About Brodie Cambourne MSc BSc ( Anatomy Physiology) Brodie Cambourne is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who has been working in the area of brain development and brain health for over 25 years , During this time she has worked with babies through to 100 year old clients. Her work as an exercise physiologist began with working with children during which time she developed a parent inclusive exercise program for children in her Kidfit gym. During these initial years as an exercise physiologist, her programs were focussed on assisting children with managing their weight purely through exercise and at this stage the food pyramid and eating guidelines were promoted throughout schools, tuck shops and family loungerooms.
As an Exercise Physiologist, nutrition guidance was encouraged through the local dietitians and the nutrition guidelines was our "go to resource" Brodie completed a Masters ( Hons) thesis in 2001 with her thesis focussed on childhood obesity prevention using exercise .
The aim of her thesis was to discover how to increase learner engagement in exercise and health so as children would grow up knowing " why exercise is important" as well as enjoying exercise as recreational activity rather than a therapy. Brodie still uses what she learned writing her thesis in her current work with adults. Her thesis used her father's ( Associate Professor Brian Cambourne) “conditions of learning” to create engaged and purposeful learning about health topics and increase health literacy for families of all backgrounds.
This was the start of the Fiteracy Program and Brodie’s passion for health literacy was ignited. After running a children’s gym for 8 years, Brodie moved into the area of attempting to improve health literacy for families and include exercise and reading into a child’s life as early as possible Brodie spent the next 10 years working with families with babies and toddlers throughout Qld and one of her favourite projects included working in remote and rural Qld areas and indigenous groups.
Her Baby Fiteracy program was rolled out through many QLD areas through the Communities for Children Project. The families were encouraged to read with their children and exercise with them and the result was the development of many children who became confident learners through their confident reading skills. Brodie is still in contact with many of these families who share stories of their children succeeding at school and enjoying physical activity as these were activities they became attached to with their parents and carers at young ages. Although, during these early years, Brodie was not able to work in the area of metabolic health, she is confident the Fiteracy program was able to assist with developing families and children who are confident learners and critical thinkers due to their love of learning . “ My hope now is that these young children, who are confident readers and know how to seek knowledge , will also be able to read and learn more about metabolic health as confident young adult learners”
Whilst working with babies her work extended to working with the parents and carers of babies . It was during this time that Brodie became interested in the brain and effects of exercise for the management of depression and anxiety.
Her Fiteracy programs became “low anxiety” learning groups for parents who may need exercise to assist with postnatal depression . Her programs extended into providing services for parents who may be experiencing PTSD , trauma , and domestic violence with the focus of using exercise to promote attachment between babies and their carers. Grandparents would often attend these programs with their grandchildren and Brodie became interested in exercise for brain health for older people
For the past 10 years, Brodie has been working in the area of exercise for Parkinson's Disease, Stroke Rehabilitation, PTSD , Anxiety and Depression. "Exercise will always be beneficial for treatment of these conditions as it builds confidence in movement, prevents fall, assist with providing the brain with important neurochemicals and to encourages social connection." However, over time, Brodie was noticing the background health data of many of her Brainfit clients.
Brodie noticed that many of her clients at BrainFit Exercise Physiology also had underlying metabolic health conditions. And so her investigations into how exercise improves metabolic health began and she became more aware of the importance of understanding how we " fuel our movement " and when we eat our fuel.
Over 10 years Brodie has worked with many clients and their families through some of the saddest and most difficult times whilst watching their bodies slowly give up the ability to keep exercising and moving. “ It has been an honour and privilege to work with such brave and committed clients and their families whilst they never gave up on the benefits of exercise until they could not exercise any more, it has been equally heart breaking saying good bye to so many of them”
Not all the people Brodie was working with were over 65 years , in fact most of her clients were coming in for exercise were under 65 years with multi diagnosis , which was frightening. Brodie started to investigate the links between metabolic health and neurological health conditions and she discovered “ why exercise alone may not be enough to improve metabolic health ”
It was time to start to address their metabolic health concerns as early as possible . She has role modelled the benefits of “ changing movement fuel” by applying a low carb approach to marathon paddling and has used low carb fuelling to help he win a number of the open women’s ultra marathon races over the past 5 years. She is now determined to help people of all ages learn about metabolic health and the emerging research illustrating the links between metabolic health and brain health. Her Fiteracy program has now extended into assisting people of all ages to continue learning, reading and becoming critical thinkers of exercise and nutrition advertising. Her program includes many older adults, some in their 80s and 90s who are achieving health benefits from learning strategies for managing their ‘exercise and movement fuel”
Brodie's Professional Profile
Masters of Science ( Exercise Science) Bachelor of Science ( Anatomy/Physiology)
Recent Courses Completed 2 day Chronic Back Pain Course 2 day Rehab Solutions Weekend including postural assessment, core and pelvis, neck and shoulders, knees and hip rehabilitation. Lungs in Action Stand Up Paddle Board Instructor Course
Brodie enjoys providing environments that enable people, who may have not previously been able to access exercise physiology services, to access professional and clinical exercise support.
"I enjoy being able to provide safe places both physically and emotionally for people of all ages to exercise together as a community. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is to enable older adults to feel empowered and accepted to work alongside young adults and to witness each age group assisting each other."