Alex’s Story


Managing Diabetes with Exercise

Alex was formerly diagnosed with diabetes during a hospital stay in October 2019. He was suffering from depression, sleep apnoea, heart disease and he weighed 125kg.


“At the time I was taking a handful of pills for depression, I was on a sleep apnoea machine, I had no energy, I used to sleep pretty much during the day and couldn’t sleep at night and I was taking tablets for my heart. So, I was sick of being sick,” said Alex.


Listen as Alex tells his story of how exercise was the missing link in managing his diabetes and turning his life around.

Working with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist


Instead of allowing the diagnosis to wear him down, Alex was driven to find a way to deal with all of his conditions holistically. Alex spoke to his GP and was referred to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, who could prescribe him with an exercise program individualised just for him and his health.


Tanya Barnett, Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Director at Coordinated Fitness started working with Alex to develop a safe and effective exercise program that would assist with all of his health conditions and give him a better quality of life.


“It was about developing a plan to work with [Alex’s] conditions and build his exercise program to reach maximum health benefits for him.”


“The benefits of exercise for patients living with diabetes [are] numerous. Our main focus is trying to maintain and mange blood sugar levels through exercise and also build strength so that the increased muscle mass can help them with managing their blood sugar levels,” continued Tanya.


Alex’s appreciation and gratitude for the team at Coordinated Fitness is evident as soon as you meet him. He stands tall and proud as he describes how it was successful for him.


“It’s not like going to the gym and you go ‘oh I just don’t feel like it’, cause the hardest part of going to the gym is getting up and getting there. With this, you don’t want to miss it. Because you treat it as a medical appointment. It’s seen in the medical realm.”


“You’ve been prescribed exercise, and that’s the difference,” said Alex.


Alex’s Program


Alex’s program was a combination of aerobics-based training on the treadmill, rower and bike, as well as strength and balance exercises. Alex admits it was tough at the beginning and he was challenged by the team, but under their watchful eyes, his form and technique began to improve, and the benefits of the exercise were being maximised at each session.


Giving in was never an option as Alex felt supported by the team, and inspired by others in the clinic, who were working through their own health conditions.


“By coming here, I got the support I needed to do it. If I didn’t turn up, they would ring and say ‘why aren’t you here, you’re missing a medical appointment’,” said Alex.

Alex’s Results


Alex has been working with Tanya and the team at Coordinated Fitness for the past 9 months. Since October 2019 to July 2020, Alex has successfully lost 25kgs and achieved the following amazing results:


  • Weight: 118kg down to 94kg
  • Muscle mass: 69.9kg increased to 73.3kg
  • Body fat: down 7%
  • Fasting blood sugar levels: 10.2mmol/L down to 6.5mmol/L
  • HbA1c: 7.2mmol/mol down to 5.2 mmol/mol
  • Blood pressure: 138/97 down to 122/82


“I’ve lost 25kgs, my blood sugar is normal, my heart is perfect according to my doctor and my psychiatrist says I seem the most calm he’s seen me in 10 years.”


“So just the fact that I’m up every day working on the house, doing things that I would never have the confidence to do before,” said Alex.


Tanya describes Alex as a superstar and an absolute legend!


“It’s really rewarding to see Alex’s progress, from seeing him in October 2019 through to now, the improvements in him have been huge. And that’s why we do our job as Accredited Exercise Physiologists, to empower people to make changes in their lifestyle, to empower people to do exercises at home and see the benefits that they get,” said Tanya.

Alex's Story

Exercise was the missing link


The incredible changes Alex has seen in himself are evidence of the power of exercise.


“It felt like it was the missing part of the team. I could go see my psychiatrist, I could see my heart surgeon, I could see somebody about sleep apnoea but that was the missing link, the exercise.”


“To me, [exercise] is about – just get up, keep moving. I can’t sleep or eat properly now if I just sit around all day. I’ve actually found a whole new lease on life, and energy that I just didn’t have. I would wake up at 10 in the morning, I would sleep away the afternoon. Now it feels strange if I’m not doing something.”


“They are such an important part of the team. In my experience, I would never have been able to get my blood sugar down to where it is with just medication,” Alex continued.


Upon return to his diabetes specialist, heart specialist and mental health specialist, they were all shocked to see his improvement and wondered what he had been doing.


“I’ve started exercising, but I’ve done it in a structured way,” Alex told them.


Alex urges everyone out there to talk to their GP and to organise a plan to see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

Tanya Barnett
Coordinated Fitness

Tanya Barnett

Accredited Exercise Physiologist


Tanya Barnett is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Director at Coordinated Fitness. Tanya is passionate about exercise as medicine and is constantly developing new ways and programs for people to implement exercise into their life.