Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology

Require a specialist? Then our Exercise Physiologists are for you!

Click through to the boxes below to learn just 'What is an Exercise Physiologist?', events and news, our current programs, learn who our Exercise Physiologists are, how to book your session and how to get in contact with us for Exercise Physiology.


Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) specialise in clinical exercise interventions for persons at high risk of developing, or with existing, chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries.

These interventions are provided by exercise delivery including health and physical activity education, advice and support, and lifestyle modification with a strong focus on achieving behavioural change.

AEPs are recognised allied health professionals and are specialists in their field, displaying a diverse range of knowledge and skills and working across a variety of areas in health, exercise and sport.

What Makes An Accredited Exercise Physiologist Different to Other Exercise Professionals?

AEPs are university qualified and undertake strict accreditation. They can treat and work with all types of people, from those who want to improve their health and wellbeing to those living with a chronic disease.

As such, AEPs are eligible to register with Medicare Australia, the Department of Veterans Affairs and WorkCover and are recognised by most private health insurers. AEPs have the skills and experience to prescribe exercise for chronic disease and injury.

Who Should See An Accredited Exercise Physiologist?

AEPs treat and manage a broad range of conditions across the health spectrum. Anyone with any one of the following health conditions should consider an AEP:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • COPD
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Falls or poor balance
  • Fibromyalgia
  • High blood pressure
  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • Lower back pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Obesity
  • Occupational injury
  • Osteoporosis
  • Postural imbalance
  • Pre and Post-surgery
  • Stroke

Events and News:

Hear from one of our on-site Exercise Physiologists, Kitty Chao, on the link between exercise and mental health below:

“Many of us know that we feel better after we exercise, with experts believing it impacts the levels of endorphins and serotonin within our system.

Endorphins can lift your mood, while serotonin – a neurotransmitter –  can regulate mood, appetite, digestion, memory and sleep.

Despite this however, there is still debate about precisely how this happens – even though most people agree that exercise does improve mood.

That said, some overall benefits for your mental health to exercise, include the following:

  • Increase in your self-esteem – taking control of your well-being
  • Feeling a part of a community - exercise can introduce you to groups of other people, reducing loneliness and social isolation
  • Healthy distraction – breaking the cycle of negative worries and thoughts

Although there is limited research to guiding how much and what sort of exercise to do, both aerobic exercise and resistance exercise can be effective.

Aerobic exercise engages your major muscle groups, moving and your heart and breathing rate, and can be done for a sustained period. Think of walking, swimming and cycling. While resistance exercise is strengthening your muscles by making them work against a force such as weights or your own body weight. Think of weightlifting and body weight movements, such as lunges, squats, push ups and pull ups.

Three exercise sessions per week, each lasting at least 30-minutes at moderate to vigorous intensity, are recommended for a minimum of 8-weeks to help the production of endorphins and serotonin.”

If you’re interested in learning more or engaging the specialist services of our on-site Exercise Physiologists, click through to learn more about our current programs and what our Physiologists, Kitty and Nick, can do for you.

Current Exercise Physiology Programs:

Macquarie University Sport currently offers 5 Exercise Physiology programs. Our current programs fall under cancer survivor-ship classes and specialised group sessions.

Information about these programs and how to book into these sessions can be found below.


YWCA Encore is a free exercise and information program for women who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their lives. It’s an inspiring approach to recovery from breast cancer surgery, which aims to meet the exercise, and support the needs of women after the trauma of their treatment in a nurturing non-medical environment.

Program Includes:

  • An 8 week program (two hours per week) incorporating land and hydrotherapy exercises in a small group environment with trained Encore facilitators and health professionals.
  • Land exercises include mobility and stretching focused on the upper body and aimed at maintaining and improving range of motion.
  • The pool session includes aerobic based exercises to build or maintain cardiovascular and cardio respiratory fitness and strengthening/resistance exercises to help maintain or build muscular fitness and endurance.
  • Improved mobility and flexibility in the upper body.
  • Improved cardio respiratory fitness and enhanced physical function through improved muscle strength and endurance.
  • Reduces the potential risk of lymphoedema and assists in the management of existing lymphoedema.


LiveWell is an Aqua based program that was initially developed as an extension of the Encore program and has now become a pathway for anyone who has experienced breast cancer to start or continue their health and fitness journey. The LiveWell program has allowed cancer survivors to regain their health and fitness to be able to rejoin the workforce and resume their family orientated roles.

Program Includes:

  • There are two LiveWell Aqua classes per week at 1pm on Tuesday and Thursday in the indoor 25m Pool delivered by one of our experienced Aqua Group Fitness Instructors.
  • Both a discounted casual rate or membership options are available.
  • Continued health benefits as listed above in the Encore Program.
  • Boost in confidence, self image and self esteem.
  • Helped to create a positive outlook on life.
  • Confidence to start exercising in a health club environment.
  • The first step to starting an exercise program for the first time.

Fit 4 Life

The Fit 4 Life program is an extension of our group fitness classes. These classes are perfect for seniors and for entry-level participants just returning to the fitness. Hand held weights, elastic tubing with handles may be offered for resistance and chairs may be used for seated and/or standing support.

Program Includes:

  • Fit4Life classes are land based low impact low intensity classes offered twice per week as an extension of the Group Fitness Timetable.
  • Tuesday 10:30am class focuses more on mobility, balance and stretching exercises with an option for a chair. The use of hand weights may also be used for light resistance training.
  • The Friday 1:30pm incorporates more aerobic low impact moves blended with resistance training through use of plates or resistance bands.
  • Both a discounted casual rate or membership options are available.
  • Move through a variety of simple cardio and resistance exercises designed to increase muscular strength, improve your range of movement and coordination for daily living.
  • A perfect development from Encore and LiveWell.
  • Increased development and difficulty by being land-based workouts.
  • Relaxed and fun environment focused on keeping you moving and motivated for life.

Lymphedema Program

Macquarie University Sport in conjunction with MQ Health are excited to announce weekly classes for post cancer patients and patients suffering Lymphedema.

The class has been designed for patients suffering from Lymphedema and or post cancer symptoms that would like to return pre surgery health. The sessions will involve cardiovascular, strength and decongestion exercises that can be completed at your own pace. Patients are eligible to be referred from their GP, oncologist or MQ health. All sessions are run and supervised by our Exercise Physiologists.

Program Includes:

  • An initial assessment conducted by an Exercise Physiologist involves thorough medical history, goal setting, fitness and functional assessment.
  • We will teach you how to safely exercise, find exercises you can manage and enjoy doing, goal setting, progressions with your exercise and how different types of exercise affect your Lymphedema
  • Hydrotherapy if suitable or warranted
  • Studies have shown that exercise is very beneficial in reducing upper limb lymphedema and recovery post cancer. Furthermore exercise has the added benefit of alleviating the fatigue due to cancer treatment and the effects of treatment (muscle atrophy).
  • Our Accredited Exercise Physiologists are experts in prescribing exercise to manage Lymphedema, so you can feel safe exercising under their supervision and knowing you are doing the right exercise for your body.

Diabetes Program

Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus are eligible to be referred by their GP to our Group Classes, which are subsidised by Medicare. Following an initial assessment, participants attend 8 group sessions, held at Macquarie University Sport.

The class has been designed for diabetics and older adults (45-85+) that would like assistance to get fit and strong. Each class will incorporate cardiovascular, strength and balance exercises that can be completed at your own pace.

Program Includes:

  • An initial assessment conducted by an Exercise Physiologist involves thorough medical history, goal setting, fitness and functional assessment.
  • 8 sessions of group exercise conducted over 8 weeks or (2 sessions per week over 4 weeks – if 2 classes are open)
  • We will teach you how to safely exercise, find exercises you can manage and enjoy doing, goal setting, progressions with your exercise and how different types of exercise affect your diabetes management.
  • Studies have shown that there is an average decrease of 2.28 mmol/L in their BGL levels and an average reduction of 2% body fat over their 8-week program. Individuals in the program also improve in strength, cardiovascular fitness, balance and flexibility.
  • Our Accredited Exercise Physiologists are experts in prescribing exercise to manage diabetes, so you can feel safe exercising under their supervision and knowing you are doing the right exercise for your body.
  • Education throughout these sessions will help you build your knowledge and understanding of the effect exercise has on the body and how to manage food consumption, exercise and blood glucose levels effectively.
  • This group creates a fun and supportive environment to share experiences and learn from others managing a type 2 diagnosis.

Interested in booking into one of these programs? See how to book your session below.

NDIS Approved:

At Macquarie University Sport all our Exercise Physiologists are registered providers within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and provide both hands on treatment and exercise prescribed rehabilitation to people with acute or chronic disabilities.

Workers Compensation and Return to Work Conditioning:

At Macquarie University Sport all our Exercise Physiologists have a strong interest in prevention, management and treatment of work-related injuries. Our goal is to help patients return to work by managing work-related injuries in a way that minimises lost time and maximises productivity, and by educating workers and managers on injury prevention.

We combine a knowledge of the functional requirements of the job and the individual patient’s musculoskeletal profile, and use the information to develop a plan to return the patient to work safely and prevent future recurrence.

Our Exercise physiologists use various techniques to prevent workplace injuries such as:

  • Ergonomic assessment and recommendations for job/ workforce modification
  • Advice on rest cycles/ stretches and exercises that can be completed in the office
  • Manual handling
  • Education and training in posture, stretching and correct lifting techniques.

A valid General Practitioner referral is required for workers compensation claims.

Third Party Claims:

After a motor vehicle accident there can be extensive physical damage to the spine and surrounding structures. After such trauma, it is important to get assessed as soon as possible, so that rehabilitation can begin.

The impact of the injuries sustained from a motor vehicle accident are best treated as soon as possible, so that more significant issues compensatory mechanisms arise.

A valid General Practitioner referral is required for third party claims.

Meet Our Exercise Physiologists:

Macquarie University Sport currently has two on-site Exercise Physiologists. Check out their profiles below to see who will be your best fit.



Graduating in 2011, Nick has eight years’ experience working across clinical and corporate settings, assessing and prescribing exercise for patients with chronic disease and/or musculoskeletal injuries. Throughout this time, he has also developed training programs and undertaken 1-1 sessions for those preparing for City to Surf, Tough Mudder and pre-season sport preparation. Nick has a passion for helping people out of chronic pain through movement analysis and appropriate exercise selection.

As an Allied Health Professional, Nick (as an Exercise Physiologist) is recognised by most private health insurers and can provide services for those claiming treatment under Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA), National Disability Insurance System (NDIS) and Work Cover.


  • Bachelor of Exercise Physiology (UNSW) (AEP, ESSAM)

Other Services Provided:

  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Weight Loss
  • Complex Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Behaviour Change Counselling
  • Improved Body Composition
  • Technique sessions on Power/Olympic Lifting
  • Strategies to reduce chronic pain (In particular Lower Back Pain)
  • Sport Specific training (including prehab/rehab)
  • Developing Exercise/Gym Programs for Healthy Populations
  • Falls Minimization



Graduating from the University of New South Wales in 2015, Kitty worked as a Rehab consultant, then moved into the clinical field and has a passion for women’s health. Kitty has worked in many areas including chronic disease management, chronic pain rehab, cardiac rehab, women’s health and disabilities. She has a passion for helping others overcome the limitations and challenges of injury, chronic conditions and disabilities, to improve everyday functionality and enhance personal well-being. Kitty has also provided services for Medicare, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Workcover New South Wales and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Kitty is also working in a rehabilitation hospital assisting those with hip and knee replacements to restore their range of motion and improve their activities of daily living.


  • Bachelor Exercise Physiology (AES, AEP, ESSAM)
  • Certificate III/ IV Fitness
  • Certificate IV Massage therapy
  • Pilates matwork level 1
  • Level 1 Australian Weightlifting Coach

Other Services Provided:

  • Chronic pain rehab
  • Prehab/rehabilitation
  • Women’s health (including prenatal, antenatal and postnatal rehab)
  • Cardiac rehab
  • Chronic disease management (such as but not limited to diabetes, cancer, hypertension)
  • Developmental disorders (such as but not limited to Autism, cerebral palsy)
  • Mental health programs
  • Weight loss

How to Book Your Session:

To book a consultation with one of our Exercise Physiologists you must fill out the online registration form. Our team will be in contact with you following your registration.

This service is bulk-billed with a referral from your General Practitioner.

Click here to download the Referral Form for your General Practitioner.

Contact Us About Exercise Physiology:

Have a question or query you feel hasn’t been answered? Would you like to know more? Contact us on 9850 4482 or send your enquiry to sport.ep@mq.edu.au. Need an answer right away? Why not try the LiveChat feature in the bottom right hand corner of this page. We have a representative on standby ready and willing to help!

Content owner: Campus Sport Last updated: 18 Mar 2020 3:16pm

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