2019 Melbourne Conference – Exercise and Physiotherapy

These notes summarize the discussion in the Conference Session where attendees shared their experiences on the topic of “Exercise and Physiotherapy”.

Most people had a positive attitude towards exercise, however some people struggled with motivation.

Helpful Hints and Activities

  • Try and establish a daily exercise routine … reserve the same time each day for exercise.
  • Aqua aerobics (in the water you have less weight bearing and less balance issues).
  • Walking, preferably outside on flat terrain (consider driving to your walking location if the terrain around home is not suitable).  Beware of balance issues and poor posture that may come from using a treadmill.
  • Helps to find a passion or interest to motivate exercise.
  • Gardening … you can do a lot of weeding and watering from a stool!
  • Even if the exercise is not strenuous, collective activities have enormous benefit through increased social interaction.
  • Pilates machine.
  • Pick simple tasks to push yourself, e.g. stand on one leg each day for as long as comfortable, walk on the sand at the beach, convince yourself you can get from A to B, aim  for 10,000 steps per day.
  • Exercise may help OT, but OT makes exercise hard … there is something of a “chicken and egg” problem here and picking something you like doing may be the motivational circuit breaker.
  • Find a friend to exercise with.
  • When travelling choose accommodation with appropriate facilities, e.g. a swimming pool.  Include activity as part of your holiday itinerary.
  • Care of grandchildren can burn a lot of energy.
  • If you’re able, choose stairs over elevators.  If one direction is hard (usually going down), use the elevator for that and the stairs in the other direction.
  • If your balance is OK, bicycle riding is good and not weight-bearing.
  • Illness is a good reason to pause exercise … it is not a good reason to give up on exercise once you’re well again.
  • It may help motivation to be exercising “for a reason”, e.g. so you can enjoy grandchildren more, to sleep better.
  • At the shopping centre, deliberately park away from the entrance and walk the extra distance.
  • Checkout on-line videos for alternative and interesting exercise activities to break monotony.
  • Hiking poles may make it easier to tackle longer-distance walks or walks over more difficult terrain.


  • My physiotherapist (who has an interest in patients with a neurological condition) emphasizes the importance of “core” strength.
  • Do exercises daily!
  • You feel so much better with exercise!
  • Government funded physio was useless (reinforces Adam’s point about choosing a physio who’s interested in patients with our sort of condition).
  • When I stopped exercise I not only gained weight but felt generally worse.
  • Exercise reduces my stress, which helps my OT symptoms.
  • Once the OT was under control, I was able to exercise again.
  • Adam has inspired me to foster a network of support professionals, including a physio, so I can’t use work and stress as an excuse for not exercising.
  • If I miss out on exercise, I deteriorate quickly.
  • I need to lose weight and find a motivation.