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
STAFF SPOTLIGHT #6: Michael Czaplowski
Melbourne based, Michael Czaplowski has been with us for just over a year, feels like longer! Prior to joining the Exercise Physiology team at Specialised Health, he worked as a Rehabilitation Consultant for 18 months, so he has insider experience of returning the insured to work. In addition to providing exercise and work condition programs Michael finds some time to write. You can check out his articles here:
- Rebuilding after Stroke
- Overcoming Chronic Pain Part One: Understanding Pain
- He has also written us an article about neuroplasticity, so stay tuned for its release!
Why did you choose the Exercise Physiologist career path?
Growing up I played every sport under the sun and I wanted to channel this love of sport into something I could do on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, I was slightly above average at multiple sports but nothing I could make a career out of. During my journey I found a love for helping improve people’s lives through the application of exercise. I enjoyed listening to their story and becoming a part of their recovery story.
Exercise Physiology was a perfect chance for me to combine my love of all things exercise as well as helping others.
What are your Ninja Exercise Physiology skills?
Having lost my own father to Cancer at a young age, I have personal connection to assisting clients who are being treated or have been treated for Cancer.
I also have a strong interest in the field of mental health; assisting those who struggle with mental health issues to find ways to implement exercise into their daily lives, take back control over their symptoms and improve their quality of life. My ability to empathise with clients who are struggling with their mental health helps me build the rapport required to support changes to their lives, which is often initially overwhelming. And of course, we have a laugh along the way.
Do you exercise?
I can confidently say that I practice what I preach!
My current weekly routine involves 2 shorter runs (8km) and one long run (12-16km) as well as 2 or 3 strength-based gym sessions. I’ll occasionally fit in a bike ride, and usually play some social basketball. When the weather is nice you will also find me out exploring bush trails or going on hikes.
I would definitely say that I exercise more so for the brain benefits rather than for aesthetic purposes as it keeps my mind sharp and improves my mood. I’m a happier person when I exercise so it benefits everyone around me as well!
Tell us about your most inspirational client
I worked with a client who had a Stroke on Christmas eve! As a result, she experienced reduced muscle function and control of her right-hand side, particularly her lower leg.
We commenced our sessions at her home as she felt a bit self-conscious getting in to the gym due to her disability. But by the end of our program she was not only back in the gym on a regular basis, but she had been awarded “Member of the month!!”.
She proved that limitations can often be implied and that the human body, and mind, is able to overcome more challenges than we think!
Food – Pizza, life is about everything in moderation right? In fact, if I wasn’t an EP I’d probably own my own pizza shop and call it “The slice is right”.
Exercise – A bush walk or hike. Sometimes I think we take for granted what we have in our own backyard!
Fact – It’s been shown in studies that laughter lowers your blood pressure and can ease the natural flow of blood through your body, improving cardiovascular strength. In fact, laughing 100-200 times has been known to equal 15 minutes of cardio exercise!
Note to readers: I did not know this! Very cool. Please be aware though, laughing should not replace a workout but may complement it!
Fiction – I am completely obsessed with the show Billions at the moment (in moderation of course).
Fiction-Fact (Exercise Myth Buster) – Doing sit ups will lead to getting abs. (NOT!)
Poor technique when completing the “sit up” exercise can promote poor posture if the exerciser isn’t also working their back or true core, and then sitting hunched at a desk or in the car (which sadly, is all too common!).
A visible six pack is more related to a low body fat percentage, so the two keys aspects to developing the ever desired “six pack” are a well-balanced diet and some lucky genetics.
Have you learnt anything new recently?
I’ve learnt not to take life too seriously and the importance of “play” for adults.
As children, after school we would often go out and “play” – whether that be kicking the footy, riding your bike, or playing tiggy.
As adults sometimes we often discredit the importance of disengaging from the stressors of work and everyday life by engaging in a hobby, going to see a movie, or doing something creative.
Either way it’s important to have some fun and laugh!
Do you have a life outside of Exercise Physiology?
I have recently taken up the sport of golf and more recently you will find me either out on the course, hitting the driving range, or playing a leisurely game of “pitch n’ putt” – I’m completely obsessed so maybe the question should be, Do I have a life outside of golf?
I am also currently training for a half-marathon at the end of this month so I’m spending a lot of time stretching, foam rolling, and soaking in bath-tubs for recovery.
Michael is representing Beyond Blue at Melbourne’s half marathon. You can support him and Beyond Blue here:
Your goals for 2019?
- Complete the half marathon this month!
- Complete the Around the Bay bike ride in October this year.
- Complete my first triathlon towards the end of this year (when the weather improves).
- Maybe start a veggie patch..
Area of service: South East Melbourne