By Michaela Hurt
As an exercise physiologist, I'm a firm believer in the positive
power of exercise.
It's easy for me to believe as I see these benefits first-hand
on a daily basis with a wide range of patients.
I was privileged to grow up in a household where exercise and
physical activity was simply a part of everyday life.
I began at a young age and continued into my teenage years with
team and individual sports including swimming, netball, dancing and
I finished school knowing two things for sure: I enjoyed living
an active lifestyle and my passion was to help people. Thankfully,
there is a career that combines both factors and that is Exercise
I like to think of exercise as a medication that works for every
part of your body, all at the same time.
The evidence continues to grow in regards to the benefits of
exercise for metabolic conditions such as diabetes to a wide range
of cardiovascular, neurological, musculoskeletal and mental health
Despite my upbringing, years of studying and seeing the benefits
first hand, regular exercise still requires a constant battle of
motivation and sometimes it's just a matter of getting in and doing
I can empathise with the majority of patients who are not
implementing exercise into their everyday lifestyle even though
they are generally aware of the benefits.
What I have found working in the health industry is that when it
comes to exercise a majority of patients severely lack education,
have many misconceptions and do not have the tools to manage their
individual barriers to exercise.
It typically becomes increasingly difficult for older people
with diabetes to be physically active as they not only have to
manage their condition but generally feel limited by other health
conditions or pain.
This is where a platform such as Diabetes Queensland's "Live
Your Life" Expo (previously EXPOSing) becomes so beneficial. [Ed:
This is a one-day educational event with guest speakers for people
living with diabetes.]
It provides clients with an understanding of their diabetes,
practical application of healthy management of their condition, and
caters for people at all stages of behaviour change to give them
the tools to create better exercise habits.
Clients are educated about recommended exercise guidelines, the
different types of exercise and the associated benefits, as well as
how to exercise safely with diabetes.
I had the opportunity to present at a Live Your Life event and
it was fantastic to see an entire room of people getting involved
with the exercises in whatever capacity they could.
The feedback I received in the days following was nothing short
of admirable. Patients came away empowered and I highly recommend
the Live Your Life Expo event for anyone living with diabetes.
As the Senior Exercise Physiologist and Manager at Active Body
Conditioning in the rural town of Kingaroy, I aspire to use my
knowledge and understanding of exercise to improve the health and
wellbeing of people of all ages.