Laura’s #justkeepmoving

Activity is a key component of health for any human being – young and old, in sickness and in health, and wherever you may be in the world.  With this in mind Physiopedia has started a new campaign to ask the world to “just keep moving” and we would love it if you would get involved.

Laura Ritchie is a valued Physiopedia volunteer and has kindly taken time to share what #justkeepmoving means to her. Take it away Laura!

Last weekend I finished my seventh half marathon. What you may find interesting about that is that I don’t particularly like running. I know some people who really enjoy it, strange types who actually look forward to lacing up. Me? I have to psych myself up for every run. So, you may be asking, why do I persist? How do I #justkeepmoving when I don’t like running very much? Well, I have a few motivations.

  • First and foremost, I strive to be healthy and the health benefits of running are well established.
  • I am driven by a sense of accomplishment and so being able to check each run off my list, to finish each race, to add a medal to my collection and to run a personal best – these all push me to sign up and stick with the program.
  • I am driven by a fear of failure. I would be mortified to have to tell people I didn’t finish a race. To a lesser extent, I would be upset with myself if I didn’t achieve a Personal Best if I had been set on beating my previous time.
  • I remember seeing my Dad finish a half marathon when I was a child. I remember getting to play with his collection of finishers medals and thinking they were the coolest things ever. Now that I have children of my own, I want to be a physically-active role model for them and instill in them the same passion for physical activity that will keep them keep them happy and healthy throughout their lives.

What Keeps me Going?

When it comes to race day itself, keeping moving is its own special challenge. In the race last weekend, I was fortunate that I didn’t hit the dreaded ‘wall’ but I’ve been there before, when it takes every drop of physical and mental energy you have left to keep your legs moving. But even without the wall, I still need to find ways to keep me going. What generally works for me is;

Focusing on my desired finishing time, knowing how fast I need to run each kilometre and using a GPS watch to check I’m on track.

Visualising the moment I can tell people that I got a personal best.

Encouragement from volunteers and spectators along the route – I especially love races where my name is on my bib so I get personalized cheers!

Killer tunes – when I do my training runs, I listen to audiobooks so that I can just zone out and try to ignore the actual running but on race day, I need a boost. Upbeat music is needed throughout the race but there are usually a few random songs that stand out on race day that give me a bigger boost when I’m starting to fade. The stand-out tunes from my recent race playlist were; Fields of Fire by Big Country, Dressed for Success by Roxette, Town Called Malice by The Jam, Touch the Sky by Julie Fowlis, Where Eagles Dare by Misfits, Red Light Spells Danger by Billy Ocean and Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega. Pretty eclectic selection, right?

(If you don’t know these songs, you should check them out. They’re amazing. I will grant you that Mambo No. 5 is pretty cheesy but I defy you to not run faster when you hear it!)

Physiotherapy can be as eclectic as my music taste!

Anyway, as I was running the race, this eclectic musical mix got me thinking about the topic of this post. Across the globe, we physiotherapists face an eclectic mix of supports and challenges in terms of getting or keeping our patients moving, even keeping ourselves moving sometimes! Think about geography, climate, government, culture, work-life balance (perhaps in relation to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs)…there are lots of ways activity can be helped or hindered.

I’ll share my own recent example. To race at the end of April, I had to start training in February…in Canada. For those of you who don’t know, Canadian winters involve snow, ice, sub-zero temperatures, wind, rain, freezing rain and then some more snow. To run in this weather, I needed many layers of clothing, spikey attachments for the bottom of my shoes, barrier cream to avoid wind burn on my cheeks and, on one memorable night, plastic safety goggles to avoid being blinded by the biggest snowflakes I’ve ever seen. I once spent two hours running in the freezing rain repeatedly pulling up my outer pair of trousers because they were so waterlogged they kept sliding down.

Some issues were out of my hands; I couldn’t control if the snowploughs had cleared the street yet, nor if the residents had cleared the pavements in front of their houses. I had to climb through knee-deep snowbanks to cross roads, I slipped on icy patches, I ran on the road alongside cars because the sidewalks were in terrible condition and I generally spent a lot of time with soggy cold feet. And that was only the weather challenges. With young kids, I had to work around their schedules so my runs were seldom at the time of day that was best for me and were often either on an empty or a full stomach, neither of which is ideal.

Sounds fun, right? While it works for me, it won’t work for everyone. My motivations for running outweigh my barriers but the exact mix of motivations and barriers that you and your patients face will be unique. Some you can influence, some you cannot but it is crucial that we keep trying to tip the balance in favour of sustainable positive health behaviours.

Now it’s your turn

So now over to you. In the Comments section below, can you share some of the challenges that you’ve experienced in your professional or personal lives? Have you been able to find a solution that your colleagues around the world could use as well? How have you been able to #justkeepmoving?

How Can I Get Involved?

Over the next few months the team at Physiopedia will be sharing their thoughts about what #justkeepmoving means to them and how they will be getting involved with the campaign. We would love it if you would join us, here are a few ideas:

  1. Share the #justkeepmoving idea with your patients, together you could set goals for keeping moving.
  2. Share the #justkeepmoving idea with your friends and family to optimise their health.
  3. Create a #justkeepmoving infographic or poster to share in your clinic or on social media.
  4. Promote activity by wearing #justkeepmoving on your clothing (we are setting up an online shop specifically for this purpose right now!)
  5. Design your own #justkeepmoving t-shirt, we’ll add it to the shop, donate the profits to Physiopedia and reward the most popular design, the more the merrier!
  6. Wear the #justkeepmoving race wear at the next race you enter, you could even fundraise for the #justkeepmovingcampaign via the Physiopedia Just Giving account.
  7. Set new goals to #justkeepmoving your personal and professional life forwards.
  8. Or simply send us an article to publish on Physiospot on what #justkeepmoving means to you.

Learn more about #justkeepmoving