3. Get Moving with Physiotherapist Susan Harper-Clarke

Susan Harper-Clarke


Just Move!

Susan Harper-Clarke is passionate about getting people active for life, not just for lockdown. She is full of enthusiasm and a delight to work with professionally. She helped Alexandria get moving again & recover from a rowing injury she sustained last summer. Susan has some great fitness tips to help get you motivated and active too. And… she even surprises herself by giving fashion advice.

Listen to this episode to hear about Susan’s experience with Team GB in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics.

Susan’s Instagram: @thepocketphysio


  • Lifestyle Medicine Doctor The instagram account of cardiologist and best-selling author, Aseem Malhotra. He is on a mission to save lives, a million at a time.

Benefits of Physiotherapy

  • Move better and understand your body more.
    Learn how to manage your condition without being totally reliant on your physio.
  • Get fitter. And, for instance, lose that lockdown weight.
  • Get stronger. Be more robust and less likely to sustain injury.

We’re ultimately trying to get people to move. And a lot of people think: I have to be sporty to go and see a physio. You don’t at all. You basically just need to want to move and want to improve the way that your body interacts with the environment.

Susan Harper-Clarke

Fitness Tips

  • Just move! “I would say just move is the best thing that I can advise people.”
  • Find an activity you’re going to enjoy. If you enjoy it, you’re more likely to make it habit. Here are a few ideas: dance class, swimming, yoga, pilates, tai chi, rowing, cycling, walking, running, strength training, circuits…
  • Give it a go for a relatively long period of time (four to six weeks). Sometimes it does take time to build up strength, endurance, tolerance, enjoyment of something.

Breaking down a long-term goal, especially physical goals or activity-related goals, into smaller manageable sections will always mean that you succeed.

Susan Harper-Clarke

Couch to 5K

  • Couch to 5K is a 9-week programme that, yes, gets you off your sofa and (gradually) running 5K. Susan recently completed this and it’s transformed her relationship with running. Endurance activities (like running) have never been Susan’s strong suit, but she now really enjoys it!
  • You can download each week of the Couch to 5K as a podcast or get the entire programme as a smartphone app.

What do you actually enjoy doing? Don’t just go, I should really start running if you don’t enjoy running. You need to find something that you know that you’re going to make habit. You need to find something that you can go out and enjoy. If you’re not going to find a consistency and you’re not gonna enjoy it, you won’t make it habit.

Susan Harper-Clarke

Healthy Mindset

  • Start each day with a morning hug. Yes, you can hug yourself or do a big family “pile on”. Either way, it sets off your natural endorphins.
  • Approach life with a positive attitude.
    That doesn’t mean you can’t also put your foot down. Don’t put up with stuff that you’ve maybe accepted in the past.
  • Be kind, to yourself and to others. Don’t take yourself or anyone else for granted.
  • Find your own path for what your ideal life means for you.
  • And… embrace diversity.

There are lots of different varieties, shades, colours, disabilities that make up our world. So we need to be able to portray this as the norm. I think actually putting it out there that there are lots of different types of shapes and sizes is going to be good for future generations to see. It makes them realise that we are a very wide community, a very diverse community, and that’s good.

Susan Harper-Clarke

Style Notes

Susan’s top tip is jean shorts. “You can dress them up. You can dress them down. You can wear them with wedges, with trainers, with heels, with flip flops. Jean shorts are my absolute go-to fashion accessory item.”