What can physiotherapy teach us about our bodies? Physios Zoe and Stephanie Melanko tell us.
Studying physiotherapy provides you the opportunity to obtain a broad range of knowledge, skills and an understanding of the human body. Our knowledge of health has been invaluable not only to our work, but also to our own lives. Physiotherapy has taught us to look after our bodies and that many health-related issues can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
We have also learnt that exercise can be tailored to suit anyone, from the 90-plus-year-olds lifting free weights, to the ultra-tuned athletes running marathons.
Physiotherapy for prevention
Our knowledge of health has taught us that prevention is the key for many health-related issues and injuries. We actively make time in our lives for exercise, preparing healthy foods and participating in our community.
In terms of keeping ourselves injury-free, as physiotherapists we understand the importance of doing a variety of exercises that address different areas of fitness. Ideally we aim for some form of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training, including some lower impact exercise such as swimming or pilates.
Looking after yourself post-exercise is important for preventing injuries. Here are three key tips:
1. Stretch. Stretching the muscle groups you have worked during your recovery and cool down will decrease mild muscle tightness and discomfort over the next few days after exercise of high intensity. Muscle soreness is normal for about two days after a workout, however regular stretching or getting down to the beach for a cold swim afterwards can help.
2. Drink up. Always drink plenty of water before and after exercise to stay hydrated.
3. Snack smart. Following a hard workout, have a nutritious snack such as a banana soon after to replenish depleted energy stores so that you can continue to feel energised for the rest of the day.