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Metabolic Conditions Explained

Metabolic conditions include Type 1 and 2 Diabetes (T1DM/ T2DM), Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Insulin resistance and are a group of conditions that cause blood sugar imbalances, increased blood pressure, and/ or excess body fat around the midsection. With these conditions many people find weight difficult to shift and as such they are at a higher risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as heart disease or stroke.


Many factors affect the severity and responsiveness of such conditions and it is essential that all lifestyle factors are considered when working with a patient affected by a Metabolic Condition. Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are a positive addition to a treatment team and are adept at designing, monitoring and developing programs that get results and are practical to implement into a patient's lifestyle. Working as a collaborative team is essential to making change and as AEP’s we ensure we work with referring clinicians, specialists, dieticians, as well as you, the patient, to create a trusting and honest relationship which will ensure positive change is achieved.


When looking at specific conditions it is important to understand the difference between them. While T1DM is a disease that must be managed for the duration of one's life, T2DM can be significantly improved and the body's response to the disease altered with the implementation of positive health practices. When you eat your pancreas releases insulin to help your body make energy out of glucose which is a type of sugar found in carbohydrates. In the case of T1DM insulin is not produced and therefore must be taken into the body via injection or an insulin pump. In the case of T2DM dietary changes and increasing ones exercise can improve management of the disease. In some cases insulin tablets may be prescribed to help with insulin management.


As is the case with T2DM insulin resistance can also be significantly changed with lifestyle improvements such as the correct exercise and nutrition programming. PCOS, a condition that affects many women, has been found to respond well to training methods such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and short sharp duration training as opposed to steady state aerobic exercise as was once thought to be the case.


Just like every person needs to be managed individually, every condition needs to be managed differently too. Graded clinical exercise programs are always personalised and we work with each individual to design an appropriate and achievable home exercise program (HEP) that will ensure results. Programs will include resistance training as a way of improving insulin sensitivity as well as aerobic exercise to increase energy expenditure. Both types of exercise are beneficial in the management of metabolic conditions as well as overall health and well being. Movement will get the blood pumping, make the muscles stronger, increase caloric expenditure and help improve self-confidence, to name just a few!


To monitor progress throughout our sessions we will use tools such as rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scales and blood pressure monitors to track progress. Blood monitoring can also allow us to see how your body is responding to exercise. Throughout the duration of in-clinic care we also have a consistent and strong focus on teaching self-management and healthy habit creation so we can make long term and lasting lifestyle change.


If you are challenged by a metabolic condition and have been looking for a supportive and collaborative team approach to management please contact us to find out how we can help get you on a positive path to improved health.