all the small joints in the spine. The correct structural alignment of feet, legs, pelvis and spine is very important, especially if you are very active and sporty. The science of how we move is called biomechanics, a physical expression of health, and a predictor of future problems.
So many times symptoms appear totally unrelated to the spine and yet unless recognized and treated the culprit lies dormant and the problem keeps reoccurring. Many times the symptoms of pain, numbness, weakness and pins and needles can be anywhere else in the body but the spine. So often, seemingly unrelated painful conditions such as osteoarthritis, tendinitis or unrelenting sports injury can only be resolved specialist neuropathic treatment to the spine. I firmly believe if anyone has a problem anywhere in the body the neural link to the spine must be assessed. Furthermore with shortened muscles compressing nerves such as sciatica in the leg, or brachialgia in the arm, the best way to quickly release the tight muscle contractures is with laser and a specialist pain treatment called Gunn IMS. We are the only centre in Europe to offer teaching internships in IMS pain relief, after being awarded the highest accolade in treatment and lecturing internationally on this subject.
We very much embrace this approach in the clinic, with our specific diagnostic physical and functional tests . We may also need to arrange an MRI to look inside the spine, and if we want to know if the bone or cartilage cells are healthy enough to repair and hydrated now we have leading technology to tell us.
It’s so exciting the way science is progressing, as now it is possible to repair sports injuries and arthritis at the cellular level. German scientists have pioneered a therapeutic version of MRI that can regenerate cartilage and bone cells throughout the body, including the disc and spine. Following a visit to the German research facility with our inhouse surgeon, we are proud to have joined over 150 European orthopaedic consultants who have helped over 150,000 patients with this non invasive technology.
We march into joint problems with innocent ignorance. A poor diet full of processed sugar, excess fat, caffeine and alcohol, leading to obesity, compounded by poor posture and footwear. These dark winter days we rarely get the correct amount of exercise to protect our joints, putting our bodies through repeated stresses and strains with weak muscles. On top of this it is difficult to keep a positive mindset with such negative world news.
No wonder arthritis creeps in.
My patients often ask if they have arthritis and what type. They often think that fibromyalgia is a form of arthritis.
Broadly speaking there are two kinds; osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis(RA). An examination by your physiotherapist or GP with xrays and bloods, should determine which it is.
OA, the most common type, is wear and tear in the smooth cartilage protecting the bones in joints, which eventually leads to bone erosion, bone spurs and unsightly bony end thickening. The joint juice, the synovial fluid, swells and becomes inflamed and sticky. The attacked bone haemorrages precious calcium. By 50 years old 8 out of 10 of us have OA and by 60, 9 out of 10. Left untreated, OA can have a massive negative impact on quality of life and eventually need surgery. When bone is very fragile, it becomes osteoporotic and breaks easily. By the age of 70, 1 in 3 ladies suffer this.
Clearly, for everyone, it is well worth investing time to prevent the worst. I have mild OA in my right knee following surgery and if I follow the plan enclosed, I keep the symptoms at bay.
RA is totally different to OA, whereby the malfunctioning of the immune system is self destructive to joints and muscles. It is linked to genetic makeup and believed to be triggered by a viral attack.
I am frequently asked about Fibromyalgia, but this is not arthritic or inflammatory. The symptoms of fatigue, sleepless nights and muscle pain are believed to be a malfunction of the mitochondria energy processing system in the cell.
Exercise regulary every 48 hours, include gentle exercise like Tai Chi or Yoga when you are feeling sore and stressed up, and try to exercise outside to get your daily sunshine, vital for vitamin D.
Consult a nutritionalist to check for food allergies and consider a liver function test. Many natural products support the liver, milk thistle, artichoke and dandelion.
Increase fruit and vegetable intake, especially raw. Best for arthritis are; carrots, green peppers, watercress, tomatoes, beetroot, berries, grapes, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and kale.
Eat less red meat, dairy, sugar laden and deep fryed food, drink less alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
Increase water, ionised if possible.
Consider supplementing, check with a nutritionalist. I take high quality antioxidants, minerals and Omega 3 & 6 every day. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are very important for arthritis.
For fibromyalgia, 5 HTP can help sleep, try malic acid with magnesium for pain and to boost ATP energy cycle, manganese and coenzyme Q10.
Check your blood sugar level. Vitamins C,E, manganese and chromium can help with this.
Menopause can increase the problems with arthritis and fragile bones. Mineral uptake can be poorer, vitamin D low in winter, hormone levels of oestrogen and progesterone and parathyroid can be out of kilter. There are great self help books out there, and your GP can advise you on your hormones and bone density.
If pain worsens on walking, consider a biomechanical check for your footwear.
For preventive treatment ask us about on the revolutionary German MBST technology that repairs and regrows cartilage and bone cells for osteoarthritic and osteoporotic sufferers.
For Fibromyalgia: the above plus Gunn IMS dry needling.
For Osteoporosis: MBST
If you would like help, please contact Nicky Snazell Clinic, 01889 881488.
We have recently taken delivery of our second Open 700 MBST machine. The Open 700 is the latest generation technology and currently only three machines are available in the UK. (more…)
NHS Orthopaedic Surgeon
“ I have never seen anything like this”
“Based on your Xray five years ago you should have crawled in here on your hands and knees, begging for the hip surgery but you walked in here with only a minor discomfort”