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4 Ways to Keep Up Your Workout Motivation This Winter

winter workoutIf you find yourself struggling to keep up your motivation for your workout routine, you are definitely not alone. It is so much harder to head out for a run or a gym session on a cold dark winter morning or a chilly winter evening after work.

So if your willpower needs a bit of a boost to maintain your fitness level going into Spring and Summer, here are four ways to help yourself!

Listen To Your Body

We all suffer from the ‘winter blues’ from time to time. Remember that exercising can help to boost the body’s natural ‘feel good’ endorphins. It may be, that changing the intensity or type of workout that you do during the summer months or adding some Yoga or Pilates to help you rebalance mind and body will help you.

Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson adds that during the colder weather, it is even more important to practice a correct warm-up and cool-down routine to stretch and mobilise joints and muscles, helping to keep your body injury-free.

He adds that trying to keep to a healthy diet will help to avoid that groggy, foggy, sluggish feeling and will help you to feel energized and motivated for your workout.

Workout with a Friend or in a Group Class

If you need more motivation to get out of bed for a morning trip to the gym, a run, or to get off the couch in the evening for a class – make a date with a friend. Having someone depending on you to turn up makes you accountable and helps to keep your motivation and reach your goals.

If you do not have a like-minded friend to workout with, consider joining an exercise class or running group. Often this will involve spending some cash – which is another great motivator for not ‘bailing’ and having a lie-in!

Exercise classes and group sessions are also a good way to socialise, make new friends and catch up with old ones. This in itself can be motivating but setting group goals can also help you raise that bar and aim higher yourself.

Winter is a great time to try something new!

A great way to boost your motivation and enjoyment of your winter workouts is to try something new. If your winter willpower is lacking – you could just be bored with your current workout routine! One great way to keep motivated is to switch it up and try something new.

You could –

  • Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – these workouts alternate between very intense bursts of activity and either resting or a period of less intense activity.
  • Take a Barre class (which makes use of a Ballet barre to perform poses based on a combination of ballet, Yoga and Pilates.
  • Try a Spinning Class – this is a cardio workout to music on a stationary bike – great fun!
  • Try a Yoga Class – great for mind and body.

Do not let bad weather stop you!

The explorer and adventurer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes famously said that – “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” There is no doubt that equipping oneself with appropriate footwear and the right clothing can make exercising outdoors more enjoyable in rain and wind. However, in snowy, icy conditions, unless you fancy sledging or skating, an indoor workout could be the safer solution.

Workout DVDs are often as good as going to a class. Even if you do not want to invest money in these, there are some great workouts available on YouTube that are not only, completely free, but also do not need any special equipment.

To Sum Up

Max Atkinson says that the single best way to stay motivated with your winter workouts is to plan your goals. Do not treat it like a marathon and set a single goal, the finishing post! Instead, set yourself smaller, more realistic and achievable goals along the way and reward yourself for reaching them. Schedule your workout sessions, write them down or set a reminder on your phone – treat them as if they were a vital appointment! To make an appointment with your Winchester Chiropractor, please call 01962-861-188 today!

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How To Succeed With New Year’s Resolutions For a Healthier You in 2018

New Year’s Resolutions For a Healthier YouAs someone, (not your Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson!) once, sagely, said – “New Year’s Resolutions are like babies – fun to make, but hard to maintain”!

However, Max points out that a single resolution, broken down into small, achievable goals to aim for in a given time-scale will be easier to achieve. Being able to celebrate small milestones along the way is more likely to lead to success than waiting to celebrate when we have attained the end-goal.

Healthier Lifestyle Resolutions

These are the most common among healthy New Year’s resolutions. Below, are some tips and links for help and advice to get you started on – and sticking to, your chosen resolution:

  1. Lose Some Weight

Losing weight really goes hand in hand with resolution number 2, “Get Active” as making changes to our diet to lose those excess pounds is really only half the story! If you are an otherwise healthy adult with a BMI over 25, the brilliant, free, 12-week plan downloadable from the NHS website should help you get on the right track and stay there!

  • It has twelve weeks of menus planned out for you.
  • You can sign up for the free, email, weight loss support.
  • It has suggestions for non-food rewards for reaching your goals in your weight loss journey.
  • There is a planner you can download, stick on the wall or the fridge and track your progress.
  1. Get active

A ComRes poll conducted in November 2015(1) placed “Exercise more” at the top of the UK’s New Year resolution list, with 38% of us wanting to be more active and 33% of us wanting to lose weight.

The British Heart Foundation has lots of tips and advice on getting more active. If the gym is not your thing, there are many ideas for getting active indoors and outdoors, Even if your mobility is poor you can still get more active with their ideas for chair-based exercises. With free fitness apps to download, ideas on getting fit for free – and lots more, there is sure to be something that inspires you! Check out the website here.

  1. Drink less alcohol

Have you found that your alcohol consumption is creeping up, maybe as a way to unwind after a busy, stressful day – or that you are drinking to excess on nights out with friends and perhaps putting your health and safety at risk as a result. Whatever your reason for wanting to cut down on your alcohol consumption, the Drinkaware website has all the information you need and the steps you can put in place to cut down on alcohol wherever you are.

Other Health-Related Resolutions

We have chosen just three of the most popular resolutions in our list above. Other popular resolutions you may have chosen include, to improve your diet, quit smoking, get more sleep or to reduce the stress in your life.

Obviously, Chiropractic treatment will not help you to lose weight or achieve success with any of the other resolutions we mention. However, if you have some niggling aches and pains that prevent you from exercising or being as active as you would like, if there is a biomechanical cause, Chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue work may help. If this issue is affecting you, why not contact your Winchester Chiropractor. You can book an appointment by calling us on 01962 861188.

Whatever your aim, your Winchester Chiropractor advises that to have the best chance of success, you:

  1. Make only one resolution and that you think about what this should be well in advance of New Year’s Eve.
  2. Make a resolution that is important to you; enlist the help and support of friends, family and perhaps even a healthcare professional or coach.
  3. Break down your goals into a series of smaller, more easily achievable goals – and reward yourself for reaching them.

And Finally …

Finally, Max’s best piece of advice is to be kind to yourself! Don’t feel you have failed because you have that extra slice of cake or glass of wine, or because you have a couch-potato day without exercising – we all revert to old habits from time to time but that doesn’t mean we have failed.

(1) Statistics quoted from the ComRes Poll are contained within this article for the Telegraph. If you wish to read the full Poll results, they are available in this downloadable PDF.

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Depression Awareness in Men

depressionIt is a fact that women are more likely to have an awareness of the problem of depression and to seek help if they are affected. Estimates suggest that one in four men is depressed, but men are much more likely to mask the symptoms. In many cases, they experience physical symptoms such as persistent headaches or back pain. Their loved ones, and even their GPs, may not recognize that they are suffering from depression.

Depression can affect men of all ages, regardless of their profession or ethnic background but, even when aware that they have a problem, many men are unwilling to look for help, seeing this as an expression of weakness or something to be ashamed of.

Being Aware of the Signs of Depression

We all feel sad, or ‘down’, from time to time in our lives, but if these symptoms persist and just will not go away, it could indicate depression. The most common psychological symptoms are –

  • A loss of interest in or enthusiasm for, things previously enjoyed, including social and sporting activities, resulting in withdrawal and isolation
  • Finding it difficult to focus and concentrate
  • Experiencing feelings of guilt and anxiety about things that you have no control over
  • Feeling pessimistic about life and about what the future may hold
  • Stopping paying attention to personal grooming, or the way you look after your home.

At worst, feelings of hopelessness creep in and suicidal thoughts can emerge.

Depression Can Have Physical Symptoms Too!

Many are surprised to learn that depression can be a cause of pain and other physical symptoms

  • Headaches and back pain are both common in those with depression. Migraine sufferers and those with chronic pain can find that being depressed makes their symptoms worse.
  • Chest pain is another physical symptom associated with depression. However, it is vital that any chest pain is investigated immediately to rule out any serious condition such as a heart problem.
  • Problems with digestion can result in diarrhoea, constipation or alternating between the two. Nausea or sickness can also be a problem. Some people with depression find they lose their appetite, others ‘comfort eat’ craving starchy and/or sweet foods with a resultant weight gain.
  • Sleep problems may mean that falling asleep or staying asleep result in daytime fatigue. Others sleep more than normal yet still find themselves feeling exhausted.
  • Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as feeling breathless, shaky, experiencing palpitations, churning stomach, dry mouth or sweating.

Men Can Also Experience More Anger

For men more than women, depression can also manifest in irritability, aggression and sudden angry outbursts. In some men, it can also result in a loss of control, more reckless behaviour such as driving too fast and taking unnecessary risks.

Men May Use Alcohol or Drugs to Help Them Cope

Women are better at talking about their problems. It is harder for men to admit they need help – which may be why more women than men are diagnosed with depression than women. Men do, however, seem to use drugs and alcohol more heavily as a way of self-medicating in a bid to help them cope with their symptoms.

The Most Common Cause of Depression in Men

Problems in a relationship and at worst, separation or divorce are the most likely causes of male depression. For those who are divorced, not seeing the children regularly or losing contact with them, having to move house and money worries, often result in the symptoms being more severe.

Are You Aware of These Symptoms of Depression in Yourself?

Depression awareness in men is important. If you recognize the psychological or physical signs outlined above in yourself, trying to suppress or hide these symptoms will only make matters worse. It can affect every aspect of life and make those you love miserable as well as yourself.

Below, we have listed some helpful online resources that may enable you to take that first step towards seeking treatment. It is important to talk to your Doctor so that you can receive appropriate help.



The Movember Foundation – Men’s health charity addressing physical and mental health conditions experienced by men and suicide prevention.

NIMH – National Institute of Men’s Health “Real Men. Real Depression” campaign.

Men Get Depression – Downloadable pdf booklet packed with advice and information.

Help Guide – A guide to the symptoms and warning signs and how to get the help you need. This includes a questionnaire to assess how depressed you may be.

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Preventing Back Pain for Back Care Awareness Week

back painBackCare, the leading charity in the UK for those affected by neck or back pain problems, runs an awareness week on a different theme each year. The theme for this year’s Back Care Awareness Week (BCAW), which runs from 2nd – 6th October this year, is “Back Pain in Education”.

Back and neck pain affecting adults costs the UK economy £15bn and result in more than 4,000,000 lost working days every year. BackCare has decided to target children and young adults during BCAW this year because, many causes of back and neck pain in adults, result from children and young people not taking proper care of their backs as they grow up.

Three Minutes a Day Could Prevent Back Pain!

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has designed a simple three-minute exercise program for adults and children. These exercises will help to improve posture and help participants to prevent back pain if incorporated into the daily routine. The program, called “Straighten up UK” works on improving strength, flexibility, and balance in the spine.

The three-minute program is easy to learn and comprises specifically designed, precise, slow stretches. A warm-up, is followed by posture care, with a core balance section to finish. The BCA has produced a leaflet for adults and a separate one for children, demonstrating all the exercises in the program. You can download one for yourself, here (link to

If you have not exercised for some time or have a pre-existing problem with back pain, it would be wise to discuss the program with your Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, prior to beginning – as he will be able to advise you on adapting the exercises to your own capabilities if necessary.

Check Out Max Atkinson’s Top Tips for Preventing Back Pain

  1. Strengthen your Core Muscles with the “Straighten Up UK” exercise program mentioned above. Core muscles support the lower back and a strong core helps to prevent injury.
  2. Keep your weight in check. Being overweight puts extra strain on the back. If weight gain is a problem for you, take advice on correcting your diet and nutritional intake and increasing your exercise levels to get your weight back under control.
  3. Get workplace ergonomics right. Poor workplace ergonomics are responsible for a great deal of back pain. A good ergonomic chair that supports the lumbar spine, a footrest to enable feet to be placed squarely down, a standing desk that enables you to stand rather than sit for part of your working day, are all things that will help to protect your back at work.
  4. Take care when lifting. If lifting is part of your job, your employer is required (by law) to provide proper training to help prevent injury. The three simple rules are, keep your chest forward, keep the weight close to your body and lead with your hips (not your shoulders).
  5. Take care when travelling. Being in the same position for a long time on a car, train or plane journey can be very hard on the back and neck. Try to stretch your legs and hips every half an hour or so during your journey. Make use of a lumbar support pillow to support your lower spine. If you are likely to doze off, pack an inflatable neck pillow.

What if I already have back pain?

Although back pain affects an astonishing 80% of us at some time during our lives, the cause is most usually, biomechanical in origin, with no underlying disease process.

Your Winchester Chiropractor can help with this type of biomechanical back pain as well as with helping you to prevent back pain in the future so please call to arrange an appointment on 01962-861-188 now.




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Migraine Awareness Week in UK

Migraine Awareness Week Migraine Awareness Week is running from 3rd – 9th of September this year. Migraines and headaches of all kinds can bring misery and, as Winchester Chiropractor Max Atkinson knows all too well, the problem can have a severe impact on the lives of those affected.

The theme of this year’s awareness week is ‘Breaking migraine stigma together’. Migraine can carry a stigma – as many people still do not understand the condition. This results in those affected feeling alone, isolated and left to cope with the condition as best they can.

The dual aims of Migraine awareness week are:

  • To help those suffering from Migraine to get the help, support and treatment that they need
  • To raise awareness of the problems faced by Migraine sufferers in the rest of the population in order to help them to be more supportive

Max Atkinson supports both these aims, underlining how important it is that no one feels fearful or isolated because of the debilitating symptoms they are experiencing and that everyone should have the opportunity to receive the help that they need.(1)

What is Migraine?

Migraines are usually experienced as a very intense and painful headache. This can often be on one side of the head only and may come with a raft of associated symptoms including throbbing, aura (blurred vision or lights), nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.

Chiropractors can often help in the case of migraine arising from misalignments in the spine and especially in the cervical spine (neck). This can cause irritation and compression of the nerves that pass through the head and face. It can also result in residual pain in the frontal region of the head, around the forehead, in the orbital region, affecting the eyes as well as the ears and temples.

Because these misalignments are biomechanical in nature, Chiropractic care can be beneficial as gentle Chiropractic adjustments can correct the problem and the associated nerve irritation and compression.

Chiropractic For Migraines

The holistic approach of Chiropractic can be very helpful as Migraines are complex, often presenting with several different systems and, after investigation, are discovered to have more than one trigger. Holistic Chiropractic care focuses on the body as a whole. In the case of migraines, it looks at how triggers and pain symptoms can be relieved.

If a biomechanical problem is the cause or a contributory factor for a patient’s Migraines, Chiropractic adjustments and other techniques can improve the alignment of the spine and relieve the pressure on surrounding soft tissues and joints.

Holistic Chiropractic care also looks at other dietary, health and lifestyle factors that may be triggering a migraine. For example:

  • For those spending most of the day working at a desk, posture while sitting and the stresses of a demanding job may both be contributory causes. Your Winchester Chiropractor can help improve your posture and help you learn techniques that will aid in managing stress.
  • Dietary factors may also be triggers, certain foods such as chocolate, cheese and citrus fruits are among those that can be triggers for migraine. Alcoholic drinks, particularly red wine and beer can also be culprits.
  • Many migraine patients are low in a variety of nutrients, the chief among which are, Vitamin D, Coenzyme Q10 and Riboflavin (one of the B-Group vitamins).

So, learning how to improve posture and manage stress, avoiding the food triggers that affect migraine and correcting any nutritional deficiencies with improved diet and/or supplementation, if necessary can all be beneficial.

As you can see, Chiropractic treatment for migraines can positively affect the quality of life for migraine patients, helping them with relief of symptoms and understanding the triggers. It can also result in a reduction in the number, frequency and severity of attacks. To find out more and to arrange an appointment, please contact your Winchester Chiropractor today at the Bradford House Clinic on 01962-861-188 today. We are always ready to help.

(1)Bradford House Chiropractic supports the aims of Migraine Awareness Week but would like to make clear that it is not affiliated with this event or endorsed by it.


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Why You Should Try The New Warm-up Program For Rugby

New Warm-up Program For RugbyThe Rugby Football Union (RFU), have announced that they are rolling out a new warm-up program this summer across all levels of the community game. This simple to implement, four-stage workout, developed as part of a study on young Rugby players, by the University of Bath, reduced injuries among the young players who participated, by at least 70% and the incidence of concussion by 59%.

Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, says that this program, focusing on balance, strength and movement demonstrated a significant positive benefit for the children and teenagers who did these exercises regularly during training sessions and pre-match warm-ups. Continue reading

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Preventing Common Cycling Problems

cycling injuryThere are a number of high profile campaigns that urge us to ‘get on our bikes’ with the dual aims of reducing pollution and making us healthier and more active.

While cycling is a great way to exercise and an exciting sport to participate in, unfortunately it is often a cause of injury with Casualty departments and GPs seeing additional cases of cycling injuries around the time of the Tour de France as ‘armchair cyclists’ attempt to emulate their heroes!

In this article however, we look at preventing cycling problems not caused by a traffic accident. Continue reading

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The Health Dangers Of Belly Fat

mens health weekMen’s Health Week runs from June 12th to June 18th in 2017. This year, it focuses on alerting men to the fact that excess belly fat is a major risk factor in conditions such as Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, raised blood pressure, problems with getting or maintaining an erection, colorectal cancer, sleep apnoea and, in fact, the risk of premature death from any cause.

Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, says that the problem with belly fat is that it does not just sit beneath the skin – deeper, visceral fat wraps itself around your vital organs. Continue reading

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Arthritis Care Awareness Week

arthritis care awareness weekArthritis Care Week in the UK runs from the 14th – 21st of May this year. This event, designed to highlight the work of the charity, Arthritis Care, raises awareness and improves support for those who suffer from the pain, inflammation and joint stiffness that characterise this condition.

Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson wholeheartedly supports the aims of the charity and this year’s theme, “Wake up to Arthritis” and says that he would like more people to “wake up to the benefits of Chiropractic” for joint pains from osteoarthritis. Many people are unaware of the improvement in mobility and pain relief that Chiropractic can provide to sufferers, as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments – a fact highlighted in Arthritis Care’s own leaflet on Complementary Therapies in the care and treatment of Arthritis. You can access the complete leaflet here. ¹

If you are an osteoarthritis sufferer, Chiropractic could be of benefit, reducing pain and improving joint mobility! To find out more about the treatment options and alternatives available to you, call the Bradford House Practice today on 01962-861-188 and arrange your initial assessment appointment. Continue reading

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Get On Your Feet with ‘On Your Feet Britain’

on your feet BritainPublished statistics show that the average time spent sitting, daily, is 8.9 hours! ‘Get Britain Standing’ is holding another ‘On Your Feet Britain’ day, on the 28th of April 2017 to educate us on the major health problems that sitting too long every day, could be heading us towards, and to motivate us to get on our feet and do something about it for ourselves! We might all want to be more active, but as Max Atkinson, a Winchester Chiropractor at Bradford House Chiropractic explains, back pain while standing or walking, or lack of mobility due to joint and muscle problems are problems that hold many of us back. Experiencing pain and discomfort in our joints and soft tissues, often arising from simple to fix, biomechanical causes can make us more inclined to sit on the sidelines. Walking and standing is good for us and by spending too much time sitting, we miss participating in physical activities such as sport, gardening and all the other elements of everyday life that we used to enjoy. Continue reading

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