Exercise physiologist Steve Woodruffe works with grandmother Ann Melenewycz at the West Moreton Health Cardiac Rehabilitaiton Gym
Exercise physiologist Steve Woodruffe works with grandmother Ann Melenewycz at the West Moreton Health Cardiac Rehabilitaiton Gym

Heart attack survivor has new lease on life

FOR gym goer and heart attack survivor Ann Melenewycz, twice-weekly workouts at the West Moreton Health's Cardiac Rehabilitation Gym have allowed her to get back to her best.

"I spent quite a bit of time in hospital, and as a result lost a lot of muscle,” Ms Melenewycz said.

"At the gym I build strength and balance, as well as work on my cardio.

"I feel a lot better; I feel stronger and more confident and I can do more at home now too.

"I also feel like I can cope when I look after my two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter - I don't get as puffed out.

"Going to the gym gives me something to look forward to, and I see familiar faces that give you a smile - people who are in the same boat as I am.”

More than 800 gym sessions are run each month - about 9600 a year - at the medical gym, helping those who have experienced heart or lung concerns to work towards better health.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinical Nurse Consultant Madonna Prenzler said for those attending the sessions, which follow tailored workout plans, their time at the gym could be simply life changing.

Ms Prenzler said the facility was a medical gym manned by specialist cardiac staff and serviced members of the community who were recovering from major heart related conditions.

She said the gym was a specialised service for those who had experienced or were at risk of heart failure or heart or lung disease and had been referred to West Moreton Health's Cardiac Rehabilitation, Heart Failure or Lung Health services.

"People are supported on their journey to better health by a team of registered nurses, exercise physiologists and students, so they always have someone to turn to when they need guidance or a bit of encouragement,” Ms Prenzler said.

"We're very excited to now have 15 state-of-the-art training machines in the gym, which were delivered just last month.

"The new cross-trainers, treadmills, bikes and rowing machines are already being used - much to the delight of both staff and gym-goers.

"The equipment can cater for all body shapes and sizes and the seated rowing machine can easily be modified so people in wheelchairs can use it or to allow people to stand while they're working out - the variability is fantastic as it helps us better cater to the needs of our patients.”

Ms Prenzler said gym sessions were part of a holistic approach to improving heart health.

She said while people had to meet certain criteria to access the service, those who thought they might have heart health concerns could self-refer.

"All you need to do is speak to your cardiologist, GP or contact the Cardiac Rehabilitation service directly,” Ms Prenzler said.

More than 1000 referrals were made for people to access the service last year.

"For these people, building a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise is vital,” Ms Prenzler said.

For more information contact the Cardiac Rehabilitation service on 3413 5878.



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