Michaela gets her kicks spreading a love of exercise

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 gymnastics.

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 Physiology.

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 conditions.

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 it.

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.

By Michaela Hurt, Exercise physiologist

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