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Mike Aspland BSc(Hons)

BACKTOACTION Newsletter March 2013

Tel: 07974 715901 You, Me and Science YOU may have been asking if you have missed a newsletter because you haven’t received one for so long, No you hadn’t. This winter has seen such diversity in the weather and thankfully it is almost over and hopefully we will see some nice weather with spring and summer around the corner. I always associate the start of spring with the arrival of the new born lambs, and then the blossoming of the trees and flowers. The winter is always a more difficult time to exercise outdoors but with the better weather ahead then there is no better time than now to dust of those cobwebs and start to venture out into the fresh air. The recommended activity guidelines for adults 19-64 years old is 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate intensity exercise – this maybe 5 x 30 minutes per week Or 75 minutes of more vigorous intensity exercise. This could take the format of walking, cycling, swimming, rowing etc. But what is moderate intensity? – they say you should be able to perform the exercise and hold a conversation without getting out of breath.

Adults should also perform muscle strength activity using major muscle groups like resistance exercise or gardening etc. on 2 days of the week. People always associate strength exercise as using weight machines as found in gym’s, but most women become afraid of performing resistance exercise as they believe it will build bulky muscles. You would need to do a serious amount of heavy weights over a long period of time to develop muscle and most women are unlikely to do that. By performing strengthen exercises you will develop better muscular tone and improve your weight management as more muscle requires more energy and therefore can potentially burn more fat. Most people think they need to go to a gym to do muscle strengthening activities using machines, when all they need is some space and their own body weight, (cont. over page-)

Macmillan Gower Charity Walk September last year saw myself and one of my clients Cliff Doel complete the 22 mile Macmillan Gower Charity Walk along with over a 1,000 other people who walked either the 22 miles from Rhossili to Mumbles cricket club or the 14 miles from Port Eynon to the Cricket Club. It was a great day out walking along some of the finest coastline in the country. This year the event will take place on Saturday 7th September 2013, so why not do your friends a favour and get yourselves entered to do it and become healthier and fitter along the way, whilst raising some money for the good work of the Macmillan charity. Don’t leave it to the last minute to register as this has become a very popular event and places are limited, GOOD LUCK.

To register click the logo below –

to perform exercises like squats, lunges, planks etc. You may think a squat is differcult to achieve, yet we do it every time we sit down on a chair or the toilet, and we may perform a lunge to pick things up from the floor. All these exercises will use many big muscle groups in a functional way. You just need to have someone show you how to perform them safely and correctly. Whilst performing these compound exercises will also improve your core muscles to help improve your posture and flatten the belly, which is what most people want, the problem with this is that most people do not know how to activate their core muscles correctly – I will cover this in another newsletter and I may also run a few classes to teach people how to carry out these exercises effectively.

Posture Performing exercise is an excellent start to improving one’s health, but doing it incorrectly can lead to injury or pain. Likewise general posture is very important in how the body moves and is able to perform daily living tasks without causing problems.

Poor posture images.

Most people are not aware that they may have poor posture, or they are aware of it and when they correct it themselves they generally make it worse. So what is good posture?

Standing sideways on a plumb line would fall through the ear, center of the shoulder, center of the hip and knee to just in front of the ankle. What I tend to see more of is postures similar to those below To assess your posture all you need to do is have a side on view of you posture and then use a clear ruler or piece of plastic as a straight line to assess where your main points of alignment are. There are now many APPs available to download that will help you assess your posture – OR you could come to see me and have it assessed and be told how to correct it. So, if you have poor posture in standing, what about when you are walking or running? It is not differcult to correct your posture although it will feel strange initially, great improvements can be made which will result in less injuries and better efficiency – so you will be able to exercise for longer and it will help control those calories.

I was very interested with some research from America with regard to the pain associated with Fibromyalgia. Dr Andrew Holman (2008) ‘believes that positional cervical spinal cord compression is one unsuspected comorbidity that has important implications for Fibromyalgia Syndrome and its treatment’. His practice looks to make improvements by correcting people’s posture and having them become aware of their alignment of their ears to the shoulders and those to their hips, knees and ankles, i.e. realigning posture to improve the cervical curvature. This is an easy read of the journal article ositional-cervical-spinal-cordcompression-and-FibromyalgiaSyndrome.aspx He does point out that this diagnosis is not normally seen in general MRI scans and that his clinic has developed this new procedure. This is another example of how important posture is and why we should become aware of it. If you would like a FREE basic posture analysis to check your alignment, then call me to arrange one. 07974 715901 Reference:

1. Holman AJ. 2008. Positional cervical spinal cord compression and fibromyalgia: a novel comorbidity with important diagnostic and treatment implications. J Pain.9(7):613-22.

SCIENCE I am currently putting together my Masters Dissertation research project and therefore will be looking for volunteers to partake in the study. If you would like to maybe get involved then please email your interest to me at There is no obligation to continue when the time comes.


studying continues My Masters studies are progressing and with two modules and a dissertation to go, I am now on the homeward journey. I have found it much harder due to the work required and my other commitments.

During the time taken to write this newsletter it is looking more likely that the dissertation project will change slightly. I am seeking approval from my tutors to now look at recording body temperature to assess if it warrants further research. This will involve people from varying backgrounds (active, nonactive, those with medical conditions etc.) taking their daily body temperature with a standard thermometer to assess if there is any relationship to health and disease.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a senior member of a local University about the pros and cons of undertaking a PhD. One of the considerations he advised me to look at was the overall cost, he had previously calculated with another of his students that their PhD could potentially cost them £190,000 over the 3 years due to loss of earnings, pension contributions and costs of the PhD, a significant amount of money by anyone’s standards. Then trying to justify this cost, I turned it Many factors, such as physical trauma, around and asked myself – if I did complete a PhD and the knowledge anaesthetics, starvation / dieting, seasonal gained from that gave me (alone) at least variations and hyperventilation can cause another years good health, would it be low basal body temperature. This can worth the investment? Then I asked cause the body to remain in a state of myself – if you could buy a year’s good hibernation or a dominant health (like you would a car), how much parasympathetic (anabolic) state. would you pay for it. But in reality we Therefore it will not enter lipolysis (the know that money doesn’t always buy you good health and happiness. breaking down of fats) which requires a sympathetic (catabolic) inervation. This is one of the reasons people have difficulty NEW PART TIME JOB - ENDS in loosing weight. Some clients are monitoring their temperatures on a daily basis and the results are intriguing. I am fascinated by this whole subject and could possibly look at doing PhD around this subject.

had become stuck or put weight back on and was looking to lose it again. Well, from the research that I am following, the stagnation of weight loss or the increase in weight once exercise or dieting stops is inevitable. CALORIE RESTRICTING DIETING DOES NOT WORK- LONG TERM. It is amazing how much medical evidence there is to support this, but no one is explaining the effects on the body from the restriction of calories / fats / carbohydrate and protein. As for the core – most people have no idea where the core muscles are, let alone how to work them – it is not your six pack.

Competition Unfortunately no one got the correct answer to win £10 Marks and Spencer vouchers. The answer was The café at the top of Snowdon Mountain, which was in the news around the time of the Olympics.

The new job at the LC2 went well, but I had to call it a day at the end of February. With all things going on I was becoming completely exhausted and run down, so it was time to practice what I preach to people and therefore resigned. Within a week I am already feeling full of energy and rearing to go. Whilst working at the LC2 it was interesting to see and hear what their reasons were for exercising. Those being WEIGHT LOSS, and tone up the belly area with core exercises. The team there did a fantastic job helping people become motivated and achieve results, but some

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You, Me and Science  

March 2013 Newsletter

You, Me and Science  

March 2013 Newsletter