🔦 Staff Spotlight 🔦 – Carmyn Barnes NZ Team Leader, Account Manager & EP

The culture of progression, passion and authenticity behind Specialised Health drives all of us to provide quality Exercise Physiology services in the compensable space. We support claimants in achieving their return to work and life goals through specialist exercise and lifestyle prescription while recognising the importance of open communication with all parties involved in the rehab process. We share knowledge with a passion and are made up of exceptional individuals.

As a part of my role, I get to pry into the lives of these individual’s and share them with you! Biara Webster, Exercise Physiologist and Content Manager, Specialised Health

Carmyn Barnes

Service Location: Christchurch and surrounds

Carmyn has now been with the Specialised Health team for nearly 2 years! She was one of our first EPs across the Tasman Sea and is now also Team Leader & Accounts Manager.

Carmyn studied in South Africa, obtaining Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biokinetics. (Biokinetics is the cooler name for Exercise Physiology). As if that wasn’t enough, she completed a second honours degree in education, specialising in gross motor development for children aged 2 months – 13 years, and can call herself a Kinderkineticist!

Most of her experience as an EP (for adults) has been in South Africa working with various health conditions including but not limited to post-cancer rehab, cardiac rehab and musculoskeletal rehab.

Why Did You Choose The Exercise Physiologist Career Path?

I remember having to do a careers assignment in grade 8 and I interviewed my cousin (who is also an EP) and that was that!

I loved the idea of working with people (I’m what some would call a “social butterfly” and a self-proclaimed expert at talking) and movement (I did every sport under the sun at school) at the same time. Also, the body, and how it works, is just so interesting!

What Are Your Ninja Exercise Physiology Skills?

I have always enjoyed cancer and cardiac rehab but have a real passion for mental health too.

Do You Exercise?

Almost every day! Swimming, strength training, swimming, running and swimming (can you tell which one’s my favorite?) are my usuals.

This year has been slightly different to my normal routine though, with pools being inaccessible during COVID and since, acquiring a shoulder injury which has kept me out of structured swimming for 6+months now. So I’ve been cycling (and resting) more than I’d like haha!

Tell Us About Your Most Inspirational Client…

I had a cardiac client back in Cape Town who is also a prostate cancer survivor.

He is in his 70’s and still a helicopter pilot and instructor. His wife suffered a stroke which caused Locked-In Syndrome, so she needed round-the-clock care. He was so dedicated to his own health, despite all the stress that was going on at home and the financial need to keep working to provide care for his wife.

He attended rehab/maintenance with me 3 times a week and played squash once a week (I lost hopelessly every time I played against him). It amazed me to see how positive and driven he always was, and he reminded me to be grateful every week.


🥜Food – I can never pick one, and it always depends on my mood, but the favourite this year has been chocolate and peanut butter overnight oats with berries. I’ve eaten that for brekkie (my absolute favourite mealtime) almost every day this year and I’m still not sick of it.

🏊‍♀️ Exercise – Swimming. Prescribing and performing.

🧠 Fact – Exercise increases focus of attention and reaction time for at least 2 hours after completion through hyperstimulation of the mind when dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine are transferred.

Fiction – Definitely a tie between Remember the Titans and The Guardian (movies). As for books – This is Going to Hurt and Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay, both brilliant and hilarious.

Exercise Myth Buster – if you suffer from fatigue but exercise correctly, it can actually make you less tired overall!

Have You Learnt Anything New Recently?

In this ever-changing industry, there is always new research being done so I feel as though I’m learning every day.

The area that I feel like I learn the most in is HRV. It can be used for so many different aspects of life and training that I’m not sure I’ll ever stop learning new information about it.

Do You Have A Life Outside Of Exercise Physiology?

Yes! 🙂

I love reading and doing almost anything outdoors (which usually involves friends or a good podcast – anything from The Joe Rogan Experience).

I’ve been told that I’m very bad at relaxing so I’m almost always doing something.

What Are Your Current Goals?

Settling into and excelling at my 2 new roles are top of my list.

Next would be to recover from injury and get back into squad swimming. I’d like to do a half marathon next year, too. The last one I did landed me in hospital for hip surgery so I’ve been avoiding them for years!

Contact Carmyn  

Area of service: Canterbury, New Zealand

Email: carmyn@specialisedhealth.nz

LinkedIn: Carmyn Barnes