Fats: Friend or Foe?

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

Fats: Friend or Foe?

healthy food composition

Fats are one of our major food groups which are essential for good health but the public perception seems to be continually changing over whether they are good or bad. Some people avoid fats like the plague while others such as some modern food bloggers are telling us to eat more fat. Even dietary guidelines around fat consumption have evolved with new evidence so it can be extremely confusing for the everyday person to decide whether fats are good or bad. The confusing thing about fats is that they can be both!

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Lifestyle Cancer Risk

Written by Susannah Keppo, Exercise Physiologist at Ashfield Article from July 2017

The Impact Of Your Lifestyle On Cancer

lifestyle impact

Recently I was watching a documentary about the effects of lifestyle on cancer and risk of developing cancer. It discusses more so on what the patient can do themselves to improve their chances or lower risk of cancer rather than simply accepting that there is nothing they can do once they have been diagnosed with cancer. The documentary is not against conventional cancer treatments but how the patient has the power to change lifestyle habits to improve their health and cancer diagnosis.

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My NDIS Experience – By Brad Sculley, Studio Manager

Written by Brad Sculley, Studio Manager at Blacktown.

NDIS has been extremely fun and rewarding for me as a practitioner and for the staff here at Optimum. We are really loving that we have the opportunity to make a real difference in peoples lives.  Across the whole Optimum network we have over 50 clients now who have chosen us as their provider for Hydrotherapy, Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology and Dietetic treatments. Currently I am seeing 6 clients personally and it really is bringing me great joy, all with their own unique need for Optimum to help them live life to the fullest.

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Stress & Weight Gain

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

Stress & Weight Gain

Stress weight gain

Is stress affecting your weight?

Have you ever gained weight during a stressful period of your life? Did you notice you were putting on the kilograms around your stomach? If so, there might have been a more complex reason behind this.

Weight gain during times of stress can be attributed to changes in the body’s hormone balances. Even if you are already physically active, having chronic high stress for long periods of time can prevent you from losing weight and even add weight on.


One particular hormone that affects our weight during stressful periods is cortisol.

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Why Is Incidental Physical Activity Important?

Written by Susannah Keppo, Exercise Physiologist at Ashfield. Article from July 2017

Why Is Incidental Physical Activity Important?

Incidental Exercise

As exercise physiologists we not only work with people to improve their structured physical activity but also incidental physical activity i.e. activity that is built up in small amounts during the day, without a specific end goal. Both types of physical activity are important – structured exercise has a specific goal e.g. improving flexibility, joint mobility, and strength or achieving certain heart rate target zones to improve fitness and aid calorie expenditure.

Incidental activity helps reduce the risk of health conditions associated with sedentary behavior, for example cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

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Creating A Rich Language Environment For Your Child

Written by Siri Burke, Speech Pathologist at Blacktown. Article from July 2017

Creating a rich language environment for your child

language environment

It is important to cultivate a rich language environment to help your child’s language grow and flourish. There are lots of things you can do every day to increase the language input your child receives.

Give them a reason to talk to you

You understand what your child means most of the time, even if they aren’t telling you with words.

Maybe they hold your hand and take you to the fridge to tell you they want a snack, or maybe they point at the high shelf to tell you that they want what is on top.

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Disc Bulge On My MRI – Should I Be Worried?

Written by John Walsh, Physiotherapist at Sylvania. Article from July 2017

Disc bulge on my MRI – Should I be worried?

disc bulge

Chronic back pain is a debilitating condition that can have a huge impact on both your work and personal life. It is currently estimated that 3.7 million Australians (16% of the population) are living with back problems.

Back pain can be frustrating for those affected and with so many treatment options available on the market it can be difficult figuring what option to choose and which health professional to trust. People may bounce from health professional to health professional before finding themselves sitting in a doctor’s office being presented with an MRI report that seems to indicate confusing and sometimes alarming findings.

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Take Diabetes Seriously

Written by Adam Shepherd, Exercise Physiologist at Homebush. Article from March 2017

Take Diabetes Seriously

take diabetes seriously

Diabetes is a very serious condition that is not to be taken lightly. All too often I hear clients acting very nonchalant about having high blood sugar readings and providing all sorts of excuses as to why they are not exercising regularly or improving their eating habits. Not enough time, too expensive, “it’s ok I’m on medication”. Having your blood glucose levels elevated for chronic periods of time is extremely unhealthy and is proven to be the main contributing factor in a myriad of comorbidities.

Here are some stats to show just how prevalent and debilitating this condition is to have.

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Training Nutrition

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

Nutrition For Training

nutrition training

What and When To Eat To Optimise Your Training

Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Fuelling your body with the correct nutrition pre- and post- training will not only help you maximise your efforts during your workout but also ensure you are not undoing all of your hard work later on in the day. Here are my top recommended pre- and post-training snacks to help fuel you reach your health goals.

Pre-training nutrition:

  1. Timing: Have something 30-60 minutes prior to training
  2. Include a source of quick acting carbohydrates – This will provide our muscle cells with glucose (fuel) to maximise our exercise capacity.
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How Many Cups Of Coffee Should Be Part Of Your Daily Grind

Written by Sam Rundle, Exercise Physiologist at Hobart. Article from May 2017

How Many Cups Of Coffee Should Be A Part Of Your Daily Grind?

coffee grind

There is no doubt the coffee culture in Australia is growing  – whether that be a social skinny latte from the local café, a simple pick-me-up of Nescafe instant coffee, a home espresso machine, or all of the above!

For me, I have recently found myself running my espresso machine into the ground (pun intended). Which led me to ask the question, how much coffee is too much? Or if there is even such an amount?

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