All Posts Tagged: exercise physiology

Coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions - healthy habits

Struggling with coronavirus restrictions? Here are 4 ways you can look after yourself

It can be easy to slip into bad habits or lose sight of our health goals when times are tough.

That’s why maintaining some healthy habits during the the government’s coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions is more important than ever.

So, here are some practical tips for maintaining and boosting your health at home, and how you can access our services for support.

Perhaps we can help you find a silver lining to the current situation!

1. Keep exercising

As well as boosting immunity, exercise can have a calming effect, keeping our minds clear and focused, and our anxiety contained.

That’s why it’s super important to keep exercising during the coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions.

There are lots of creative ways to create your own ‘home gym’, and you don’t need to go out and buy expensive exercise equipment. Grab a couple of soup tins from the kitchen cupboard – they make for great dumbbells!

In fact, many activities don’t require anything more than your body itself. For example, push-ups, planks and burpees are great for getting the heart pumping.

Remember to get outside as much as you can. Playgrounds and barbeque areas may be closed, but you can still go for a jog or brisk walk. Now there’s really no excuse to keep the dog locked up all day!

We suggest scheduling your exercise sessions. This will make it easier to stick to and help you get into a routine.

Not sure where to start? You can get a personal exercise program from our exercise experts. You can book in for a free initial telehealth session with our exercise physiologist or physiotherapists.

If you find exercising easier with other people, group classes are still available. We’ve reduced our exercise physiology class sizes to 1-3 people maximum. This means you can continue to maintain a social network during isolating times while at the same time help build up your immune system.

2. Establish an eating routine

For those of you who spend most of your time out of the house (at work, running errands etc), your daily routine may have centered around set meal and snack times.

However, with most of us either working from home, taking a break from work, or just spending more time in general at home, your old eating routines may have disappeared.

Without this same structure to your day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. For example, having larger meals, extra snacking, or eating just for the sake of it! It’s easy to do, especially being so close to the kitchen.

To prevent overeating, and to promote healthier food choices, you could establish a new eating routine to match your needs at home. For example, consider these set times:

  • Breakfast: 8am
  • Morning tea: 11am
  • Lunch: 1.30pm
  • Afternoon tea: 4pm
  • Dinner: 7pm
  • Supper: 8.30pm

If you’re considering intermittent fasting as an option for weight management during isolation, an early morning black coffee could replace breakfast, while a herbal tea could replace supper at night.

You can take this a step further by planning what you choose to eat, and how much, at each set time. Always consider your energy needs – if you are less active at home, you may plan to eat less than usual (i.e. smaller or less frequent snacks).

If you would like some help establishing a new eating routine, or if you have other nutrition-related concerns, please speak with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller. Private health and Medicare rebates are available.

3. Balance your thoughts

Worrying about diseases is a normal reaction. But excessive worrying can affect both our physical and mental health.

Fortunately, there are practical psychological skills to help you and your loved ones cope with anxiety.

When we get stressed about our health or risk of infection, our thoughts can become dark, brooding and pessimistic. Thoughts like, “How will I cope if I get sick?” and “I can’t deal with this”, are often triggered by stress, but they don’t help us. Negative and dark brooding thoughts will stop you doing things that can help.

Our thoughts are not always true or helpful. Challenge your negative thoughts by asking yourself what a friend would say in the same situation, or ask yourself what evidence do you have that you ‘won’t cope or can’t cope’? Whenever you recognise a negative thought, try to balance it with a realistic thought.

If you need help with balancing your thoughts, our psychologists Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts are here for you. You don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

4. Shut down the noise (do things you like instead)

Stress is infectious, and often unhelpful. People tend to talk about things they are worried about. This creates lots of ‘noise’, which can create even more stress.

Give yourself permission to switch off ‘noise’ such as social media, news and the radio for most of each day.

Also give yourself permission to excuse yourself from people who are creating stress. Keep checking in to reliable news sources once or twice a day, but otherwise, turn down the ‘noise’.

Instead, replace it with things that can help you, including doing things you enjoy, like listening to music, riding your bike, yoga or even meditation.

You could also schedule a regular ‘event’, like a games night with those in your household, or your own version of a Gold Class cinema experience, complete with ice-creams and cardboard tickets that your kids can make.

Need help managing your stress levels? Have a chat with your Pascoe Vale doctor or psychologist – we’re always here to help.

Here’s how consultations are working

All consultations are currently being carried out over the phone or on video. In some cases you may be required to come in to the clinic.

 Telehealth
(consult over the phone)
Telehealth video
(consult over live video)
In-clinic
PsychologistYesZoom
Facetime
Yes
PodiatristYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
PhysiotherapistYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
Exercise physiologistYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
DietitianYesSkype
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
Speech pathologistYesZoom
Facetime
No

*In-clinic option is only available if your practitioner determines that your health needs cannot be managed by phone or video, or for hands-on care like podiatry and physiotherapy.

We’re here to support you

Focusing on some healthy habits and routines during the coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions will hold you in good stead for the coming months.

Remember the famous saying, ‘this too shall pass’. It may not feel like it, but things will return to normal.

 

Source: MindSpot

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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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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Exercise in spring

5 exercise tips for spring

Spring is here and it’s time to get moving!

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 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 a group

Exercising with others keeps you motivated. It’s fun to share a common goal and exchange stories.

Be part of a group that improves and achieves whilst maintaining an individual routine.

Being part of a community of exercisers helps you stay on track and gives you a focus.

We have lots of group exercise class options in our clinic in Pascoe Vale. Check out our group exercise timetable here.

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.

Your EP will 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. 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 here to get you going.

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.

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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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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 are sick. And sometimes we are 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.

Hear 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 Mike the EP 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 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 Facebook or by calling the reception team on 9304 0500. I’m in clinic Monday, Wednesday and Friday with some later appointments for those coming in after school or work.

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 up to six 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. 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 or book online 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 Appointuit app on your smartphone.

Read more about podiatry in Pascoe Vale

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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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