Healthfix – Then and Now

Joel bates then and now                          

To think that only 9 years ago, only 4 of us were huddled into a corner of Anytime Fitness down in McMahon’s point, pondering where this thing called Healthfix could end up. I always admired Sean’s vision and determination to ultimately have a facility full of great people working towards amazing personal health. At times I would question whether those were dreams of grandeur, or simply dreams that lay the foundation for a thriving business of 20+ staff over two locations. Thankfully I was wrong.

Before I could see develop further, I decided to ditch Healthfix, and chase a girl to Singapore. Luckily this was the best thing I have ever done. Now Lisa is my amazing wife and mother of our beautiful daughter Odette. This move personally was the life experience shift that has shaped me and the way I treat. I created the context for my development as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, but more so the experience to understand what it takes to treat people from all countries, cultures and backgrounds.

This also then allowed me to look back on what Healthfix was becoming. I loved the chance to talk to Sean (he did most of the talking surprisingly) and share stories of our professional and personal development. Not only did the layers of professional assets grow at Healthfix, so did the vision of the facility that now exists in North Sydney.

Now things are different. I look at the younger physio’s here and am so impressed with their knowledge, maturity, and empathy. Their development is incredible, and it provides the glue that creates a great physiotherapy team and keeps us all on our toes. Our ability to integrate with our team, allows our patients to achieve so much more. This can range from the simple things of picking up your kids or running your first marathon. For too long, Physio’s have been trying to do too much, when the answer is creating a team around the patient so they can achieve more. The facility we have (and have access to in Broadway) creates the active environment needed to get the long terms results we crave.

Physiotherapy has changed, and in that change, we are moving towards the model that Healthfix embodies. Integration and drawing on high level Exercise Physiologists, Personal trainers and Dieticians simply mean we get better results for our clients. We now need to consider all facets of the individual in front of us to understand where we can best help them. This is the environment we have now at Healthfix. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be back at Healthfix. Whilst much has grown and developed, the same core of quality results for patients remains at the core. Ultimately that’s why we do what we do.

Weight Loss Does Not Equal Calories In vs Calories Out

    Calories In vs Calories Out Welcome to part 1 of our Weight Loss Does Not Equal Calories In Versus Calories out series where we look to debunk the long held belief that weight loss has always just been about calories in matching calories outs. When we look at low fat, low sugar, low carb diets and more recently the intermittent fasting fad, a lot of this centres around this concept. Dietitians know this is not the case and now we’re looking to educate everyone on what IT IS about over this series.

PART 1 – Biology

It is often touted that weight loss is as simple as eating less and exercising more, and that with sufficient willpower all people can achieve this. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Weight is extremely complicated as it is influenced by a large number of interconnected factors, many beyond an individual’s control. As dietitians, we frequently witness frustration expressed by clients who have tried all sorts of diets with no success, and understand that a holistic weight-neutral approach to nutrition creates the best results. This can start by understanding the role that biology plays in determining a person’s weight.

Genetics

Genetics play a major role in the size and shape of our body. It is estimated that 40-80% of weight is contributed to by genes, with over 300 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with adiposity. These genes and SNPs influence our bone structure, musculature, metabolism and more. This means that if we had people following the same diet and exercise regimes, their bodies would all look extremely different.

Set point theory refers to all people having a weight their body prefers to be at. When people sit above or below this point, their body will regulate intake and energy expenditure to return to this weight – in other words, via homeostasis. For example, weight loss at a rapid rate increases ghrelin secretion, increasing feelings of hunger to promote weight gain to an individual’s set point. Additionally, if we consume more energy than we require, our body will increase its temperature to increase the metabolic rate. A person’s set point is not fixed, however, and can be increased or decreased. If a person is seeking to lower their set point, we know that slow and sustained weight loss (0.5-1kg/week) allows the body to adapt to the reduced energy intake. This can’t be achieved by crash dieting or dramatically limiting calories, thus this is where an accredited dietitian can assist.

Hormones

Hormones play an enormous role in appetite, metabolism and fat storage. We know that fat cells produce leptin, a hormone that signals satiety. Individuals with larger bodies produce higher levels of leptin however display resistance to its hunger-regulating mechanism. Rapid weight loss can decrease leptin production, thereby increasing appetite and causing weight gain. Gradual lifestyle changes prevent this rapid shift in hormone production, creating sustainable and effective changes in the long-term. Furthermore, sex hormones greatly impact body fat distribution. Changes to these hormone levels, such as during menopause, can greatly impact one’s body shape without changing their diet or exercise. Insulin is another hormone that greatly impacts one’s carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

Health conditions and medications

Numerous health conditions impact our weight and should be investigated prior to prescribing low-calorie diets. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome impact hormone production associated with weight gain and obesity, which can’t be rectified with diet alone. Mental illness can also greatly impact an individual’s ability to maintain their healthiest weight.

There are a number of medications that may affect a person’s weight. For example, antipsychotics, antidepressants and corticosteroids are associated with weight gain. There are a number of reasons for this, such as by increasing lethargy, decreasing resting metabolic rate and fluid retention. It is beneficial to set goals surrounding cardiometabolic health for these individuals, as their weight may not be in their control whilst on certain medications. Again, an empathetic and weight-neutral approach can assist with increasing motivation to make positive dietary changes.

How a dietitian can help

At Healthfix, our dietitians assess all of these factors and more in the initial consultation. We see weight as complicated and stigmatised, and work with our clients on health goals greater than just the number on the scale. We work with, rather than against, a person’s biology.

This article was written by Ashley Maiden and reviewed by Melissa Juergens (Healthfix’s Dietetics Department). Should you have any follow up questions regarding this information our dietitians will be more than happy to assist you.
nutrition

Exciting BRAND NEW – Revitalise your Nutrition – Course March 2021

Revitalise your Nutrition Course.

After the success & incredible feedback from our Nutrition Course in November “Fundamentals of Diet and Nutrition” we are pleased to announce our next course hosted by Melissa Juergens will be kicking off on the 3rd of March and we would like to see you come along and be a part of it! Are you confused by the conflicting information about “the best” ways to eat? Are you wanting quick, easy meals that do not cost an arm and a leg? Are you sick and tired of feeling like every meal is an effort? Over a 5-week period you will learn from our expert Dietetics Team, the fundamentals of how to get back on track with our “Revitalise your Nutrition” course.  Simple, easy, and delicious tips and tricks that can help you push your health in the right direction.

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When: Starts Wednesday 3rd March.

               Classes will typically be Wednesday lunchtime and Sunday evenings

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What: The course will be a mix of educational and practical skills, all designed to help you achieve your diet goals. You will work with our Dietetics Team to learn about nutrition and positive eating habits, learning new recipes to flex your knowledge. We will provide you with simple, nutritious, and delicious recipes for all occasions building off each session as each week passes.
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Where: All educational sessions are held at Healthfix and via Zoom. Wednesday cooking sessions will be held face to face at our North Sydney location OR you can join on Zoom. All Sunday sessions will be held via Zoom so you can cook in the comfort of your home.
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Cost:  $275 for all 10 classes OR enjoy access to all Healthfix classes for only $325. These extra classes include Pilates, Yoga, Strength and Fitness classes. If you are already a member with us then this course is included as part of your membership! Please contact us now to get in touch and get signed up, places are limited.
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Once paid in full the course is non refundable and non transferable to another individual. Access to the Healthfix classes will run from the 3rd March to the 7th April inclusive.  Our Dieticians follow  the Australian Dietary Guidelines.  
What is wellness?

The Wellness Series | What is wellness?

Wellness is a broad, holistic integration of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Yes, it’s about fuelling the body nutritionally and physically, but it’s also about engaging the mind and nurturing our emotional wellbeing.  Not just surviving – but thriving. The World Health Organization has defined health as not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, but “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”.  Wellness is an attitude; the practice of healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, not jumping on a health fad or exercise craze. Several lifestyle areas are key dimensions of overall wellness. They include: social connectedness, exercise, nutrition, sleep and mindfulness. Each one has an impact on your physical and mental health – ie, your wellness. By making simple and healthy choices on a daily basis, you will be well on your way towards reducing stress and having positive social interactions.  

Social Connectedness

Connecting with friends or loved ones is a great way to help improve your physical and mental health. Strong ties with family, friends and the community provide us with happiness, security, support and a sense of purpose. Being connected to others is important for our mental and physical wellbeing and can be a protective factor against anxiety and depression. “What we try and emphasise is community – whatever that might mean for you,” says Healthfix Senior Coach Mark Wilson. “Healthfix embodies that social connectedness as all members of our public, whether they’re doing rehab or working towards performance-based goals – come together and work in the same space. It also serves a good education purpose, in that no matter the ability, we’re all trying to be better and improve.”  

Physical movement

Even 20 or 30 minutes of daily exercise can have a positive impact on your overall sense of wellbeing and help improve your mood. WHO has identified a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes high intensity exercise per week to have a marked impact on how people are feeling physically and emotionally. This is thanks to the release of endorphins, a type of neurotransmitter that helps relieve pain and stress. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which play an important part in regulating your mood and improving sleep cycles. Regular exercise also helps balance your body’s level of stress hormones. Don’t know where to start? Try a brisk walk on your lunch break or opt for the stairs instead of the lift when you can. “It is important that people get the appropriate type of physical activity,” advises Mark. “If you’re not sure, keep it low intensity. Light physical activity is a great way to help improve wellbeing and prevent injury.”  

Nutrition

By adding wholesome ingredients to your plate, you’ll be taking steps towards a healthier you. The food we eat gives our bodies the “information” and the materials they need to function properly. For example, your immune function thrives on vitamins A, E and C, while your metabolism is affected by potassium, niacin and B6.  “We are what we eat,” says Mark. “Nutrition is an absolute keystone to health and wellness – anyone can out-eat any exercise routine. It’s important to get the right foods in the right quantities, avoiding foods that might cause us harm.”  

Sleep

Sleeplessness and mood disorders are closely linked. And it can work both ways – sleep loss can affect your mood, and your mood can affect how much and how well you sleep.  Your amygdala is the fear processing unit in your brain. The good news is that not only is it reset during the night under deep REM sleep, it also becomes less active following a good night’s sleep.  Ask yourself: when was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed? Do you feel that you’re currently getting a good night’s sleep to energise you for the next day?  Consistent bedtime practices can help get you a good night’s sleep. Avoid caffeine after 12pm, include quiet and calm activities before going to bed, and wake up at the same time every day – these are simple ways you can begin your journey towards becoming a successful sleeper.  

Mindfulness

Did you know that practicing mindfulness is good for the body and mind, helps with focus and also changes the brain? Take a moment right now to consider your own mind and how you are feeling. The more you tap into your own thoughts, the more you may become aware of how you react to stressful events. Healthfix’s integrative approach can help you achieve optimal wellness, particularly through its Wellness Coaching program, where Mark and team can work with you to find solutions to areas which are presenting as roadblocks to leading a healthier more bountiful life. “If you take the word wellness out, and replace it with whatever you personally want to work on – say, routine, lifestyle, healthy eating, sleeping, motivation, anything – that’s essentially what wellness coaching is,” explains Mark. “The coaching element remains constant, it’s just the goal that changes.” Healthfix utilises different methodology in its wellness coaching, including The Check Institute’s holistic health system, which focuses on the four-doctor principal: Dr Diet, Dr Quiet, Dr Happiness and Dr Movement. Contact us today to find out more.
Bundle

New Promotion – Bundle & Save up to 40% of our services!

Healthfix Bundle and Save

Make 2021 the year where you focus on your health goals and achieve your greatest success yet! We have put together three incredible deals that represent not only great value but also have been created with you our customer in mind to get you started or  continuing on your health journey.

Bundle 1  – Injured:  Are you currently injured? are you in need of rehabilitation and not sure of the right path to go down? this package for you! It includes 2 x Physiotherapy consultations,   1 x Exercise Physiology training sessions and 1 x Dietetics consultation, giving you the confidence to start rehabilitating your injury. Bundle 2 – Getting Started: Have you been wanting to get started but just don’t know where to start? well this a great option for you to look at! It includes 3 x Exercise Physiology training sessions and  1 x Dietetics consultation. This means you will be set up with a plan to get you on your way to achieving your health goals
Bundle 3 – Sports Nutrition: Are you an athlete wanting to take your training to a new level? Do you want to elevate your current goals? We have designed this with you in mind.  It includes 2 x Strength and Conditioning training sessions & 2 x Sports Nutrition consults with our dietician which will arm you with the knowledge to accelerate your current training.
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Total cost per Bundle is $299
Don’t wait, these incredible savings won’t last for long! to find out more get in touch with our team today.
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Not available to current Health Club members. Each customer can only purchase one of each type of each package. You are not permitted to purchase multiple types of the one package. All sessions need to be used up by the customer within 3 months of the initial purchase date. Sessions not used by this date will be forfeited. Bundles are not transferable to another individual. You can use your private health insurance or team care arrangement/chronic disease management plan to claim your benefits from the bundle services. Promotion will expire on the 28th February 2020.

Yoga & Pilates starting 19th January – Exciting new classes!

Yoga & Pilates

We are really excited to announce that we have Yoga classes commencing in 2021! Starting the week of the 18th January, the classes will run twice per week on : ⁠⁠Tuesday & Friday evenings at 6pm for 60mins.⁠ These will be led by our new Yoga teacher Jess Zabow who will go through a  mixture of Ashtanga & Vinyasa flow. There are many benefits to Yoga including increased strength, balance, flexibility and breath control.

Alongside this we also run mat Pilates classes multiple times per week based in our North Sydney clinic, online (you can zoom into them from home) and on Thursday’s outdoors at Clark Park in Lavender Bay. Click here to see our timetable of classes. Pilates is for everyone, if you are looking to increase your mobility & flexibility. Improve your movement patterns, stabilising strength, balance and core control.

If you are a member of our Health Club all these class options will be included in your membership, alternatively we have another option where you can look to purchase a Yoga & Pilates Class Pass.

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Yoga & Pilates Class Pass

10 classes – $200 ($20 per class)

15 classes – $ 285 ($19 per class)

20 classes – $360 (18 per class)
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All sessions need to be used within 3 months of the initial purchase date. Sessions not used by this date will be forfeited. The class pass is non refundable once purchased and non transferable to another individual. Our teacher Amy Jarjoura holds her Polestar Pilates Certification
Contact us to find out more.
New Year health goals | tennis

Kick-starting 2021 | Firing up your New Year health goals 

We’re all glad to bid 2020 a not-so-fond farewell. And while we can’t guarantee a *whole* new start for 2021, it is within our power to set achievable New Year health goals that will see us through the year – and beyond. Many people make the mistake of unrealistic expectations when it comes to their New Year resolutions. Buoyed by the idea of a brand spanking new year, and excited for what’s to come, vague immeasurable promises such as “lose weight”, “get fit” or, worse, “quit <bad habit/food type>” almost guarantees disappointment. This year, set yourself up for success by using the S.M.A.R.T. system. What’s that, exactly? Well, we’re glad you asked. Here’s how you can set achievable goals, and nail them. 

 

S is for Specific

In order for a goal to be effective, it needs to be specific. As with most things, the devil is in the detail: ask yourself what needs to be accomplished? What steps will need to be taken to achieve it? Who will I need to connect with to help? This is the first step to accomplishing your New Year health goals.  For the team at Healthfix, specifics are the building blocks of any health change. Where you and where you’re going can only ever be measured with the nitty-gritty, whether that’s mobility specific, or weight based, or getting you ready for your next ultramarathon. Thinking through these prompts will help set a highly-specific goal that not only lays out what you’re aiming for, but also gives any necessary context. Which leads us to…

 

M is for Measurable

“Specific” is a solid start, but it’s missing something – “specifically” (see what we did there?) it’s detail-orientated mate: numbers. Specific can’t be achieved without numbers. And you can’t count numbers without being specific. Numbers can sometimes be scary, but they can also be powerful. We believe it’s crucial to quantify any goal – it makes it that much easier to track progress and know when you’ve reached the finish line. Plus, beating the number makes things fun. 

 

A is for Achievable

Goals should be empowering — not high pedestals from which you eventually tumble. That’s why this letter of the acronym is dedicated to ensuring that your New Year health goal is achievable. Put simply, this is the point in the process when you (and we) take a reality check. Is the goal you’ve outlined so far actually reasonable? Is it something we could realistically accomplish? Honesty is the backbone of our health club, and we will consider and face any conditions or limitations that might impede your goal, together.

 

R is for Relevant

Nobody wants to set goals for the sake of setting them. There should be a real benefit attached to actually reaching that target, although in the case of health, there’s always a benefit. That said, this “R” should be relevant to you and your own health journey. Think about why the goal is actually important to you? What is its key benefit? Once we identify how it fits into your core beliefs, we can incorporate into your actual goal so that you and the team have a grasp on the larger picture.

 

T is for Timely

Goals can’t stretch into infinity – they need a deadline. That’s the important final piece of S.M.A.R.T. goals. It also underscores the other four goal pointers, and is an important piece of measuring success. We like to make sure we’re all on the same page about when a goal can and can’t be reached. Are you expecting to see results immediately? In a month? In five years? We feel strongly about finite therapy – your health journey shouldn’t be endless monthly physio appointments with no light at the end of the tunnel. Health goals, like any goals, should have realistic timelines included in them, so that everyone – you, your therapists, your trainer – stays on track. 
veggie muffins

Veggie Muffins 1 quick and easy NEW recipe!

Veggie Muffins Recipe

This is a signature recipe from Melissa Juergens our Nutrition & Dietetics expert.

This is a simple recipe to help you get more vegetables into your diet and so delicious even your kids will love them!

The recipe also features in our Dietetics course which is a 6 week program run by Melissa.

With a mix of educational and practical skills, it’s all designed to help you achieve your diet goals.

Please get in touch to find out more on our program.

Ingredients:

1.5 Zucchini’s

2 Carrots

½ cup sultanas

1/2 Cup milk

1/2 Cup nuts

100ml water

2TBS olive oil

1 TSP baking powder

1.5 Cups plain flour

1 Egg whisked

1 TBS Brown Sugar

Method:

Grate the Zucchini & Carrots into a bowl

Mix in all other ingredients and give it a good stir

Scoop out into a muffin tray with muffin liners

Bake at 180 degrees for 20mins

Enjoy your Veggie Muffins!

The new Healthfix Lifestyle Club inNorth Sydney

Unlimited Class Pass

Unlimited Class Pass

Have you always wanted to try our group classes? but unsure if you wanted to fully commit?

Well we are giving everyone the opportunity to buy a Unlimited Class Pass from $60 per week to give you access to try as many of our classes as you want over a 7 day period.
From the 1st December – 10th January 2021 we are offering an Unlimited Class pass, this gives you access to our  Muscle and Strength Essentials, Pilates and Foundations of Fitness.
The choice is yours! Do the full 6 weeks or just try us for 1 week the choice is yours. You can mix and match weeks to suit you and the break you might be having over the Christmas holidays.
So stay active this festive season and come join us, our classes cater to all abilities.

Total cost is $60 per week 

Shoulder pain

Focus on: shoulder pain | Top 5 tips for managing shoulder pain 

Shoulder pain is a common physical occurrence. Your shoulder is a complex, highly mobile structure made up of several components. When considering the shoulder you need to think about the collarbone connecting to your chest, the collarbone connecting to the shoulderblade or scapula, and finally the arm bone joining to the scapula. Strong tendons, ligaments and muscles support your shoulder and make it stable. In younger people, pain is more likely to be due to an accident or injury. However as you age natural changes occur to your shoulder joint and the rotator cuff tendon, similar to seeing wrinkles and grey hairs in the mirror. We also see pain more strongly associated with how one is using – or perhaps not using – their shoulder. Here are five easy tips to help manage shoulder pain and keep your joint strong.  

#1 Shoulder pain diagnosis

There are many causes of shoulder pain and not all of them are due to problems of the shoulder joints or associated structures. Accurate diagnosis is important. “Common pathology is frozen shoulder, impingent, tendinopathy and referral from the scapular or neck,” physiotherapist and Healthfix founder Sean Cooney. “To treat your pain effectively, it’s crucial to know what to treat.”

 

#2 Using full range

When experiencing shoulder pain, the protective muscles around the joint try to keep your arm by your side in an effort to restrict movement. Activating the muscles that move the shoulder through its full range (these are called the antagonist muscles) can significantly reduce your recovery time.

 

#3 Comfortable and progressive loading

Everyone’s progress is different. Make sure you don’t push yourself or your shoulder beyond what feels comfortable. That said, strength is built with progressive loading – that is, a little more weight and/or repetitions as is safe for your particular issue. “Monitor your pain one to two hours after exercise or the next morning to know if you’re loading correctly,” advises Sean. 

 

#4 Don’t go too far

Pain management is the first step to regaining strength in any part of the body. Sean recommends to first get comfortable with using your arms below shoulder height, gradually moving up to shoulder height before – no points for guessing – graduating to using your arms above your head. “This is a safe way to ensure you’re not going too far when regaining your full range of motion,” says Sean.

 

#5 Stretch. And stretch again.

“Stretching can serve as a great tester and reliever of pain, not to mention the best way to improve flexibility in the shoulder. A daily doorway stretch can help mitigate shoulder pain or find out if you’re lacking some essential range of motion. To do this, find yourself a clear doorway, stretch the arm overhead to grasp the door frame, then lean forward to create resistance. If you’re suffering from shoulder pain, our team of physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can help. Book an appointment online today.