Exercise and Cancer.

Since the ABC Catalyst program aired the segment on “Exercise and Cancer” (10/05/16), I’ve had patients inquire about the benefits of exercise and what role Exercise Physiologists (EPs) play in their treatment.

We already know just how good exercise is for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of chronic diseases – but what does it specifically do for those being treated?

Exercise can improve or preserve muscle strength and power; immune function; body image and chemotherapy completion rates. Exercise can also reduce the severity of treatment side effects (pain, fatigue, nausea) and reduce the duration of hospitalisation.

An Exercise Physiologist can assist you with an individual program based on your current level of fitness and cancer treatment plan. They will also take into account the treatment-related risk factors, symptoms and of course, your interests.

For more information:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful team of GPs and Oncologists who continue to refer their patients to ABC Exercise Physiology. The biggest “Thank you” goes out to patients and their families who put their trust in me to guide them on their treatment/rehab journey.

My 2016 New Years’ Resolution is to stick to my Resolution.

New Years’ Resolutions tend to be very similar each year:

“I’m going to exercise every day in 2016”
“More quality time spent with loved ones”
“I need to stress less”
“I want to beat the bulge, I gained so much over Christmas”
“I want to quit smoking”

The list goes on…

One of two things happen:
A) New Years’ Day fell on a Friday – therefore the resolution won’t start till “Monday”
B) We suddenly become forgetful about our resolution way before Australia Day!

Why do our resolutions fail? Are we unwilling to participate? Forgetful? Lazy?
I believe we lack planning and we set either unrealistic expectations, non-specific goals or both.

Let’s take a few of the resolutions mentioned above and unmask them.

“I want to beat the bulge, I gained so much over Christmas”
Reality check: You have been eating poorly all year, you have had a stressful year with work and family life, you have not exercised nearly enough, your health has suffered…this could go on.
1. Let’s not blame Christmas for your weight gain. 2. Cut yourself some slack – you’ve had a tough year. 3. The goal was NOT specific.

“I want to quit smoking”
Chances are, you still are smoking. However well done for wanting to quit! If you are a ‘pack a day’ smoker – cold turkey may be a little daunting, hence why you tried and failed a number of times!
The goal was not realistic. Why not reduce your habit to half a packet a day for the first few weeks? Gradually lower it each fortnight? Set a reminder on your phone or calendar, keep a diary.

“I’m going to exercise every day in 2016”
Would you like another reality check? You barely managed one day per week and you are going to exercise 7 days?!
This is not specific. It is definitely unrealistic. Plus, you have no plan! Instead, why not start with some incidental exercise daily – parking the car further and walking to work, walk on your lunch break, taking the stairs or even schedule an exercise routine into your day!

Here are some basic tips to assist you in setting and upholding your 2016 New Years’ Resolutions!

  1. WHY WAIT? New Years has come and gone, Mondays ALWAYS roll around. Start NOW!
  2. Be specific about your goals. “I want to lose weight this year” is not specific. “I want to lose 5kg by 30th March 2016” is.
  3. Focus on one goal at a time. Don’t change everything at once!
  4. Celebrate success regularly. If it is a step towards the right behaviour and thought pattern, then give yourself a pat on the back!
  5. Make sure you’re held accountable. Tell one person (someone close to you) so that they will keep you on track.
  6. Remember, every day is a new day, so make the most of it! Have fun, don’t be so hard on yourself. Small and steady steps are the key to success!


This blog post was written by Angelique Houridis (AEP) who is an Exercise Right blog contributor.

Angelique runs her own mobile private practice in Sydney, NSW and is very passionate about promoting a balanced and enjoyable lifestyle for her patients. On her days off, she enjoys good food, good wine and great company.

#health #fitness ?

Social media is fantastic in connecting people all over the world. Recipes, mini-workouts, health products and fitness fashion. Everything is virtually (excuse the pun) available at the touch of a button. The problem: It offers a false sense of reality. This is not the real world people!

Checking-in to a gym and posting gym selfies has two effects; it either leaves people feeling inspired or feeling self- conscious. Hash tags such as #cleaneating and #foodporn represent two things; restrictive eating or gorging.

What on earth happened to common sense and enjoying life in moderation? All we have become is a self-absorbed society.

Health and fitness has become more about punishing your body after you’ve had a #cheatmeal. Health and fitness has become more about looking aesthetically pleasing.
Health and fitness has become what society exposes you to.

What does a fit and healthy person look like anyway? Guaranteed we will all have a different answer.
Females are striving for the 3 T’s – Tall, Tanned, Thin and then we have the complexity of our male counterparts, struggling between their #bulking and #shredding phases.

It is alarming how easily manipulated young people become by this ‘fake’ world. They are drawn into the social media images and think that they are authentic and inspirational. Just like filters can illustrate a person’s “perfect” life, that person can also ‘filter’ what they want to show. We rarely see the whole picture. We only see a highlight reel of someone’s’ life.
When consulting with our patients, we often ask for their goals. We hear responses such as: “I want an a*** like Kim K” or “I want to look skinny like Miranda Kerr.” Don’t get us wrong, these women are beautiful in their own right. How can the public avoid these people when they are flooding our newsfeeds and headlines? What ever happened to having the realistic ambition of being the best version of you?

Recently, a mother of a 14 year old girl approached the clinic for guidance because her daughter had stopped eating for a week. She thought she was fat. Who was she trying to look like? Kylie Jenner. These stories are only becoming more common in our practices.

Social media has made many young and impressionable people become self-conscious (men and women alike). They are not comfortable in their own skin because #fitspiration and #thinspiration images make them feel inadequate.

The unfortunate reality is that these same people will grow up resenting their bodies, using their negative emotions to fuel unhealthy habits (under/over-exercising and/or under/over-eating) with the potential of devastating health complications (psychological disorders, eating disorders, hormonal dysfunction, etc.).

On the flip side, we see the older generation who haven’t been exposed to what is trending online – they are unfiltered. They don’t buy into the BS. All they want is to be able to make a yummy sandwich for lunch without pausing to catch their breath or to put their undies on without falling over the bed. It’s so refreshing being around them – their simplistic and uncomplicated outlook puts everything into perspective.

We are so connected to social media, yet so disconnected with our minds and bodies. We have lost focus on what health truly means. Our relentless battle of striving to reach these unrealistic ideals needs to stop. Comparison does not lead to improvement and what is perceived as ‘normal’ does not mean that it is right.

So, the next time that you visit the gym, or construct a carb-less meal, take a moment to think about what you want to accomplish. Think about what your priorities are. Remember, you are a product of what you absorb

Top Tips

  • Remember: We are all NOT meant to look the same.
  • Look at yourself as a whole, not at specific parts of your body. The reflection in the mirror may be distorted by socially constructed ideas of being fit, healthy and beautiful.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – exercise together (walking, swimming) and/or cook fun meals together.
  • Log-off/un-plug from technology for a few hours, or even over a weekend. Use this time to engage with nature and friends face to face.


This blog post was written by Angelique Houridis (AEP) in collaboration with Dimitra Harpas (APD). They have joined forces to bring you “Health Babble”.

Angelique & Dimi both run their own private practices in Sydney, NSW and are very passionate about promoting a balanced and enjoyable lifestyle for their patients. On their days off, they enjoy good food, good wine and great company.