Healthfit's Gregg Orphin, AEP is a registered NDIS service provider. Services are provided within the categories of Improved Daily Living, Improved Health and Wellbeing, and Therapeutic Supports.
We welcome plan managers, disabled participants and their carers to make enquiries by phoning us on 02 4455 3063 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to fitness and training it seems everyone is an expert either from their own experience or from what they’ve been told. This has been the case forever but now we have the internet noise added to the mix. There are websites, blogs, social media pages and ‘fake news’ sources of information to either inform, advertise or possibly confuse the facts from fiction.
As it is for any field of knowledge we need to be able to have a sense of what is right or correct or factual and what is not.
Some clear examples of misleading claims and statements are evident on the television channels that are devoted mainly to infomercials and particularly those that promote fitness and health products like exercise equipment and skin care creams. The promoters of the product make claims that ‘research’ proves the efficacy of the product while a beautiful well-muscled model is demonstrating it’s use and sometimes with a ‘before and after’ photograph of them. Even if they refer the watchers to a website for more conclusive proof one may find that their scientists are employed by the product manufacturer, hence have a conflict of interest.
Other television shows that seem more journalistic and are based on real science are also potentially misleading as they sometimes sensationalise a new fitness discovery which can distract us from the whole truth. A clear example of this is the recent coverage of the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT for short. Unless we listen very carefully and for the whole duration of the show we might miss the important points that although a person can get high cardiovascular fitness from very short periods of intense exercise (3x4 min) each week, they still need to firstly, have a good fitness base to start with and secondly, still have to warm up for 10 minutes at least in each session to prevent muscle strain or a dangerous cardiovascular event.
How do we then work out what’s true and factual amongst all the claims?
The internet can be the first place to look for well-researched and evidence-based information but you need to be trained in research methods then be able to decipher the jargonistic material and then make a decision whether it was strong evidence or not. The usual requirement is a university undergraduate degree in a related field or have a way of finding summaries of meta-studies (overviews of many research papers done by very experienced researchers such as professors and their teams of students).
If just using a search engine like Google (not even Google Scholar) you are likely to see the first page taken up by popular articles and sites by companies selling their wares related in a vague way to the area you are interested in. It doesn’t get much more specific or scientific in the next few pages of searching either. Books can be great but become outdated very quickly these days.
Allied health professionals are trained in providing evidence-based practice but also use clinical knowledge to provide the best treatment or education they can. All have to do continuing professional development which means keeping on learning and staying up-to-date with new facts and methods. Keep in mind though that even this process has is misgivings as there is far more to learn than time to devote to it, yet if you want to separate fact from fiction AHPs are still among the best sources of information. If what you need to know is important then probe deeply.
For most people, first impressions are powerful determinants of whether we are attracted to or not to another person, a place, an event, a book cover and so on. Impressions of fitness centres can follow this rule of thumb too. The first walk in through the entrance can be confronting or on-the-other-hand, a comfortable, welcoming feeling.
At Healthfit we understand that the environment and ‘vibe’ is very important to prospective new exercisers and to those who have been attending for some time. We understand also that there are many factors that have to be considered to get the environment just right and yet know that what is perfect for one person is not for another. For instance, some like to have music playing through our stereo while others prefer their own through earphones, and others to be exercising in the quiet. Some like to come when the atmosphere is busy, chirpy and socially engaging while others might have had a talkative day at work and just want to focus on their movements and breathing efforts in peace. The latter is more often the case in the afternoons at Healthfit Exercise Centre. We do our best to adapt the temperature and airflow to suit who is in the centre at the time and yet cannot please everyone. Most like it cool and therefore want the aircon on.
We love the variety of ways our clients interact with and tolerate each other and it is facilitated by our friendly and sensitive team who are always on the lookout for our members’ comfort and safety.
It is heartening too that initially hesitant and maybe even nervous starters soon become accustomed to both their exercise program and the happy environment that they chose from first instincts to be their place of ‘getting fit’ and enjoying the process. We hear from our centre users that their previous ideas about ‘gyms’ have changed and accept that our environment here is different and more inclusive.
Of course, our unique benefit is the qualified support and expertise of our staff and this will always be the number one reason that Healthfit has survived an onslaught of many new gyms and fitness centres in the area. We look out for you and are ready to update or upgrade your programs as soon as you need to. And for those who definitely do not want to be active in a centre, home programs can be designed to suit and achieve your goals in a different way.
The amount and intensity of physical activity makes a difference. Too much of either may lead to injury or illness. On the other hand, too little will produce minimal benefits and won’t slow the effect of ageing.
Ultimate benefits or positive side-effects of physical activity depend on getting the mix right.
If you are doing the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of ‘moderate’ physical activity and 60-90 minutes of ‘vigorous’ exercise a week you will most likely have realised multiple benefits. There is much more than just fitness to be gained from being physically active. Health benefits for both your body and mind are well-documented and there are many.
Firstly, frequent activity often creates a feeling of wellbeing that in turn promotes happiness, a clearer mind, vitality and more energy for work and play. Mental processing seems to improve with adequate physical activity by increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain. There is strong evidence that this is the most important way to reduce the incidence of dementia.
Being more active enhances biorhythm or our own body clock to work better with improved sleep, regulated waking times and those other daily functions that are necessary for heath. There is a widening of lifestyle possibilities that results from improved stamina, strength, mobility and muscular endurance. By being fit we are able to participate in active recreation, enjoy holidays without restrictions and even socialise with more flair and interest.
The more obvious benefits of being sufficiently active are: improved resistance to disease; cardiovascular conditioning; vigour; stronger muscles but also bones, therefore less risk of osteoporosis; and a reduced incidence of diabetes and obesity. Did you know that the right dose and types of exercise can reduce the chance of cancer? Even sufferers of cancer can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy by being active.
So, are you active enough to make a difference to your health, your life?
Gregg Orphin AEP AES
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Healthfit Exercise Physiology Services