Seb Contreras & Associates logo


Welcome to our blog


We will use this page to discuss a wide range of topics to do with health, fitness and the body. Please get in touch if you have any suggestions of topics you would like us to explore.

By Seb Contreras, Jun 11 2014 11:17PM

I don’t know anyone who complains about the sun shining, but for my fellow pasty northern folk this usually means either lathering ourselves with SPF to protect oneself from the sun’s harmful rays or turning as pink as a mole’s nose and as sore as a belly flop from the top board. The former is for a fear of developing skin cancer and an attempt at preventing ageing of the skin, the blokes usually favour the latter as they stupidly think wearing sunscreen is as macho as synchronized swimming. The sun however isn’t all evil. Its UV rays allow our bodies to manufacture potent supplies of vitamin D, a substance essential for bone health. Without these UV rays our body is prone to a vitamin D deficiency, because unlike other vitamins, no matter how many greens or oily fishes we eat, our bodies cannot produce enough vitamin D without the sun’s rays.

By Seb Contreras, May 12 2014 11:00AM

I was looking forward to running my sophomore marathon after the wonderful experience of conquering New York last November. The tarmac asphalt of the New York Streets had taken its toll on my legs, so I took a short sabbatical from running until the New Year to allow them to recover. Thankfully North Yorkshire’s winter was kind, the snow and ice stayed away, meaning I only had to battle the dark mornings and nights as I started training. Or at least that’s what I thought.

By Seb Contreras, Apr 7 2014 10:00AM

With my first marathon under my belt, my next challenge is to run the London Marathon this weekend. I was lucky to secure a place through the ballot on my first application. A feat that I’m sure will leave many who have applied several times with no luck, feeling a tad jealous! I am expecting that London, a city as iconic, populated and culturally diverse as New York, will be able to provide a match for those fond memories I have of the New York Marathon. With Mo Farah choosing to run his first ever marathon in London 2014, the crowd may even beat the electricity that the Yankees generated! I have already experienced first-hand the atmosphere of a Mo Farah crowd when I *cough* competed against him in the Great North Run in September. I was of course no competition for Mo, who placed 2nd, 6,840 places and 47 minutes ahead of me…

By Seb Contreras, Mar 11 2014 01:09PM

We’ve all heard the saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Well, that’s definitely not true when you have what’s known as ‘Stress Incontinence’. Stress incontinence occurs when the muscles of the pelvic floor are too weak to prevent urination, causing you to leak when your bladder is put under pressure, for example when you cough or laugh.

Read more ...

During a recent lecture I attended, delivered by Edinburgh based Elaine Miller, a physiotherapist who specialises in women’s health, I was shocked to discover that as many as 1 in 3 women between 35 and 55 and 1 in 9 men over the age of 65 will have a wee problem at some point. This could explain why the UK experienced record flooding in January…

Risk factors for incontinence include being female, pregnancy and childbirth, age, obesity, chronic coughs (e.g. smokers & asthmatics), and prostrate problems in men. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Our Australian physiotherapist friends down under (no pun intended) have shown in their research that 84% of patients who performed pelvic floor exercises cured their leaky waterworks.

“What are these exercises?” I hear you ask. Firstly you have to know how to contract your pelvic floor muscles. If you don’t know how to do this, imagine you’ve got some wind, but you’re in the company of your mother in law so need to hold it in. The muscles that hold in the wind are the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Then all you have to do is follow 3 steps:

1. Contract your pelvic floor for 10 seconds as hard as you can, then relax. You should feel a sag or a drop in your pants as you let go. No drop? Then your pelvic floor muscles are too weak, so you will need to build up the time gradually.

2. Contract your pelvic floor 10 times for 1 second at a time. That is, 10 quick flicks in a row.

3. Imagine you have a tiny elevator in your special place. Lift the elevator to the 1st, then 2nd, then 3rd floor and slowly back down again. This one can be trickier.

That’s it. Those are the exercises. Repeat them 3 times a day and be patient, as it can take a good 4 to 6 months to see a real change. Continue to breathe when you’re doing the exercises and relax the muscles in between. If you are struggling to feel the muscles contract, try them lying down, or lying down with a pillow under your hips so that gravity helps.

I know exercises are boring and easy to forget, but we manage to brush our teeth daily. If you need further advice, please get in touch with either Alana or myself.

By Seb Contreras, Feb 11 2014 11:29AM

You only have to look at the layout, character and beauty of the buildings in the centre of Knaresborough to see that it was once an important hub for trade and commerce. Unfortunately those days are ancient history. As a consolation, this history provides the town with a handful of tourists throughout the spring and summer months. Yet, obviously a great deal of the shops and business owners cannot rely purely on these tourists parting with their ‘walking around money’ in Knaresborough. If you walk down Cheapside, one of the main arteries, which leads into the heart of the town, it is clear that it’s not looking too healthy. ‘To Let’ signs stand next to ‘To Let’ signs. Since Christmas I can think of 4 businesses (including Cooking Fantastic & Café Crema) that have shut up shop and left the town, leaving nothing behind but empty spaces.

RSS Feed

Web feed