Exercise for people living with Diabetes


Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterised by deficiency of insulin leading to hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels). Insulin insufficiency reduces the body’s ability to use glucose as fuel and transport to muscles, therefore it accumulates in blood. Research has shown that even light to moderate resistance training can have a large impact upon blood glucose control for people living with Type 2 diabetes. It promotes uptake of the glucose from the blood to be utilised by exercising muscles, having a similar physiological effect on the body as insulin. These benefits not only last for the duration of exercise, but for several hours afterwards. Therefore, regular physical activity is encouraged to help people living with Type 2 diabetes reduce their blood glucose levels with less reliance upon medication. Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus generally includes a combination of regular exercise and healthy eating.

So what are some of the benefits?

  • Prevention of diabetes related complications (retinopathy, neuropathy, fatty liver, heart/blood vessel)
  • Improved cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Increased strength
  • Improved oxygen delivery
  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Reduction in blood glucose
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Weight loss
  • Improve blood lipid profile
  • Increase muscle hypertrophy and capilerisation to improve circulation (as people living with diabetes may tend to have poor blood flow).
  • Whilst exercise cannot rectify Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus cell damage, it can:
  • Affect the response of muscles to insulin and blood glucose level post exercise
  • Affect how glucose is processed back to muscles irrespective of insulin levels and
  • Deliver a lower dose response of insulin needed by improving the body’s response to insulin.

People living with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus with minimal diabetic complications, can take on most types of physical activity and exercise (with medical clearance).

How to get started:

  • See your GP and get a clearance to exercise
  • Ask your GP about the best time of the day for you to exercise and any other medical considerations specific to you that you will need to pass on to your exercise professional
  • Ask your GP about Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management Plan program – this can assist you with meeting some of the costs associated with getting an exercise program underway
  • Get some supportive shoes and well-fitting socks to prevent foot ulcers:  Regular foot checks are also recommended
  • Consult an Accredited Exercise Physiologist to expertly prescribe a program for you specifically, that will address your personal health needs.

Our Accredited Exercise Physiologists design tailored, individual exercise intervention programs to help those living with diabetes increase their physical activity levels and promote adherence to exercise in a supportive environment. The aim is to provide a structured and safe atmosphere for the completion of resistance and aerobic exercise to keep people living with diabetes healthy.

To make an appointment with one of our Exercise Physiology team to discuss our diabetes and exercise programs and if they are right for you, feel free to book online, email reception@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au or call 07 3310 4969

Rugby Strength and Conditioning

Specialised and Individualised is best

Having been the Strength and Conditioning Coach for UQ Rugby for the past 5 years, Accredited Exercise Physiologist Adam Garred is no stranger to the finer points of formulating and delivering successful programs for Rugby athletes. ‘Rugby is a high intensity impact sport, requiring a balance of strength, power, speed, and agility to absorb contact forces. It is vital that players have a sport specific strength and conditioning program that progressively develops these qualities, as this is paramount in the development of rugby players at any level’ advised Adam.

Adam also noted that a specific S&C program can also help the rugby athlete reach their developmental goals such as increased lean muscle mass or reducing skinfolds, all while providing strength training to avoid potential injuries and aid in recovery.

Aspire Fitness and Rehabilitation programs provide a professional and structured training environment to develop rugby specific physiological qualities. The programs have a major emphasis on developing core lifts and efficient movement mechanics. Specific structures such as the neck, shoulder girdle, core/hips, knee and ankle are targeted. Strategies are implemented and aimed at strength and stability of the musculoskeletal system, in order to prevent rugby related injuries.

To book an appointment with Adam, or one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists contact our friendly reception team by email reception@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au or calling 07 3310 4969. We also now take bookings online. 


Exercise more effective than medication in treating cancer fatigue


Recent research released and published in ‘JAMA Oncology’ studied four most commonly recommended treatments for cancer-related-fatigue; exercise, psychological, the combination of exercise and psychological, and pharmaceutical.

The results found that exercise (in combination with psychological treatments) reduces cancer-related fatigue during and after cancer treatment. In contrast, pharmaceutical interventions do not improve cancer-related fatigue to the same extent, and clinicians should prescribe exercise as a first-line treatment for cancer-related fatigue. This research puts exercise at the forefront of patient management in relation to cancer related fatigue as opposed to standard pharmacological pathways.

Exercising during chemotherapy can help ease side effects, such as fatigue and nausea, and can help to boost the immune system of those undergoing cancer treatments. Chemotherapy side effects can sometimes make exercising tough, but it’s recommended to try to be as active as possible during treatment. It is essential for exercise programs to be individualised to your treatment status, functional capacity, physical limitations, exercise history and preferences. Accredited Exercise Physiologists can play an integral role in any patient’s recovery.

To make an appointment with one of our Accredited Exercise Physiology team to discuss cancer and exercise program options, and if they are right for you, feel free to book online, email reception@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au or call 07 3310 4969


Thoracic Mobility


Artboard 2

Why Do You Need Thoracic Mobility?
Lack of thoracic mobility forces your body to function in ways it was not designed for. Lack of thoracic mobility also forces your lower back and/or neck and shoulders to compensate. These can increase the risk of injury.

Do You Lack Thoracic Mobility?
Lie with your back on the floor. Place your feet and buttocks flat on the floor. Bring your arms straight overhead (not the side). Keep your elbows locked and don’t hyper-extend your lower back. If you can’t touch the floor with your wrists, you lack thoracic mobility. You can improve it using the recommended exercises.

To assist, try maintaining a good posture by doing the following:

  • Keep your head erect.
  • Lift your chest up from the sternum.
  • Activate the muscles between your shoulder blades, and then release- the trick to this is practice many times a day.
  • Look after your posture at the office; have a good chair with a firm back support.
  • Maintain good posture at the gym. Keeping your chest up on Squats & Deadlifts prevents lower back rounding.  Improving thoracic mobility makes it easier to keep your chest up.

Also, try some of the following exercises and perform them a few times a day:

  1. Shoulder StretchRelease the shoulder blades as you sit or stand, by taking your clasped hands behind your back, extending your head back at the same time. Hold 20 seconds, repeat 5 times.
  2. Back ArchLie face down. Lift your shoulders by drawing your shoulder blades together, hold for 10 seconds, and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Cobra Stretch with rotation Lie face down. Lift from the waist, and rotate your upper trunk from side to side so that you feel a tight stretch in your back. 10 rotations each way.
  4. Broom – handle stretch & swing – Place a long rod, such as a broom handle, behind your neck, grasp it as shown and rotate your body from side to side, reaching maximum stretch. Perform 10 rotations each way.
  5. Thoracic Foam Roller – Lie back on the floor. Put the foam roller under your thoracic spine. Hug yourself so your shoulder blades shift to the side or stretch your arms above your head. Place your feet and buttocks flat on the floor. Roll back & forth. Stay away from your neck and lower back. Continue for 5 minutes, but take a break when needed. Your goal is to “arch” your thoracic spine. Try to wrap your upper-back around the foam roller. You alternatively can use two tennis balls in a sock, or taped together. Stay away from your lower back & neck.

Thoracic Foam Roller

To make an appointment with one of our Exercise Physiology team to discuss your thoracic mobility book online, email reception@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au or call 07 3310 4969

5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep

Lack of Sleep & Sports Injuries

Huw Darnell – Accredited Exercise Physiologist AFR

The importance of sleep for optimal human function and sporting performance has been well established, however it is often an area of performance athletes execute poorly. In a recent study Milewski et al 2014, explored the effects of chronic lack of sleep and it’s effect on sports injuries.

They were able to show over a 21 month period that athletes who experience a chronic lack of sleep, i.e. getting less than 8 hours on average per night have were shown to increase their chance of injury by 1.7 times compared to those who get 8 hours or more.

Lack of sleep also manifests itself into decrease central nervous system and cognitive performance, affecting memory and motor learning, it decreases the immune systems defenses, which increases susceptibility to illness and infection, it decreases muscle glycogen resynthesis and therefore can effect energy stores and finally it can affect muscle recovery by decreasing protein synthesis.

Sleep #1_cr

Whether you are an athlete or not you should aim to get 8 hours of sleep per night. Below is pre-bed checklist that can help to maximize your sleep:

  • Have a bed time routine: warm shower, brush teeth, regular sleep and wake time and don’t view bright computers, phones or TV’s within 30 minutes of going to bed as it can disrupt your sleep.
  • Perform high intensity intense training earlier in the day if possible
  • Get your night time nutrition right: don’t consume stimulants from midday onwards e.g. gym pre-workout, coffee, caffeinated teas, avoid eating heavy meals for dinner and avoid consuming large quantities of fluid or any alcohol in the evening.
  • Have sleep friendly bedroom: have a comfy bed that for sleeping only, this means no phones or computers in bed. Your bedroom should also be as dark, quiet and cool as possible
  • Relax, don’t stress: abdominal breathing, visualisation and progressive muscle relaxation are advanced techniques that can be used to help relax the mind and the body before bed. I also find performing a brain dump, where you write all your thoughts down on a clear sheet of paper can help keep a clear mind for bed.


1. Picture from Yann Le Meur http://ylmsportscience.blogspot.com.au
2. Milewski et al (2014). Chronic Lack of Sleep is Associated with Increased Sports Injuries in Adolescent Athletes. Journal Pediatric Orthopaedics, 34 (2):129-133.

Muscle up for MND is Back!

Muscle-up-for-MND---LED-screen-2015 (1)-1

Get ready to have the most fun you have had while exercising!

• Support 300 terminally ill Queenslanders
• Break a world record

Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation and Queensland Sports Medicine Centre are again proudly supporting the MND and Me Foundation by entering a Team into the “Muscle Up for MND” event supporting Queenslanders living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Just like last year the aim is to invade the Gabba in an attempt to break the World Record for the Largest Personal Training Circuit Class.

The current World Record is 2061 people, held by Guy Leech.

On Saturday 7 March 2015 you get the chance to:

• Be a sporting superstar by running out on to the world-famous Gabba for a training session
• Rub shoulders with some of Australia’s elite athletes while training
• Brag that you are a world record holder

Of course by participating we also get the chance to show our support for Queenslanders impacted by this terminal and debilitating disease.


During the one hour session (8.45am – 9.45am) we will rotate together through 10 different stations set up around the ground – including an AFR & QSMC boxing station. Exercises at each station will go for 4 minutes in duration and cater for different fitness levels allowing everyone to Muscle Up. To participate all that is asked is that you donate your regular training fee (or a minimum of $20). All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

This is a great opportunity for us to come together have some fun, while helping a very worthy cause. When you register you will be asked join a team – just select AFR & QSMC.

To register and for more information click here

Get Moving Exercise Project

Queensland Sports Medicine Centre (QSMC) and Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation (AFR) are excited to announce the launch of the ‘Get Moving’ Medical Exercise Program DVD to assist people with dementia. The Get Moving program has been designed and facilitated by the Accredited Exercise Physiology Team at AFR in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld). Following the success of the supervised Brisbane based program over the past 18 months the program has now been expanded to produce a take-home DVD of the program. This is to allow people with dementia and their carers across Australia to undertake the program in the comfort of their own home.

This evidence-based program is designed to facilitate and empower clients to achieve a return to functional independence and an improved quality of life.

Benefits of the program to date have shown:

• Improved strength and mobility,
• Improved mood and general wellness,
• Improved flexibility & balance and
• Improved ability to perform everyday tasks like walking and standing.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist Molly Shevill from AFR stated ‘It has been such an amazing program to be involved with for the last 18 months. It is hoped that the production of this DVD will create an avenue for remote and interstate AAQ clients & their carers to take on the program and experience the benefits of exercise that have been observed with the Brisbane based clients to date”.

To register for the Brisbane based supervised sessions of the “Get Moving“ program or to request a copy of the ‘Get Moving’ DVD contact at Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) on 1800 100 500.




Please come and help us break the World Record for the Largest Personal Training Circuit Class and support 300 terminally ill Queenslanders!

QSMC and AFR are supporting the “MND and Me Foundation” by sponsoring an exercise station and entering a team into the “Muscle Up for MND” event to assist Queenslanders living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). 

The aim is on Saturday 15 March for 3,000 people to invade the Gabba in an attempt to break the World Record. The current World Record is 2061 people, held by Guy Leech and we hope to smash it!

This is more than an event, it is an experience! How often do you get the chance to:

  • Be a sporting superstar by running out on to the world-famous Gabba for a training   session
  • Rub shoulders with some of Australia’s elite athletes while training
  • Brag that you are a world record holder


Of course by participating we also get the chance to show our support for Queenslanders impacted by this terminal and debilitating disease.

The World Record Attempt

During the one hour session (9.00am – 10.00am) we will rotate together through different stations set up around the ground. Exercises at each station will go for 4 minutes in duration and cater for different fitness levels allowing everyone to Muscle Up. To participate all that is asked is that you donate your regular training fee (or a minimum of $20). All donations are tax deductable.

This is a great opportunity for us to have some fun, while helping a very worthy cause.  For more information about MND and the MND and Me Foundation check out this link.

When you register you will be asked the name of the group you are associated with.  Please enter Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation.

To register and for more information please visit: www.muscleupformnd.com.au

Yours in Fitness

Queensland Sports Medicine Centre & Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation

What is Motor Neurone Disease?

MND is a terminal condition where the motor neurone nerve cells that control your voluntary muscles progressively die.  It leads to the paralysis of limbs and the ability to speak, swallow and breathe. The mind and the senses usually remain intact. The disease is rapid and debilitating.

The latest MND statistics are out and it is not good.

In 2011 there were 790 MND related deaths in Australia.

  • One death every 11 hours
  • One new diagnosis every 11 hours
  • Average life expectancy 27 months
  • 90% of cases completely random
  •  A cure is yet to be found
  • An effective treatment is yet to be found
  • It can strike anyone at anytime


The MND and Me Foundation was formed in January 2011 to raise awareness of MND and its impact on the community. MND and Me Foundation saw the desperate need to assist people living with MND and their families to maintain their independence and quality of life for as long as possible. The Foundation contributes financially toward research into finding a cure, but until one is found, the major objectives are to ensure those who have to live with this terrible disease and their families are supported by the Foundation both in financial and non-financial ways.

The MND and Me vision is to create a quality of life for people living with MND which is not compromised by their diagnosis – a life with dignity and independence.

In 2010, Scott Sullivan was told he had Motor Neurone Disease and his life expectancy was just 3-5 years. In spite of this tragic news his first thoughts were not only for his beautiful wife Sarah and his two children, but for other people living with MND. He was instrumental in creating the MND and Me Foundation.

Scott’s courage and drive to help others despite his illness is an inspiration to us all.

For more information on the MND and Me Foundation please visit www.mndandme.com.au

For further details feel free to contact Paul Olds on 0411 984 137 or admin@mndandme.com.au

From the Trainers Desk – March


Ask around at your local fitness centre what a persons’ reason is for storming up a sweat day in and out and the answer that you are most likely to hear is ‘ I want to lose weight.’ Despite this widespread thought pattern amongst gym goers – what they are referring to is the F word – fat.

To help you get on your way toward that goal – of fat loss – I have come up with Ten Top Tips for to lose fat and tone up!

1Resistance Training is Essential – Ladies this means you! I see countless women slogging it away for hours on the treadmill when the place you need to be is the weights room! Exercises like squats, deadlifts, push ups and chin ups will give you the most ‘bang for your buck.’ When done appropriately they will not bulk you up – this is a common misconception.

2 – Do High intensity Sprints – When was the last time you saw a fit looking muscular guy or a shapley toned woman walking on the treadmill? High intensity sprints will super charge your metabolism and create a substantial ‘after burn’ effect. Our programs will deliver you the latest in evidence-based research to ensure success!

3 –Just Move! – Numerous research papers show that people who have a higher level of incidental exercise (cycling to work, taking the stairs, yard work) have a far lower risk of obesity related diseases and improved body composition than they sedentary counterparts. We want to take this a step further and teach you the most efficient way to train so you get the most out of every workout!

4 – Eliminate Processed Foods from your diet – If your grandma doesn’t recognize it or didn’t eat it when she grew up – neither should you. Processed food are high in sugars and other additives that simply are not the best fuel for our body. We will guide you through the pitfalls of the fad diets and love the process of educating our clients to make complete lifestyle changes.

5 – Eat Smart Fats The inclusion of ‘good’ fats in your diet will help your body metabolise  ( use up) fat stores and help with joint integrity and cognitive function. Think nuts, avocados, wild salmon, coconut oil. These are examples of super foods. When you eat them is also critical – knowledge is power!

6 – Eat Protein for Brekky – Protein at breakfast time will feed your muscles and brain with a steady supply of insulin and to keep you feeling full for longer. This will avoid you feeling like you need that mid morning sugar fix – a massive counter measure to your weight loss goals!

7 – Cut down your sugar intake –  Sugar can pile on the calories and if consumed excessively can lead to weight gain and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Remember sugar often hide in foods you wouldn’t suspect.  It pays to read the labels and avoid foods that have added sugar

8 – Get enough sleep – Long term studies show how important sleep is in maintaining a lean body. Sleep helps your muscles recover and grow, and a well rested body will outrun, out lift and out train a tired one! Let us show you some great apps to improve and track your fitness goals – objectifying the process is fantastic for motivation!

9 – Control What You Eat – No one ever ate anything by accident. Think about your food choices – will they benefit your body, help you toward your goals and give you the best shot at reducing your waistline? Portion control and movement are a proven method to loose weight, with all the additional info available now days lets not forget the basics!

10 – Have Veggies at Every Meal Yes this includes breakfast. By filling your plate up with low calorie, nutrient rich vegetables you are nourishing your body with powerful foods that will improve your metabolism, feed your muscles and reduce inflammation ( which can lead to increased fat stores.) A change is as good as a holiday, changing your habits just like this one will have a profound affect on how you look and feel!

Change is coming!! Keep in mind there are many other ways to improve your body composition – this is simply short list of the most effective and sure fire ways to reduce fat mass.

For more information about ways to obtain a lean body, contact Personal Trainer Sally McWilliam at s.mcwilliam@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au.

ONE ONE ONE Eagle Street


What an exciting few weeks with the launch by Queensland Sports Medicine Centre & Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation of services including –

  • Corporate Group Fitness,
  • Corporate Health Assessment packages
  • Seminar Series
  • Ergonomic Workstation Assessments
  • Remote Fitness training packages for those unable to make the classes
  • Clinical Pilates and
  • Sports and General Physiotherapy services all onsite at One One One Eagle Street, Brisbane.


One One One Eagle Street continually strive to be on the cusp of cutting edge innovation. In a move unseen in Corporate Brisbane, the building management team from Jones Lang LaSalle are hosting a suite of ‘Room Service Offerings’. These services including personal and corporate health & wellness services available to their customers at Brisbane’s newest commercial skyscraper without them even having to leave the building.

At 200 metres tall this $700 million tower possibly offers the best workout space in Brisbane allowing participants to take in views across Moreton Bay while they ‘get their sweat on’. This model adopts a holistic approach to customer care, health and wellness. It is driven by combining industry leading service providers teaming up with building management to foster a culture of work life balance, something that can easily become one sided in todays demanding work environment. While the systems are well founded in the United Kingdom it has until now not been widely embraced in Australia.

The response from customers in taking up the services have been extremely positive and it is expected that this will set a benchmark in customer care within the industry.

We look forward to assisting you and your company on the fitness journey. We provide a single point of reference for all your corporate wellness programs, ergonomic assessments, and clinical services to ensure your working environment remains enjoyable and pain free, whilst being able to access some fantastic services without leaving the building.

For further details about services at ONE ONE ONE Eagle Street contact the AFR team on (07) 3310 4969 or reception@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au.