Meet our exercise physiologist: Brayden Murphy

Tell us about yourself?

I was born and raised in Wagga Wagga. From childhood, I had an interest in fitness and wellbeing. But rather than just being a personal trainer, I wanted to go a bit further and gain the clinical insights into how exercise benefits the body. In 2015, I moved to Canberra to pursue a degree in exercise physiology and rehabilitation. After graduating, I was interviewed for a role at Goodwin and the rest is history.

What’s your role at Goodwin?

I am the exercise physiologist for Goodwin’s health and wellness centre. My role involves working with our seniors to prescribe them exercises based on the varying physical and health conditions they are living with. I work with them one-on-one and also run small group classes daily. I also assist on the administration side of things and was part of the team that set up our new health and wellness centre at Crace.

How is an exercise physiologist different from a fitness instructor?

The key difference is that exercise physiologists have a clinical background and fitness trainers don’t. We must attend university for four years to learn about the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and complete 500 hours of placement in a clinical setting. We are trained on applying specific exercises to a range of acute and chronic conditions – from managing blood pressure and diabetes, all the way to osteoporosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

What are the different exercise programs/therapies you offer?

At Goodwin, I offer an array of basic to advanced level programs. Basic programs include strength training to help seniors with basic chores like carrying the groceries. Or if someone has had a surgery, like knee or hip replacement, I have simple exercises that can help speed up the recovery process. I also offer advanced programs for people with chronic conditions, such as rotator cuff tears, arthritis, osteoporosis – and even work with people recovering from cancer to help them improve overall strength and mobility.

Brayden’s exercise tips

  1. Break up your day into short (five-minute) exercise bouts rather than long extended workouts.
  1. Set up an exercise ‘swear jar’: If you miss a day of exercise, put in $5.
  1. If you have chronic back pain, start with simple things, such as sitting and standing from a chair ten times.

Can exercise really be a substitute for medicine?

Exercise has shown to be a great substitute or adjunctive treatment for certain conditions, such as anxiety and depression. We also have research that regular exercise can inhibit receptors in our brain, which reduces the perception of pain, and also strengthens our muscles and joints to fight arthritis, thus decreasing reliance on some pain medications. In addition, exercise releases neurotransmitters (such as endorphins) that improve our mood and ability to concentrate and make better decisions.

How do you find working with seniors?

I find it extremely rewarding, especially when I help someone who has not been active for many years. The best thing about working with seniors is that we see the biggest results with minor lifestyle changes that help improve their overall quality of life. Often they report that they feel better, less tired and more confident to go about their day. I remember a client in Monash, who after our discussions picked up growing succulents at home. Gardening is a great form of exercise for the body and mind, and I’m happy to have inspired her.

Brayden’s services are available to Goodwin residents and clients, Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm at the Crace Health and Wellness Centre.

To book an appointment, call 6219 4190.

Clients may be able to obtain a care plan from their GP, which entitles them to five Medicare-funded visits.