Exercise Physiology @ Sports & Spinal

“Your greatest wealth is health”

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

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 (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.

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.

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.

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, but make 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.
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 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

Annika Coyne

Exercise Physiologist

Annika is an enthusiastic Exercise Physiologist with a passion for Women’s Health. Annika has experience working with pelvic floor dysfunction, diastisis rectus abdominas, pre and post-natal, pelvic & lower back pain. She supports all women by educating them to better understand and manage their condition and restores physical function through exercise. Annika also has a special interest in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. She is committed to delivering high-quality Exercise Physiology, prescribing the best rehabilitation plans based on her clients’ goals. Annika’s love of sport and exercise is what drives her passion for health and well-being. Annika believes that TODAY is always the right day to start.

Annika is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Sippy Downs location.

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Brad Jobson

Exercise Physiologist

Brad has extensive experience in chronic disease management including cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes management and specific exercise prescription for Osteoporosis . He also specialises in Musculoskeletal conditions including back pain and upper and lower limb pain. Assessments and exercise rehab are conducted in the clinic’s own gym which is purpose built for rehabilitation. Brad’s hobbies include  surfing and running.

Brad is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Coolum location.

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Cheyne Lee

Exercise Physiologist

Cheyne completed a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of the Sunshine Coast where she discovered how exercise can truly be medicine. She finds joy in helping people improve their independence and lead happier, healthier lives with their loved ones. With her warm and bubbly personality, she will ensure you feel supported and empowered to achieve your health goals through a holistic, evidence-based approach.

Cheyne has experience in the prevention and management of osteoporosis/osteopenia and has special interests in individualised exercise prescription for chronic health conditions such as cardiac and metabolic diseases as well as neurological conditions such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

Additionally, Cheyne runs hydrotherapy sessions and is also a qualified Pilates instructor, delivering Core Strength Mobility (CSM) classes.

Cheyne is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Buderim & Kawana clinics.

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Emily Stewart

Exercise Physiologist

Emily is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist since completing a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology at the Queensland University of Technology. Emily is highly passionate about helping people and believes she can help you with the use of tailored evidenced based exercise programs and lifestyle modification. Her highly welcoming and caring personality will put you at ease, enabling you to thrive throughout your rehabilitation journey. Emily has a keen interest in neurological and musculoskeletal conditions and is also a Clinical Pilates Instructor. Emily enjoys integrating this into her sessions to help improve movement efficiency.

In her spare time, Emily enjoys everything outdoors, travelling and art and is currently training for a half marathon.

Emily is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Redcliffe and North Lakes locations.

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Faith Cochrane

Exercise Physiologist

Faith is an Exercise Physiologist from Tasmania, graduating from the University of the Sunshine Coast, who now considers the Sunshine Coast home.
Faith is motivated to optimise the quality of life for all that come to see her, ensuring sessions and programs address personal goals, current ability and lifestyles.
She has a passion for Women’s Health and movement analysis, looking at how to you’re moving daily that has an impact on your musculoskeletal aches and pains.

During her time off Faith likes to mountain climb, mountain bike, play soccer and be down on the beach with her dog. Faith believes that motion is lotion so let’s get moving!

Faith is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Nambour and Sippy Downs locations.

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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 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.

Gemma is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Coolum and Sippy Downs location.

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Georgia White

Exercise Physiologist

Georgia graduated with a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology (Distinction) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Although Georgia is passionate in all fields of exercise physiology, she has a special interest for neurological and oncology conditions, especially in the paediatric age bracket. She finds it immensely rewarding to help people manage their overall health, see her clients achieve their goals and ultimately reach a stage of independence.

Outside of the clinic, Georgia loves to have a boogie at her favourite bands’ concerts, socialise with her family and friends, play the piano, keep fit and healthy at the gym and most importantly Netflix and chill.

Georgia is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Springfield and Woolloongabba locations.

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Joe Upritchard

Exercise Physiologist

After graduating from school Joe began his studies in Occupational Therapy before moving to his degree Clinical Exercise Physiology .During this time he completed practical placements at local special schools and with a number of  disability support services. Joe has a passion for treating those with neurological and physical disabilities, culminating in  over 6 years experience in this  field. This has included work with various community support services and the Sporting Wheelies and disabled association.

Joe is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Maroochydore location.

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Kerryn Wilson

Exercise Physiologist

Kerryn is an accredited Exercise Physiologist after completing a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Kerryn truly believes that exercise is a way of life and moving your body has endless benefits that you can’t get from anything else. Kerryn is passionate about helping people and sharing her knowledge to help others. Her extremely friendly, motivating and caring personality will ensure you get the best experience possible throughout your journey. Kerryn has an interest across all areas and is developing one in neurological conditions.  Kerryn has had a lot of teaching experience and uses this when it comes to teaching exercises and technique.

Outside of work, Kerryn loves swimming, being active outdoors and dancing.

Kerryn is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Redcliffe and North Lakes locations.

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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 as 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.

Lauren is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Woolloongabba location.

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Laura Swingler

Exercise Physiologist

Laura is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist who graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of clinical exercise science. Since completing her university qualifications, Laura has gone on to complete her level 1 strength and conditioning accreditation with Australian Strength and Conditioning Association, working with paralympic swimmers and the Sunshine Coast Lightning during this time.

Laura believes in keeping people active whilst managing chronic conditions and helping them return to optimal health.  Laura has found her passion in assisting people back to full function; By establishing a long-term personalised plan to ensure the prevention of relapse of injury.Laura has developed a special interest in strength and conditioning, return to sport, pre and post-operative rehabilitation, osteoporosis and chronic disease management

Laura is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Kawana location.

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Matthew Crear

Exercise Physiology

Matt graduated from James Cook University with a bachelor of Exercise Physiology (Clinical) in 2016. Since he spent two years working in Hervey Bay where he was able to implement an injury prevention program to a wide variety of athletes. Along with his interest in aiding athletes to return to full health post-injury, Matt also worked closely with those who have osteoporosis, T2DM and general musculoskeletal injuries.

Matt started work with Sports and Spinal in 2019, where he has grown to develop a special interest in a return to sport / full capacity, pre and post-operative rehabilitation, persistent pain and chronic disease management.

Matt is a passionate fitness enthusiast who has battled through several injuries himself. Currently, you’ll find Matt playing golf a few times a week, in the gym, doing pilates or running, along with playing social sports wherever he can.

Matt is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Chermside location.

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Tarin Cowley

Exercise Physiologist

Tarin has been practising as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist since 2013 and recently relocated to the Sunshine Coast from Sydney. Tarin finds great reward in being able to provide exercise interventions and education that assist people with chronic conditions to lead a better life, whether it be by improving their confidence and daily functioning, pain management, feeling ‘fitter’ or for athletes, competing at their optimum capacity. Tarin has experience in a range of clinical settings, which allows her to constantly challenge herself to develop innovative exercises and lifestyle modification interventions for people seeking advice for the management of their conditions.
Tarin has also recently taken up studying again, this time in medicine.

Tarin is available for Physiotherapy appointments at our Coolum location.

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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.

Tenikka has gained experience running cardiac, diabetes and hydrotherapy group classes and throughout her final year of study worked closely with paraplegics, neurological and musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

Tenikka is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Kawana location.

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Sophie Lewis

Exercise Physiologist

Sophie is passionate about all things Womens Health! This includes Pre- and Post-natal exercise, as well as specific exercise prescription for Osteoporosis, Menopause and Pelvic Health. Sophie strives to be a positive role model and believes that exercise has the potential to improve all aspects of health including physical, mental and social health. Sophie will help you achieve your goals with an individualised treatment plan and exercise prescription. She believes that exercise should be a fun and enjoyable part of everyday life so she will take time to educate you on the multiple benefits of a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Sophie is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Maroochydore and Coolum location.

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Shannon Darlington

Exercise Physiologist

Shannon completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Graduate Diploma of Exercise Physiology at Griffith University, Gold Coast in 2015. Since graduating Shannon has worked in private practice and has experience working with chronic conditions, musculoskeletal injuries, occupational rehabilitation and injury prevention and management.

Shannon has developed a special interest in neuromuscular conditions, pre and post-operative rehabilitation, musculoskeletal injuries, chronic disease management and weight loss.

Shannon also provides Pilates-based rehabilitation for a wide array of chronic conditions and injury rehabilitation.

Shannon provides a tailored exercise program/class targeted to your individual level of strength, fitness, injuries and goals. Shannon loves helping patients achieve their goals, no matter how big or small they are.

Shannon is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Broadbeach, Robina & Springfield locations.

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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.

Zac is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Nambour location.

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