Are you doing enough to look after your future health?

How can we all look after our health a little better?

As we get older we tend to lose flexibility and from the age of about 40 we can lose up to 2% strength a year unless we are actively working to combat this. Not only does a lack of exercise have consequences on our physical capabilities but as we all know – on things such as maintaining a healthy weight, preventing diabetes, preventing falls in older age, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Exercise is also excellent for our mental health and often prescribed for those suffering with depression.

During the pandemic our lives have been turned upside down. Many of our old exercising habits have been hard to sustain or have not been available to us. Lots of people have been juggling home working and home schooling and time to ourselves has been in short supply.

New physical activity guidelines were published by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers in late 2019

They stated that in order to maintain good physical and mental health, adults should aim to be physically active every day. They suggest that taking part in any type of regular physical activity is better than doing none at all and even short bouts of activity can be beneficial.

The updated guidance also takes account of new scientific evidence showing that people can experience health benefits from lower volumes, intensities and frequencies of activity than had previously been thought.

Please refer to my earlier blog about ‘exercise snacking’ that was featured on the BBC’s ‘Trust me I’m a doctor’ programme. They demonstrated how lots of short bursts of activity can add up and provide real health benefits for time-strapped people.

The guidelines advise that adults should take part in activities that increase or maintain their muscle strength, and involve the use of major muscle groups in the upper and lower body, at least twice a week.

The challenge now is, of course, finding innovative and appealing ways for people to meet these guidelines in their daily life. At Physio on the River we try to help and support our clients in this endeavour so they can lead long, fit and healthy lives.

On a weekly basis the guidelines advise:

  • at least two and a half hours (150 minutes) of a moderate intensity activity, such as cycling or brisk walking
  • or 75 minutes of a vigorous intensity activity such as running
  • or shorter durations of very vigorous intensity activity, such as sprinting or stair climbing
  • or a combination of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous activity


Our online Pilates, Yoga and Dance, Tone and Stretch classes are a great way to meet the first guideline. To really feel the maximum benefit we advise attending a class twice a week.

Our classes are small (never more than 7 when in the studio and 10 online) and friendly. Our teachers are experienced.

If you are a group of friends and would like us to tailor a class to your needs please get in touch. We can also cater for teams – like Pilates for tennis teams, hockey teams, running groups etc. The exercises are chosen to be specific to the needs of your particular sport or activity.

osteoporosisIf you are suffering with osteoporosis or osteopoenia then our Pilates for Osteoporosis is for you. The exercises are mainly performed in a weight bearing position and small weights are also used in order to help combat loss of bone density. These classes are taken by Fiona – our Physio and Pilates trained therapist.

Physio-led rehab training

Dave Burnett and Richard Game are two of our physio team who are both trained as physios but started their careers by being trained in sports and exercise medicine. They help many of our clients who don’t want to sweat it out at the gym and don’t fancy joining a class but would like to do some Personal Training.

They can tailor an exercise and fitness programme specifically to you and should you have any physical issues they can take care of those too! They can offer treatment but can also work your programme around your physical difficulties. Their in depth knowledge means you can exercise safely under their guidance.

Managing chronic pain

If you are experiencing ongoing pain in your life and are finding that a barrier to exercise, Richard also specialises in treating chronic pain. He has a master’s degree in pain management. He can help you with a ‘paced’ return to exercise, carried out very gradually to allow the body to get used to exercising again and at the same time managing the pain.

Exercise tips

Running buddies!

If you like to cycle we now have a Bike Fitting service. Very soon you can come and get your bike properly fitted to you, and let Richard see if you have any physical issues that you need to work on, alongside your riding. We hope the restrictions will be liften in April to do this.

If running is more your thing then Dave runs our Running Clinic. He can assess your running style on the treadmill with video gait analysis. He can then produce a programme of exercises to help you work on any areas of weakness or tightness or help you change your running style if need be.

Picture of nordic walking sourced from

Image sourced from

If you like walking have you considered using Nordic walking poles? They may look a bit nerdy but can give you a really good aerobic workout at the same time as reducing the work your legs have to do. So if you have an arthritic hip, knee or ankle they can really help you exercise more comfortably.

And if all that exercise leaves you aching a little then our lovely team of massage therapists will soon be allowed to help you recover with a sports or deep tissue massage!

Next steps….

If you would like to:

  • book a Pilates, Yoga or Dance Tone and Stretch class or just find out more
  • book a Bike Fitting Assessment
  • find out more about our Running Clinic packages
  • book a Personal Training session
  • book a Massage
  • or book a Physio appointment

give us a call on 020 8876 5690. If you are not sure which class would be best, our receptionists or physios can advise you. You can also email us here or simply pop in for a chat. Physio and massage can be booked online here.