Movement is medicine

Written by Jamie Jaroszweski (Physiotherapist) and Amanda McLaughlin (Sports Therapist)

I’m a fan of making regular positive adaptations that address areas of my life where I would like to see the change. Fitness is always a dreaded thought come January (after eating your weight in food). Whether you want to smash new fitness challenges or simply walk 5 minutes more than normal, this blog will give you some tips and tricks to do just that.


As of 2021, GP’s are now able to prescribe exercise (about time!). A recent study looked at individuals with arthritis in the knee or hip and found that exercise helped reduce their pain as much as paracetamol! Exercise not only helps with your physical health, but also your mental health. It has been shown that exercise can be as effective, and sometimes more effective than psychological or pharmacological treatments for depression and anxiety.

When it comes to exercise some people think you have to super fit, lift heaviest weights or run a marathon. And although these are great for some people, simply moving your body in a way you enjoy for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, really can change your life. There are plenty of places around your local area which have free bike loans and gym access, walking groups and dance classes. Use this year to find out what you love, and try make a new hobby.

Top exercises and stretches

In this section, we will be giving you the top exercises and stretches that can be modified to suit you! I think we’ve all had those mornings where we wish we could just buy a new back... but no more, with these mobility stretches below!

A fantastic mobility stretch that we commonly prescribe here at The Medical is Cat Cow. This is a brilliant way to open up those stiffer joints in the lower back and hips. How many of us wake up in the morning and the back does not want to move... because that is certainly me! If doing this on your hands and knees is too difficult you can do this against a wall and get some movement in your spine - We would recommend doing Cat Cow every morning for 10 repetitions. Why don’t you give it a try?

Another brilliant mobility stretch is threading the needle. This can be a great exercise to get the body moving and clear the head. Do this in the morning and your back will thank you for it! Completing 6-8 reps on each side, 3 times, will have you feeling much more mobile in the mornings.

Facts about exercise

  • Although exercise may feel uncomfortable to begin with, a recent study found that regular exercise can promote pain relief
  • Exercise =increased blood flow. This is so essential for delivering nutrients required to carry out the brain’s job
  • Aim to get exercise in at least 4 hours before bed. This can help you reach stage 3 and 4 of sleep – making you feel refreshed and recharged in the morning
  • If you walk on average 7,500 steps a day, by time you are 80 years old, you will have walked 110,000 miles!
  • Guess how many muscles you use to take a step forwards? 200!
  • When you break a sweat, your blood pressure lowers for 16 hours afterwards!

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