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Prescribing exercise as medicine

A weekly exercise program prescribed by UQ Health Care Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Steve Royle has improved 79 year old Janice’s health, fitness, strength and mobility.

Janice is one of Steve’s many clients who use an exercise plan to manage and prevent chronic injuries and health issues.

“Since starting with Steve at the Healthy Living Centre I have noticed improvements in my aerobic fitness, muscle strength and muscle mass,” Janice said.

“My mobility and balance has also improved which naturally worsen with age and my health conditions.

“These health improvements have allowed me to lead a more independent and happier life.”

Janice is one of Steve’s many clients who participate in weekly group exercise classes to improve their medical conditions and injuries.

“My regular clients who participate in weekly classes love coming along for the social interaction and health and injury management they experience,” Steve said.

“Goals and results vary for each client, however some common results include improved self-confidence, improved quality of life, improved self-management of health conditions, reduced symptoms from health issues and in some cases, reduced medical costs.”

Some of the exceptional results among Steve’s clients over the years have included a client who had heart disease, hip, knee and back joint pain and type 2 diabetes went from walking up a flight of stairs and needing to rest for 20 minutes to not needing rest time when doing the same activity.

Another client lost 12.5cm from her waistline in nine weeks after being prescribed regular exercise, physical activity and making adjustments to her diet and another client with a falls history of five falls in 12 months reduced her falls to one in 12 months after attending balance classes.

As well as the group exercise classes offered as part of his exercise physiology services, Steve also provides individual consultations for persons both privately and to those eligible through Medicare, Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) and Work Cover where he works, tailoring an exercise program they can do from home and outdoors.

“I enjoy working with clients to show them how to fit exercise and physical activity into their daily life, empowering them to improve their quality of life and breaking down the stereotype that they are too old to be active or exercise,” Steve said.

“There are many benefits for using exercise as medicine and a large body of evidence to support its use as therapy and complementary therapy for a number of chronic health conditions and injuries.

“Compared to pharmaceutical medication, it is also in most cases more cost-effective.”

Janice said she has seen many allied health professionals over the years and found exercise physiology to be the most effective for improving her overall health.

“If I didn’t exercise regularly and get professional input into safe exercise I would be more dependent on others to help with my daily activities,” Janice said.

“I turn 80 this year and I really like Steve’s attitude that something is better than nothing and you’re never too old to start being more physically active and exercising safely within your limits.”

Find out more information about the exercise physiology services available at the Ipswich Bremer Medical Centre.

Enquiries: UQ Health Care Communications, Kirsten O’Leary, k.oleary@uq.edu.au

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