Practitioner Profile – Caroline

Why did you study Exercise Physiology?

I grew up on the ‘Island State’ otherwise known as Tasmania and spent nearly every second I could on the water.  My father is a well known sailor and following in his footsteps, I developed a love for the sport from a very young age.  As I got older (and more competitive) I began to search for ways I could improve my sailing.  In my early teens I stumbled across a book on sailing fitness written by Olympic sailor and Sport Scientist, Michael Blackburn.  After reading this book I became fascinated with using exercise to correct muscle imbalances and from that moment on I was determined that Exercise/Sport Science was the career I wanted to pursue.

How long has Exercise Physiology been in Australia?

Exercise Physiology is a relatively new profession, only gaining some traction in the last 20 years.  Up until recently most Exercise Physiologists worked in the sports science industry and it is only in the last 10 years that Exercise Physiology, as a profession, has started to become more well known.

What’s the best success story I have had as an EP?

Tony was a ‘postie’, who was hit by a car and shattered his entire right leg (femur, tibia, fibula).  He was passionate about motorcycles and, at last count had 8 in his garage.  After his accident the doctors were unsure if Tony would ever walk unaided, let alone ride a motorcycle again.  However Tony was determined, and just a couple of short months after his accident he started hydrotherapy with me.  At first it was just some basic strength exercises and gait re- education, however pretty soon Tony was walking unaided and we were able to progress to both some clinical pilates and gym based strengthening.

Tony was determined that he wanted to be able to get back on the bike and, with this goal in mind we worked on lower limb exercises that would help him develop the strength needed to both start and ride his bikes.  As the months progressed Tony continued to amaze the surgeons (and me) with his progress.  He was fully committed to his rehab exercises, continually pushed himself and very rarely missed a day of gym. On Christmas day 2015 I got an email with a video attachment of Tony starting his bike and riding it around the block.  

Is there an area of EP that you are Specifically Passionate about?

I am particularly passionate about empowering clients to manage their health independently.  I hear all too often that clients are too unfit, old, injured, time poor, self-conscious (the list goes on) to exercise.  Exercise isn’t rocket science, you can dramatically improve your health by going for a walk a few times a week and lifting a few weights.  

Who should see an EP?

Anyone! We treat a range of clients from those wanting to make sure their technique is correct before heading to the gym, to pre and post op exercise prescription after knee/hip replacements etc, to education about diabetes prevention and how to manage Type 2 Diabetes, to cancer patients wanting to improve their quality of life.  

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