Reigniting Megan’s passion for sport and life

A personalised Exercise Physiology program by Better Rehab’s Shayna Bauer reignited Megan’s love of sport and transformed her life from sedentary to active, fit and socially engaged.

When we stop playing the sports we enjoy, it’s not just our fitness that can suffer. Regularly participating in sports and other outdoor activities can give us a sense of achievement and purpose, bring us joy, and keep us fit and connected to our community – all of which are vital for our mental and physical wellbeing.

This is what happened to Megan who has an intellectual disability. For many years, she had no interest in physical activity and led a sedentary life. That is until she met Shayna Bauer, one of our Exercise Physiologists based in Joondalup, WA.

Knowing Megan’s past love of swimming — including representing Australia in the pool — Shayna created a tailored exercise program that would ease Megan back into exercise with hydrotherapy exercises as well as gym and group sessions, three times a week. Little did Shayna know that this program not only improved Megan’s fitness and social engagement, but also rekindled her passion for sports.

Back in the swim

Shayna’s program also helped give Megan the courage and drive to return to her local pool with her support worker to swim on a regular basis.

This soon led to another addition to her exercise program: “Megan soon became interested in joining a swim squad, so I researched and found a suitable one for her to join,” says Shayna.

Diving into a variety of activities

Megan’s return to swimming ignited a desire for trying other activities. With Shayna’s encouragement and support, Megan filled her weeks with a variety of sports and social activities including football, fishing, walking, and arts and wellness classes.

“Megan goes to football training once a week, as well as a women’s wellness class and an arts class each week. It was Megan who initiated joining the wellness class! And she also attends her local park every afternoon to walk and throw the ball for the dogs!” says Shayna, who is incredibly proud of Megan’s proactive approach to creating a fuller, more enjoyable life.

Enjoying a fuller life: From the pool to the ocean

During her therapy with Shayna, Megan embraced our Better Rehab Value Love What You Do by becoming a volunteer at Fishability.

“Megan engaged in Fishability at the beginning of her therapy and has now become a week-day volunteer at the organisation, assisting others to bait their rods and fish,” explains Shayna. And with her improved fitness and stamina, Megan reports that she finds it easier to work a full shift and has more energy when she returns home.

Fishability assists children and adults living with disabilities like Shayna experience the joy of recreational fishing with the assistance of trained and experienced volunteers and purpose-built motorised rods, reels, and fishing rod holders. The not-for-profit organisation also provides fishing activities, wheelchair accessible vessels, and advice on accessible fishing locations and facilities.

Tracking progress with technology

With Shayna’s support, Megan received a smart watch through the NDIS to enable her to better track her exercise and monitor her heart rate.  Shayna also educated Megan on heart rate exercise zones so she can choose the right zone, or intensity, of exercise.

“Megan reports she is now meeting 10,000 steps on a regular basis and has increased her whole-body muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance as well,” says Shayna.

Megan’s story shows how the right exercise program can rekindle a love of sport and a desire to rejoin the community through doing what you love. Shayna also credits Megan’s commitment and drive to create a life she loves, jam-packed with activities that keep her fit, happy and connected to her community.

Shayna has enjoyed watching Megan’s transformation and thrilled to have ‘kick started’ her return to the active life she enjoys.  As her one-woman cheer squad, Shayna says, “Megan has done pretty amazingly!’

To learn more about Better Rehab’s approach to Exercise Physiology and our comprehensive approach to allied health therapy, please contact our friendly administration team by submitting an enquiry form.

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