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Taking charge of your metabolic health

Did you know two in three Australian adults are considered to be overweight or obese?

Did you know two in three Australian adults are considered to be overweight or obese?

Anyone overweight is defined as having a Body Mass Index of over 25, and obese is over 30. Your BMI measures your weight in relation to your height, and a healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9.

A high BMI can be a sign of poor metabolic health. In some cases when left unmanaged, that can lead to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and stroke.

There are several lifestyle or genetic issues that contribute to our metabolic health, and as we get older or less active, we can gain excess weight.

Improving your metabolic health

According to Jemma Aitken, Exercise Physiologist at Brellah Medical Centre, “With the right intervention, metabolic health risks may be managed. Targeted exercise, nutrition and lifestyle changes can help.

That’s why we created the Brellah Metabolic Health Program. We help people manage their long term health with a balanced approach to exercise and nutrition.

We know early intervention is key, and prevention is easier than cure! We also know some of the barriers are cost and accessibility.

So we’ve designed a program that’s not only cost-effective, but offers access to specialists under one roof.

Our goal is to ​empower people with skills, tools and knowledge to help them feel better. And importantly, to live a longer and healthier life.”

How is your metabolic health measured?

You’re considered to have good metabolic health if you have ideal levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and waist circumference, without medication.

Your General Practitioner or endocrinologist can confirm the status of your metabolic health.

Introducing the Brellah Metabolic Health Program

This program is for anyone who:

  • Has been advised by a medical practitioner they need specialist intervention
  • Wants to maximise results after weight-loss surgery
  • Is overweight or obese, and wants to avoid weight-loss surgery.

Combining individual and group sessions, we provide skills, tools and confidence to help you safely navigate the world of diet and exercise to:

  • Achieve and maintain healthy weight
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Reduce heart disease risk
  • Achieve healthier blood sugar levels
  • Improve functional movement and mobility.

Jemma explains the mental benefits of focussed exercise over the longer term:

“We see significant changes for many people in mood, self-confidence and positivity with regular exercise and movement. And as we see downward trends in weight, many are excited to explore new, fresh food choices from our Dietitian.

True metabolic health is not achieved in the short term, and we find four to 12 month programs are more effective.

We see frustration when people put in the hard work for a short timeframe, only to find results aren’t sustainable.

The support we offer, as well as educating on the ‘why’ and ‘how’, we hope will lead to longer lasting results and true lifestyle change”.

Covering all bases

Because every body is different, the Brellah Metabolic Health Program is quite personalised, and treatment depends on what’s right for you.

Specialist attention

We offer the expertise of an Exercise Physiologist, Dietitian, Endocrinologist and Mental Health Specialist. This ensures all aspects leading to good metabolic health are covered, and we can also work with your referring doctor.

Targeted exercise

Following an initial assessment, the program offers targeted exercise and physical activity.

Jemma explains “Exercise and movement are literally medicine for our bodies! Exercise assists with weight loss, and supports a healthy, balanced diet.

And as well as reducing the risk of metabolic conditions it has been shown to have a beneficial effect on conditions like arthritis and depression.

Our bi-weekly group classes focus on building strength, cardiovascular fitness and endurance in a fun environment, with others on a similar journey.

We help with goal setting and behaviour change. We also look at how much physical activity needs to be done daily for health, well being and weight management.

What if you don’t enjoy exercise?

​Jemma advises “There is honestly something for everyone! We often think of exercise as running, cardio, lifting heavy weights, or doing lots of push-ups, but that’s not the case.

Physical activity can include gardening, dancing, playing tennis or golf, walking, paddle boarding, swimming in the ocean.

Even walking the dog or kicking a soccer ball around with the kids. It’s so important to try different things until you find something you enjoy!

We look at different ways people can include more movement in their daily activities. Exercise shouldn’t have to feel like a chore.

It can be really challenging exercising for the first time, or after a long break. One of the best ways to make it easier is to start with small bouts – just 10 mins at a time – and build up to 30 mins on most days. Every bit counts!

As your fitness improves, you’ll find it easier to move for longer periods of time.

​Tailored nutrition plan

Each participant will also meet with our Dietitian every 4-12 weeks to make changes and check progress. This will help you make food choices that provide the right nutrients in terms of quantities and combinations.

For diabetics, food choices and meal timing to support safe and balanced blood glucose levels is covered.

For anyone post bariatric (weight-loss) surgery, our Dietitian will also guide you through an appropriate post-surgical nutrition plan with a gradual introduction to solid foods.

Mental health support

Psychological and mindset support is also provided if you need it.

Collectively, we empower every single person who participates in this program to be actively involved in their own journey to good health.

How to achieve good long-term success?

Jemma suggests: “Start small, set clear goals, and be consistent! If you’re persistent for long enough, results will come.

Make those goals achievable, for example do 10-20 mins of movement twice a day, or swap a chocolate bar for a nourishing snack. This will set you up for early wins.

Seeing progress in your initial weeks will drive your motivation”.

Get your health back on track with Brellah

  • Your choice of a Screening, Basic, Standard or Comprehensive Program, for 4 or 12 months
  • Group exercise classes Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 9am for 60min, $30 per class
  • Initial consult with the Endocrinologist is partially subsidised by Medicare with GP Referral
  • Additional rebates may apply with GP Care Plan or private health insurance
  • People with Type II Diabetes may be eligible for rebates for exercise classes.

“The most rewarding thing about this program for me is seeing how much more energy people have. And how much they can truly enjoy life as they build healthier habits”

Jemma Aitken is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with Exercise and Sports Science Australia. With experience in both private practice and worker’s compensation, she’s worked with a range of conditions including musculoskeletal rehab, chronic pain, weight loss and metabolic health. She has a special interest in exercise to support mood and mental health.

This article is for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice, is not tailored to your personal circumstances and you should seek your own medical advice from an independent medical professional with regards to what options are best for you.