Eating fat doesn’t make you fat

Explaining why the popular misconception “if you eat fat, you’ll get fat” has contributed to the obesity epidemic

Fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks, comprising about 15% of our overall weight. In our diet, fat (from animal or vegetable sources) provides a concentrated energy source. Contrary to popular belief, a fairly high percentage of diverse, good quality fats are required for optimal health. Although now slowly changing, for several decades now, a lot of health advice has unfairly promoted a low-fat diet. The problem with this is that it almost always equates to a high-sugar and/or high-refined carbohydrate diet that contributes to insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and numerous other health problems.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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Pilates and the foam roller

It’s not just about pain.

Many people’s first thought, at the very mention of the ‘foam roller’, is a feeling of excruciating pain. Rolling the outside of your leg or your IT band can effortlessly bring on these types of sensations. Pilates sometimes make use of the foam roller for certain deep tissue release techniques (that can hurt), however there are many additional benefits. The foam roller can also be used to encourage both proprioception and stability.

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Training for your first triathlon in just 4 weeks

Summer in Australia means it’s triathlon season. For anyone who has said they’d like to complete a triathlon one day, if you act now you’ve still got time to prepare for your race this season!

You might be thinking ‘there’s no way I can prepare in time’. But I assure this is not the case. Even if you haven’t even been running regularly over the holiday season or can’t remember the last time you rode a bike, there’s no need to stress out!  You CAN do it.

I’ve prepared the following tips and a basic training plan that you can use to get ready for your first race, in only 4 weeks. Triathlons come in many different distances, so choose something appropriate for your experience. Common triathlon formats include:

  • Sprint Distance: 500–750m swim, 20km cycle, 3–5km run
  • Olympic Distance: 1500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run
  • Triathlon 70.3 (Half Ironman): 1900m swim, 90km cycle, 21.1km run
  • Triathlon 140.6 (Ironman): 3900m swim, 180km cycle, 42.2km run

In this post, I’ll be outlining a basic training plan for your first sprint distance event.

Whilst I have a background in training, competing both as a swimmer and a triathlete when I was 16, the last time I raced was 7 years ago. Since then I’ve made very few attempts at serious swimming or cycling. However, with some gentle persuasion and encouragement from senior Osteopath and mentor, Brendan O’Loughlin, I was convinced to give it another go. Unfortunately, the timing of the event left me with just 4 weeks to get ready, so this is what I did to prepare for my first sprint distance triathlon in over 7 years…

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Pilates for beginners

For a new Pilates student, there is a lot to learn in the first 20 sessions. Setting up strong foundations is incredibly important to help advance along the Pilates journey.

There are six key principles that make up the foundations of the Pilates method. Their application is what makes Pilates such a unique and effective modality. It is vitally important that these are taught well for all new students:

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Dry needling for headaches

Many factors in our day-to-day lives cause tension in the body. Whether it’s poor posture from slouching, carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder or sitting for long periods in a car or at an incorrectly set-up desk.

Headaches can often result from this tension, due to the tightness of muscles in the shoulders, neck and base of your skull. Within tight muscles, we find knots, often referred to as trigger points. Trigger points are ball-like areas of tightness found within tight muscles that can refer pain into your head, causing what we then experience as a headache.

Dry needling is a fantastic technique that may help reduce headache pain and also improve range of movement inhibited by tight muscles.

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Pilates versus Yoga

Although completely different in intent, there are many cross-overs and benefits between Pilates and Yoga. Each lifestyle (or method) has proponents eager to tell you why their method is better than the other.

However, as with many things, deciding which will provide the most benefit is a complex combination of factors including: the particular body and personality in question; the various barriers to practice; and what the subject currently needs to help them get better, stronger, pain-free or simply find an improved sense of well-being.

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Medical History Explained: Medications

As Osteopath’s, we don’t have prescription rights, yet as part of our five year degree we study pharmacology in detail. So why is it so important to us to understand your current medication regime? There is a common misconception that the medication you take does not influence how your Osteopath can help you. Whilst it is true that we are not in a position to change or monitor your current medication needs, your medication regime does affect the way we treat you. Let me discuss three of the most commonly prescribed medications and how these affect your Osteopathic care:

  1. Cholesterol Reducing Medication
  2. Corticosteroids
  3. Oral Contraceptive Pill

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Medical History Explained: Why do your previous injuries matter?

Remember that old childhood song?

“The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone, the hip bone’s connected to the back bone…”

Well when it comes to Osteopathy and the way we think about your body, the old skeleton song could not be more relevant.

During an Initial Osteopathy Consultation, we always start by asking about your previous injuries. The reason is that we are trying to create a timeline of events that may have led to your presenting complaint. For example, most of us remember having rolled an ankle at some point – but do you remember limping around the office for half a week until the pain settled down? It’s most likely that you didn’t think anything about what this might lead to down the track. Perhaps try limping around the office now to get an idea of what the rest of your body will do to compensate for a common injury like this.

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