Friday 18 October 2019

Real Health Podcast: 'Exercise alone won't save us - why we need to focus on mobility'

Karl Henry with this week's guest Brian O'Loughlin of Movement101
Karl Henry with this week's guest Brian O'Loughlin of Movement101

Exercise alone won't save us.

More and more people have increasingly sedentary lifestyles - stuck behind desks and in front of screens.

As a result, focusing on mobility is becoming increasingly important.

A lot of us have limited understanding of what mobility training even involves.

“It’s not about stretching or foam rolling,” Brian O'Loughlin of Movement101 tells Karl Henry on this weeks Real health Podcast.

“It’s about being able to physically move the way you want to move. Foam rolling and stretching can help but they’re too passive.”

O'Loughlin has worked as a trainer for 12 years - he decided to move into the area of mobility after sustaining a shoulder injury. His decision to follow this method of training was initially met with derision.

"Trainers in gyms used to laugh at me," he said.

But focusing on mobility can vastly improve your overall fitness levels - which may explain why so many rugby players are Pilates advocates.

O'Loughlin says many people share the misconception that women are inherently more mobile than men.

"Some people are naturally flexible but everyone can improve how they move and their mobility," he said.

O'Loughlin trains a lot of inter-county footballers and begins at the basics - teaching them how to flex and move their joints. "We teach them how to rotate their hips," he said.

"People tend to think of movement as being in the gym but you need to think about what you are doing for the rest of your life," he said.

"Be mindful of what you do. If you are in a taxi six days a week then you need to factor that in. If you suddenly do a high intensity workout after you have been driving for six days a week you are more likely to get injured."

Small movements make a big difference - consistency increases mobility so practising micro movements everyday can have a profound impact on your health.

Moving your spine is very important. O'Loughlin recommends doing 'cat-cow' stretches that are popular in yoga classes.

If you are in an office - make sure you incorporate movement into your daily routine. On your break go for a walk, take the stairs not the lift, move in any way you can.

“The body craves movement, give it more and more,” he tells me. “Once you’re aware of it, the onus and responsibility is on you. Move as much as you can every single day. The biggest indicator is: can you do what you want to do well?”

Parents are great at organising activities for their children but O'Loughlin encourages parents to allow their children to play in less structured environments to increase their mobility. He says variety is the most important element.

Keep sending your questions in to me via email or contact Karl on Twitter and Instagram @karlhenryPT.

For more episodes and information from the Real Health podcast you can also go to:

The Real Health podcast with Karl Henry in association with Laya Healthcare.

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