All Posts Tagged: exercise physiology

garden

How exercise physiology helped Joan in the garden

To celebrate Exercise Right Week – Exercise for the Right Reasons, instead of us talking about exercise, we interviewed one of our clients, Joan from Pascoe Vale.

Joan’s garden was her happy place, until the aches crept in. She started seeing exercise physiologist Aidan Rogers in 2021.

My vegies were thriving

I was digging up the carrots and pushing my rusty old wheelbarrow through the rows of vegies. I could bend down to pull out the weeds. I could reach up to pick the lemons from the top of the tree.

Life was good. Pain just wasn’t in my vocabulary.

But then it became difficult

It hurt to pick the carrots. I couldn’t push the barrow. What happened?

I thought I could garden forever. Retirement meant I had more time to spend with my vegetables, my roses and my fruit trees. I had plans to grow enough vegetables to feed my family, with plenty left over for the grandkids, the neighbours and to drop off to my doctor too.

Fast forward two years. I was right in thinking I can garden forever – but I had to do something else as well.

I learned how to exercise properly

I met an EP, and I’m back in the garden.

My garden is lush, the vegies are thriving and the wheelbarrow is no longer stuck in the mud.

I’m gardening again. My knees aren’t hurting when I bend down. My back doesn’t ache after a day in the backyard. And it’s thanks to my new found strength and exercise habits.

My exercise physiologist helped me pick some exercises that made my legs strong again. My back is flexible, and the stiffness is gone.

It took some time, I had to be consistent working at my exercises but the benefits are clear. My garden speaks for itself.

If you love something, you’ll work for it

If you love spending time in your garden, chasing your grandkids, being social walking with friends then you too can benefit from the right exercises.

I learned that my age or my aches and pains don’t have to slow me down. With my exercise physiologist, the right exercises and a little bit of effort, I’m back and my garden looks great. 

What’s holding you back?

Exercise Right Week in 2022 runs from Monday 23 May to Sunday 29 May. If you need help to get back into the things you love doing, contact us today.

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 25 May 2022.

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Man on bike moving during COVID

Keep moving for COVID-19 recovery

The pandemic has thrown you a number of obstacles.

Moving less during lockdowns or due to ill health is unfortunately a large part of your COVID-19 experience.

Less movement creates a huge problem for your health moving forward. For us and our loved ones, the best way to optimize your COVID-19 recovery is to keep moving!

Benefits of moving regularly are well known, but here are some good reminders:

Regular movement makes you energized

  • Exercise is an important part of being healthy, with or without infection. You can overcome lethargy, pain, stiffness and a loss of strength.

Regular movement helps you to be motivated

  • Exercise helps increase motivation to do all the things you love – catching up with loved ones, completing daily chores, work, study, and caring for yourself
  • The better you feel, the more motivated you become to keep it going, so it becomes part of your life!

You gain confidence

  • To reconnect with all the things that make you special. Your unique talents and personality shine through when you’re fitter, stronger and healthier
  • In your ability to achieve life goals – celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small.

You feel less pain, doubt and fear

  • You learn to understand pain, listen to your body and deal proactively with pain
  • Becoming healthier and experiencing the joy of movement gives pain less of a role to play in your life.

How do I get moving again?

  • Start slowly. Your body has been through a lot and is still in recovery mode
  • Gentle walking and resistance exercises are a good way to help restore daily function
  • Breathing exercises play a role in recovering from COVID-19
  • Aim to exercise in environments that are well ventilated and where you can practice social distancing.

Will exercise make me more tired?

  • Initially you will feel a bit fatigued but over the next few bouts of exercise you will begin to tolerate movement a little more
  • You should aim to gradually increase the amount you do.

Compared to our friends in other countries, there’s been much less COVID-19 around us prior to 2022.

Our colleagues in the UK have been forced to develop great resources to help thousands of people get moving again after their COVID-19 infections. 

With so much practice, they’ve gotten pretty good at it too! Here’s the best movement advice from the UK.

When you’re ready to move again, your Pascoe Vale exercise experts will help you feel safe and energized through your COVID-19 recovery journey.

Book online or call us on 9304 0500 for your session.

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Last updated 27 January 2022.

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Pascoe Vale gym

The Strong Room – our specialised gym in Pascoe Vale

At PVH Medical, we understand that exercising and working towards optimal health can be hard.

Life is busy. Sometimes we get sick. And sometimes we get injured.

Fortunately, we have a fully equipped gym called The Strong Room and some caring professionals to help you with any challenges you face.

The Strong Room is different to big, unfriendly gyms where you’re left to your own devices. Our health professionals work with you, your needs, and your abilities to offer different solutions to achieve your goals.

Here’s what some of our team have to say.

Physiotherapist Naveena Seethapathy

Physio Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

It’s great to have access to a large space for our rehab. Physiotherapy can involve some one-on-one manual (hands-on) work which we do in our dedicated clinical rooms.

When it comes to rehab there’s only so much you can do with rubber bands in a small room. The Strong Room allows me to find safe loads to build strength, flexibility and capacity in my clients as they overcome their injuries.

What can you help people with?

I’m here for you when you’re sore. Any musculoskeletal and sporting injury, really.

I work closely with exercise physiologists Mike and Aidan a lot where initially a client comes to me with an acute injury – pain. We then work on diagnosis and commence therapy to get on top of that early pain.

As a client’s rehab progresses they will often move over to Mike and Aidan for further exercise therapy/rehab. This is where they can focus on bigger-picture movements, activities and exercises, usually doing an individualised program in a group setting.

I can also help people with returning to sports after an injury, injuries sustained at work, road traffic accidents, as well as improving performance.

How do people find you?

Upstairs at PVH Medical! You can book your appointments on the PVH Medical website, on HotDoc or by calling the reception team on 9304 0500.

Read more about physiotherapy in Pascoe Vale

Exercise Physiologist (EP) Mike Fitzsimon

Exercise physiologist Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

The Strong Room is my clinical ‘home’. As the exercise physiologist (EP) at PVH Medical my priority is enabling our community to experience their own personal journey of self-discovery through exercise.

The Strong Room is an innovative, safe and enjoyable place to learn how to condition your body and mind with evidence-based exercise.

I consult one-on-one with people injured, needing assistance managing chronic disease (such as diabetes, arthritis, depression and so many more) and those looking to re-engage with exercise again after falling off the wagon.

I also run group exercise classes in The Strong Room where a small group of people perform their individualised plan. The groups are heaps of fun and a great place to work out, get healthy, get better and connect with other like-minded people.

Some of our classes are targeted for specific people. For example, we run Strong To The Bone for those at risk of falls and fractures relating to decreased muscle and bone strength.

All classes are really inclusive, with each participant completing their personal programs for weight loss, increased strength, managing persistent pain, anything and everything that exercise can have a positive influence on (which is pretty much everything!).

The pilates reformers are also handy tools for us to adjust the load we place on our bodies for rehab. Very useful.

I also use our Wii Fit Balance board and force platform. For those needing variety, we can use technology to enable improvements in lower limb conditioning and improved balance. This is useful for those clients with specific balance deficits or lower limb issues.

What can you help people with?

The list is so long. The right exercises are needed to assist with pretty much any health or lifestyle condition. If we just look at the eight most common chronic conditions – which together affect a staggering 50% of Australians – exercise has proven benefits for all of them.

These include cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health, arthritis, back pain, lung disease, asthma and diabetes.

Chances are if you’re looking to achieve a goal that is health, fitness or wellness related, I can help you get there.

How do people find you?

You can phone 9304 0500, book on HotDoc or on the PVH Medical website. I have hours available during the day as well as after hours for those trying to fit work, life, kids and grandkids around their schedules.

Read more about exercise physiology in Pascoe Vale

Podiatrist Gus McSweyn

Podiatrist Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

For us podiatrists, we use the space in The Strong Room to complete gait (movement) assessments on the treadmill where we record people walking and running, and work out why they are suffering and implement changes from there.

Often these changes are relating to building strength in lower limb muscles. There’s plenty of steps, weights, balance mats and other equipment where we can get started.

Using video capture we can really slow down and get detailed running gait analysis. We can use this as part of our assessments and to re-train movement patterns as well.

I’m also a keen runner and play footy myself. The Strong Room is a great place for me to personally rehab any niggles that hit me in my old age!

What can you help people with?

A lot! Lower limb, foot and ankle issues. Podiatrists see plenty of people with foot, heel and ankle pain but that’s not all.

We have heaps of experience (as well as evidence) that the interventions we use including strengthening muscles, footwear prescription and orthotics are beneficial for knee pain, shin pain and even hip/lower back issues.

I have a passion to help out runners as well. The treadmill in The Strong Room allows us to do some gait re-training where we can adjust and coach technique to reduce pain from injuries, risk of injuries and even lean towards enhancing performance.

How do people find you?

You can book by calling the lovely reception team on 9304 0500, visiting the PVH Medical website or via the HotDoc app on your smartphone.

Read more about podiatry in Pascoe Vale

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Last updated 17 December 2021.

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Exercise in spring

6 exercise tips for spring

I have some exercise tips to help get you moving this spring.

If you’ve been hibernating, you’re not alone. Let’s face it, sometimes it just seems too hard to keep our motivation and enthusiasm for exercise during winter. The days are shorter, colder and the sofa seems more appealing!

So if you’ve had a break from exercise, lost some strength, gained some weight, felt depressed or been a bit unwell, exercise is the perfect way to change this. Spring is here and it’s time to take control.

Getting back in shape is an exciting but difficult journey so here are some essential exercise tips for doing it right:

1. Get help from a pro

Avoid the common pitfall of too much too soon.

After a break you’re not the athlete that you were a few months ago. Chances are you’ve lost some fitness and therefore you need to plan your journey back to full health.

Exercise physiologists (EP) like me (Mike Fitzsimon from PridePlus Health) are the perfect professional to help tailor an evidence-based exercise routine to your needs. An EP will assess your capacity and recommend an appropriate training routine to get you back in shape whilst avoiding injury and/or burn out.

If you’re in pain and need physio to help get you started, a physiotherapist will diagnose and treat the cause and help you get moving again.

If you’re struggling with foot pain, not sure about what shoes you should be exercising in or wanting advice on changing your running gait, then a podiatrist would be your first port of call.

And finally, your GP in Pascoe Vale should also be part of your ‘Exercise Pro Team’. If you’re battling a chronic medical condition and need clearance prior to returning to exercise, your doctor can give you some guidance too.

2. Join an online group

Exercising with others keeps you motivated and helps you stay on track. Plus, it’s fun to share a common goal and exchange stories. 

Even though COVID-19 has affected people’s ability to join exercise groups in person, there are lots of online groups to keep those motivation levels high. 

Our physios and I can take you through live workouts via telehealth.

For families or those living under the one roof this means everyone can get involved.

Then there are non-specific exercise groups like those on Facebook.

3. Mix it up

Exercise should be varied to stimulate the right outcomes.

Cardio, weights, exercise bands, mobility exercises, balance exercises, indoors, outdoors – it’s like eating a well-balanced diet – get a bit of everything to help you improve.

If you’re running then you need resistance exercises. If you’re losing weight, you need cardio and weights.

I can help you work it out.

4. Move smarter

The quality of your movement will help you stay fit and healthy for longer.

Work on technique and posture before load so that you develop good habits and don’t get injured.

A simple walking or postural assessment or core strength assessment before you get started will help you stay on target to reach your goals and help you exercise whilst minimising injury.

5. Make use of your backyard

Many of us have a backyard, or even a courtyard, to exercise in. Habits can take a while to stick, so map out a little plan for some exercises you can do in your yard. 

For example, if you’ve got a solid bench or seat of some sort, you could use this to do push-ups on if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. Start small (to prevent injury) and then as you gradually build strength you can try doing more. 

You could also do burpees or star jumps, and try to beat your personal best each day. Even little things like this are great to get the heart pumping! 

The kids can join in too – or at least have a giggle at their parents. 

6. Wear the right gear

Starting with the right footwear, and wearing workout clothes that breathe, will make you feel better and more comfortable.

As the days get warmer you should consider wearing breathable clothing and stay hydrated before, during and after exercise. When exercising outdoors make sure you slip, slop, slap to protect your skin from harmful UV rays as well.

This spring we’re looking forward to helping you hit your exercise goals. Book in with your Exercise Pro Team member to get you going.

I hope you liked these exercise tips!

Further reading

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 31 August 2021.

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Man with vice

Vices: what will you give up this February?

We’ve all got our vices.

Some of us consume too much sugar, some of us drink too much alcohol, while others don’t exercise enough. The good news is there is help.

Febfast is an initiative where you can call time-out on alcohol, sugar or another vice of your choice, to support disadvantaged young people in Australia.

It’s the perfect excuse to kick-start the year with some good health and good will!

So, what vices will you focus on this February?

1. I’m giving up sugar!

Too many pavlovas, ice creams and sweet treats over the festive season? Is it time for a sugar holiday?

The issue

A lot of our energy intake now comes from processed and packaged food and drinks, like cereal and soft drinks. They often contain lots of added sugar, which isn’t great for our diet.

While eating sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, it can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess. Obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes – a chronic condition affecting over 1.7 million Australians.

What you can do

Challenge yourself this February to cut out the chocolate and cakes, and curb those cravings!

Some ideas to get you started: keep a food diary, check food labels before eating, swap soft drink for water, and up your intake of fresh fruit.

It’s also a good idea to chat to your doctor in Pascoe Vale before starting a diet. You could even make an appointment with Jessica Fuller, our accredited practising dietitian.

2. I’m giving up alcohol!

Are you ready for a break from the alcohol-drenched summer months and the over-indulgence of the silly season?

The issue

Alcohol is a depressant drug, which means it slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body. There is no safe level of drug use – it always carries some risk.

Some long-term effects of alcohol use include high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and sexual health problems.

What you can do

Challenge yourself this February to banish beer and bubbles!

Some ideas to get you started: catch up over a coffee instead of at the pub, be the designated driver when you go out with your friends, and keep track of the money you’re saving by not drinking.

If you’re a regular or heavy drinker, it can be dangerous to reduce or quit alcohol on your own.

Your GP can refer you to treatment such as detox, medication and even counselling to help manage withdrawal symptoms. You can also have a chat with one of our non-judgmental psychologists in Pascoe Vale, Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts

3. I’m giving up Netflix!

Do you find that the only exercise you do is reaching for the remote control? Is it time to give Netflix the flick?

The issue

When you have an inactive lifestyle, your health is affected in many ways. For example, you burn fewer calories (meaning you’re more likely to gain weight), you may lose muscle strength and endurance, your bones may get weaker, and your immune system may not work as well.

By not getting regular exercise, you raise your risk of things like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke – the list goes on.

What you can do

Challenge yourself this February to turn off the TV and get off the couch!

Some ideas to get you started: keep a diary of how many hours you’ve ‘saved’ by doing other activities, take the stairs instead of the lift, park your car a bit further away (forcing you to walk a little further), and give your dog two walks a day rather than one.

One of the best things you can do to get active – especially if you’re just starting out – is to have a chat with our exercise physiologist in Pascoe Vale, Mike Fitzsimon. Mike’s helpful approach will ensure you get that extra spring into your step.

Got any questions about your vices or don’t know where to start? Chat to your healthcare professional today.

 

Source: Febfast, MedlinePlus

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Targeted exercise to help diabetes

How exercise physiology can help with diabetes (some things may surprise you)

The single factor that links all chronic disease management is exercise.

It’s a word we all know, and a concept we’ve had relationships with in the past.

The challenge for those living with diabetes is how to get the correct ‘dosage’ of exercise. What types of exercise – walking, running, skipping? Should you be lifting heavy weights or light weights? What about pilates? And what about the fads – is Zumba the best exercise for diabetes?

All of these questions have an answer. And that answer will differ from person to person.

An exercise physiologist, also known as an EP, is the professional to give you your exercise answers.

Here are four common questions our EP, Mike Fitzsimon, gets asked about diabetes. The answers may surprise you!

1. Why exercise?

Diabetes Australia recommends that everyone with diabetes does at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. That’s right – every single day.

If weight loss is needed as well, then that number increases to 45-60 minutes of exercise every day.

Exercise has many positive effects on muscles, bones, joints, organs and even our brain.

With diabetes it improves our ability to process and use carbohydrates, and increases muscle and other tissue mass to better process carbs in the future. These are just some of the positive effects.

2. How do I reach my recommended exercise minimums every day?

Your EP will sit down with you and work through your history, your days, the barriers and the opportunities that you have to exercise.

They will work out what kind of exercise is best and what you like the most, and avoid what you like the least.

Exercise physiology in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne.

Exercise physiologist Mike Fitzsimon

3. Why do my blood sugars drop when exercising?

This goes back to the understanding around blood sugars being our first fuel source. When we exercise, we use the sugars as fuel.

If we don’t use them, we convert the sugars to other substances including the bad fats that float around and clog up blood vessels as well as sit around our vital organs. This can lead to high disease risks.

4. If I’m walking every day, is this enough exercise? 

The answer is no.

We all, and especially those with diabetes, need to be completing two sessions of resistance training per week as well as the daily 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.

Resistance exercises are where you use your body weight, actual weights and resistance training bands, and work muscles through their ranges to build strength and conditioning.

We’re here to help

If you’re reading this and thinking that you need some assistance meeting the recommended minimums for your exercise levels, you can rest assured knowing we have the best people qualified to help.

Our EP Mike Fitzsimon is here in Pascoe Vale and ready to help you.

There are many ways you can see Mike. You can come in for one-on-one work where you ask your questions. There’s also the actions that you need to do.

Our EP has The Strong Room where you can complete assessments and do your exercises in safety with an expert guiding you.

You can do these exercises one on one, or join some friendly small groups where you can feel supported and encouraged by others exercising together.

Make a booking today

To see Mike you can book in now online or by calling 9304 0500.

If you’re eligible for Medicare rebates (those with chronic disease, and separately those with diabetes) you can get your doctor to write up referrals. This can unlock some Medicare funding pathways to access exercise physiology.

We’d love to help you on your way to feeling great. Why not get started today?

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Exercise physiology in Pascoe Vale.

New exercise physiologist in Pascoe Vale

We’re excited to introduce our new exercise physiologist, Mike Fitzsimon, to our medical practice in Pascoe Vale.

Mike has over 17 years of clinical experience. He specialises in the delivery of evidence-based, person-centred exercise services that enhance your health.

As head of exercise physiology at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy / Clifton Hill Pilates and Rehab, and previously in his role at No Limits Exercise Physiology, Mike has developed excellent clinical skills and created innovative exercise programs for a range of patient groups.

Mike enjoys collaborating with like-minded clinicians to deliver and coordinate care that enhances health. He provides patients with education, guidance and support that enables them to make better exercise decisions and reach their full potential.

Exercise physiology in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne.

As an exercise physiologist, Mike is committed to:

  • Delivering high-level performance for the prevention, management and rehabilitation of illness, chronic disease and injury
  • Delivering quality, evidence-based exercise
  • Developing innovative service models that enable a wide range of people to access exercise physiology services, and
  • Developing specialised group services for special populations, particularly those with complex medical conditions.

When Mike is not working he enjoys spending time with his family, coaching junior sport, playing golf, exercising regularly, listening to music and travelling.

What does it cost?

One-on-one consultations are as follows:

  • Initial consult (60 minutes) is $85
  • Follow-up consult (60 minutes) is $75
  • Follow-up consult (30 minutes) is $50

Bulk billed EPC and DVA appointments are also available.

Free consultation if you were previously enrolled

You can enjoy a free initial consultation if you were previously enrolled in exercise physiology classes at PVH Medical.

Exercise physiology classes available

You can benefit from joining a group exercise class. View the current exercise timetable here.

Group classes are $20 each. Alternatively, you can buy a 10-class pass for $200 and get a bonus class (i.e. 11 classes for $200).

Mike looks forward to implementing the following classes at PVH Medical:

  • Chronic disease management
  • Shoulder and neck conditioning
  • Knee strength and conditioning
  • Exercise oncology
  • Pelvic function and conditioning
  • Strong to the bone (osteoporosis management)
  • Women’s exercise
  • General fitness.

Make a booking today

Patients can book directly with Reception for an initial consultation. An initial consultation is required before enrolling in an exercise group.

Mike is accessible through EPC referrals as well as DVA and private patient bookings.

Feel free to have a chat with Mike in our clinic or email ep@pvhmedical.com.au.

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Please note we're not currently giving COVID-19 vaccinations to kids aged 5 to 11.