Thursday, 3 August 2017

Would you like your PT to study Manual Osteopathy?

As an Experienced Personal Trainer I started to notice a gap between pain treatment (Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Myotherapy, etc...) and general fitness, and resistance training. There was often a lack of communication between different therapists and trainers, and, a lack of understanding of what the other was doing. There also seems to be confusion for the client/patient about re introducing their regular exercise regime.

Often, clients complain or mention pain, or some muscausokeletal issues, that are in need of some hands-on attention that is unable to be provided on the gym floor with stretching or the trusty old foam roller. After many years of referring these patients I had a light bulb moment...

This is when I decided to enrol part time to study Osteopathy Manual Therapy. Booked my clients for an extra 15 minutes on their session time, and gave them Manual Osteopathic treatment (practice). This worked as the best way to practice, complete my log hours and give my clients something that no one else could.

The results speak for themselves. My schedule is consistently full. My clients love knowing their PT is able to help with any issue they may have. There is no lack of communication between therapist and trainer. And most important, people are overcoming conditions in record time due to the one stop shop.

Now, I am completing my studies, I am looking forward to helping many more of my clients (and now patients) and I truly believe that this will be the future of training, personal health and wellness care.
Image result for personal trainerosteopath

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Home fitness back in the day!
In today’s busy lifestyle many people are finding it harder and harder to find the much important time to improve and maintain their health and fitness.

Some people are lacking time, the motivation, the know how or simply struggling to cover the cost of expensive gym memberships and home equipment.

The road to improving your health and fitness needn’t start with spending huge amounts of money on top of the range home fitness equipment or signing up on a contract at the local gym like you may have been led to believe.

The truth is that it is easy to set up a good fitness program from home. With a small amount of equipment, a bit of motivation and some information you can make some real positive gains for your health and wellbeing.

At home fitness equipment and links to workouts

The first step is to make small changes in your daily lifestyle that will increase the amount of general activity and movement that you do.
Try things such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, try parking in the furthers park at the supermarket instead of driving around and around looking for the closest.

Try walking down to the dairy or parking 500m away or parking a good distance from work. Make some family-time revolve around activity like walking or kicking a ball around the park.
These changes can add up to a large amount of activity with little effort.
This would b so cool for a family fun day -  Kick Croquet- use hulahoops cut in half and a large playground ball

To set up a good fitness program from home there needs to be a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular training. Both are as important as the other.

Cardiovascular training is when you do an activity that keeps your breathing and heart rate elevated for a length of time. Set cardio sessions need to be done 2 – 3 times per week and run for 30 – 90 minutes depending on intensity and your fitness levels.
The best place to start is with brisk walking. As you improve gradually add in some running. The great thing about this is the only equipment needed is a pair of trainers.

Other types of cardio activities are biking, swimming, hiking and sport.

The key with cardio training is to keep things interesting by mixing things up and constantly increasing the intensity to keep your body challenged. If you only do the same walk at the pace all the time your body will only get as fit as it needs to complete this.

Resistance training is a vital part of fitness training with a huge amount of benefit to your health and your body. Resistance training increases lean muscle mass. This in turn will give shape to the body, increase calories used each day, increase bone density and add protection. If weight loss is your goal resistance training will help reduce body fat and keep it off in the long term.
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A basic home resistance program can be set up with no equipment at all, using your body weight as resistance. A much more complete program can be executed by purchasing a swiss-ball and a couple of pairs of dumbbells.
Resistance training sessions should take between 20 min and one hour and be performed 2-3 times per week. Muscles need time to repair. Therefore you should take a day between sessions.

Body weight exercises such as press-ups, squats, lunges and crunches are a great starting point to begin your resistance program.  Each exercise should be done in sets of 12 – 15 between 1- 3 times depending on your experience levels.
With the addition of a swiss-ball and dumbbells it is possible to make and perform a complete body program.
The ball is used as a platform that substitutes the workout bench and seat. The ball being an unstable platform means that the body and core muscles must work hard to maintain good posture whilst performing the exercises.

Fitness Gear - Home Fitness Gear - Gaiam think i need something like this for at work and home.Ball E-Book - Fitness On The Run, Your Home Fitness Authority! New Health and Fitness Videos  - click image for more health and fitness tips

If you are unfamiliar with correct exercises to be performed I would strongly suggest a couple of sessions with an exercise professional to learn correct technique.

If time is your biggest barrier to exercise try splitting your exercise into small chunks. Turn a 30 min walk into three 10 min walks spread throughout the day.
Make sure that you always focus on your long term goals and this will help keep you moving forward.
A good way to set your program is to alternate days with cardio and resistance training.

If you are not prepared to set a program in motion make sure that you at least increase your daily activity and remember that when it comes to exercise “something is always better than nothing”.
No matter your level of fitness, ability or confidence just do what you can to the best of your ability! Stop making excuses and just get up and DO IT!

Exercise and fitness does not need to rule your life, but it does need to be an important part of it. Try incorporating physical activity as a normal daily thing to be done (like brushing your teeth).

Adorable Baby Brushing Teeth While Sitting in Sink

The benefits of exercise are massive and it outweighs the small effort that it takes by a huge margin.
With a bit off effort and a few small changes you can make huge positive gains for your health. So get started today, health is the best investment you can ever make.

Remember that good health is the best asset you can own.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

WHY we need to SUPPLEMENT our eating

Nutritional supplements have been available for quite a while, being consumed by a small percentage of people. Over recent years supplementation has started to become more of a necessity than added luxury.

More and more people are learning the importance of topping up our diets with extra nutrients and the health benefits associated.

I would like to cover a few common questions and concerns about nutritional supplementation.

Why do we even need to supplement and what do they do?

Many people believe that we can obtain all of our needed micronutrients from the food that we consume. A good whole diet and eating 6+ fruit and veggie a day is a good start, but the levels of nutrients still far short of the optimal levels requires in today’s world. Our bodies require many vitamins and minerals that provide the building blocks for our body’s cells and provide them with protection from invaders.

Much of the food that we get today has a poor nutritional content. With today’s style of farming, our soils are becoming depleted and in turn our fruit and veggies.
Large cycled crops, fertilizers, sprays and chemicals and early picking has contributed to this.

The 1992 Earth summit has reported that tomatoes contain 90% less copper than they did 30 years ago and that total minerals in the soils have plummeted, some up to 80% in the past 50 year.

With soil depletion, processing of foods, poor food choices, storage and cooking, we are getting far fewer nutrients than we did 50 years ago. This is combined with the massive increase in the amounts of nutrients needed to live in the fast passed, stressful and more polluted world of today. There is also a strong link between poor nutrition and degenerative disease. This is why it is so important to top up a good diet with a high quality supplement.

Oxygen is essential for life, but it also has a ‘dark side’, this is known as oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is responsible for rusting metal or causing an apple segment to go brown.
The billions of cells that make up our bodies are under the same attack. This oxidative stress causes our bodies to age and degenerate.


When oxygen is utilized by our cells there is a byproduct or ‘exhaust fume’ called a free radical. Free radicals are increased by many things such as stress, smoke, radiation, fumes, fatty food, exercise and sunlight. Unless the free radicals are readily neutralized, they can go on to damage cells in any part of the body causing degeneration. Concentrated damage to one area will lead to degenerative disease such as heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

Research has now shown that antioxidants (vitamins) are the main line of defense to protect our cells against the continuous attack from free radicals. This is an on going war within our bodies.

Goji berries, one of the most antioxidant packed foods
The big problem that we face today seems to be degenerative disease. Due to the huge increase in free radical catalysts in today’s world and low levels of antioxidants available in our food sources is seems that the war is being dominated by the free radicals.

Due to this we desperately need to supplement with a quality anti oxidant product. The more free radicals there are the more antioxidants are needed to match.

What type off supplement should I take?

There are a large number of supplements in the market place today. Many available fall far short of meeting the nutritional needs of the body’s cells.

A high quality supplement should be a twice a day formula, be easily absorbed (bioavailability), and contain the correct amounts of the many nutrients required.
Taking a large range of supplements can cause an overlap or may even cause you to miss out important minerals and vitamins. I recommend people take a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral rather than an assortment.

In Australia and New Zealand the soils are very low in selenium so this needs to be in the multi. There is a large amounts of supplements on the market with a diverse range of quality. Possibly the best independent nutritional supplement review is by scientist Lyle McWilliam, (Comparative guide to nutritional supplements) where he compares all aspects of quality between 100 Australian and NZ products.

As well as taking a high quality multi, I also recommend that people should take an Omega3 fish oil supplement. Fish oils seem to have large amounts of positive effects on the body. It is shown that they improving a baby’s brain in the womb, to helping nerves, brain function, hormones and skin health. Studies also show that they reduce heart disease, but the most impressive effect is that regularly taking a fish oil supplement can reduce the chances of sudden death by 81%!


Krill oil, low in mercury and
the most concentrated in Omega3

When choosing a fish oil supplement it is important to get some that is ‘mercury free’ as high doses of mercury is poisonous. This is the reason it is better to supplement this rather than eat an oily fish meal every day. The vegetarian option for fish oils is flax seed oils.


Flax sedes oil

Other supplements can be used to optimize health or help with specific issues.

A glucosamine supplement can be taken to rebuild cartilage, and reduce pain where there joint problems such as arthritis.

A good calcium/magnesium supplement can help increase bone density, and relax smooth muscle. This will prevent or reduce cramping and even help to lower blood pressure.

Vitamin C can be taken to help with immune function and fight infection. A high dose of vitamin C taken during the early stages of a virus can over power and stop the virus from reproducing any further.

I firmly believe that every person should be on a high quality multi vitamin/mineral and fish oil supplement. The RDA (recommended daily intake) was set many years ago to prevent infectious diseases and fall far short of meeting the optimal amounts needed to prevent degenerative disease. It is virtually impossible to achieve these levels from food alone so we must top up through supplementation. For example- for us to obtain optimum levels of vitamin E for one day we would have to consume 15kg of spinach or 1 kg of almonds.

Nutrients build, repair and protect our cells, keep our bodies functioning correctly, and will reduce degeneration thus slowing the ageing process.

Your health is worth the investment.

Outer beauty is a direct reflection of your inner health.


Friday, 7 June 2013

Why women SHOULD lift weights.

Exercise and fitness is an extremely important part of life which is often overlooked. Keeping active through structured physical activity is essential, to keep the body lean, youthful and in good health.

There tends to be a grey area that is not fully understood by most in the matter of ‘what is the best type of exercise for women’. This is apparent in both frequency and type. This seems to be fueled by the lack of education and understanding in this area from the general public. This is also backed up by the huge amount of contradicting information being force-fed to us in the form of gimmick type advertising.
There is no ‘best type of training’ for women as it is dependent on the type of results desired to be achieved. However to maintain a fit and healthy body with good muscle tone and a good ratio of body fat, a good combination of exercise type must be performed.
The majority of women have little problem getting out and doing their quota of cardiovascular training, whether that be through running, cycling or walking. This is a good start, but by itself will not get the desired results. The big problem seems to be in the area of ‘resistance training’!
There seem to be many misconceptions concerning the topic of resistance training or weight lifting amongst women that need to be cleared up.
1. Resistance training is only for men.
2. Lifting weights will give me big masculine muscles.
3. There is no need to do resistance training as cardio is the best way to burn fat.
4. Lifting weights will make me put on weight.
5. There are no health benefits from resistance training.

These misconceptions are preventing some women from the health and body they desire.
Resistance training is as important for women as it is for men. Both men and women get the same benefits from this type of training and building lean muscle mass.
Resistance training puts stress on the muscles (in a good way) causing the muscle fibers to damage. These fibers then adapt by repairing stronger with more density. This causes the increase in strength and shape of the muscle.

Testosterone is the key component for gaining size and substantial growth of the muscle. Women have a much lower level of testosterone; therefore weights training cause the muscle to become denser with shape but little gain in size. Women that have this concern needn’t worry as it takes a huge amount of time training with muscle gaining type weights (8 – 10 reps) on top of a special diet to obtain huge muscles.

Weights’ training is a great way to drop body fat and one of the only ways to keep it off long term. Muscles use energy to function, energy to move and energy to just be there.
A solid resistance workout keeps consuming energy as the muscle repairs. That means that you can be burning fat for 24 – 48 hours after the workout. Muscles burn fat as butter on a griddle!!

The idea of ‘speeding up your metabolism’ is when you can encourage your body to use more energy at rest, (idle at higher revs). The only TRUE way to shift this rate in your body is to increase the amount of lean muscle mass on your body. For example; adding about 2.5kg of muscle will mean that your body will need consume roughly 200 kj more each day. By increasing the amount of lean mass, you will burn away those extra calories in your sleep, in the car, on the couch and keep them off long term.

Resistance training is also the main player when it comes to body shape and posture. Weights’ training is the key to maintain good shape of the body. A strong core and back will help dramatically to keep a good posture. The shape and curves of the body are made up primarily of muscle. These can be manipulated by increasing muscle and muscle tone. An example is adding tone to the legs to add definition or increasing the shoulder muscles (deltoids) to create more of a waist.

If your body is a ‘pear shape’, all the walking in world won’t change this. You will be left with a smaller pear. The only way to change the body shape is with resistance training.
Resistance or weights’ training becomes even more important part of women’s health after the age of fifty. Once the body hits fifty years the body's cells are not replaced as frequently and degeneration takes the main stage.

Without regular maintenance the muscle will start to degenerate (pertrophy). This decrease in lean muscle mass will cause several problems. Posture will become much less rigid which may lead to other problems such as less strength or back pain. Reduced muscle will leave the body much more susceptible to injury.

The most important reason women 50+ need to do resistance training is to help reduce or prevent osteoporosis. As women get older they begin to loose valuable bone density. This is why women start to shrink. Resistance training can have a huge positive impact against this.

Weights’ training puts your bones under stress. This causes the bones to respond by increasing their density. Increasing bone density will lessen the chance of injury and may increase quality of life in the later years.

In my opinion, resistance training such as Weights training and Pilates is a vital type of exercise that must be taken seriously and must not be over looked!
Women need in incorporate between 1 – 3 hours of resistance training into their weekly exercise regime along side cardiovascular exercise and general activity. It is a good idea to space resistance training days over the week or alternate between upper and lower body to allow muscles to recover properly.

Weights training can be a little daunting when first starting out. A good place to start is with ‘body weight exercises’. These are simple exercises that use your own body weight as resistance. The best part is that they can be performed anywhere with no equipment.

Maintaining good form and correct technique is extremely important with this type of training. Using the services of an exercise professional like a Personal Trainer is a really good idea. This is 100% necessary if you have health or musculoskeletal problems. This should ensure good results and will also teach you correct technique that is essential for safety of your body.

In conclusion, resistance training is a valuable type of exercise that should be utilized by all women of all ages and of all fitness levels.