The benefits of exercise are undisputed; maintaining bone mass, improving muscle strength and flexibility. My penchant for Pilates to tackle bone loss is borne out of my many years of experience practicing and teaching Pilates. The recommendations outlined in the recent guidance issued by the Royal Osteoporosis society states that:

Physical activity has an important role in management of osteoporosis; promoting bone strength, reducing the risk of falling and managing symptoms associated with vertebral fractures and that overall “people should do more rather than less”. Everyone can benefit from exercise and it’s never too late to start. …

Yoga can help!

One of the goals of Yoga is to calm the fluctuations of the mind. This does not mean to stop thoughts but to lessen our attachment to our thoughts, to be less reactive and less driven by the transient thinking mind. An ability to intercept and manage thoughts can assist in the management of mood disorders including stress and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety?

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear associated with the activation of the sympathetic nervous system; a person who is feeling anxious about an event or situation will have thoughts, bodily reactions and behavioural responses. …

This past year has been a year of extremes with prolonged periods of social isolation during lockdown affecting our lives greatly. I am certainly finding that balance in my own life is much more difficult to achieve at the moment with many of my usual activities paused. There is a danger that we overeat through boredom, binge on box sets or even over exercise. These tendencies are inherent within our human nature but raised anxiety levels and the imposed restrictions are undoubtedly magnifying these traits and as the saying goes ‘you can have too much of a good thing’.


In my opinion YES, but I would say that!

This week I recorded a conversation with a new acquaintance; Jeff Wellstead CEO of Big Bear Partners, Ltd. Jeff was an athlete in his youth but a sedentary work life and a busy family took their toll on his health. He gained a lot of weight, lost fitness and Type 2 diabetes came knocking. Clearly the female of the species doesn’t have the monopoly on this challenging problem.

Jeff shared his experiences of gastric bypass surgery and how he is keen to find his way back to a more physical future…

Are you living your values?

I am always telling anyone who cares to listen that I am passionate about the power of movement to improve our physical and mental health and the many varied ways in which this occurs. I tell people that I practice what I preach and I won’t ask people to do something I haven’t tried for myself. …

Live to Move

A fundamental part of being human is movement says Dr Kelly Mcgonigal; health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. Her book the joy of movement doesn’t tell us why we should exercise but instead shows us how to fall in love with movement. She recommends that our chosen activity allows us to engage with life in the way that we want to and that this could be through yoga, dancing, or walking in nature.

How can we make moving more a regular feature of our lives?

  • Find ways to make it so that it’s not a chore. Your legs don’t know whether you are squatting in the garden or in the gym.

The Shoulder Complex. It certainly is!

Enjoy my video tour of the shoulder joint and read on…

Are you curious to know what is inside you? It’s my bread and butter and even after 30+ years I find it interesting and empowering to understand the body. The shoulder joint is vulnerable to injury due to its high degree of mobility. It moves in 3 planes; to the front, side and into rotation, and most daily activities involve a combination of 2 or more. The socket is small and shallow and it is situated on the scapula or shoulder blade. …

Stand straighter, feel better, live longer!

The Pilates fundamental principle of alignment begins with the Pelvis. We can consider the pelvis as the foundation with the centre of body mass located within the Pelvis. When the pelvis is Neutral it brings the lumbar spine into neutral, this allows the spine to stack up above it in the most ideal ‘S’ shape; also referred to as the Natural Curves of the spine. This ‘S’ shape arrangement of the bones allows the spine to distribute the load most effectively between all the appropriate load bearing structures; bones, discs, ligaments, muscles etc

We must remember that our movement habits…

BJ Fogg is one of the world’s leading experts in human behaviour. He teaches us that emotions create habits and that it is success that hard-wires a habit not repetition!

We can hack this process by ‘firing off’ an emotion each time you do a new behaviour that you want to become a habit. So do something positive straight afterwards and the reward centres in the brain ‘notice’ the positive emotion and it is this that makes us want to repeat the experience. Thus success increases self efficacy and confidence and reinforces the new behaviour creating a habit. Pretty quickly…

Oh sit Down, Oh sit down, Sit down next to me….

Spending time on the floor is something that modern living is driving towards extinction, unless of course you are interacting with children; who you may notice are perfectly happy functioning on the ground.

The Sitting Rising Test has been suggested as a way to assess components of musculoskeletal fitness, not only that but actually it has been shown to be a fairly accurate predictor of longevity. Not only that, the ability to get on and off the floor unaided is a fundamental skill and you never know when you might end up needing to get up off the ground!


Phillipa Butler

Chartered Physiotherapist. Passionate about movement as medicine. Using pilates and yoga to mitigate the symptoms of the menopause. Contact

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