Exercise of the Week: Stairs – Walk or Run

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Walking stairs or steps is a great exercise. It works the whole body, particularly the legs and hips. The muscles that hold us up, the extensors, are also used as is your “core”. The heart also gets a good workout. Consider adding it to your program over summer. It is also a fun way to include a good workout when on holiday away from your usual surroundings.

Fire Stair Fitness

Fire Stair Fitness


















For those working in a multi storey building the fire stairs are a great place to get a fantastic workout. You can time yourself, use your pedometer and set targets. Fitness is measured many ways. Recovery time is a standard measure – the time it takes for your heart and breathing to return to resting levels. The second is work done in a time limit. You can increase the work – another flight of steps, or reduce the time taken for the same amount of work.

Out door stadium steps

Out door stadium steps


If there is a stadium near you running the stairs/chairs is a fantastic way to focus on stride length. There will be no little steps here, as the depth of the steps will make for a longer stride length and give another element of difficulty to this workout. The rows are commonly numbered or have letters, so it is easy to record your work level and then improve on that over a time period.

Take the stairs 1 or 2 at a time.

Take the stairs 1 or 2 at a time.



In the Blue Mountains the steps are often sandstone and they are not regular in size, so it forces us to work with different step height. This will work the muscles of the legs and hips over a wider range of motion. That is easy to change on stairs as in the illustration, by taking the steps 1 or 2 at a time on different runs up the steps. Running the track/steps from the Bridal Vail falls back up to the carpark at Govetts Leap in Blackheath is a good heart and body workout.

You will work your core and heart as you walk those stairs

You will work your core and heart as you walk those stairs



A simple illustration of the muscles worked when climbing stairs. Do look up and keep your head high. We want the legs and hips to do the work, not your back. Think of pushing through your feet into the ground, as in the squat post a few weeks ago. This will keep your mind on your legs and not just on lifting your body up the stairs. Keep this good posture in mind as you get tired, it will help keep your balance, and keep the legs doing the work.

Food of the week: WATER

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Is water a food? It is not on the food pyramid, however, you could say that the food pyramid should be floating on a pool of clean water! Clean safe Water while plentiful and free in Australia and most of the developed world, is not drunk at the levels that support good health.

Our cells are full of water, so it is an immensely important element of our body. There is with all things to do with out body, an optimal level and a level that we can function at, and then a level that if we go below or beyond there will be clear signs that all is not well. In the area of hydration, there are a few signs that we are beginning to “dry out”. Fatigue is one of the first. The cells stop functioning at their best and communicating with each other and our brain. Things slow down. We may notice that our skin looses some of its elasticity. The “tenting” test is a valid check of water/hydration levels. Gently pinch and pick up a fold of skin on the back of your hand. If it “tents” into a ridge then your body needs water. The degree to which it might tent and the time it takes to disappear suggest the level of dehydration. Check for height of the tenting and the time lag before the skin returns to its state before you pinched it. Your vet will use the same test to check for the hydration level of an animal, such as your cat or dog.

The quantity of water to drink is “more than you think”. In an adult 1 litre is probably not enough and more can be added depending on environment and activity level. Someone working outside in the heat might require between 5 and 7 litres a day, an office worker might be more at the 2 litre level.

The recent hot dry weather in NSW reminded me of the vital need for water. The low humidity is very drying, just look at the lawn brown off in 24 hours!. We don’t seem to sweat, as it evaporates so quickly. This makes it seem like we are not needing much water. In a high humidity environment, think Cairns, you can be in a pool of perspiration just sitting in a chair, so it is easy to think of needing more water.

Try an experiment of drinking an extra litre a day over the next week, and notice energy levels, and how your skin and eyes look. You may find that you don’t look back after increasing your consumption of this most essential need of every cell in your body.

Exercise of the Week – COPY

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The squat is regarded as the “king of exercises”. The principle reason for this is the manner in which it works the whole body. From the feet to the shoulders the body is working to stay strong and stable. This is also good for the brain and nervous system. Those with long legs will find the squat harder than those with shorter legs, however it remains as a great exercise that will build strong legs and hips, stabilise the knee joints and improve balance.

The How To: Looking at the pictures above, stand tall with feet comfortably about shoulder width, or a little wider. Feel your weight through your whole foot, and try to gently spread the floor under your feet – this switches on the leg muscles. Maintain this feeling as you drop your hips as if sitting in a chair, and control the movement on the way down with muscle tension in the legs. Keep your shoulders back and chest up. It is good to find a point on the wall just above your head height and keep looking at that as you go down. This helps you to not fold forward from the waist, especially when coming back up! Going down to the lowest point possible is best for creating strong supple legs and back. A goal would be to be comfortable at the bottom of the squat and be able to hold that position for 10 seconds.
The push out of the bottom of the squat is very important. Visualise pushing the floor away from you, this will keep the focus on the legs, rather than letting the hips do the work of getting you back up again. Aim to not lock the knees straight at the top of the rep, but start the next squat rep with a controlled “sitting” movement again.

How Many: If you are just starting or returning after months or years, start with 10 quality slow reps with body weight only and do 2 to 4 sets. The legs muscles have the capacity to become strong, so we can move the repetitions up to 20 and aim for sets of 50 reps!

Body weight or Weighted: A body weight squat done well is a good work load. For strength and power adding weight will have a dramatic effect. Squatting with 1.5 x your body weight is regarded as a good goal to aim for. Good form and working the muscles properly is much more important than lifting a big weight. Clearly using a big weight with perfect form for sets of 20 reps will see you at the tailor ordering new trousers!

There are a great many resources that can be helpful for those wanting to delve deeper into this area. A good coach or trainer will also be invaluable in instructing good form and setting goals.

Have a look at these links: http://www.benpakulski.com; http://www.bodybuilding.com; http://www.poliquingroup.com

Hands On Newsletter November/December 2014

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Hands On Superhealth

Hands On Superhealth
is talking about:

Your posture is reflective of your health

We all know that posture is important, an outside mirror of how we are feeling


Maintaining good posture balances your body; keeping an even load through our body and each of our joints, making us feel more comfortable and move with a supple spine. When we watch a ballet dancer or gymnast move, we are keenly aware of their balanced movement. Elegant and efficient activities whether ballet or golf rely on good posture and balanced movement to achieve extraordinary results.
Posture is important for all of us!



Live better, Feel better


4 November – 10am
2 December – 10am

29 November – 10am
13 December – 10am
4784 2990


26 November – 12:30pm
17 December – 12:30pm

9639 6307

A great half hour with Q&A time and REAL take home messages, presented by healthcare practitioners with 30 years experience.

We can all engage in awareness of how we are moving and carrying ourselves in gravity. Gravity is acting upon us at all times. Our posture is an indicator of the health of our relationship with gravity. A good relationship with gravity is a body posture that we will all admire!
The “Superhero Posture” is a well-recognised stance that feels all-powerful and at ease.

Hands on Superhealth has over 30 years working with individuals to achieve good posture; the fundamentals are a strong and balanced spinal structure. The regular checks of the posture of a client of the practice are always working to achieve consistently positive changes in their posture, all recorded in a regular photo assessment alongside the other regular measures of health used at these regular reviews.
Our body will give us feedback about our posture. If it is balanced and strong, we will enjoy ease of movement and comfort when in all positions and postures. The points of discomfort that we often feel are actually a signal that there is an increase in load on a particular area of the body; the result is discomfort, pain or a persistent ache.
The chiropractors at Hands on Superhealth understand what to do when your posture is not your own ideal. The comprehensive Solution Package visits will reveal how we can bring the body back to its best.


So invite your friends and family in for a postural assessment; become an individual that others look as an example of good posture

Posture patterns and habits have an effect on the tissue of the body and are a significant factor in determining how we hold ourselves in gravity. Studies show that there is a relationship between posture habits in children and reported pain and even poorer health outcomes over time. (i)

Our clinical experience at Hands on Superhealth sees that there is a relationship between poor postural growth and development patterns in children and adult dysfunction. Children who are physically active in sports and on a regular schedule to check posture have better posture than those who do not. A 2009 research paper found a relationship between stance and overt dysfunction of head movement and posture. At Hands on Superhealth clients clinical outcomes change in step with changes in posture. This research paper confirms the relationship of structure and function in good postural development into adulthood. (ii)


The answer for us all… ? 


  1. Move and feel good about your body in motion
  2. Get adjusted by a whole body chiropractor like those at Hands On Superhealth.
  3. Eat well rest well and play well.

Our bodies are designed to do many things.  We can move with extraordinary fluidity, but we can hold a posture over time to excess- this will overload the structural body.  A balance of movement up down – right left and fast slow will produce the best outcomes.  We cannot comfortably stand motionless for hours on end, and neither can we sprint for more than a few minutes, but we can stand still and then have bursts of running fast.  Great posture and a strong, stable and supple body will give each of us our own optimal health and function. 

The best exercise for the individual is the one that is fun, and therefore done consistently over time. Regular exercise has many positive outcomes, too many for this blog. (iii) (iv) We will be discussing the benefits of regular exercise in our weekly exercise blog in the coming weeks. Going to a gym or consulting a trainer will give you some ideas of what is an appropriate exercise regime for you.

We invite comments and feedback via our Facebook page.

From November we will be featuring an exercise each week, and a food; all on the web site and Facebook page for Hands on Superhealth. NB for Summer time treats please get involved in ‘food of the week’ – we want to invite members of the Hands on Superhealth community to post recipes that they like to use.

(i)Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) in School Students as a Risk Factor for Adult MSD: A Review of the Multiple Factors Affecting Posture, Comfort and Health in Classroom Environments Philippa Grimes1), Stephen LeMusculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) in School Students as a Risk Factor for Adult MSD: A Review of the Multiple Factors Affecting Posture, Comfort and Health in Classroom Environments Philippa Grimes1), Stephen Legg2) 1) Physiotherapy Occupational Health Services 2) Centre for Ergonomics, Occupational Safety and Health, Department of Human Resource Management, College of Business, Massey University Submit Released 2005/06/20 gg2) 1) Physiotherapy Occupational Health Services 2) Centre for Ergonomics, Occupational Safety and Health, Department of Human Resource Management, College of Business, Massey University Released 2005/06/20
(ii)The relationship between the stomatognathic system and body posture Antonino Cuccia; Carola Caradonna department of Oral Sciences, University of Palermo – Palermo/Italy. Email: cucciaam@odonto.unipa.it Tel.: 0039-091-6811287
(iii)Puterman, E., et al. The Power of Exercise: Buffering the Effect of Chronic Stress on Telomere Length. PLOS One. 2010. 5(5), e10837
(iv)Nagamatsu, L., et al. Physical activity improves verbal and spatial memory in older adults with probable mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomized controlled trial. Journal of Aging Research. 2013. 2013, 861893.
Leura | Winston Hills | Springwood

Handson Newsletter September/October 2014

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Hands On Superhealth


Hands On Superhealth

is talking about:


You can’t stop ageing but you can slow down the process. Maintaining a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, supplements and regular exercise along with regular chiropractic adjustments can help you do that.
Chiropractic adjustments keep your body supple with good posture and healthy spinal function. Adjustments stimulate the nerves to keep your whole nervous system active; improving the body’s ability to move and think. Chiropractic adjustments promote a good strong digestion and keep the stomach juices flowing to digestive break down and help optimal absorb of vitamins and nutrients.

What is ageing?

Ageing is a term used to describe the processes observed in body change over time; associated with increasing years. These processes of aging can escalate in some bodies and lead to more rapid health deterioration and untimely symptoms of old age- extreme fatigue, poor body tone and an unusual lack of interest in normal activities.

The signs of ageing are:

  • Metabolism slows down
  • Diminished lung capacity and muscle strength
  • Skin loses; elasticity
  • Eye sight diminishes
  • Hormonal changes
  • Decreased immunity
  • Loss of muscle mass

However, most of what we blame on ageing has nothing to do with getting older in years. It is a question of running the body on empty and not taking the time to nourish and support its vital functions.
Staying young at heart, active of mind and physically strong is essential for good health and especially as you advance in years. Eating well and keeping the body’s spine and nervous system operating well will help stop your body ageing faster than it should.



Anti Ageing




13 September – 10am

7 October – 10am


23 September – 10am

25 October – 10am

4784 2990



24 September – 12:30pm

25 October – 12:30pm

9639 6307

A great half hour with Q&A time and REAL take home messages, presented by healthcare practitioners with 30 years experience.
What can you do to reduce Ageing?
To reduce the ageing response in the body we need to consume:

  • Eat more whole or unprocessed whole foods
  • Increase your plant based diet – All colours of vegetables and fruits
  • Some protein that is organic ( pasture fed animals, wild fish, eggs )
  • Exercise gently and regularly (20 mins daily)
  • 8 to 10 glasses of water daily
  • Good quality supplements of vitamins, minerals and amino acids
  • Chiropractic whole body adjustments to regulate your body ‘nerve responses’ to improve resilience
  • Start exercising your brain with puzzles and do a quiz daily
  • Meditate every day – 15 minutes is sufficient

How does chiropractic help anti-ageing?

Ask your chiropractor to start a whole body program of regular adjustments of the nervous system; balance your body and increase its responsiveness.
Chiropractic can help to control the “stress response” and calm the nervous system; reducing inflammation and increasing digestion. Over time this adds to keeping you much younger than your years!

  • Great posture and good movement are the hallmarks of youth.
  • Joints under increased load will deteriorate faster. Good posture will keep the weight of gravity evenly distributed; minimise the wear and tear in the spine and limbs over time.
  • Regular checks and adjustments of all the limbs, pelvis and spinal joints will keep you at your body working at its best.
  • Chiropractic adjustments optimise nerves for good body function.

Good posture + good spinal health = healthy ageing

Special offer: Bring your parents and others for a postural check!
Check your posture score to see if your loved ones can be helped

Taking the spinal stress out of the body will help to optimise posture, healthy function of the nervous system and healthy ageing

Call for a free postural score assessment now!
Hands On Superhealth (a location near you)

For more information:
Department of Health and Ageing
National Ageing Research Institute
Ageing Well, The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health

Leura | Winston Hills | Springwood

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