Exercise Physiology at Sports & Spinal

“Your greatest wealth is health”

Click the links below to read about the Exercise Physiology options we have on offer

EP Services @ Sports & Spinal

Accredited Exercise Physiologists are allied health professionals, providing exercise and lifestyle therapies for the prevention and management of chronic disease, injury and disability.

What is an EP & how can an EP help you?

An Exercise Physiologist (EP) is a 4 year, University trained Allied Health professional who is an expert in exercise prescription. They will work with you to design a specific exercise program tailored to your injuries, health status and goals.

Here at Sports and Spinal our EP’s have special interest in treating:

  • Injury Rehabilitation
  • Weight Loss
  • Women’s Health
  • Athletes
  • Diabetes
  • Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Pilates, Hydrotherapy, Gym Based Programs and Home Based Programs
  • Falls Prevention
  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
EP FAQ's @ Sports & Spinal

EP (Exercise Physiology) FAQ’S

Q. Am I too old for strength exercises?

A. No you are never too old. Actually, maintaining strength is more important the older you are. Leg strength in particular becomes an important factor in maintaining your independence and being able to live independently in your own home. Simple things like getting up and down from a chair or toilet, walking upstairs and balance all require good leg strength. Pop in to see one of our Exercise Physiologists to get a simple yet effective home exercise to keep you strong, confident and mobile.

Q. How can exercise help my high blood pressure?

A. Exercise is a very useful tool in helping to lower blood pressure. After you exercise your blood pressure will come down a little bit and stay down for between 4-10hrs. If you go out every day and exercise you will get a lasting lower blood pressure.

If you are unsure or feeling worried, book an appointment to see one of our Exercise Physiologists to have your Blood Pressure and Heart rate monitored during exercise, and a tailored exercise program to suit your level of fitness.

Q. What is the best way to lose weight?

A. A combination of diet and exercise has been proven to be the best method of weight loss. More than 250 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (Huffed and puffed, but still able to carry a conversation) per week is required. Weight bearing exercise- walking/jogging has been proven to be more effective in losing weight than non-weight bearing- e.g. cycling, aqua aerobics and swimming.

The addition of strength training, 2-3 days a week, will assist with slowing down the muscle loss process and helping to speed up your metabolism.

The saying is correct that you can’t out train a poor diet!

Working closely with our Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist will give you best indiviualised results.

Q. Is High Intensity Interval Training or normal walking better for weight loss?

A. Neither one is significantly better than the other. When combined with a good diet, they yield similar results. It comes down to personal preference, level of fitness and time availability.  If you haven’t exercised lately, it is better to start with continuous moderate paced exercise to build your foundation of fitness before embarking on HIIT training.

HIIT CONTINUOUS MODERATE
Can be completed in less than 20 minutes. Need to build up to 60 minutes’ continuous moderate exercise
Intervals of MAXIMAL effort followed by periods of rest.  E.g. 20 sec Hard/ 40 sec easy Can include walking, cycling, swimming, rowing.
Hard on the body to get to your maximal intensity.  Need a good base of fitness before beginning. Gentle on the body.
Generally done on a stationary bike (safest), running intervals, hill climb intervals
Patients with cardiac issues and injuries will need to be monitored closely.
Q. How do I stop excessive skin after weight loss?

A. This can be minimized through gradual weight loss , with the aim of up to a 1% body mass loss per week (E.g 100kg should aim for 1kg mass loss per week). Adding strength training into your program 2-3 days per week will also assist in preserving the lean muscle mass that gives you tone that can be lost during weight loss.

EP & Womens Health @ Sports & Spinal

Exercise Physiology (EP) & WOMEN’S HEALTH FAQ

Q. I just found out I’m pregnant, can I still exercise or will it harm the baby?

A. You can definitely still exercise when pregnant, even up to the final stages before birth under professional supervision. Regular exercise has shown multiple benefits in maintaining physical fitness, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes, reducing labour time and increased energy levels. A thorough assessment by one of our Exercise Physiologists enables us to identify your current fitness levels, any muscular imbalances and prescribe an appropriate program with modifications throughout each trimester of your pregnancy.

 

Q. I want to get back into exercise after having a baby. Where do I start?

A. It’s important to understand your body has experienced 9 months of physical and physiological changes, therefore your response to exercise may differ to before pregnancy. Following the medical clearance up to 6-8 weeks post-delivery, an assessment prior to commencing any exercise program is required. Readiness to return to exercise following the birth of your baby can be influenced by a number of factors including pre-natal fitness, your wellbeing goals and the delivery. Seeing an Exercise Physiologist can assist you in designing a safe rehabilitation program, targeting pelvic floor and core strength, hip stability and increasing cardiovascular fitness.

 

Q. I have noticed my balance has decreased. Is this normal and can it get better?

A. Feeling unstable can be related to a number of factors such as previous falls, muscle weaknesses, medications and increasing age. Upon assessment with one of our Exercise Physiologists, we can use exercise to develop a program specific to balance training by improving confidence, muscular strength, co-ordination and thereby balance. Through consistent practice we can increase the difficulty of balance tasks due to adaptations and improvements.

Rehab Programs @ Sports & Spinal

AEP’s develop individual rehabilitation programs for patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions/injuries to ensure they return to sport/hobbies/daily activities faster and at the same level they were prior to injury,
Conditions could include;

  • Ligament tears/sprains
  • Tendonopathies
  • Muscle tears/strains
  • Chronic back, hip, knee conditions
  • Poor core strength

At Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy we take a collaborative approach to musculoskeletal rehabilitation and our Exercise Physiologists work very closely with our Physiotherapists to ensure an optimal rehabilitation program is obtained for the patient. This approach ensures an overall reduced number of treatment sessions with a better end result for patients.

EP & Diabetes @ Sports & Spinal

Diabetes

I have Diabetes, will exercising reduce my blood sugar levels too much so I have a hypoglycaemic episode?

Everybody benefits from regular exercise. If you have diabetes, or are at risk of diabetes it plays an important role in keeping you healthy. Exercise does reduce your blood sugar levels as the insulin is being more effective, but making sure you take a few easy steps will reduce your risk of having a hypoglycaemic episode. Few easy tips to get the most out of exercise with Diabetes:

  • Have appropriate meals prior to exercise, e.g. Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels before, if possible during (if you are having any symptoms of low blood sugar), and after exercise to assess your requirements for extra food.
  • Drink extra fluid before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration. The fluid may be water or a sweetened drink if extra carbohydrate is required. 250 ml every 15 minutes or one litre of fluid per hour is recommended.
  • Take extra carbohydrates before and during exercise to prevent hypoglycaemia. Extra carbohydrate is often needed after exercise. Discuss adjusting carbohydrate intake with your doctor or dietitian.
  • It may be necessary to reduce your insulin dose prior to exercise. Insulin adjustment varies with each individual. Discuss appropriate adjustments to suit your exercise schedule with your doctor.
What are the benefits of exercise for people with type 2 Diabetes?

Exercise benefits people in many different ways, listed below are a few benefits specific to people with diabetes:

  • improves your diabetes management through improving your insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Improves cholesterol
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improves blood flow
  • Boost energy and mood and helps tame stress
What should I do before I start an exercise program?

Before you start a physical activity program, you should:

  • Talk with your health care team e.g. Doctor, nurse, Diabetes educator prior to starting exercise
  • Book in to see an Exercise Physiologist to assess your starting point and build you a safe and specifically tailored exercise program
  • Plan ahead and set realistic goals
  • Find someone to exercise with or a group exercise program to help keep you motivated and keep exercise enjoyable
  • Decide how you’ll track your physical activity and blood glucose levels. It is important to track your BGL to avoid hypo/hyperglycaemic episodes. Keep a record of your physical activity to track your progress
  • Reward yourself with a non-food item or activity when you reach your goals. For example, treat yourself to a movie or buy a new plant for the garden

What makes an accredited “Exercise Physiologist” different from a “Personal Trainer”?

Although there are similarities to personal trainers, our Exercise Physiologists are able to offer more.  An Exercise Physiologist must have completed a Bachelor or Master’s degree over a number of years in the area, offering specialist advice and guidance and are recognised as health professionals. They approach their work in an evidence-based, scientific way, with a strong understanding of anatomy and human physiology and pathophysiology.  Their work is also covered by health care rebates, so you can get money back on your time with them.

 

What is the difference between a personal trainer (PT) and an Exercise Physiologist (EP)?

 

Exercise Physiologist  Personal Trainer
4 Year University Trained.  Accredited though Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) Less formal training
Qualified and insured to design and deliver exercise therapy and lifestyle programs for a healthy life style Qualified and insured to design and deliver fitness programs to persons of low risk only
Medicare and Private Health rebates available NO rebates available
Can design and implement periodised training programs for elite athletes.  Provide assistance in enhancing sports performance Personal trainers are not qualified to work with elite athletes or sports groups without further qualifications/courses
Can do EVERYTHING a Personal Trainer can do plus MORE, and SAFER

Brad Jobson

Exercise Physiologist

Brad has extensive experience in both clinical exercise prescription for chronic disease and injury management as well as a long history in writing and delivering strength and conditioning programs for all levels of athletes over a range of sports.

His personal interests include surfing, running and strength conditioning.

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Gemma Egan

Exercise Physiologist

Gemma has a strong belief that living an active healthy lifestyle improves both longevity and quality of life. She has completed a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Science and has gained an accreditation as an Exercise Physiologist (AEP).

Gemma has developed a passion for spinal rehabilitation and improving quality of life for those suffering from lower back pain. She has also worked with a wide range of conditions including but not limited to musculoskeletal injuries, obesity, diabetes, heart conditions and osteoarthritis.

Gemma has a strong focus on prescribing programs that are individually tailored and that can be self-managed for future health and fitness.

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Lauren Sexton

Exercise Physiologist

Lauren graduated from the University Of The Sunshine Coast completing a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Science. Predominately working in private practice since graduating, Lauren has developed a clinical interest in geriatrics, weight loss/chronic disease management and injury prevention/rehabilitation.

As well working in clinical settings, Lauren has also had experience in education (Certificate III and IV in fitness), clinical Pilates, sports performance enhancement (soccer) and sports training.

Lauren is driven by patients achieving their personal goals, returning to enjoyable activities and modifying the risk of morbidity to lead a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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Natasha Gunston

Exercise Physiologist

Natasha is an accredited Exercise Physiologist exercise physiologist who enjoys working with people to help them achieve their goals for both long-term and short-term improvements in health. She is a firm believer that educating people about their health, and how to manage this through safe exercise and lifestyle changes, will give people the best pathway to improved quality of life. Her main areas of interest are chronic disease management, exercise and healthy lifestyle promotion, Clinical Pilates, as well as cardiac, musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation.

Natasha’s spare time is spent training and competing in the Equestrian discipline of Eventing – the horse version of a triathlon.

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Annika Coyne

Exercise Physiologist

Annika is an enthusiastic Exercise Physiologist, who is motivated to help her clients live their best life through physical activity. Her love of sport and exercise is what drives her passion for health and wellbeing. Annika plays Soccer in the Brisbane Premier League and believes being active in a friendly environment is the best medicine. She is committed to delivering high-quality Exercise Physiology services, prescribing the best rehabilitation plans based on her clients’ goals.

Annika believes that TODAY is always the right day to start.

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Joe Upritchard

Exercise Physiologist

Joe began his studies in Occupational Therapy before realising his calling to Exercise Physiology. He believes playing rugby at a high level including a year overseas helped him realise this.

Joe has a passion for improving the quality of life of his patients through exercise rehabilitation and interventions.

Joe’s special interest is in neurological rehabilitation and disabilities, with over 5 years’ experience working with various neurological and physical conditions. He enjoys helping people get back into prime physical condition so they can feel and move better.

As a keen surfer, Joe enjoys Sunshine Coast living and being active outdoors in his spare time.

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Zachary Howard

Exercise Physiologist

Zac graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast after completing his Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Science. He strives to deliver enjoyable exercise programs that take into consideration each patients goals and previous experiences to help them live a healthy and active lifestyle. He has a passion for postoperative patients rehabilitation as well as return to sport athletes at all levels.

Zac also holds a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and has been working in the strength and conditioning industry for the past 3 years. During his time off he likes to spend time rock climbing, playing tennis or riding his motorbike.

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Tenikka Mogno

Exercise Physiologist

Tenikka completed her Clinical Exercise Science Degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast with a passion to help people manage their chronic disease or injury through evidence based exercise prescription and education. Tenikka has a special interest in working with people with Type 2 Diabetes, osteoporosis and low back pain. Her positive and welcoming attitude makes you feel at ease through your journey of recovery and a healthier lifestyle.

Outside of work Tenikka is dedicated to her practice of yoga, gym and being outdoors.

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