The benefits of physical activity and maintaining a sensible weight for helping to prevent and reverse many health conditions are becoming increasingly better known and appreciated. But how do you broach the topic with a patient who doesn’t realise or perhaps doesn’t want to know that their lifestyle is damaging their health? How do you encourage lasting behavioural change? Physical and manual therapists are uniquely placed to begin these conversations and this article, in conjunction with the resources at Moving Medicine and Co-Kinetic, provides the tools and confidence to go about it in the most effective way in however much or little time you have available. In addition to doing the best for your patients, it might also enable you to broaden the services you offer and your client base.
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Kathryn Thomas (BSc Physio, MPhil Sports Physiotherapy) is a physiotherapist with a Masters degree in Sports Physiotherapy from the Institute of Sports Science and University of Cape Town, South Africa. She graduated both her honours and Masters degrees Cum Laude, and with Deans awards. After graduating in 2000 Kathryn worked in sports practices focusing on musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation. She was contracted to work with the Dolphins Cricket team (county/provincial team) and The Sharks rugby teams (Super rugby). Kathryn has also worked and supervised physios at the annual Comrades Marathon and Amashova cycle races for many years. She has worked with elite athletes from different sporting disciplines such as hockey, athletics, swimming and tennis. She was a competitive athlete holding national and provincial colours for swimming, biathlon, athletics, and surf lifesaving, and has a passion for sports and exercise physiology. She has presented research at the annual American College of Sports Medicine congress in Baltimore, and at The South African Sports Medicine Association in 2000 and 2011. She is Co-Kinetic’s technical editor and has taken on responsibility for writing our new clinical review updates for practitioners.
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