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The Active Effect
Chronic Disease Management

There are a number of different conditions that fall under the Chronic Disease umbrella. They include Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Lung Disease, Heart Disease, Obesity, Arthritis and Osteoporosis and number of others. The choices we make can affect the impact that these conditions have on our lives. Healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of them developing in the first place, but those same healthy choices can be used to manage and control the symptoms and progression of these conditions.

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Healthy lifestyle choices include healthy eating, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, getting enough sleep and generally looking after ourselves.

Type 2 Diabetes

is a condition where the body’s cells do not properly respond to insulin. Mostly this leads to high blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that exercise can help improve blood glucose control as well as reducing body fat and decreasing the risk of heart disease. Increasing your level of physical activity can reduce the symptoms related to Type 2 Diabetes by about 12%.

Poorly controlled blood glucose levels can lead to some serious side effects of Type 2 Diabetes such as heart, kidney and eye disease.

Metabolic Syndrome

is a group of related metabolic abnormalities and risk factors that increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease. The main factors of the syndrome are some or all the following – excess belly fat, poor insulin usage in the body, high blood glucose, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Happily, this syndrome can usually be reversed through lifestyle changes – namely weight loss and healthy eating habits and increased physical activity.

Lung Disease

COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a common diagnosis in the clients that we see. The term COPD is an umbrella term for conditions including chronic asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema, all of which can cause shortness of breath on activity. There are many more lung diseases or conditions which also create barriers for many of life’s normal activities by producing breathlessness and whilst less common than COPD, the ones we see most often are bronchiectasis, pulmonary arterial hypertension and lung cancer.

The Lung Foundation Australia’s motto is “when you can’t breathe… nothing else matters”, and we know that the clients we work with all agree with this. Whilst exercise seems the last thing that someone who can’t catch their breath should do, the opposite is true. Exercise can be used to improve physical activity tolerance, to teach breath recovery techniques and to increase the confidence of the client so that they can reclaim some of the life they have given up.

Marlene is a trained Lungs In Action Instructor and also a Better Breathing Exercise Physiologist. Contact us to find out how we can help you reclaim your life.

Heart Disease

more correctly called cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the term for a number of conditions/diseases that concern the heart and/or the blood vessels. The most common of these is coronary artery disease, which involves the arteries that supply the heart itself with much needed blood so that it can continue to pump blood to the rest of the body. If the pump goes down, the rest of the body goes with it – this is better known as a heart attack.

But there are other more chronic forms of heart disease such as cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart) and heart failure, heart valve deterioration and narrowing or blockage of the arteries to name a few. Heart disease can be caused by other health conditions, particularly some of the autoimmune diseases such as long term SLE Lupus. And finally, there are some people born with congenital heart disease.

Making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, losing excess weight, quitting smoking and sleeping well, can all be used to help manage and control heart disease.

The heart is a muscle like any other in your body and needs to be kept strong so that it can do its vital work. The heart is helped in this job if the arteries it must pump the blood through are smooth and clear.

Regular exercise, both cardiovascular (huffy puffy) and strength training, not only help your heart to stay strong, but they also help the rest of you stay strong and functional and help you to feel fit and healthy. Marlene has done lots of extra training in cardiovascular health. Contact us and find out how we can help you.


there comes a point where body weight has increased to such a degree that the normal activities of daily living become difficult to achieve, let alone exercising. People who are very overweight often struggle with aching joints, particularly knees, ankles, feet and hips and many of these same people find that they become very breathless when they try to move around.

We all know the theory about how exercising can help speed along weight loss and improve health, but aches and pains and struggling to breathe do not help with self-motivation.

You don’t need to do it alone. We can help to keep you accountable and motivated and we have lots of different techniques to help you change your lifestyle including exercise and healthy eating.

Arthritis and Osteoporosis

both these conditions can be responsible for a considerable amount of pain and disability.

Arthritis develops when the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones that form a joint, breaks down. This affects mobility of the joint and causes stiffness and pain. There is a lot of research that indicates that exercise that increases the strength and stability of painful joints can help with easing both the pain and the stiffness.

Osteoporosis is the result of thinning of the bony scaffold within our bones. This scaffold provides strength to the bones so when it thins, they becomes weakened more easily damaged or broken. People with osteoporosis break bones more easily than the average person and often it is a break that prompts investigation and diagnosis. Exercise can be used to encourage the laying down of more bone in this scaffolding. The jarring and pulling of muscle on bone created through exercise can help to encourage the body to lay down more bone to improve the strength of our skeleton.

We can help you get started with exercise that is easy to fit into your schedule and without being scary or impossible to achieve or maintain.

We can help you stick to a healthy eating plan that you have worked out with a Dietitian or have research alone or with us by facilitating the change and helping you add in healthy foods to crowd out the less desirable ones. We can also help you with menu and meal planning strategies.

We can help you improve the quality of your sleep and introduce you to relaxation techniques to help round out the life changes.

We will be on your team and will provide the support you need to help you succeed.

Contact us to find out how.

Healthy Ageing
Healthy Ageing

Did you know that, on average, our physical peak occurs at around the age of 27, but for the average person, we don’t really start to feel the decline until we hit somewhere around the 40’s.

Endurance (in terms of physical activity or sport) tends to last a bit longer and peaks somewhere in your mid 30’s.

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Those facts are a little sobering given we live, all being well, into our 80’s and should motivate us to stay active and strong right throughout the span of our lives because most of it is lived after the peaks. However, as most people don’t realise this, the motivation is not stimulated until they struggle with the daily activities of living.

It takes less exercise than you might think to make a noticeable, positive difference to your functional capacity and independence. And the exercises don’t have to be hard or scary.

Strength can be regained, balance can be improved and your ability to walk and the confidence to do so can be won back. The longer you leave it the more of your independence you give up.

You don’t need to join a gym. You can do this at home or in a group. Whichever you are more comfortable with.

Contact us to find out how.

Staying Strong Through Your Cancer Journey
Staying Strong Through Your Cancer Journey

Here are a couple of facts that most people either know, or if they stopped and thought about them, would agree with: -

  1. We should all exercise because it’s good for us
  2. Treatments and survival rates for cancer have generally improved over the past couple of decades.

There are however, some other facts that go along with these, which hopefully make them even greater sources of hope and motivation.

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Firstly, is that regular exercise of both the huffy puffy kind (cardiovascular – walking, jogging, running, cycling etc) AND strength training (resistance – weights, elastic bands, body weight etc) can reduce your risk of cancer in the first place. Prevention is always going to be better than a cure, wouldn’t you agree?

Secondly, exercise, and again it should be some of each kind, can help improve your cancer journey by reducing the side effects of treatment including nausea, fatigue and loss of muscle bulk and bone density and strength, loss of appetite and loss of endurance. It can also help your body tolerate aggressive treatments more easily and thereby may enhance the effects of the treatment and help you to recover more rapidly after the treatment cycles are over. AND just as importantly, recent research results look promising for exercise being able to assist your body to stop the cancer coming back.

Even if you have never been particularly active before, a diagnosis of cancer is a very important reason to become more active. It’s a scary diagnosis without a doubt, and it will be a busy time with appointments, tests, decisions that need making.

We have the experience to design programs that fit in with you and that can be adjusted whenever your individual circumstances require it. We have an ever-growing knowledge of treatment protocols and cycles and use this knowledge to benefit our clients. We will be on your team and by your side, identifying the best days in your treatment cycle to go harder and those days where you need more rest. We can liaise with the rest of your medical team and move through the journey together, one day at a time.

Contact us to find out how.

General Health, Wellness and Fitness
General Health, Wellness and Fitness

Not all our clients are sick or injured. Some just come to the decision that they need to live a healthier life but need help to make a start.

We see older people who are beginning to notice that they are not as strong or as flexible as they would like to be.

And we see women going through menopause who are suddenly aware that weight gain now happens more easily and they are developing an unwanted ‘circle of friends’ around their waist.

Then there are the young mums who just want a bit of help shifting the left-over baby bulge.

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Using both Health Coaching and Exercise Physiology, we can help you be stronger and more flexible, fitter and more energetic. We have the tools to assist with motivation and the ability to provide accountability.

We can help you make changes to your diet, exercise, sleep patterns and life balance. We can help with relaxation, meditation and self-care.

Trying to make changes like this can be overwhelming on your own.

Contact us to see how we can help you to be the best possible you.

Injury Rehabilitation Including Compensable Injuries
Injury Rehabilitation Including Compensable Injuries

We take a whole of person view to the work we do.We see lots of clients with back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, nerve pain and chronic pain, just to name the common few. We will undertake an assessment from your feet up to check for underlying issues, such as posture and movement patterns, which may have led to, or are adding to your current pain. Then we will formulate a personalised exercise program which will improve your strength, stability and mobility and help you to bounce back and reclaim your life.

Contact us to see how we can help you.

Pre and Post-Surgery Rehabilitation
Pre and Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

Whether you are having a joint reconstruction or a joint replacement, recovery will be faster and pain may be less if you undertake exercise to increase strength and stability prior to the surgery.

Once you have had the surgery we can help you safely return to full function, so you come back stronger than ever.

Contact us to find our how we can help you.

Group Classes
Group Classes

Group classes are great! They are social and fun, and we get a surprising amount of exercise done without even really noticing. Its also a chance to learn new things and make new friends.

We will shortly be restarting our 3R’s Group Program for people with Type 2 Diabetes. This will be run as an hour of exercise and half an hour of education each week for 8 weeks. GP Referrals will be required. Medicare Group AH Referral

We also run some aged care specific Exercise Groups (no GP referral required). These groups are, mostly done seated – except for balance exercises, they run for an hour and work all the major muscles.

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New eligible clients are welcome to join the group at the Italian Day Centre on Tuesdays at 11am. You will need to be over 65 years of age and register with the Day Centre, but you don’t need to be Italian. Once registered you can participate in all their activities and join them for a midday meal on the day. Contact the Day Centre for more information.

Australian Italian Club
414 Westbury Road
Prospect 7250

And more classes will follow. Be sure to subscribe for our Updates and Newsletters to be among the first to hear all our news.

GP Referrals – Medicare and DVA

If you have a Care Plan or if you are and eligible Veteran with a Gold Card or White card, your GP would be able to refer you to us for Exercise Physiology if they thought it medically indicated. In this case either Medicare or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs would rebate at least some of the cost of your appointments.

Medicare provides 5 annual subsidised Allied Health Referrals for clients who have a GP Management Plan or Team Care Arrangement Care Plan. They also provide a one annual Group Allied Health Referral which subsidises 1 Assessment and 8 Group sessions – this is the referral we use for our 3R’s Group Program. Talk to your GP to find out if you might be eligible.

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The Department of Veterans’ Affairs funds allied health appointments for eligible Gold Card and White Card holders for conditions where Exercise Physiology is deemed a clinically necessary treatment. Talk to your GP to find out if you might be eligible.

Speak to your GP to see if this applies to you. We accept EPC and DVA Referrals and are also linked to cdmNet.

Neurological and Neuromuscular

Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment to slow the progression of conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis and help people remain stronger and more functional for longer.

It can also be used to regain functionality after a stroke or for a person struggling with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Post-Polio Syndrome.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.

The Active Effect
Brokerage to the Aged Care Sector

With over 20 years of working with the elderly in the community-based care sector, we are knowledgeable and experienced in working closely with older clients in their own homes. In many ways it is easier to help someone set up a home-based exercise program whilst in their home with them, as it enables us to show them exactly where in their home they should do the individual exercises and how to set up any equipment needed. They are then able to replicate this without being overwhelmed by the details.

We know how the funding and overall sector works and the obligations that must be met.

Contact us to talk about how we can help you or someone you know stay independent in their own home.