me&my health up

Exercise is Medicine

July 09, 2020 me&my wellness / Ashleigh Mead Season 1 Episode 6
me&my health up
Exercise is Medicine
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In this episode we discuss with Ashleigh Mead (Exercise Physiologist):
- what is an Exercise Physiologist (EP)
- how an EP differs from a PT
- who can benefit from seeing an EP
- what is exercise?
- types of exercise!
- how much exercise?
- how to best exercise in ISO or from home without a gym
- top exercise tips
- how to best contact Longevity EP

About me&my Health Up & host

me&my Health Up seeks to enhance and enlighten the wellbeing of others. Host Anthony Hartcher is the CEO of me&my wellness which provides holistic health solutions using food is medicine, combined with a holistic, balanced, lifestyle approach. Anthony holds three bachelor degrees in Complementary Medicine; Nutrition and Dietetic Medicine; and Chemical Engineering. https://meandmywellness.com.au/


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Any information, advice, opinions or statements within it do not constitute medical, health care or other professional advice, and are provided for general information purposes only. All care is taken in the preparation of the information in this Podcast. [Connected Wellness Pty Ltd] operating under the brand of “me&my health up”..click here for more

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Anthony Hartcher:

Okay, welcome to me and my wellness viewers, listeners for another episode episode six of me and my health up. Today we have another special guest of course from Longevity Exercise Physiology, Ashleigh Mead with us today. And Ashleigh going to talk on exercise, the benefits of exercise, how to exercise properly, you know how to avoid injury, how to get going if you've been a bit stagnant in ISO. So how to get kick started. And we're just gonna chat all around that concept of exercise. But first of all, first of all, we'll say hi to Ashleigh, how you doing, Ashleigh? Hi, good thing. Hi, everyone. Nice to be on here. Thanks for having me. Anthony. Pleasure. Thanks for joining us, Ashleigh, really appreciate you putting aside the time. Just firstly, you know, for the viewers, the sake of the viewers, really keen to find out a little bit more about you your background, how you came upon exercise physiology. Is there a story behind that? So yeah, please share us with us a little bit about yourself.

Ashleigh Mead:

And why I guess I've always had that passion for school. Growing up, I played a lot of sport. And as you know, I'm a huge Parra fan love watching NRL with my family. And it's always been a massive part of my life. So during high school, I guess it came to that time to decide what my career might be. And I thought, you know, I do love exercise, I love sport. But I also do really want to help people and I do really want to make a difference. And when I was looking through, I guess all the coursebooks things that definitely stood out to me was something in healthcare where I, you know, could use exercise to help people. And at the time, Exercise Physiology was quite new and quite unheard of. And I guess it was compared a lot to Physiotherapy. And so for me, that decision sort of came down to both of those and I thought, You know what, Exercise Physiology, helping people with exercise to have a positive experience just seems like something that, you know, I want to do and I went to uni and did my four years and definitely fell in love with it and have seen how it helps people and, you know, it really is something that you know, can make a difference. And I'm so glad that that's how I went ended up going into it.

Anthony Hartcher:

Awesome. That's a great story. I love how you followed your your passion and your interest, because it just makes you so much better for what you're doing because you enjoy doing it and you learn more about us and you know, you increase your skill set that way a little intrigued about the sports, the sports you love and your what you play or watch and yeah, tell us a bit bit more about the sport.

Ashleigh Mead:

Yeah, so I think I pretty much had a bit of a mixed bag. Growing up. I tried a little bit of everything from dance, gym, tennis, swimming. But definitely my main sports were athletics, touch football and netball. And to this day, I'm still playing netball, and I'm still doing touch rugby league. So I really looking forward to those returning soon. I think this is the longest I've gone in my life without being in a team sport. So I'm missing that social side as well. But yeah, it's great. It's great to have that background because you can hopefully help other athletes and people getting interested in getting started to help with their journey as well.

Anthony Hartcher:

Excellent. Yes, so we're dealing in Episode Five, I talked about the difference between a Exercise Physiologist EP, in comparison to a physiotherapist, I'm keen for you to teach us or you know, inform us educators around the difference between an exercise physiologist and a personal trainer.

Ashleigh Mead:

Okay, well, I guess I'll start with me. So an exercise physiologist has had to go to university. So you've had to have a minimum of four years of study. And within that you have to do 500 hours worth of clinical experience as well. And what we really I guess hone in on is we prescribe exercise to treat and manage or even prevent injuries and chronic health conditions. So we tend to work with the more complicated people or people who are like looking to get started or maybe managing a sort of ongoing injury or something to exercise safely. I guess when you compare that to personal training, they would tend to work more with what we call the healthy population and would prescribe more sort of general program just the everyday person just to get fitter or stronger. Yeah. Does that help answer?

Anthony Hartcher:

Yes, no, that really helps. Yeah, so you're really focused? It all I mean, you can support either. There's Yes, you have a differentiating factor of people that have a, you know, being diagnosed with a chronic disease, whether it be diabetes, obesity, or, you know, those those types of metabolic conditions, you can then prescribe them exercise, you know, as, as Dylan said, exercise as medicine. Yes, this specific for their needs to help them manage that condition.

Ashleigh Mead:

Yes, yeah. And that's what's really cool. And I mean, the chances are that your exercise physiologist has worked with someone or has seen a case of someone like yourself with your condition, exercising, and I think that's what's really important is to know you're in safe hands on some of these injuries and illnesses can be quite tricky. And not all exercise is correct and safe for everyone. And it's just about finding that right. You know, that right dose and the, you know, the right things that you need to improve your health.

Anthony Hartcher:

And it's in, you know, co-care with the doctor. So you're in safe hands, in a sense that the doctor, you know, has a trusted ally in Longevity, Exercise Physiology, they understand what you do, from a theory point of view, all aspects of what you do, from a theory point of view, and they know that you have the skill set the qualifications to co-support or co-treat patients and yeah,

Ashleigh Mead:

yeah, okay, exactly. And we often do end up working as a team with the GP, the Physio, your Occupational Therapist, your Chiro, Dietician, whoever it may be. And I, you know, and as you know, Anthony, it works better when we all work as health professionals together, and we all understand the patient as a team, you know, we get way better outcomes, and the, and the patient or client is so much better supported, which is really cool. That's the best aspect of being in allied health.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah, it's that rule that one plus one equals three, you know, the, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Yeah. And that's where we really, you know, certainly between longevity EP and mean, my wellness is where we really connect, because we believe that is true. And as a team, we can far better get far greater outcomes for our clients if we are working together alongside one another out for that common goal in the patient's common goal. Yeah. So today's topics around exercise, and it's a very pertinent one, in a sense, that, you know, I guess, during COVID, with lost access to the gym, you know, we've had to become quite resourceful in the ways in which we keep active and for some people, they may have lost that momentum, and, you know, haven't done a lot during this period of time. And now that, you know, I guess we've been a bit more liberated in terms of what we can do, and we're moving out of isolation, I thought it'd be really good to get you on as the expert around exercise as to well, you know, first of all, talking a bit about what exercise is the different types of exercise is a particular day, you know, time of the day, we should exercise, and then, you know, covering off now, how someone could get started, you know, if they've just, you know, been a bit bit, you know, I guess standoffish or a bit, bit hibernated during this period, you know, how to get them kick started without you know, incurring an injury? So let's just start with exercise and what, you know, what is the definition around exercise? How much someone should be doing? What's the recommended amount of exercise the different types?

Ashleigh Mead:

Yeah, of course. So I guess when we talk about exercise, it's good to, I guess, compare it to the other term physical activity. So physical activity is just when we're getting up and down, we're moving. We're using energy for example. Exercise tends to be defined as more specific so you've actually planned to move your body you've actually planned to get your heart rate up or to strengthen your muscles and it's usually done for a certain time period. So in Australia, we have government guidelines and most people are familiar with you know, the dietary guidelines or the food pyramid. And we also have a similar a yes, yeah guidelines. Exercise. And for every Australian for good health, the government recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity awake about moderate intensity. If you're training more vigorously and your heart rates up, you could do about 75 minutes. So we call that 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week, as well as two strength sessions a week, okay. So a lot of us either get one or the other, and often not getting the whole the whole lot, it can sound like a really scary number. And I guess that's what my job as an EP is, is to help people to eventually achieve those guidelines and maintain good health through exercise

Anthony Hartcher:

I keen to get a better understanding of what's defined is like, you mentioned moderate intensity, you know, like, like, up to 150 minutes. And then if you go to high intensity, it's 75 minutes. So what, what's the definition around moderate, high, low intensity?

Ashleigh Mead:

Yeah, so I like to think of moderate intensity on that scale of one to 10 as being about a five, five to six. And if you are going for a walk with a friend, you'll hop right up, and you're a little bit breathless, but you could definitely still maintain a conversation. Okay. So yeah, we'd be looking at 115 minutes of medium to fast pace walking awake. Yeah. But of course, if you started to do some jogging, or did a high intensity circuit, or played some sport, your minutes could obviously come down. But of course, the more exercise the better. So, you know, do as much as you can.

Anthony Hartcher:

And you mentioned that to strength sessions in that way, is that incorporated in their 150 minutes? Or is that in addition?

Ashleigh Mead:

So that's in addition, so they've actually added that fairly recently, because of all of the scientific evidence coming through about the benefits of strength training? In some ways, you might do a circuit, and you might get some cardio and some strength at the same time, but it's also good to do some isolated resistance training, as well.

Anthony Hartcher:

Okay. And how long should that strength and conditioning training be? What's the guidelines around the around the strength? You know, it's in addition to the 115 minutes, what what, how long should you be doing that strength and strength resistance training for?

Ashleigh Mead:

So that's completely individual. If you're a beginner, or you have a complex condition or injury, that might only be a small amount of time. But, you know, like, let's, let's say, on average, you're probably going to be doing a 20 minute to 40 minutes session if you're targeting most muscle groups. And again, it doesn't have to be I guess, most people's head would go to gym, heavy weights, extreme lifts. Yeah, all that stuff's really great. But it's not necessarily correct for everyone and choose strengthening activities a week might just be some light bodyweight strengthening exercises to get you started, if that's where you're at, if you're a beginner.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah, okay. Okay. Yeah. So it's really important to, you know, come and see you for that advice as to what's the right, strength and conditioning training for that, you know, for that particular goal and outcome. And he obviously, you know, given the specific exercises to train those muscle groups, and, you know, the amount of repetitions and time that's required to support their overall goal. Yes, yeah. Fantastic. And is there a particular time of the day like so, you know, some people exercise in the morning, some people in the evening, some people the middle of the day, is there, you know, in terms of the sciences, so particular time of the day, that's better? for particular types of exercises? Is there any science around that or research?

Ashleigh Mead:

Um, I mean, you can look at it and, you know, there's a lot to do with our like, you know, sleep cycle and the light cycle and things like that, which is why I you know, when it's bright and like in the morning, a lot of people do prefer to exercise because they feel more energized. And, you know, yes. But I think the important thing to think about here is doing what works for you, because, you know, if you're not a morning person and you force yourself to get up early to exercise, you're probably not going to do it and you're not going to stick to it long term. It's definitely about you know, finding what works.

Anthony Hartcher:

And you're saying, Well, some people you know, based on people should exercise. So it really comes down to the individual as to when they're feeling energetic and feeling, you know, like it's a good time or just stick with a routine that works or, you know, what, what are your recommendations around time? Time to exercise?

Ashleigh Mead:

Yeah, I definitely, like I was saying before think it's, it's got to be as easy as possible. And you know, I can attest to myself, I do prefer to exercise in the evenings. It helps me unwind after a long day at work. Um, it has to be, yeah, it has to be right for you. And it has to be able to be as part of a routine, as you know, like building your sleep, your exercise, your diet, your work schedule, is so important for your health. And if you don't have those support structures, and you you know, make it hard on yourself by forcing yourself to get up at a silly time or stay up way later than you normally would. You're just not going to stick to it long term. And it's not going to benefit you in the long term either.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah, I agree. It's yeah, it needs to fit in with the person's lifestyle. It's more important that it gets done, as opposed to worrying about the time of the day, it should be done. So yeah, yeah, absolutely. I'm with you on this one. In terms of, you know, that person who's been in ISO, haven't haven't got the groove, and you know, haven't done a lot. And now that we can get out and do more, and at some point gyms will open up, just really wanting some tips as to how someone should get started, again, how to avoid that injury if they've lost a bit of strength and conditioning, or a bit of fitness. So what's your tips around getting kick starting the fitness regime?

Ashleigh Mead:

I definitely think you know, where we live in a world where we've got now all this access to information and technology, and all of these other support systems. And I think you've got all utilize them all. There's some, you know, great apps, there's some great information and great health professionals out there that are ready to support you. You know, for example, you know, go and see Anthony or myself get, get a bit of support, get a bit of information and start building that routine. And then utilize, you know, your network, your friends, and start exercising together, the more support you have, the more likely you are to stick to it. And as I said, there's some great apps and things where you can track yourself, keep yourself accountable, and really build a long term sustainable change. I think my number one tip is if you haven't been doing anything, go go for a walk with a friend, you're sort of getting two things in there with one it's a social activity, you're catching up with someone, and then you're exercising, and you're going to get the physical and the mental health benefits all in one. And then you know, built build that routine, start there. And then that's when you reach out, you know, to someone like an Exercise Physiologist, and start looking at more specific goals and how you can build towards those exercise guidelines

Anthony Hartcher:

are fantastic words of wisdom, they're actually well worded. And yeah, I totally agree with everything you said in terms of that easy start into it. And to build up that support network around you to provide that encouragement to make it get it back into routine and consistency. And yeah, then obviously can't go and see yourself, you know, contact on Longevity Exercise Physiology as to, you know, specific routine support for you know, ultimate, you know, they go at the end of the day. So, yeah, that's great, great tips there. Ashleigh, in terms of you know, gyms were to stay close longer than anticipated. We sort of we don't really know, there's no real timeline around gyms reopening. And you mentioned that importance of strength and conditioning. How can you know, what do you recommend for strength, strength and conditioning whilst we're in it, and we don't really have access to the weights of the gym?

Ashleigh Mead:

Yeah, so I'm a big believer in that there's an exercise for everyone and for all abilities, and I think COVID has really shown your shown how creative we can all get. For example, with longevity where we're doing sessions online, we've got people exercising at home now. People training outdoors, and it's about you know, utilizing your space really well and utilizing what you have. So, you know, a lot think I have to have equipment. That's not necessarily true. We can do a lot with just your body weight. You know, and simple things like a Thera band or, you know, one weight can also be used for a multitude of exercises. Again, I think it's, it's vital here that you get the right support and the right information and get someone to show you what you can do. Often it's a case of someone thinking that, you know, they don't have an option, when really they actually have more than one option. Yeah, yeah,

Anthony Hartcher:

I agree, go and see the expert, as opposed to going, you know, as a rebel sport, and by filling out your whole garage with all this gym equipment that you're probably not going to use long term. And so the best return on investment will come in, you know, investing some time to come and see you and to work out. Okay, what exactly do I need to achieve my goal? And you say, Yes, get one ferro-band, you know, get this way, this, you know, this type of weight, you know, this many kilos, and they go out and buy that you should show them all the exercises they can do with those two options. And, you know, there's a lot of money. So you can see the expert, take out rebels, assuming you can do it. Do it all yourself or via Dr. Google? Yes. Yes. Yeah. So I really appreciate your time, Ashley, you know, a bit disappointing with the interruptions around the, the NBN dropping out and having to do two parts of this. But at the end of the day, I think you know, what the viewers have gotten listeners have certainly a lot of good tips around, you know, exercise, how much when, what types and how to get started? Is there anything else you'd like to share with the viewers, obviously, we're gonna, you know, I would like you to share how they can get in contact with you, you know, if they want to get started, you know, given that they might not have done much coming out of, or during isolation, and your great starting point, but you got any additional tips or any words of wisdom you want to share?

Ashleigh Mead:

Um, well, it is exercise right week. So this has been a, you know, a really timely podcast. So, you know, it is, and the same is movement is medicine this year. And I think it being COVID. And all of us having a little bit more time, or a little bit more change in our routine or flexibility at the moment, it's just such a great time to get started. Forget about when gyms are opening, there's so many options out there. And as I said, you know, we're now trading people online, which means, you know, you're not bound to a certain location, you can train in the comfort of your home. If outdoor is your is your thing, then get out there get moving, get that support system going. And, you know, let's do it all together. Let's all let's all get moving. Great points.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah, I love that, you know, just make the most of this opportunity. Well, you know, times are a bit quiet, people have a bit more time and read, you know, rediscover new interests, you know, try different things. And certainly, that's what I found during this period, I've, my kids have been doing karate for quite some time. And I've decided to join in on the Zoom classes. And I found that, you know, the martial arts being, you know, a bit of variety to my training regime and adding that bit of spice and something to look forward to and, you know, it's helping with, you know, I guess that mental health side of things in terms of focus, and, you know, keeping your attention and being present. And so yeah, I've really enjoyed that, you know, taking on and trying new things. So, yeah, so just lastly, how to viewers get into contact with you actually, if they want to go forward and, you know, get some help around their exercise program.

Ashleigh Mead:

Yeah. So I probably suggest your best options just to call our main line, which is one ph. 1300 964 002. And that's going to put you in direct contact with our director Jarrat Wood. And from there, you know, you can have that conversation and Jarrat can direct you towards the best Exercise Physiologist for you were a team of seven. So let's match you up with who's going to be, you know, the best help and the, you know, best experience for your condition. You can also check out our website as well, which I know Anthony will link with this and you know, have it check us out on Facebook, we're putting out more and more content and you know, let's let's get started. Now's the time to work on your goals.

Anthony Hartcher:

Yeah, fantastic actually. And I love how you know your whole organization has that very tailored approach to someone's exercise program. So not only matching the exercise for their goal or condition you also matching The person that's coming to you to the right EP, you know, to give them the best experience and, and, you know, I guess companion, you know, because you essentially go along on a journey with your client. Right. And it's you do it together as a team.

Ashleigh Mead:

Yeah, we definitely like to think of it as that long term relationship. Like, this is a commitment, you know, for the rest of your life getting healthy. And you know, we hope to be someone that you're seeing regularly and helping you just get better and better and better. We don't stop we just kept going. Awesome.

Anthony Hartcher:

I love it. Love that constant, never ending improvement philosophy. It's fantastic. It's been a pleasure to have you on Ashleigh, really appreciate your time. And I'm sure viewers got a lot out of the session today. And yeah, please, you know, I'll upload our Ashleigh's contact details on how you get in contact with Longevity Exercise Physiology, and yet kickstart your exercise program and come out of COVID looking in your best shape ever. So thanks. Thanks, Ashleigh. Really appreciate your time and we'll have to have you back again.

Ashleigh Mead:

Yes, definitely. Thanks so much.

Anthony Hartcher:

Thank you.