Apr 4, 2016

Osteo Versus Chiro: What are the differences?

I see an Osteo quite regularly to help me stay in shape for my athletics training.  I've personally found it to be one of the most effective forms of prevention and treatment -  I've hobbled in there quite a few times and been able to walk out normally.  However, I often get asked what the difference between Chiro and Osteo is so I've asked my lovely sponsor Sally from Health Insurance Comparison to explain it to you today..

If you need treatment for your bones and joints, you may wonder which type of therapy will work best for you. Osteopathy, chiropractic and physiotherapy are often included on even basic Extras health insurance policies and while there is some common ground between them, they each have a different focus that can make them more relevant in particular situations.

There is a lot of confusion about what exactly is involved with both osteo and chiro and with the health insurance premium increases about to bite, it’s important to know whether they might benefit you and what to look for when choosing Extras cover that includes them.

How Osteo Works

Osteopaths look at the overall impact of musculoskeletal problems on other parts of the body, such as internal organs and the digestive system. This means that they may treat patients with problems that don’t seem to have an obvious connection to the spine and joints such as respiratory and digestive issues.

With osteo, the key is to encourage and maintain good structure of the body to help it to function to the best of its ability. It is based around the belief that if the musculoskeletal system is not aligned correctly, it will have a negative impact on other areas of the body and its ability to heal itself. It can help with neck and back pain, sciatica, arthritis, headaches, vertigo, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), tendonitis and sporting injuries but the connection between the musculoskeletal system and the rest of the body can make it beneficial for many other conditions.

Traditional osteo work tends to have a much stronger focus on soft tissue work compared to chiro, and can involve massaging, stretching, manipulating and adjusting problems areas.

How Chiro Works

Chiro also focuses on the musculoskeletal system and is concerned with the idea that problems in this area have an impact on the nervous system and prevent the body from being able to heal itself. Some chiropractors are solely concerned with issues relating to the spine (such as neck and back pain) but others will focus on a wider range of problems and conditions that affects the bones and joints.

Chiro often involves manual manipulation of the spine and may result in a series of “clicks” or “pops” as it is realigned. Other treatments that may be used in chiro can include relaxation therapies and rehabilitation exercises. Compared to osteos, chiropractors are more likely to use x rays to help them to diagnose issues.

How Physio Works

Physio can also be confused with osteo and chiro, and is often used to treat issues arising from illness, injury or disability. It aims to encourage the joints to move as well as they can through things like exercise, manual therapy and movement.

What to Think About with Osteo and Chiro Services

Because osteo and chiro are both out of hospital services, you’ll need Extras (also known as ancillary) health insurance to avoid having to pay for them out of your own pocket. They are generally available on even low level Extras cover with a lot of health funds but exactly what you’ll get varies from insurer to insurer.

Some of the things to think about include:

Annual Limits: The amount that you can claim on osteo and chiro services can be complicated by the fact that some health funds bundle them together in a combined annual limit. With some health funds, this can also include physio too. If you think that your family might need to access more than one of these services during the average year, it’s a good idea to shop around to compare annual limits across different health funds. You may also want to look at mid to top level Extras cover to get more generous annual limits.

Waiting Periods: Generally speaking, there is usually a 2 month waiting period for osteo and chiro services. This means that you’ll need to have held your Extras cover for at least a couple of months to claim.

Who Treats You: With some health funds, you can choose the osteopath or chiropractor that treats you but this isn’t always the case. Some health funds require you to use a chiropractor or osteopath that is recognised by them to be able to claim.

Hopefully this has given you some further insight into the differences between Chiro and Osteo.   Have you found you prefer one over the other? I'd love to hear.

Mar 24, 2016

Sweating Fashionably With Sogz

Sogz Gym Towels

I spend most of my time in my active wear.  That 'active wear, active wear' song could very well have been written about me except that I do have a legitimate training excuse to be in it training nearly every day - it's just that I also have shopping, errands, school runs, coffee dates etc etc before training and ain't nobody got the time or energy to constantly change outfits everyday ;)

Wearing training gear nearly every day, I tend to get a little bit over excited about new active wear, equipment and accessories.  When I was contacted by Annie from Sogz to see if I'd like to try out one of their microfibre gym towels, I was pretty excited to give the old towels a rest and get to add a new much more fashionable towel into the mix. Especially when you understand that my 'old towels' collection included two of the kids baby towels - not quite the hippest thing to be laying out in front of your training squad ;)

Sogz Gym Towels

When it arrived, I was delighted to find out that it came with a cute little carry bag and it folds up so small and neatly that you wouldn't even know it was in my training bag. Goodbye days of lugging around a heavy, bulky towel, hello fashionable practicality.

Sogz Gym Towels
Sogz towels are made from microfiber material so they are quick dry and highly absorbent, plus they are machine washable and weigh just 100g (machine washable is an absolute must in our household).

As far as online shopping ease goes, all Sogz towels ship free within Australia and worldwide which is something that I definitely love when buying online.

I like my Sogz so much that I'm going to be trying it out after showering, if it is absorbent enough - I've just found myself a new beach towel too ;) You can order your very own at here.

Thanks Sogz!

Mar 21, 2016

Top 3 Tips For Keeping Active While On A Cruise Holiday

Cruise Holiday
We will be heading on our first family cruise next year, so I thought it was the perfect time to start to find out a little more about what exactly cruises have to offer, so I'm handing over to Sophie Anderson from Cruise Agency to share her top 3 tips for staying active whilst on a Cruise.

Cruises are becoming an increasingly popular holiday option for families. They’re a one-stop shop for everything a good family getaway entails: entertainment, dining, leisure, rest and relaxation.  A lot of cruises also have some fantastic Kids Clubs, which means the kids can have a tonne of safe , supervised fun while Mum & Dad can have a little down time by the pool, perhaps even sipping on a cocktail...

For those of you that want to keep active while were holidaying, there are plenty of cruises available that cater perfectly for you, so here is 3 of our top tips for keeping fit while cruising.

1. Book a cruise that suits your needs

A little planning goes a long way when you’re deciding on which cruise to take. Believe it or not, some fantastic fitness opportunities and facilities that can be found on cruise ships, so keep this in mind when you’re choosing a cruise. All the online info about different cruises can get a little overwhelming, so try visiting a site like Cruise Agency to compare and contrast all your options. Utilise the experience of a travel agent to pick their brains about the different cruise lines and the opportunities and facilities that each ship offers. Travel agents get all the latest information on cruise ship facilities as soon as they become available, so keep in touch with them and use their knowledge to your advantage.

2. Make the most of ship facilities

Once you set sail, it’s time to make the most of all the amazing facilities aboard your ship. Wake up early and visit the Fitness Centre on a Celebrity cruise – with its floor-to-ceiling windows, you can watch a beautiful sunrise over the ocean while you work out. On a Carnival cruise, go for a refreshing jog around the open-air track while the kids play in the pool – or better yet, challenge them to a game of basketball on the outdoor court! The new Ovation Of The Seas ship from Royal Caribbean arrives into Sydney for her maiden voyage this year – some of her health facilities include the SeaPlex which is the largest indoor active space at sea, a roller rink, a full-size basketball court, and a circus school, just to name a few – these are guaranteed to keep you active whilst onboard.

3. Try something new

What better time than a holiday for trying out something new? Take a rejuvenating yoga or Pilates class before enjoying a delicious lunch with the family. Or perhaps you’re up for something more vigorous, like indoor cycling – or even bootcamp! Shannan Ponton, high-profile personal trainer from The Biggest Loser, has partnered with Carnival Cruises to offer ‘the Biggest Bootcamp at Sea’ – complete with spin classes, motivational seminars, nutritional advice and more.

Cruises are definitely a fantastic way to keep the whole family happy and relaxed, but if you're worried about the waistline or the fitness levels, definitely throw that activewear in your suitcase and enjoy the fantastic fitness facilities that are available on board.

Mar 16, 2016

Gluten Free Decadent Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
As most of you probably are already aware, there are quite a few Coeliacs in my extended family and although I'm not Coeliac, I know that I'm gluten intolerant and have been gluten free for the past two years or so.  This week, March 13th-20th is National Coeliac Awareness Week so I thought it was a great time to share a few awesome gluten-free recipes from our friends at McKenzie's Foods.  This gluten free, rich and decadent chocolate cake looks absolutely amazing and uses almond meal and quinoa flour so it is healthier and higher in protein than your average chocolate cake.  I usually swap out the sugar for maple syrup when I bake so you could always try that as well.


180g good quality dark chocolate, chopped

125g unsalted butter, chopped

1 ½ tsps vanilla extract

¾ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup almond meal

½ cup McKenzie’s Quinoa flour, sifted

1 tbs cocoa powder, sifted

4 eggs, separated


Step 1: Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F. Grease and line the base of the sides of a 20cm round spring form tin with baking paper.

Step 2: Place chocolate, butter and vanilla in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Step 3: Add the sugar, vanilla, almond meal, quinoa flour and cocoa powder to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, until just combined.

Step 4: Spoon mixture into prepared tin, place in the preheated ocen and bake for 35minutes or until just firm. Remove and set aside on a wire rack to cool completely in pan, before carefully removing.

Step 5: Serve with dollop of natural yoghurt or vanilla bean ice-cream.

Serves: 12

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 Minutes


Feb 28, 2016

iBarre Online Barre Classes

Today I've got something for all you mamas out there who love to dance around their kitchens and living rooms.  You might have been a dancer in your younger years, or perhaps you just love to dance and you've always dreamed of taking some classes but you haven't been able to find the time.   Or maybe you are daunted by the thought of turning up to a dance class with younger, more experienced ladies. Well I'm excited to share that now it's possible and practical for you to take those classes in the privacy of your own home.  Let me introduce you to Alexander Cerantonio, the Director of iBarre which is a fabulous new way to experience the joy of dance and get fit in your own living room.

When we think about ballet, it is often for our kids.  Enrolling them in a dance class at a young age can get them moving, improve their co-coordination or simply let them live out their dreams of becoming a ballerina. For mums, the notion of ballet is saved for our children, or  might just be a memory of our own childhood.

In recent years we have seen a rise in studios that offer Barre Classes, a fusion of ballet, pilates and yoga. The classes allow you to work on strength, stamina and co-coordination and can help you to develop a lean, strong physique.

Barre Classes target specific muscle groups using small isometric contractions that can improve your strength and help develop long, lean muscles.  Barre classes also aid neural muscle recruitment, helping improve your mind-body connection by controlling the already existing nerve endings. It improves muscular activation which will also strengthen the neuromuscular pathways in your brain helping you feel more connected to your own body.

Barre classes are fantastic but we know that it's not practical for everyone to attend classes, especially when they have young children at home, so we created iBarre which makes Barre accessible to everyone through online classes that you can attend by simply connecting up your webcam.

iBarre classes are centred around the Ballet technique, which is one of style, grace and absolute strength.  These classes will help tone and elongate your muscles while allowing you to have fun and get a good work out without having to book a babysitter.

So, for the ladies who have been reminiscing of their ballet days, or for the mums who need a work out plan for home, iBarre is just for you! Jump online and join the movement, you’ll be feeling stronger within a few weeks.

Thank you Alexander, iBarre definitely sounds like a fantastic innovation and a whole lot of fun!