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Kayaking – recreational paddling from a Physio’s point of view

Kayaking – recreational paddling from a Physio’s perspective

Getting into Exercise

Getting into Exercise

Katie Abbott, a Proud Dog Mum who also loves shredding trails on her Mountain-bike.

Katie Abbott recently started telling us about what she got up to in her spare time.  When we started to dig a little deeper, we found a very Proud Dog Mum who has the most incredible little guy Nero who does the most amazing things.  On top of this, Katie is also quite an avid mountain-biker, which she came to a bit by accident.  So we asked a few more questions and then couldn’t help but put this article together to share her story:

You are the Proud Dog Mum of Nero who you compete in Agility with – can you tell us what Agility is and what Nero participates in?

Nero is my rescue Jack Russell cross who, when I got him, had seemingly endless energy to burn. I needed a way to exhaust not only his crazy fit little body, but his mind too. I did some research and it looked like Agility fit the bill perfectly – I was surprised to find that it wasn’t just for the fast working breed dogs but for dogs of any size and breed. Also, I’m possibly a little competitive with just about anything (I can make yoga competitive), so finding something that was fun, made Nero think, kept us both active and competitive to boot, was a dream come true! It’s true, I am a Proud Dog Mum.

Agility is an obstacle course for dogs and the owners are needed to show the dog which obstacle is next, what speed to take and where the course is going. The courses are made up of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, A-frames, dog walks and see-saws and, depending on the difficulty level, there can be between 15-25 obstacles on a course. The fastest round without making any mistakes is the winner! There are 5 height categories, so thankfully (for them) the big dogs compete separately to the little dogs. Each height category has the same course but the main difference is the height of the jumps. In the ‘mini’ category, Nero competes against other small dogs such as poodles, cocker spaniels, shetland sheepdogs, jack russells, fox terriers and small breed mixes. Teeny tiny dogs such as chihuahua’s compete in the ‘toy’ category all the way up to ex-racing greyhounds compete in the ‘maxi’ category, and everything in between.

Nero has been competing for a couple of years now and he definitely loves being out on the course, going fast and doing his thing with me. Not only is agility fun for both Nero and I, but also it’s been a place where I’ve met so many like-minded, dog-loving, agility-mad Proud Dog Mum Friends.

 

As a relatively new Queenslander can you tell us what about Brisbane you like and why you chose to live here?

I’ve lived in QLD for 3 years now and it is most definitely feels like home. Going back 5 years, my fiance, Michael and I started a long distance relationship. We met in Paris while on holidays and although we lived in different cities, we were glad we were in the same country! Fast forward 2 years and 100 flights each (yes, EACH) later, the time had come for someone to move. I hadn’t planned to move to Brisbane and was hoping Michael would move to Sydney but we stumbled across an amazing apartment in an awesome location. It was way too nice to have as an investment we planned, so the search was on to find a job up here… which took 3 days. It was just meant to be!

It wasn’t long after I started living here and still flying back to Sydney to see my family, that I realised that landing at Brisbane Airport felt like I was coming home. For me, it’s who I live near that makes the place awesome – so the reason I like Brisbane is because I like the people here. It’s really as simple as that. Yes Brisbane has so many qualities that I love (except the humidity), but the people of Brisbane are what make it so special.

 

On the weekend we know you can be found on the Mountain biking tracks – how did you get into it, do we have good tracks in Brisbane and how often do you and the trees have a disagreement?

When I wake up on a perfect weekend morning the first thing I want to do is get into the water for a surf. Mother nature doesn’t always provide amazing waves and getting into a wetsuit on a cold morning isn’t so appealing, so another activity was needed to help keep me active and outside. I can’t train Nero 24×7 and he needs rest days too, so I thought maybe biking was an option. I wasn’t super keen at first because the last things I wanted to do were to loose control at speed and get scared. But I bought a bike anyway.

I bought a bike that was good enough to handle the mtb tracks, but not pricey enough that I HAD to go for a ride every weekend to make it worth it. It was a purple bike too – winning!

It was as simple as, after my very first mtb lesson, I was hooked. I was determined to get better, feel that adrenaline rush again and get fit while being outdoors. Honestly, it didn’t bother me too much when I had altercations with trees (sorry Sal!) as I had done equestrian sports for 10 years and competed to 2** level in eventing. While riding horses I had learned that stacks are inevitable and it’s getting back on the horse (now bike) is what makes you learn and grow.

Brisbane has some amazing mountain bike tracks that are specifically for mountain bikes and where bush-walkers aren’t allowed. There are tracks at a few different spots that I’ve been to and they’re beautifully maintained, graded for difficulty and constantly added to to keep things interesting. The places I like to get on the trails are Gap Creek Reserve in Kenmore and also Daisy Hill Conservation Park in Logan. Next on the list of places to check out is the Hidden Vale Adventure Park out past Ipswich.

I now far prefer mountain biking to surfing and am contemplating upgrading my bike to  a super fancy dual suspension bike. I just hope they come in purple.

 

If you liked Katie’s Proud Dog Mum story, and would like to submit something about yourself – we’d love to hear from you. Click here and shoot us a web mail.

 

Does our body really start to fall apart as we age?

It’s all happened to us, even from the most innocuous of activities: picking up my keys. Does our body really start to fall apart as we age?

I just jumped in my car, and as I went to grab the door handle with keys in hand, I dropped my keys.  While seated, I twisted and bent over to pick them up – then I felt it – a tiny twinge in my lower spine. Not enough to hurt, but just enough to let me know I’d done something bad down there.

Not thinking anything of it, I drove away, the twinge becoming pain and then acute pain. I drove myself to a physio. By the time I got there, I couldn’t get out of the car without assistance. I had ruptured a lumbar disc.

I’m not alone. Lots of friends have told me similar stories – doing something simple, and then twang – something happens.  Generally it’s shrugged off with the statement “this is what happens at our age. Your body starts to fall apart.”

“The age” is mid-30s. The thing is, I heard the same when I turned 40. And I’m sure I’ll hear it again when I turn 50.

 

Muscle Change

There is some truth to it. Your muscles do start to change in your 30s, says Professor Alan Hayes, a muscle and exercise physiologist at Victoria University.

“You have … peak muscle mass in mid-20s and certainly after that point, by about your mid-30s, they start to decline.

“But if you’re that age and just blaming your body, that’s a bit of a cop out.”

James Fell, a sports scientist at the University of Tasmania, says there’s probably no reason to attribute such muscular niggles to age until your 50s.

Professor Hayes thinks it’s even higher: “I don’t think you should do that until you’re in your 70s.”

So if I can’t blame my age, why does it feel like my body is about to fall apart?

 

Life stage and lifestyle

In short, a lot of it is due to activity — or lack thereof.

“There’s no doubt that the sedentary lifestyle aspect is a major contributor to the injuries that we’re going to sustain,” Professor Hayes says.

When you sit at a desk for hours on end, for instance, your hip flexor muscles, which connect your spine, pelvis and upper legs, remain constantly shortened, Dr Fell says.

“And then you get up out of your chair and expect them to function normally, and you injure them or other associated structures.”

With being sedentary comes a greater risk of obesity. Fat can work its way between muscle fibres, further decreasing strength, and into bone.

The “your body falls apart in your 30s” idea probably also has something to do with that particular life stage, Bond University sports scientist Peter Reaburn says.

Are you over the age of 40 and feel like your body is telling you something?  What do you do to keep fit and moving?  Do you incorporate resistance training?  We’d love to know!

If you’re unsure about what to do, or whether your body is ready to start something knew like lifting weights – then feel free to give us a call or book in for an assessment.  You can book on-line HERE, or call us on 1300 842 850.  We’ll make sure you don’t fall apart.