Introducing Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Liana Vlajankov
I’d love for you to meet Liana, a Clinical Exercise Physiologist who believes that exercise is medicine and couldn’t start her day without music and coffee. She recently completed her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and schedules ‘me-time’ into her long work days. Liana loves being in nature and is ‘trusting the process’ while trying to strike a work-life balance. Her top three tips for staying healthy are practical and her values include honesty and authenticity- qualities I too, strongly value.
Liana works across a variety of different areas as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Her skills and experience allow her to work within private practice where she helps people return to work and better manage chronic health conditions, injuries and disease. Liana also works with people who want long-lasting change, by focusing on general strength and fitness training. Too add a little more to her already full days, she works with up and coming athletes in the strength and conditioning and sport rehabilitation fields. Liana enjoys this because she’s able to get creative in the design and implementation of return to sports rehabilitation programs.
I was fortunate enough to work alongside Liana when recovering from CFS. From the moment I met her, I knew she wanted to understand my reality. Liana tailored programs to my personal needs and frequently changing abilities. She was not at all intimidating and challenged me whilst understanding my limits. We had lots of fun! Her values of honesty, authenticity and communication shone through in every session, phone call and follow up email we had. I’m so grateful that we crossed paths.
Here’s a little more about Liana…
What led you to do what you do today?
I’ve always been a big believer that exercise is medicine and that the stronger you feel and become physically, the stronger you become mentally. You’re then better able to deal with the stressors of life. I believe that the habits and perseverance that regular exercise challenges us with, and the positive routine it creates, translates into our attitudes and work ethic in daily life.
Tell us a more about how you got started…
When I first started out, I began working as a Personal Trainer at my local YMCA and I saw so many clients in private consultations that had chronic health conditions, injuries or diseases. They didn’t know what type of exercise was best for them to safely improve their health without exacerbating their aches and pains. I knew I didn’t have all of the answers but I wanted to do more to be able to help them. I wanted to answer their questions and see them return to living healthier and happier lives through a manageable approach that they’d be able to maintain long term.
Many of these clients had poor lifestyle habits and faced several challenges. Whether it be the environments they lived in, their workplace, the demands and stressors of family life or not knowing how to take back control and look after themselves. This is where these clients began to see the gym as a means to do something positive and focus on themselves, even if it was only for 30 minutes. These clients would often report that they felt they were able to be better partners, parents and employees when they prioritised themselves.
What’s your definition of health?
My definition of health is similar to the WHO’s definition, which is: a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. I believe health encases our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies and that these should be well balanced and aligned with one other to ensure that we can live our best lives. When one of these bodies isn’t balanced, this will then affect the other aspects that make up our state of health.
What are your top 3 tips for staying healthy?
Sleep no less than 6 hours per night, ideally 7-8 hours.
Eat a varied diet with lots of colour including, fresh fruit and vegetables, quality protein and carbohydrates.
If possible, never miss more than two consecutive days of exercise a week. Move often and engage in incidental exercise.
What’s your go-to meal?
I love a bowl of berries, yoghurt, peanut butter and muesli. It’s the best way to start my day.
How do you prioritise yourself daily?
This changes depending on the day as my work schedule varies quite a bit and my days are long. I find being organised and scheduling ‘me-time’ helps me to prioritise myself. I believe it’s important to schedule some time for myself to set me up for my day. I try to do some form of exercise most days such as, a gym session, yoga class or my own practice at home, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. I tend to spend a lot of time driving around visiting clients so I try to make the most of this time. I listen to music and podcasts, focus on my breathing and reflect on all that I’m grateful for (which is easy when I get to visit clients down the coast!).
What’s one thing that’s challenging you at the moment?
Work-life balance and making decisions that align with my purpose. Currently my mantra is ‘trust the process’. I went back to this mantra often when there was lots to juggle when I was completing my yoga teacher training. Focusing on this really helped me to manage some challenging and tiring days. At the end of the day, I know if I put the hard work in now and maintain a positive attitude, then I’m going to be closer to living the life I envisage.
What are your top 3 values?
Honesty, authenticity and communication.
When do you feel like your truest self?
I feel like my truest self when I’m living a life doing the things that make me truly happy. These things include, being by the beach, surfing, exercising, spending time doing yoga, reading and socialising with friends. I find that anything that allows me to be in nature or by the sea helps to ground me. I also feel like my truest self when I can be creative by drawing on my skills and knowledge to help people live healthier and happier lives. If these things I’ve mentioned can be incorporated into my work through networking, creating a community and sharing knowledge with like-minded people, then I believe I’m living in alignment with my core purpose and values.
What’s one thing you can’t start your day without?
Music… and coffee of course. I believe music is a powerful tool that can set the tone for your day. It can easily change your mood and help create the attitude you need to tackle your day.
What’s one thing you’re recently grateful for?
The people I met when I completed my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. They’ve become family and we’re so supportive of each other’s big ideas and goals.
Want to get in touch with Liana or see more of what she’s been up to?
Rehab-a-cise (within The Woodshed)- Level 1, 643 Nepean Hwy, Brighton East
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