PO Box 2052, KARDINYA WA 6163

Conditions We Treat

Exercise Physiologist for Cancer and Heart Conditions

At Heart Health and Fitness, we specialise in creating exercise and lifestyle programs specific to your current needs and goals.

Regular physical activity and exercise have been shown time and time again to improve the quality of life, vitality and physical function not only in healthy individuals but also those with chronic (long-term) and complex health conditions.

Below are some of the conditions that our Exercise Physiologists regularly deal with when prescribing exercise.

NOTE: If you are unsure if exercise is safe or appropriate for you, your loved one or your patient, please do not hesitate to call us on 04 4809 8227 to discuss your concerns.

We are always happy to educate people on the many benefits of starting and maintaining an active lifestyle.

What is it?

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells multiply without control. There are many different types and stages of cancer that will determine prognosis and treatment.

How can exercise help cancer patients?

There is strong evidence that physical activity is important for the prevention of cancer, in particular breast, endometrial and colorectal. There is also emerging evidence that physical activity plays a role in preventing prostate, lung and ovarian cancer.

The benefits of appropriately prescribed exercise during and after treatment include:

Improvement or maintenance of:

  • Physical function
  • Fitness
  • Muscle mass, strength, and power
  • Metabolism
  • Sleeping patterns
  • Quality of life
  • Immune function
  • Chemotherapy completion rates
  • Body image, mood, and self-esteem

Management of:

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Bodyweight

Reduction in:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of bone mineral density
  • Duration of hospitalization
  • Psychological and emotional stress
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Number and severity of symptoms and side effects of treatment (e.g. fatigue, pain, nausea)

There is a growing body of evidence that exercise improves long term survival following cancer diagnosis and has even been shown to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer.

What is it?

Cardiovascular diseases are a group of diseases of the heart and blood vessels (both in the heart and the rest of the body) that result in reduced blood flow.

It is a long-term condition that begins in early life and can take years and even decades to present with any signs or symptoms. It is caused by a build-up of fatty material called ‘plaque’ which narrows the arteries through a process called atherosclerosis.

As your arteries become too narrow, less blood can flow through them and if a blockage occurs, it can stop blood flow completely. Depending on where this narrowing or blockage occurs will determine the effects.

For example, a blockage in the arteries supplying the heart muscle results in a heart attack whereas a blockage in the arteries supplying the brain will cause a stroke.

Cardiovascular diseases also include abnormal heart rhythms which can affect your hearts ability to safely and effectively pump blood around your body.


There is strong evidence that regular exercise and physical activity reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral artery disease.

The benefits of exercise after a cardiovascular diagnosis, procedure or surgery include:

Improvements in:

  • Quality of life
  • Cardiac function
  • Blood vessel function
  • Exercise tolerance
  • Return to work and normal activities

Reductions in:

  • Cardiovascular symptoms (e.g. leg pain, angina, lightheadedness)
  • Anxiety, depression, and stress
  • Duration of hospitalisations
  • Risk of future events and complications
  • Frequency and severity of symptoms associated with some abnormal heart rhythms

How can Heart Health and Fitness help?

Professional exercise physiologists at Heart Health and Fitness are experienced in assessing and prescribing exercise for individuals with cardiovascular diseases with a strong focus on safe and effective exercise programs that patients will enjoy.

Heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation (O2 sat) are regularly measured before and after each training session.

Eligibility to enter cardiovascular rehabilitation at Heart Health and Fitness:

  • Heart failure
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stable angina
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Percutaneous interventions (e.g. stents, angioplasty)
  • Open heart surgeries (e.g. coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, valve replacement and repair)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (e.g. atrial fibrillation or AF, supraventricular tachycardiac or SVT)
  • Implanted pacemakers and internal cardiac defibrillators (ICD’s)
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischaemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke)
  • Primary prevention
  • GP or Specialist referral

What is it?

Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood.

Type 1 Diabetes is a disease in which the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed by the body’s own immune system (an autoimmune disease) resulting in insulin deficiency. Insulin is a hormone that lowers blood sugar levels and people with Type 1 diabetes will usually have to inject insulin to maintain their blood sugar levels within normal ranges.

Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic (long-term) condition in which the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin. Over time, this often leads to high blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia).

Long-term, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to damage of the small and large blood vessels in the body which can result in heart disease, poor vision or blindness (diabetic retinopathy), kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy), changes in pain sensation, loss of muscle control and poor balance (peripheral neuropathy).

How can exercise help patients with Diabetes Mellitus?

Keeping physically active and performing regular exercise reduces the incidence of Type 2 diabetes by almost 60% in those at risk.

Improving blood glucose management often means people can reduce their Type 2 diabetes medications.

​In people with diagnosed diabetes (Type 1 or 2), regular exercise can:


  • Blood sugar control
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Cardiovascular health and fitness
  • Muscle mass and function
  • Quality of life


  • Dose of insulin required (Type 1)
  • Diabetes-specific medication use (Type 2)
  • Cardiovascular disease risk factors
  • Risk of diabetes-related complications
  • Symptoms of depression

How can Heart Health and Fitness help?

At Heart Health and Fitness, our friendly staff are ready, willing and able to help you manage your blood sugar levels by making healthy lifestyle changes.

Our exercise physiologists will work with you to develop a safe and appropriate exercise program, teach you how to manage your blood sugar levels around your exercise habits and, most importantly, make sure you enjoy your exercise and all the benefits (both physical and psychological) it has to offer.

Eligibility to enter Diabetes Prevention/Management program at Heart Health and Fitness:

  • Diabetes Mellitus (Type 1 or Type 2)
  • Pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance)
  • High risk of developing diabetes

Why does it matter?

Over one-third of community-dwelling Australians aged 65 years or older fall each year, with even higher rates in those in aged-care facilities and hospitals.

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalisation in this age group. Falls can result in permanent disability, loss of mobility and confidence and fear of falling which can reduce the quality of life and independence.

How can exercise help the elderly?

There is strong evidence that regular, ongoing exercise that is sufficiently challenging and performed for at least 2 hours per week, can prevent the risk and recurrence of falls.

Regular exercise training has been shown to:


  • Balance and coordination
  • Muscle mass
  • Reaction time
  • Walking pattern and speed
  • Confidence
  • Mental ability
  • Mood

How can Heart Health and Fitness help?

At Heart Health and Fitness, we aim to help prevent falls in older adults, as well as younger adults with chronic conditions that affect balance, in order to help everyone maintain functional independence for as long as possible.

Our friendly and approachable staff take a holistic approach to improve balance and coordination, muscle strength, reaction time and mobility/flexibility to build your confidence to move more and move well, without fear of falling.

Eligibility includes anyone at risk of falls:

  • History of falls
  • Fear of falling
  • Poor balance
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Poor mobility
  • Slow reaction time
  • Reduced sensation in upper/lower limbs (e.g. peripheral neuropathy)
  • Chronic conditions affecting balance (e.g. stroke, Parkinson’s disease)

What is it?

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bone tissue is lost and weakened making bones more likely to fracture. While the spine, hip, and wrists are the most common fracture sites, any bone can be affected.

Osteoporosis affects around two in every three women and one in six men over the age of 60 years. Osteopenia is a less extreme version of osteoporosis, where the bones are weaker than normal but not as weak as in those with osteoporosis.

Many factors can contribute to the development and progression of osteoporosis with family history and advancing age being the primary causes.

Gradual bone loss begins around 30-40 years of age and accelerates in women after menopause. Immobilisation, some medical conditions or their treatments (e.g. corticosteroids) can increase bone loss.

Lifestyle behaviours such as physical inactivity and inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake also increase the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Poor muscle strength and balance as a result of age or disuse increase the risk of falling which in turn increases the risk of fracture.

How can exercise help people with Osteoporosis?

In children and inactive adults, starting to include regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle will improve bone mass and strength.

In already regularly active adults, maintaining adequate exercise and physical activity levels helps to prevent typical age-related loss of bone.

Exercise acts directly and indirectly to influence bone quality and quantity. Weight-bearing activities such as walking, jogging and jumping place direct, impact stress on the bones which stimulates them to remodel and reinforce such that they become stronger.

Resistance exercises such as lifting weights, carrying groceries and standing up from a seated position require muscle effort which places indirect, shear stress on the bones by pulling on them.

Once a bone has adapted to the same repetitive stress, it will cease to adapt. Varying the types of loading, by changing the activity, is necessary to ensure that exercise continues to stimulate positive bone adaptation.

Regular exercise can also improve muscle strength and balance, which will reduce your risk of falls and therefore your chances of fracturing a bone. Even if you’ve already experienced a fracture, appropriately prescribed exercise can help improve your bone health both at the fracture site as well as the rest of your body.

How can Heart Health and Fitness help?

Licensed exercise physiologists at Heart Health and Fitness will work with you to develop a safe and effective exercise program that can improve or maintain your bone health and reduce your risk of falls through weight-bearing and resistance exercise and balance training.

We also offer DXA scans (please see ‘Services’ page for more information), which can give you an indication of your overall bone density levels and how you compare with others your age, race, and gender.

While the results of the particular scan we offer aren’t diagnostic, they can give you a fairly good indication of your bone mineral density levels which your general practitioner may use to direct your health care.

Eligibility includes anyone with:

  • Diagnosed or suspected low bone density
  • History of falls (particularly those which resulted in a fracture)
  • A desire to improve or maintain their bone density

Why does it matter?

Improving and maintaining overall well-being, including physical, psychological and social well-being, is important for not only adding years to your life but life to your years.

When your body, mind, and soul are functioning at optimal capacity, you can live a life restricted only by your imagination.

How can exercise help improve your wellness?

Staying active helps you feel connected with other people, your community, the environment, and even your pets. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard work, monotonous or unenjoyable.

The best type of exercise is the one you are going to continue to do. The hardest part is getting started, but once you do you’ll wonder why it took you so long to get there!

Starting and maintaining a physically active lifestyle help to:


  • Energy and vitality
  • Sleep
  • Ability to cope with stress
  • Ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness
  • Bone density
  • Immune function


  • Risk/progression of chronic health conditions (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer)
  • Anxiety, depression and stress levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Pain
  • Hospital visits and durations

How can Heart Health and Fitness help?

Our mission at Heart Health and Fitness is to provide everyone with the skills and knowledge to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Our staff are trained and experienced in promoting long-term behaviour change (including coming up with strategies to deal with any potential ‘speedbumps’), which means you don’t have to keep seeing us.

But if you do decide you want to continue exercising with us, our Group Exercises Classes are designed to provide a non-intimidating and friendly space where you can complete your exercise training program that has been tailored to your needs and goals.

Eligibility includes anyone who wants to:

  • Make positive healthy changes to their lifestyle
  • Revamp of their current fitness/exercise program
  • Join our fun, friendly and social community