Exercise Right Week

May 20, 2023 in Diabetes, Exercise, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Right Week, Mens Health, Mental Health, T2 Diabetes, Wellbeing, Womens Health

Exercise Right Week is an annual health awareness campaign which takes place in the last week of May. The focus of the campaign is to encourage people to lead more active lifestyles and provide them with the necessary guidance and advice from Accredited Exercise Professionals for their unique needs, regardless of their age or health status.

If you have limited experience with physical activity or have been inactive for a while, it can be challenging knowing where to start. Working with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can be a great starting point to gain knowledge and guidance on the most suitable exercise routine that is right for you.

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist is a healthcare professional who specialises in prescribing exercise programs for individuals based on their specific needs, goals, and health conditions. They have in-depth knowledge of how the body responds and adapts to exercise and will provide evidence-based exercise recommendations.

The most common components of physical activity include strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Incorporating a mix of exercises that target these components can contribute to a well-balanced physical capacity and functionality.

Staying physically active throughout life offers numerous benefits to your health, well-being, and overall quality of life. However, it doesn’t matter when you start, you can still gain substantial benefits from incorporating physical activity into your weekly routine. Here are some of the advantages:

  • Preventing and managing chronic conditions: Regular exercise can help reduce the risk and manage various chronic conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and osteoarthritis.

  • Staying socially connected: Engaging in physical activity often involves joining groups or participating in classes, which provides opportunities for social interaction and connection with others who share similar interests.

  • Maintaining independence: By maintaining strength, mobility, and overall fitness, regular exercise can help you stay independent and perform daily activities with ease.

  • Improving brain function and memory: Physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive function, including better memory, attention, and overall brain health.

  • Reducing the risk of falls: Exercises that focus on balance, strength, and coordination can help reduce the risk of falls, especially among older adults.

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can help you find activities that align with your interests and goals while considering your individual capabilities and any health considerations.

The key is to find activities that you enjoy and can realistically incorporate into your daily routine. Physical activity doesn’t have to mean intense exercise and strenuous workouts. There are many ways to get a good workout. This can include activities such as bush walking, dancing, gardening, group exercise classes, Yoga, Tai-Chi, or playing a social sport.

Remember, you are more likely to undertake physical activity if it is something that you enjoy and are motivated to do. Motivation can fluctuate, so it’s important to be realistic and find strategies that work best for you.

Here are 5 ways to stay motivated for exercise and physical activity:

middle aged man stretching

Change your perspective: Instead of viewing exercise as a chore, reframe it as an opportunity for self-care, improvement, and personal growth. Focus on the positive benefits it brings to your physical and mental well-being.

man climbing steps

Set a goal: Having a specific and achievable goal can provide a sense of direction and purpose. Whether it’s running/walking a certain distance, attending an exercise class each week, or participating in a fitness event, setting targets can keep you motivated and give you something to work towards.

senior lady writing schedule in diary

Schedule a regular workout time: Treat exercise like any other important appointment by scheduling it into your daily or weekly routine. Making it a priority and committing to a specific time slot helps establish consistency and makes it easier to stick to your exercise regimen.

Think fun and variety: Explore different types of physical activities to find what you enjoy the most. Engaging in activities you find fun and interesting can make exercise feel less like a chore. This will increase your motivation and make it more likely for you to stick with them in the long run. It could be anything from walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, or joining a sports team.

two senior women embracing on beach

Reach out to others for support: Seek support from friends, family, health professionals, or like-minded individuals who share similar fitness goals. Joining a fitness group or finding an exercise buddy can provide accountability, encouragement, and a sense of community, making it easier to stay motivated and committed to your exercise routine.

For more information our Exercise Physiologist Aaron Pateman can provide a tailored exercise program to suit your needs and lifestyle. Aaron will support and guide you on how to safely implement these exercises into your week. Contact Fluid Physio + Gym for more information on 6646 3766.

Or to book online, simply click here. We are confident we can help you.

  Book Your Appointment Online

For more information on Aaron Pateman visit team bio.

What exactly is Paediatric Physiotherapy?

July 19, 2022 in Developmental Delays, Exercise, Movement, Paediatric Physiotherapy, Physical Health, Physiotherapy, Wellbeing

Paediatric Physiotherapy can support your family to live your best active life. 

Movement matters – regardless of where you are on life’s journey. You, as well as the younger members of your family, should be able to enjoy the best active life possible. We provide Paediatric Physiotherapy to support babies, children, and young adults, to achieve their development, movement and physical wellbeing goals.


Young boy discovering sand

Children are not tiny adults!

Children are unique in their build, development, and movement patterns. For children, healthy development is more than the absence of a diagnosis or illness. 
Assessing and treating children is very different from treating adults (and not just because it can be a lot of fun!). Physiotherapists are trained in assessing, identifying, and treating movement difficulties in developing children. Movement is a crucial aspect of development for babies and children, allowing them to explore how their body and the world around them works. Children need to be able to move around to promote learning, (physical and mental stimulation) and growth.

Boy and Girl preschoolers bouncing on a bed

The Growing Body

From a physiological perspective, infants and children are very different from adults. Children go through several stages of rapid growth in their lives, making it hard for us, as adults, to keep up at times. During childhood, children are more prone to specific childhood injuries due to their growing bones. Children have growth plates at the end of the long bones (such as arms and legs). As a child is growing in length, their growth plates add length and width to the long bones in the body. Growth plates are softer than the long bone itself, and therefore more prone to injury, which requires appropriate management to healing.

young girls tryinging on various shoe styles in store

Paediatric Physiotherapy

Our physiotherapist Nicolien has undergone extensive post-graduate training in the paediatric field to support children with complex care needs. She has a wide range of experience working in paediatric rehabilitation in The Netherlands and in Australia. Nicolien is trained to work with children with complex neurological, metabolic, and systemic conditions that require ongoing support and care to thrive. Combining her wide range of experience with a wealth of knowledge and passion Nicolien provides advice, education and support for all aspects or issues children may present with.

portrait of nicolien

When should my child see a physiotherapist?

If you are concerned about the development or physical wellbeing of your child, you can consult a physiotherapist directly, without a Doctor’s referral. 
Some children need a bit of extra practice before getting the hang of things. Therapy is guided by your child’s needs and driven by goals that are set by you and your family.

A delay in development does not mean there is something ‘wrong’ with your child. If we gather a large group of similar aged children, some of the children will be ahead of their peers, and some of them will be behind. Most children develop at their own pace, guided by their environment and interests.


Toddler w sitting whilst playing with blocks

Common childhood concerns that physiotherapy can help with:

  • developmental delay in children of any age
  • specific delayed motor milestones such as walking
  • difficulty with coordination and balance
  • change in gait pattern such as toeing in or toe walking
  • plagiocephaly (flattening of the head in babies)
  • torticollis (asymmetric position of the neck)
  • W-sitting (when a child sits on their bottom with their knees bent and feet positioned outside of their hips)
  • difficulties in fine motor tasks and self-care tasks
  • rehabilitation following fractures
  • support in the management of paediatric lung disease
  • sporting injuries in children
  • writing difficulties in school-aged children


boy writing in an exercise book

What happens during the first appointment?

A discussion led by our Physiotherapist

An assessment by a physiotherapist working with children, is based on a detailed talk with you about your child, your concerns, reviewing their general health, followed by a physical assessment.

Physical Assessment

We cleverly disguise most of the assessment activities as fun games. The physiotherapist will analyse gross motor development, such as standing, hopping, jumping and running. Any physical exam will always be explained to you and your child first. We encourage parents to remain present during all appointments, and children will always be given the time needed to become comfortable with their clinician.

schoolboy fitting shoes

Children with Developmental Delays

Children with developmental delay achieve the best outcomes from regular physiotherapy sessions to support their general development and ability. Our team regularly liaises with other healthcare providers such as occupational therapists, speech therapists and paediatricians to support and coordinate care. Often the assessment of children takes a few visits to allow for children to become comfortable. It is important to us that your child feels safe and supported in our clinic to get the most from their sessions.

If you are interested in learning more about our Paediatric Physiotherapy Services, contact the clinic to organise an appointment with Nicolien. To Book online, simply click here. or call on 6646 3766.

  Book Your Consult Online  

Written by: Nicolien Haafwee Physiotherapist, Paediatric and Neurological Rehabilitation.


Muscle Fibres

June 30, 2021 in Exercise, Exercise Physiology, Fast Twitch, Muscle Fibres, Slow Twitch

You may have heard the terms “slow twitch” and “fast twitch” muscles before. But what are they exactly?

Skeletal muscles are made up of multiple motor units, which contain bundles of nerves and fibres. These muscle fibres can be any combination of two different types: Type 1 “slow twitch” and Type 2A – “fast twitch” (with a subcategory called type 2B – extremely fast contractions).

Each person will have their own unique distribution of muscle fibres within their body. The proportion of each type depends on several factors (genetics primarily) but also the individual muscle itself, a person’s age, level of physical activity, and type of training. The only true way of knowing your muscle fibre distribution is through a muscle biopsy and lab analysis (which does not sound fun!).

There is most certainly a correlation between muscle fibre distribution and athletic ability. The ratio of Type 1 to 2 muscle fibres (slow-twitch vs fast-twitch) determines whether a person would be naturally good at activities requiring powerful/short bursts (sprinting, weightlifting) vs endurance-based activities (marathon running, triathlon).

Muscle Fibre ‘Recruitment’

  • To target specific motor units in your exercise endeavours, it is important to understand how the different fibre types are ‘recruited’ or activated during muscle contractions. This is referred to as motor unit recruitment, and each muscle fibre has a different threshold needed before muscle contraction is achieved.
  • During any activity, muscle fibres that have a low threshold and slow firing rate will be used first. So that means that slow twitch muscle fibres are used (which is the case for most activities of daily living).
  • When you engage your body in an activity that requires greater force production (such as running fast), the slow twitch fibres may not be enough. This is when your body will call upon fast twitch muscle fibres for help.
  • Only after slow twitch fibres are recruited, do fast twitch fibres start to fire (first Type 2A and then 2B).

To put it simply, when you engage your body in any physical activity (such as lifting a heavy weight), it will try to achieve this through slow twitch muscle fibres FIRST. If these do not provide enough force to overcome the load requirements, the brain will send signals to your fast twitch muscle fibres to activate and assist. So, if you are training to become stronger, faster, or more powerful – you need to get past the slow twitch muscle recruitment, and exercise the fast twitch muscle fibres i.e., training HEAVY and FAST.

Training to recruit fast twitch muscle fibres

From a sporting and performance perspective – incorporating exercises that target fast twitch muscle fibres can enhance your athletic ability and allow you to get the most out of your training, which may lead to better performances in the sporting arena. Most sports will have activities that require slow AND fast twitch muscle fibre recruitment, so it is important to focus on incorporating both types of training (endurance and strength/power training). Focusing on high-intensity strength training and explosive movements leads to improvements in force and power by recruiting and using fast twitch muscle fibres.

Some examples of activities that will engage a greater amount of fast twitch muscle fibres are:

  • High-intensity interval training (cycle 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard with increase resistance).
  • Swimming short distances (with powerful strokes and kicks).

male lifting barbell

Heavy weightlifting (clean and jerk, back squats).

female box jumping

Plyometric training (hops, bounds, box jumps, squat jumps).

male sprinter leaving blocks

Speed training (sprinting, agility, ladder drills).

Muscle fibres and the ageing process


Due to the order of recruitment principle which we discussed earlier; slow twitch muscle fibres will remain in regular use as we age. However, as we get older, things tend to slow down. This means that fast twitch muscle fibres are rarely being recruited and are vulnerable to disuse atrophy (muscle wastage). Just like bone mineral density decreases with age, we also lose muscle mass. This decline in muscle mass is a condition known as sarcopenia. During the ageing process there is a gradual decline in muscle mass of roughly 3 – 8% per decade (which accelerates after the sixth decade). This has been attributed to two main causes: a general decline of both slow and fast twitch muscle fibres, but mostly a reduction in fast twitch muscle fibre size. This has a significant impact on force and power production in older adults, leading to reduced muscle mass, reduced strength, lower functional capacity, and increased risk of falls and fractures.
This emphasises how crucial it is to incorporate exercises that target your fast twitch muscle fibres, to combat strength and muscle loss due to the natural ageing process. The old saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it” could not be more accurate in this situation!

You do not need to train like an elite athlete to see benefits!

As I mentioned earlier, performing exercises that are HEAVY and/or FAST are an ideal way to recruit a greater amount of motor units and activate fast twitch muscle fibres, leading to gains in strength, power, and muscle mass. There is no dispute that this method is effective, however, not everyone has the ability or physical capacity to train at such a high intensity (such as the inexperienced or elderly).
Research shows that you do not necessarily need heavy loads to elicit similar results for fast twitch muscle fibre recruitment. In fact, studies have shown that performing resistance exercise to task failure (regardless of load lifted or repetition duration), demands similar activation of your fast twitch muscle fibres and provides an effective training stimulus. In other words, the most important factor is input of effort and feeling like you have worked your muscles (which can be achieved through lighter weights with more repetitions).

Some alternate exercises that can be useful to activate fast twitch muscle fibres include:

senior female holding gym balls

  • Marching on the spot (as fast as possible)
  • Throwing a ball against a wall or floor (be powerful)
  • Standing up quickly from a chair (with repetitions)
  • Shadow boxing (fast punches; you can even hold little hand weights)

Remember; as long are you are putting in effort and pushing towards muscular fatigue, the full spectrum of muscle fibres (slow and fast twitch) will be working!

For more information on exercise for Type 2 muscle fibre development and retention, our team of Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists can assist you. We can provide a tailored exercise program to suit your needs and lifestyle, provide support and guide you on how to safely implement these exercises into your week. Contact Fluid Physio + Gym for more information on 6646 3766.

Or to book online, simply click here. We are confident we can help you.

  Book Your Appointment Online

For more information on Aaron Pateman visit team bio.



Campos, G., Luecke, T., Wendeln, H., Toma, K., Hagerman, F., Murray, T., Ragg, K., Ratamess, N., Kraemer, W. and Staron, R., 2002. Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: specificity of repetition maximum training zones. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 88(1-2), pp.50-60.
Lexell, J., Taylor, C. and Sjöström, M., 1988. What is the cause of the ageing atrophy?. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 84(2-3), pp.275-294.
Morton, R., Sonne, M., Farias Zuniga, A., Mohammad, I., Jones, A., McGlory, C., Keir, P., Potvin, J. and Phillips, S., 2019. Muscle fibre activation is unaffected by load and repetition duration when resistance exercise is performed to task failure. The Journal of Physiology, 597(17), pp.4601-4613.
Netreba, A., Popov, D., Bravyi, Y., Misina, S. and Vinogradova, O., 2009. Physiological effects of low-intensity strength training without relaxation. Human Physiology, 35(4), pp.479-483.