The Important Role Of Exercise In Preventing A Stroke

Written by Hamish Hall, Exercise Physiologist at Sylvania. Article from October 2017

The Important Role Of Exercise In Preventing A Stroke

stroke 2

What is a stroke?

A stroke is the loss of blood flow to a region of the brain, this loss can occur because of a manifestation of cardiovascular disease, characterized by the build up of atherosclerotic plaque in cerebrovascular arteries. This ultimately will lead to an ischemic stroke, which is due to a blood clot sealing off the artery, these types of strokes account for 87% of all strokes, however strokes can also occur from excessive bleeding, this is referred to as a hemorrhagic stroke.

Read the rest

Cardiovascular Disease & Exercise

Written by Adrian Choy, Exercise Physiologist at Blacktown. Article from October 2017

Cardiovascular Disease and Exercise

Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major health issue affecting everyday Australians. The term CVD is an umbrella term used to describe many different conditions which most commonly include coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure and stroke.

Latest statistics show that over 4 million, or 1 in 5, Australian adults have CVD. Over one quarter of this population contribute to 11% of all hospitalisations in the country. CVD was the underlying cause of 29% of Australian deaths in 2014, that is 45000 deaths.

Causes of CVD

The process of atherosclerosis is the main underlying cause of CVD.

Read the rest

Exercise Session Frequency

Written by Josh de Rooy, Exercise Physiologist at Thornleigh. Article from October 2017

Exercise Session Frequency: Is there a problem with exercising on consecutive days?

exercise frequency

In the quest to make exercise the top on the priority list, there is no doubt the odd week where regular schedules are altered by other issues that arise. Quite often, there may be a situation where the week is almost out, the set 2 sessions are not yet achieved, and Thursday and Friday are the remaining 2 days for potential exercise. The general consensus tends to be the thought that is it not favourable to exercises on 2 consecutive days as you will be too sore or may risk injury, however that isn’t the recommended course at Optimum.

Read the rest

Superfoods: Fact or Fiction?

Written by Chloe Horne, Dietitian at Blacktown. Article from September 2017

Superfoods: Fact or Fiction?


It seems like every week a new food is joining the illustrious list of superfoods. Everything from Kale to acai to good old rolled oats has had this title added to its name. But what justifies the inclusion of something as a "superfood" and are they actually better for us?

So, what is a "superfood"?

There is no official definition of a superfood, but most nutrition professionals deem a superfood to be something with antioxidant or nutrient levels higher than other similar foods. These foods often have a high nutrient density meaning that they have higher concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals or other beneficial food chemicals.

Read the rest

Parkinson’s Disease

Written by Ellie Goodwin, Exercise Physiologist Student at Sydney University. Article from October 2017

Parkinson's Disease


This year I participated in my first City to Surf to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). A lot of people ask me why I chose to focus on raising funds for this disease as I did not know anyone personally who was affected. So I explain to them how I grew up in awe of Michael J Fox. Michael, this crazy, exciting actor from the Back to the Future trilogy, (maybe if you’re a little more old school and have seen Family Ties) like so many other people with Parkinson’s disease, have had to adjust to a new lifestyle since discovering their diagnosis.

Read the rest

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Written by Michael Zajc, Exercise Physiologist at Homebush. Article from October 2017

Are You Suffering From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a condition that affects a person’s nervous system. The term myalgic encephalomyelitis means pain in the muscles, and inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. CFS is a debilitating and complex disorder that is not a single disease but the result of a combination of factors. Thus it is characterised by intense fatigue that is not improved by bed rest.

The causes of CFS are not well understood and therefore can be hard to diagnose.

Read the rest

Why Your Desk job Is More Reason To Exercise

Written by Matthew Craig, Exercise Physiologist at Blacktown. Article from September 2017

Why Your Desk job Is More Reason To Exercise


“I just don’t have time to exercise because I work full time 5 days a week.” As exercise physiologists we often hear this excuse for not exercising or as a reason for the decline in someone health. But what if I was to tell you your desk job is even more reason to exercise. If you come in and tell us that you are an accountant, IT guy, or maybe a banker, I can almost guarantee you have experienced neck/shoulder pain, lower back pain, poor posture or weight gain.

Read the rest

What Happens When You Stop Exercising

Written by Dean Katselas, Exercise Physiologist at Campbelltown. Article from September 2017

What Happens When You Stop Exercising

dont stop exercising

Recently I have noticed previous Optimum clients remaking their commitment to their health after a long hiatus from exercise. I was chatting to other staff members across our clinics and we all agree that there has been a lot of people come back into our programs. In most cases they have left Optimum to engage in an unsupervised independent home or gym program but have failed to maintain a sufficient dose of exercise to get any benefit from it. Unfortunately, the numerous health-boosting adaptations of exercise are not permanent unless you continue to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle throughout the lifespan.

Read the rest

Is Your Child Ready For School?

Written by Siri Burke, Speech Pathologist for Optimum Health Solutions. Article from August 2017

Is Your Child Ready For School

school banner

Starting big school is an exciting time for children and their families. It involves many changes for our little ones, including their routine, their friends, their teachers, and even what they wear. You might think that being ready for school means knowing the alphabet or being able to write your name, but there is much more to it!

What skills do children need for school?

Understanding language – Children need to understand what is going on around them. In the classroom they’re being given directions all day, and some of those will be complex directions with lots of steps, for example, ‘Put your shoes on, put your bag away, then line up at the door.’ If a child is having problems with their receptive language they might not understand what their teacher has told them, and follow this instructions incorrectly or not at all.

Read the rest

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Written by Michelle Nearchou, Dietitian at Sylvania. Article from January 2017

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

vegetable lasagna

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 10.44.33 am

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Portions: 4


  • 4 medium zucchinis, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 large (750g) eggplant, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 large field mushrooms
  • 1 large red capsicum, sliced
  • 1 large bunch silverbeet
  • 2 x 420g can mixed beans (salt reduced)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10g (2 tsp.) margarine
  • 1 x 500g jar tomato pasta sauce
  • 4 instant lasagne sheets
  • ½ cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated reduced fat tasty/mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and brush a 2.5 litre capacity ovenproof dish with margarine.
Read the rest