As a generalist Dr of over 30 years I have treated the full gamut of illness. People are living longer , chronic illness of some description at some stage of life is almost inevitable. What I began to realise is that at the end of each consultation I would give lifestyle advice, trying to explain to the patients to eat healthier and do more exercise. To convince them how important exercise was I would often say, Exercise is the answer… now ask me the question!

Evidence is showing that exercise has benefit in so many medical conditions, diabetes , hypertension , osteoarthritis , osteoporosis , dementia , depression, anxiety , cancer survival as well as balance and falls prevention. The list goes on and on. Even though during a consultation my time is limited and my advice often merely introductory many patients were motivated and their lifestyles and lives were transformed significantly within months. However everyone could benefit but not everyone took my advice.

Evidence shows that if the doctor mentions lifestyle advice or prescribe exercise it doesn’t necessarily translate into the patient taking the advice.

So I knew we needed to do more. We would build a bridge between doctor and exercise. From that grew MedHP , Medical High Performance , a collaboration between our 2 practices of 35 doctors and a team of exercise physiologists and exercise scientists headed by Sam Waley. Sam had built his own private practice from working in the area for over 10 years as well as working with Oncology Victoria and high performance racing car teams and our discerning doctors loved the work he did and the genuine care he always provided. MedHP is branded as a gym for the over 50yo age group and those with chronic illnesses that need personal attention but anyone else who wishes to avail themselves to our magnificent facilities and services is welcome!

So now my strategy is thus. I ask 2 questions. 1. Do you think you exercise enough? 2. Do you want to know more about exercise and how it can be benefit your health or lifestyle? If they answer yes to no. 2 then I refer to one of our amazing accredited exercise physiologists.

MedHP has a suite of HUR machines and the first Senso in our city of Melbourne. We also have free weights , a cardio section and group classes including reformer pilates. We organise regular lectures from doctors and allied health and also organise outdoor exercise activities for which our clients are motivated to train. Often patients “ don’t know what they don’t know” and when they are shown what is available , what is possible and the positive effects of a program like ours they become enthusiastic converts!

Dr Nicholas Kokotis Director Bluff Road Medical Centre Director MedHP Medical High Performance Melbourne , Australia

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