Verve Magazine - Improve your fitness without injuries

How can I improve my fitness and without injuring myself?


Fitness and exercise is something that is always spoken about but can seem quite overwhelming and not always something we prioritise into our week. It does not need to involve an expensive gym membership and exercise can be modified to suit any age and health condition. 


Importance of exercise:

We all know and have heard time and time again the importance of exercise but what are the true benefits?

  • Losing weight

  • Gaining muscle strengthen

  • Cardiovascular (heart) health

  • Improved circulation (blood flow)

  • Mental wellbeing

  • Increases your energy levels

  • Reduces pain

  • Improved sleep

Verve Magazine - Teen Spirit

Are you worried about how much time your teenager spends watching tv, gaming consoles or scrolling through social media? Whilst getting your teenager in to sports might be a challenge, there are many advantages of getting them into sports. 


Some of the reasons to encourage your teen into sports:

  1. Builds confidence

As your teen finds their feet, in a sport they enjoy, you will see their confidence bloom. Not only in their sport but that confidence will spread to other aspects of their life too. 

2. Sportsmanship & teamwork

Especially in team sports, working together towards a common goal, creates a sense of teamwork & sportsmanship. Your teen will learn to work together as a team or group, learning to respect each other, coaches and umpire. Sportsmanship is developed in playing against other teams, as fair play is a must in sports.

Pregnancy can be a joyful time but unfortunately can bring some unwanted aches & pains. Osteopaths work closely along pregnant mother's to guide them through the process and alleviate those unwanted pains. These aches and pains can be from mechanical causes like the growing baby putting strains on muscles, joints & ligaments and/or from all the hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy. Osteopaths also like to work along side expectant mother's before these issues arise to try to prevent them occurring in the first place.

Verve Magazine - How to study without ‘ruining your neck & back’


So you need to sit at your desk hours for school, uni, or work but every time you end up sore and achey. Sarah is a Milford, osteopath who is sharing her best advice to keep your study time as pain free as possible!



First off use a desk, not the couch or lying in bed with your laptop. Get a desk that is suited to you. Try them out in store and don’t order online (same as your chair). Your desk needs to be at a correct height for your needs. This means the desk needs to be at a height where you can sit comfortably, is not too tall or short.

Standing desks- I love standing desks but it is not the standing element I love, it is the adjustable height. I always recommend a combination of sitting and standing at the desk. It is the movement that is important. Sitting or standing for 8 hours is not ideal, but chopping and changing is hugely beneficial. Moving your body. Work out a combination that suits you best. Stand for an hour, sit for 20 minutes then repeat for example. 

A lot of women experience lower back, shoulder and neck pain during and after pregnancy. Osteopath and mum Sarah Boughtwood, who specialises in back pain and pregnancy, shares her three favourite upper-body stretches to keep your neck, shoulders and lower back strong and supple.

It can be tough finding time to work out when you're a parent, but there are times during the day in which you can squeeze a few minutes of beneficial exercies or stretches. There are also ways in which you can incorporate your little ones into your exercises. Osteopath and mum Sarah Boughtwood shares her favourite ways to include kids in  exercises.

First up, how to fit in exercise. Are you the type who likes to plan, or to do things on the fly? If you're a planner, try sitting down every Sunday night and mapping out your week, for example, what exercises or body regions you want to exercise, and on which days.


I also advise my clients to start off with small goals. Don’t expect to start off doing 60-minute sessions, five days a week to begin with, unless you are an ‘all or nothing personality’. Small, achievable goals make it far more likely that you will succeed. We all have off-days and bad nights with babies waking, days where babies only want to be held. Don’t be hard on yourself; you can only do your best. Aim to build up to 20-30 minutes, four times a week.

After your baby is born a few aches and pains can arise while adapting to parenthood. It can take your body a while to adapt to some of the new tasks that come with having a baby. During pregnancy, your hormones work to loosen muscles, ligaments and joints to allow for the growing baby and to prepare your body for birth. It can take a few months for your body to return back to normal, making it more prone to aches and pains. Some common activities that can cause pain for mother’s include; breastfeeding, changing and dressing babies, bath time and carrying the car capsule. Osteopaths commonly treat mothers for muscle strains, neck and shoulder pain, pelvic pain, postural issues and back pain.

"It is often thought that aches and pains during pregnancy are all 'just part of the ride', but this isn't true", says Auckland Osteopath Sarah Boughtwood.


Pregnancy is a time of immense change for your body: your joints and muscles are placed under extra pressure as your baby grows and this coupled with the resulting postural changes, can bring up a range of discomforts and difficulties. "Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy is aimed at helping the mother's body adapt to the growing baby and the increased demands on it" says Sarah. 


Pregnancy is a special time in a women’s life that often brings unwanted aches and pains. Osteopaths often see pregnant women suffering from back pain, reflux, headaches, pelvic pain, difficulties sleeping, hip pain, leg cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica and abdominal pain. These are all very common and normal. The aches and pains during pregnancy often occur due to the added weight of the growing foetus, the change in your centre of gravity, 40% increase in blood volume and hormonal changes. Relaxin is a hormone with increased production during pregnancy that relaxes your muscles and ligaments. This allows for the expansion of the pelvis, which aids in the delivery process. Unfortunately the relaxation of muscles and ligaments creates unstable or loose joints, which makes them more prone to injury and strains.


Here are some simple ways you can manage your aches and pains.





Meet Sarah Boughtwood, this weeks Featured Goal Digger! Sarah is an Osteopath based in Takapuna who specialises in back pain (we’ve all been there) and pregnancy. To be honest before Sarah got in touch with me, I had no idea what an Osteopath was – I had certainly heard the name before but couldn’t tell you what they treated or how they treated it. Do you know?? Well I’m here to tell you and introduce to one gorgeous and talented Osteopath. Osteopathy is a natural form of manual medicine that facilitates healing by focussing on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulations, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit. And I’m all about holistic health! Sarah treats headaches, muscle aches, sinus and ear infections, running injuries and pregnancy related aches and pains! ONE STOP SHOP if you ask me. As well as being a Goal Digger, opening her own business and being a strong promoter of holistic health, Sarah also manages to find time for herself and her family. Keep reading to see how she does it…


Whether you were a gym bunny in your 20's, or never really bothered about exercise, there's something about finding yourself in middle age that can cause close examination of your health and fitness. The meteoric rise of the 'wellness industry', social media and the normalisation of gadgets such as the fitbit have made us increasingly aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and expose us more to those advocating them, so it's no wonder there's a growing trend for those in their 40's and beyond to pick up their running shoes again. The problem however is how to get back into exercise safely, as (loath as we may be to admit it) our post-40 bodies are very different from those we had in our 20's, thanks to desk-bound jobs or having children (or both) and the simple physiological changes that come with age. While these can all make us more susceptible to injury and aches and pains, it doesn't mean you can't reclaim your fitness - it simply means starting slowly. Shona, a mum of two, was a keen gym-goer before having children, but family commitments and later running her own business meant time for exercise was in short supply. At 40, she decided a concerted effort was needed. "I was starting to feel my age; I had this thickening going on with this whole midriff spread. I was just feeling quite frumpy," she says.

Verve Magazine- Back Pain


One of the most common complaints seen by osteopaths, is back pain. Over 80% of New Zealander’s will suffer from back pain in their lifetime. The most common area of back pain, is the lumbar spine. This is located in the arch in your lower back, above your buttock region. Some of the symptoms you may experience include; dull pain, stiffness, sharp pain, a cramping sensation, muscle spasm and difficulty moving. The pain can be localized or spread to surrounding area’s. If you have any of the following symptoms please see a medical practitioner urgently; numbness in the groin, loss of bowel or bladder function and control, constant pain that keeps you awake at night, pins and needles in both legs and pain that is increasing in intensity.


There are many causes of lower back pain, some causes include; muscle strains, ligament sprains, disc injuries, joint irritation and spinal nerve compression. Other causes can include; osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, fracture and spondylolithesis.