Our Barefooter Kate Mendel loves her rock climbing.
Kayaking – recreational paddling from a Physio’s perspective
Daniel is an extremely active athlete, playing rugby, enjoying swimming and hiking. Now his education and talents take him for a Canadian Adventure, where he is looking forward to both Summer and Winters so he can pursue all of his loves.
When you first came in, you were big into rugby and have since been filling your time with other activities – what would a regular week look like for you?
I like to try and do something on most days through the week. Lately rock climbing has filled the void of rugby and i like to go a couple of times a week. Through the rest of the week I try and do two strength sessions and then either a run or a swim. I do prefer swimming though, especially during the warmer months
You have now graduated from uni and are working full time – give us a bit of a background on your studies and the change over to full time work.
I’ve have just finished studying civil and construction engineering and was lucky enough to get a job through my final two years of uni working 3-4 times a week and taking the odd day off here and there when I needed to. This definitely helped to moving over to full time work and I do much of the same work but i get free afternoons to relax.
We’ve chatted lots about what is next – a Canadian Adventure! Tell us a bit about where you are going and what brought you to buy the one way ticket!
I always wanted to try a working holiday or student exchange to experience something different and always found Canada appealing from photos and stories from my friends and family. The hardest part about going was actually picking a place to live but I will be staying in Banff mainly due to the the range of ski resorts through the winter and the appeal of hiking and the national parks in the summer. Really looking forward to a Canadian Adventure.
Daniel has been a Barefooter for quite some time. Enjoying what Physiotherapy can offer in relation to ‘tune-ups’ and keeping his body performing at his Peak. If you would like to benefit from a tailored Physiotherapy Plan to support your body and your sport, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. More details can be found HERE.
We love hearing from our Barefooters and the incredibly cool things they do in their lives. It makes what we do so much more enjoyable (and entertaining!). Jason is a great example of someone who really leans in to life and enjoys all aspects. Read on for all about Brisbane’s dance scene – Jason is a great person to ask all about it and some fun facts about him!
Jason you are a very committed dancer – what type of dance to you do? Tell us about it (what made you choose to dance, what you love about it)
I dance a number of different street Latin dance styles primarily Salsa, Cha Cha Cha and Bachata. My favourite dance style is Salsa. Street Latin is quite different to what you would probably imagine when you think of Latin or ballroom and see on TV shows like Dancing with the Stars.
I’ve always been interested in dance but never actually took any classes until my brother asked me to come to a free “come and try” salsa class when I was about 25. I was instantly hooked and quite quickly went from dancing once a week to five or six nights a week in only a few short months.
Dancing has so many positive aspects about it. For starters, it is a very social activity as it is a couple dance so you get to meet many interesting people. At the same time, you are exercising and getting a work out but it doesn’t feel like a hard core gym session!!
No matter where you go in the world you can always find a club, social event, class or other dance event on that will allow you to get out and about and meet new people in different countries. I’ve danced throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as been lucky enough to have travelled to USA and a number of other countries through Europe on organised dance tours.
We often see people dancing in the square in Brisbane City – is that ever you? Does Brisbane have a good dancing community?
Yes, Brisbane Square is one of the events that I attend from time to time. This event in particular is really good, due to it being outdoors and visible to the public. It attracts a big crowd every week and also exposes non-dancers to the Brisbane dance scene. The Brisbane dance community is still relatively small but it has grown significantly in the last few years. In fact, you can go out and social dance or take classes almost every night of the week now, something which was not possible a few years ago.
Some other great regular dance events are Thursday nights at Cloudland which has a live Salsa band, and Sunday nights at Jade Budda. In addition, there are plenty of other events organised by dance schools and passionate individuals which change from week to week.
The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast scenes are also really growing at the moment, and there is a lot of travel between these locations for classes and social dance nights.
During the week you help run your family business – what type of work do you do and what’s it like working as a family?
We run a small business which imports timber from New Zealand. I look after a lot of the admin and logistical side of the business. It’s great working in a family business as it offers a lot of flexibility and freedom. This is something which I really appreciate when trying to get away for class or other dance events that I constantly have going on.
Working in the timber industry is something that I never imagined I would be doing as a kid, however as the family business was expanding an opportunity opened up to join. I couldn’t be happier with the opportunities and work/life balance that have come my way.
What are 5 fun facts about you that you’d love to share.
- I used to play football (soccer) for about 20 years both outdoor and indoor. This is something that was a very big part of my life and spent a lot of time doing. I met a lot of great people and travelled all around the world playing and training at some amazing venues and football clubs.
- I met my girlfriend out at a social dance night. (Something which I was not expecting but was pleasantly surprised). Yes, it is possible to meet your someone special in the dance scene and I know quite a few people who have met and married from dancing.
- I am a bit of a nerd and have a love for all things tech as well as drones 😊 I try to get out every couple of weeks to do some drone flying as well.
- I love to travel and in my early twenties I took a year off to live in London. I had a great time and would recommend that experience to anyone thinking about it.
- I am currently learning Spanish and hopefully one day will be able to master this as a second language 😊
Dan Ludgater recently moved to Medellin, Colombia to pursue the Digital Nomad lifestyle. His Colombian Adventure so far is something most of us would love to do.
So you’ve been living in Medillin, Colombia for the last 2 months. How does it compare to life in Brisbane?
Well, everyone speaks Spanish… except for me lol. It’s actually been fun learning a new language and doing our best to navigate situations. My “food ordering Espanol” is pretty good now, and as far as we know, no one has ordered any mystery meats.
It’s also FAR more dangerous here. Kidding. When you mention a Colombian Adventure to most people, they think Cartels and Cocaine… Which would be accurate if it was 25 years ago. Though, to be fair, it wasn’t safe to travel outside the cities until about ten years ago.
Another big difference was living in an apartment with several friends and colleagues. The first month there were 6 of us sharing. Pros and cons to that, of course, but overall it was a lot of fun. As I write this, my girlfriend and I are in our own place here with a magnificent view.
What made you want to go and try out the digital nomad lifestyle?
We always wanted to try living abroad, but it’s been challenging since my girlfriend has a full-time position back in Brissy (currently on leave). We almost moved here a couple years back on the recommendation of a friend (so that I could pursue an opportunity with a company that needed me on US time). Didn’t make sense to me at the time though. So when I was talking with some colleagues at an event in Florida in October last year, spending some time in Colombia came up. And since we wanted to do a trip around the same time anyway, we finally pulled the trigger.
What have been your favorite things about working in Colombia?
It’s been fantastic getting to spend time with my friends and colleagues. With 5 from all across the States and 1 from Ireland, it’s not often we’re in the same place. I also love getting to immerse myself in the culture and go do fun things in my down time. We went paragliding, climbed the rock at Guatape/El Penol, went through one of Escobar‘s mansions that was bombed by the Cali Cartel, and plenty more. Being on a US timezone has been a nice bonus for me, too.
Tell us about the type of work you do while you’re abroad?
I help my clients grow their businesses with more effective marketing and copy. Fortunately, that means that I can work from anywhere as long as I have a laptop, wifi and a head set.
Have you had any serious or interesting problems on your travels?
Nothing too scary. We’ve had some times where debit/credit cards were rejected. Which can be stressful if you don’t have cash on you. But that was mostly when trying to do transactions online or through apps.
Another thing comes to mind. Not really a “problem”, and kind of funny… We had a couple occasions where we did a tour and were told by our driver, “If we get pulled over at a police checkpoint, we’re friends from when I visited Florida a couple years back.” The driver still had paperwork going through for that, and seeing as Uber is essentially illegal here (though everyone uses it anyway), they don’t want to look like that’s what’s going on.
Though their driving, on the other hand, WAS terrifying.
Are you going to be continuing your digital nomad lifestyle longer term? If so where is your next destination?
Absolutely. We’ll be coming back here again at some stage and no doubt will tour more of South America. Also want to check out Spain, Portugal and some other spots in Europe. As well as Thailand and Vietnam.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to trial the laptop lifestyle and work abroad?
A lot of people still have this fantasy of sitting on a beach with their laptop. Obviously it’s nothing like that. In fact, it’s hard work. That said, there are some professions where remote work is now viable. For me, as a freelancer, I’m responsible for making sure I have clients that can keep the money flowing. But, if you work hard during the day, that leaves the nights and weekends open for adventure. And there’s plenty of that to be had.
We hope you enjoyed Dan’s Colombian Adventure? If you’re currently on an excellent adventure, or about to take one, why not drop us a line so we can feature you here. Just click right here to send us some information.
We also know that while Dan’s is on this Colombian Adventure, he is watching this BLOG, so if you have any questions for us or Dan, please feel free to ask in the comments section below.
At Barefoot Physiotherapy we utilise techniques from multiple learnings all combined into our unique Barefoot Physiotherapy Plan. These techniques include; LJ Lee’s training in The Thoracic Ring Approach™all of our Bachelor/Masters degrees, Mulligan, Maitland and Ridgway Methods, Western Acupuncture, Dry Needling, and Pain Science/Graded Motor Imagery. We are continually learning and evolving our Framework and an essential part of it is the Thoracic Ring training we have had.
The Thoracic Ring Approach™ is an innovative assessment and treatment technique for the body (treating through the thorax – which is the middle of the back and ribs) based on a broader understanding of how these areas are designed to function optimally. It fits well within our framework of seeing the body as a whole and in the context of whole body movement and optimal health of the whole person.
What is a Thoracic Ring?
A Thoracic ring is the 2 vertebrae and the ribs attached. For example the T4-5 vertebral segment (including disc) and ribs 5 on left and right.
How do you know if the Thoracic Rings are ‘The Driver’?
With the assessment of multiple rings and treatment techniques for them we can facilitate optimal biomechanics and replicate ideal motor control for the Thorax while hands on. If this facilitation/correction improves movements/meaningful tasks we can know that this is a significant area of the body (and potentially a Driver further through the body). We combine this information with the rest of our Clinical Reasoning in our Barefoot Physiotherapy Plan to determine whether the Rings are a true underlying factor of the clients problem (ie the reason they are seeing a physio!). As the LJ Institute states: “The reason this is essential is that it is common for the thorax to be relatively pain-free but dysfunctional; the dysfunctional thorax creates adverse stresses, loads and forces that can cause pain in any other area of the body.”
Treatment of The Thoracic Rings
When we move well we feel good and we move more. But the catch 22 is that we need to have the body feel good enough to move. Our treatment framework is based on getting the body moving through hands on treatment initially and teaching people how to move well – whatever that is for them! This dynamic view of the body means that an essential component of treatment is training optimal muscle activation patterns and muscle balance around the thoracic rings if they are a Driver. Manual techniques, taping, needling and self-release techniques such as “self stack and breathe” are used to treat Thoracic Rings if we have found them to be Drivers or significant in the clients body. What this does is release non-optimal muscle patterns to create a window of opportunity to train new muscle patterns.
Whatever sport you do you’re no doubt putting in endless hours of specific training, along with maybe some alternative recovery and rehab sessions like yoga and stretching. However, like most people, there’s even one more activity you’re probably doing more of than even sleeping – sitting! It’s the new epidemic.
We all spend too much time sitting. Whether it’s in the car, at work, at home or at the dinner table – you always find yourself sitting. This situation gets even worse if your job involves a computer. If you do have a job where a computer is an essential part of your day, chances are you spend more time sitting in front of a screen than you do exercising.
If sitting were a sport, we’d probably all be World Champions. How many hours a week do you think you sit for? A full-time desk job could have you sitting for 40 hours a week. I bet if you checked your Strava, your training hours would be around 6 to 8 for the above average athlete – way less than the time you spend sitting.
It’s obvious that when we sit for most of our week, slouching hours at a time in front of a computer, problems are inevitably going to occur. Muscular imbalances, lower back pain, tightness, all of which can carry across into our training causing more pain, stresses and even injuries. You probably end up looking like this for most of your day:
Sitting is the new epidemic. Not so much the act of sitting, but how we sit – slouching, neck forward, shoulders internally rotated, lower back collapsing. Core muscles disengaged. Glutes asleep. Hip-flexors and hamstrings shortened. Just like the image here.
Those that train for many hours and then hold an office job can tell you how bad this recipe is. What you think is a training issue stems from prolonged sitting after your workouts. Added to this could be RSI from your computer mouse, screen and a bad office chair. Your workouts may not be enough to counteract prolonged sitting. In fact, even a yoga class during the week may still not be enough to wake up sleepy glutes, undo tight hamstrings and wound up iliotibial bands.
So what can you do? The solution is to treat your sitting, as an extension of your overall training. Seek ways to cultivate healthy postural habits throughout the day that will positively transfer to your sport.
What’s key is to be as disciplined in the way you sit, as that you give your training sessions. Correct posture is key and a big part of this is how you set up your sitting spaces [like your office desk]. Click here for more info.
You need to sit up in that chair, keeping your back straight with a slight forward pelvic tilt to maintain the lordosis of your lower back. Your head should be in a neutral position – meaning that you might have to lift your computer screen right up. Roll your shoulders back and let your scapula’s move down your back. Your ears should be aligned over your shoulders, and your shoulders over your hips to avoid that forward slouch.
Stand up desks are gaining popularity – as it’s said it will be better posture for you, however you still need to be very careful. You can still ‘slouch’ while standing – and in fact contribute to sitting issues.
Caitlin, one of our Senior Physiotherapists here at Barefoot Physiotherapy, reminds me all the time that “the best position, is the next position”. So, at the least, incorporate frequent breaks into your workday to break up extended hours of sitting or standing at a desk. Lunch break walks, having to move to get to the printer will all assist your body. In fact a friend of mine ensures that they drink water all day, not to just stay hydrated, but to get you walking to the toilet.
There’s so many things you can do at your desk, in your chair or while standing in your office cubicle. Muscle activation exercises and stretching is always available to you, and don’t make you look too stupid to your work colleagues. In fact, when you begin to stretch, it’s infectious – anyone watching will usually start to do the same and comment, “oh yeah, I need to do some of that”. Here’s 10 ideas to get you moving:
- Nod your head as you would say yes, then increase the range of movement so that your chin touches your chest and then look raise your head and look at the ceiling above you. Then gently tilt the head from side to side, ears to shoulders.
- Roll your shoulders, forward and backwards – feel how awesome that is.
- Interlock your fingers behind your back, straighten your arms and stretch the front body. Look up, look down while you do this.
- Just stand up! Do number 3. Above while standing in a gentle lunge – oh yeah.
- While standing, you can do a forward bend and stretch the hamstrings and calves. For the more adventurous, stand on one leg as you bend the raised foot to your glutes for a lovely quadricep stretch. Push that hip forward to stretch the hip flexors. Change legs.
- While standing, place a hand on your desk, stretch your fingers wide, as far apart as they can go. Straighten your arm and then do some arm rotations – internal and external. Great for the rotator cuff and your wrist. Change arms. Do both arms. Do it against a wall. Have fun.
- Put a heel on your chair, straighten that leg and stretch your hamstring. For the more flexible, use your desk [you might have to take your shoes off].
- While the leg is on your chair or desk, rotate your torso over the leg, trying to get your shoulders parallel with the leg – your ITB, piriformis and glutes will thank you.
- Do some calf raises, both legs, then one leg with the raised foot locked behind your grounded foot. Hold on to something if you can’t balance.
- Get to that in-office corporate yoga program that HR has been beating on about.
Of course if you’re doing a lot of these exercises during your day and still can’t get rid of that niggle in your back or legs, feel free to click here to make a booking with us.
So your spending more time sitting at a desk or in a car during the week – undoing all that fantastic training and potentially hurting your body more than you know. The key is to focus on good posture and breaking up hours in a chair with movement –whether it’s light activities, stretching, walking or anything that supports your overall health and fitness goals.
We’d love to hear back from you around your thoughts on sitting. How long do you sit during your day? What do you do to counteract the effects of sitting? Feel free to comment below, or email us here.
It won’t surprise you that Barefooters love getting out and about, moving everyday in a way they enjoy. Women’s soccer has really taken off in the past decade, with teams sprouting up all over Brisbane with quite a competitive Brisbane Premier League as a result. If you’ve ever watched a game, you’ll see how competitive and skilful these ladies are. Our Physio Kirsten recently sat down with Charlotte to find out why she has such a passion for soccer.
How did your passion for soccer develop?
I’ve always had a keen interest for all things sport, and kind of just fell into playing soccer when I was young. I guess over time I’ve developed a real passion for soccer, mainly because I love the skill, athleticism and having a great time with other girls on the field.
Sports can have some pretty crazy traditions or pre game routines, do you have anything you do to get ready for a big game?
Definitely nothing too crazy. If I have the time, on the day of a game I like to go out and have a kick of the ball to get some touch. And I always put on my left sock and left boot on first, but I think that’s more just out of a habit. [ha, ha, we definitely think that’s a good-luck superstition! ed.]
What is your favourite pre game meal?
Something with bread usually haha, avocado on Turkish bread is probably my real favourite.
You recently went on a trip to New Zealand, where is your next trip going to be and why?
The next big trip on the bucket list is Canada because it looks so beautiful. Closer to home, I’d also really like to go to Tasmania and do some of the hikes down there.
Rapid fire, 5 Fun facts about you
– I’m a massive Newcastle Knights fan
– I love travelling but I absolutely hate flying
– My sporting idols are Andrew Johns and Roger Federer
– I love dogs and have a black Labrador named Ari who hunts bush turkeys
– I love the beach and in an alternate life would have loved to be a professional surfer
We love hearing about Barefooters and what they get up to in their spare time. Whether you have a passion for soccer or some other sport, we’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to let us know about what you get up to, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can arrange a quick chat and some photos – email us. Also, after seeing Charlotte’s pictures and reading her story, if you’d like to get into soccer, you can click this link to Football Brisbane.
…and of course, if you’re injured or just feeling a bit sore and tired from your Barefoot adventures, you can always come and see us: I need an appointment