Fitness apps for the new year


I started using this app a few years ago to improve my cardiovascular fitness, and can personally vouch for its success. With gradually increasing interval training, this app guides you through an 8-week program to get you to your goal of running 5 kilometres. There is voice prompting that tells you when to run and when to walk, and it can be used in addition to your favourite playlist or podcast.


Strava is great for the more competitive athlete, so perfect if you’ve set goals with your friends and want to motivate each other to push further each workout. It is a GPS app for various forms of exercise, where you can compare times and distances with friends for some friendly competition and motivation. You can select the type of workout you’ll be doing, with options ranging from running to cycling to ice skating to wheelchair activity. I have just downloaded this one myself, and look forward to trying it out! You can expect a blog review from me in the near future.

Down Dog

This is another app that I have had great personal success using. With Down Dog, you can personalise your yoga practice from anywhere you want, by adjusting the level, time and style of yoga each time you use the app. There are voice instructions, as well as a video guide. You can elect to have music playing along, and can even choose which instructor’s voice you want to hear. Whether you’re after a short, beginner-level practice to unwind after a long day, or a longer, more advanced practice, this app is adaptable for your needs.

Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club is very versatile. It provides training opportunities from strength and endurance to yoga, which makes it great if you’re after an all-rounder app. When you first sign up to the app, it suggests some workouts for you, based on the frequency of your exercise. I am a particular fan of the variety of bodyweight strength workouts – there are 98 No-Equipment Workouts to choose from!

7 Minute Workout

This app offers high-intensity 7 minute workouts for fitness and weight loss. I think this one looks particularly appealing for those days when you just don’t have time to commit to a full workout. It promises weight loss in 30 days, which isn’t really a good selling point to me, as we all know the key to weight loss is a balanced diet and exercise suitable to your personal needs. However, I am willing to give it a shot and see how it improves my health over a 30-day period. Stay tuned for my review!


Good luck with your fitness goals, let us know if you give any of these apps a go!


Patterson Lakes Secondary College Scholarships

Why give out a scholarship?

Some of our Carrum based Doctors and nurses have had the amazing opportunity to work with some of the incredible staff and students over at Patterson Lakes Seconday College, through our “Doctors in schools” program.

At Atticus, we really value education and being involved and able to support the local community, and during our time together with these fantastic fellow local community members, we realised we all held very similar passion, purpose and values through our day-to-day life and work. Evident through the Patterson Lakes Secondary College Principal’s message on their website, which you can read below;

Why Patterson Lakes?

“For 50 years we have provided young people with diverse experiences in a caring learning community. The passion of our staff in providing students with the opportunities to chase their dreams is what sets us apart. The College has numerous partnerships with local community groups, seeing itself as an important hub of the local community.Patterson River prides itself on recruiting high performing staff who match the values of the school: Persistence, Excellence, Community & Respect; along with providing staff with excellent ongoing professional development and training. ”

After experiencing all of this in person through all of our involvement, we decided to take the next step to support our local community and specifically those younger members within it. As we have had a fantastic relationship with Patterson River Secondary College over the years, and from that we decided to provide two Patterson Lakes students with a scholarship. As Patterson Lakes and its students are a school with a very bright future, and we wanted to help out in whatever way we could.

We were proud to provide these scholarships to these incredible students

The two really hardworking and dedicated students that were selected were:

1. Thomas Year 10 – going into year 11

2. Linda Year 12 – going on to uni

What was the scholarship exactly?

Each winner received $2500 towards their future education, providing $5000 in total towards the future of two extremely bright and talented students whom will go on to go great things for themselves and their communities.

The students received their awards at their presentation night last year on December the 12th 2018.  Floyd, the Atticus Health Director, was absolutely thrilled to be invited to make a short speech and present the prizes to the well deserved winners. We wish them the best of luck and all the hope for their bright futures ahead.

We want to give particular thanks to Lisa Cavey – Vice Principal, Daniel Dew – Principal as well as all members of the Wellness Team, particularly Craig Waldron, for helping us make this happen.

Spring Into the Garden: How Gardening Keeps Us Healthy


The Queensland Government recommends gardening due to the ways it keeps you active. Gardening can encourage the use of many motor skills, improve endurance and strength and keep you moving. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, weeding the garden beds or just planting new seedlings, gardening provides a range of movement that you might not even recognise as exercise since you’re having so much fun.

Getting Outdoors

If you find yourself stuck inside all week at work, a spot of gardening on the weekend is perfect for your dose of Vitamin D. 15-30 minutes of sunlight is recommended to get the standard amount of Vitamin D, which is easily achieved by daily watering of your plants. However don’t forget to slip, slop and slap if you’re planning to be out for an extended period of time.

Time Together

Gardening is the perfect activity to do as a family. Everyone can get involved, and the kids will love seeing what they can grow. Marigolds, cherry tomatoes or snow peas are great starter plants that will give them something to enjoy soon after planting.

Healthy Ingredients

After putting all the love into your plants, there’s nothing better than taking them to the kitchen table. Fresh produce is the best thing to add to your diet, and it doesn’t get fresher than when it comes from your own backyard! To see which plants you’ll need for which vitamins, have a look at this guide:


Best Things to Plant in Spring

If you’re just getting your garden started and want some tasty treats, it’s not too late. The best plants to begin with in spring are tomatoes, strawberries and leafy greens such as spinach, silverbeet and lettuce, which provide quick reward. Just be wary of snails and slugs, who will want to munch on your leaves as well!

For a more thorough list of plants to start in spring, check out this Bunnings guide.


I hope this has encouraged more of you to get out into your yard this spring. Why not share some of your growing pictures with us? 🙂

Happy gardening! Saana



Sun protection tips!

Welcome to summer!

With such a beautiful start to our summer weather, I thought I’d share some tips on how to keep ourselves protected from the sun. We all know the adage “Slip, slop, slap”, but did you know it’s been upgraded to include two new recommendations? Let’s see how we can keep ourselves safe in the summertime.


Slip – on protective clothing

A tshirt with a high neckline, long sleeves and thick fabric is the best protection from the summer sun. A rash vest is a great way to stay protected if you’re going in the water as well.

Slop – on plenty of SPF 50+ sunscreen

Remember, even on a cloudy day, the sun can still reach you by refracting through the clouds. Daily application of a facial moisturiser with SPF 30 or higher is a great practice to get into. Don’t forget to reapply after swimming or strenuous exercise.

Slap – on a wide-brimmed hat

Whether you prefer a nice straw sunhat or a sensible legionnaire’s hat, you should always have your hat ready to slap on your head before leaving the house.

Seek – shade

When out and about, seek the shadier option to walk along. Check which direction the sun is coming from, and choose the side of the road that the trees are best protecting you. However, if you’re having a picnic or barbeque in the park, be aware that dappled shade does not fully protect you, and you should take precautions to thoroughly keep yourself sun-safe.

Slide – on sunglasses

UV sunglasses are essential for anyone who spends time outdoors. Be sure to check that the sunglasses you purchase have UV protection to get the complete benefits.

If you want to be extra vigilant, the Bureau of Meteorology website includes in its forecast hours when sun protection is recommended, as well as the predicted UV index rate for the day. Sun protection is recommended when it is UV 3 or more. It’s always worthwhile to check out the BOM when planning a day out – you never know what to expect in our changeable state of Victoria. You might need sunglasses in the morning and an umbrella by midday!


So keeping these tips in mind, we can enjoy our glorious summer weather with confidence that we are all doing the best to protect our skin. Enjoy a sun-safe summer!


Pet Stories

I recently met a fellow GP at a dinner.  I hadn’t seen him for a long time and so he asked me – “Hey Floyd, how you doing?”.  And my response – “Yeh not bad, just trying to get through my mid life and not become an arsehole”.

A bit harsh?  Maybe but true.

When I was a kid I did some dumb things.

I passed out and got dragged home in the back of a divvy van, to sleep it off in the bathtub.  Etc.  You know the drill.  Not perfect.

Then I reached midlife – mortgage, kids, career, responsibility, politics… status?  I gotta fend for myself in the madhouse man.  It’s a dog eat dog world.  Right?  Maybe.

Pet Stories:

Story 1 –

Last year we made an ambitious trip to Noosa.  My wife had a wedding which she was in the bridal party.  We all decided to drive.  We left Melbourne on Wednesday, headed for the wedding at Noosa on Friday, to get back to Melbourne by the Sunday, ready for work/ school on the Monday… right?  I know – a bit full on.  But all was going well.  We made the wedding, stopped off to see my bro in Brissie, had great Chinese food in Goondiwindi on Saturday night… brushed our teeth even on the main street, hopped in the Kia Carnival and started to drive.

There were lots of things to see crossing the road, including little fur-ball mice, which amazed me.  And of course, kangaroos,  as you’d expect.  I got pretty good and looking out for them, yet keeping going.  At about 6:30am, somewhat just after dawn there were a group of roos.  I slowed down, they watched, and then a crazy one with seemingly a death wish jumped straight onto the road and bang (a small bang mind you) – I hit it.  And the kids knew it.  They looked back, to see it limping away and they said “dad, go back, we need to take it to the vet”.  I said, “I can’t, hopefully the car’s ok and we’ve gotta keep going.  It’ll be too hurt to live”.  And of course, in the throes of receiving my moral critique I didn’t see the temperature rising on the dash gauge.  Not until smoke started to pour out of the bonnet .  Yep, the radiator was cactus and I quickly pulled over.  We were in a “no network” zone.  Fortunately the GPS worked, so I quickly took a screenshot of that to capture our location.  I called triple 000 and thanks to the very helpful police officer, organised a tow truck and we finally made our way to Jerilderie, NSW.  Fortunately, with some of our left over Chinese food.   The car – eventually a write off.  The kids in the tow truck, me with the copper.  The kids, almost in tears, explained to the tow truck driver how we’d very sadly hit the roo.  Stuart, the driver, said, “roos, I hit about 5 a week.  Glad I got a big grill in front, so I can just keep driving”.  After they told me the story, I said, “yeah, the next time we drive, we’ve gotta have a big bull bar”, and the kids said – “but dad, that’ll hurt the kangaroos even more”.  Hmm.


Story 2 –

I grew up with crazy pets, and in keeping with what my wife would tell me in during any real “fight/ argument” “Floyd, you’ve always been trying to recreate your childhood in our house!”.  So – we have some crazy pets at home, I admit.  Presently a dog, a parrot, guinea pigs and now a “pet” ringtail possum who walks the house as if he pays the rates.  But anyway, about the parrot “Skittles”.  Now I wasn’t meant to buy a bird, because my wife was a bit anti caged birds.  So, of course, after years of depravation I cracked and took the kids to a pet shop one day.   We looked at all the options and came home with – you guessed it, a parrot, cage, bell, swing and anything else they wanted to up sell me.  My wife is a beautiful person and stayed with me none the less, realising I’m still a kid… who she loves and hates all at once!  (Nat – you do still love me despite the bird right???)  Anyway, as a compromise about the “cage”, we didn’t clip Skittle’s wings, instead we let her fly around the house, then into the backyard at times, and we’d be able to coax her back.  But one night, we all came home entering the front door, and within a flash Skittle’s flew out.  It was dark.  My kids pulled out every torch they could, and looked in every tree they could.  Their hearts were broken….almost.  And my response, after remembering the galah I’d bought from Vic Market all those years ago which flew away and never came back, “Skittles is gone guys, she’s probably been eaten by a cat, she doesn’t know how to look after herself/ himself” (you know the issue about never quite being sure with birds).  I tried to get my kids to “accept the real world”.  But they didn’t.  They hopped on their iPads and created posters – “Lost, Parrot – Skittles, $100 rearward”.   The next day they put those posters up everywhere around the neighbourhood.  I kinda felt sorry for them, but shut up, knowing that I’d been such a sad sack the night before.  I went to work.

I got a call that afternoon from my son, “Dad, someone saw Skittles at the corner of Edward Street.  And, someone else called and said that they were walking their dog and she sat on her shoulder for 10 minutes before flying into a big tree”.  They were on a wild orienteering trip around the streets, following all the clues they had gathered.  But nothing.

The next day, late afternoon, we got a call from an animal emergency centre a couple of suburbs away – Skittles was alive and safe (and quiet and scared)!  A family was playing in a park, she played with them, they caught her and handed her in.  Good souls.  I was flabbergasted.


Story 3 –

The other night there was a big storm – funny that in the middle of summer.  Reminds me of living in Queensland.  We had just put the kids to bed, and I was sitting upstairs when on the outside of the window – I saw 3 baby ring tail possums hanging on the window frame.  I had no idea how they got there, not many trees around.  But, I could only think that they fell off their mother’s back.  We woke the kids and brought them up to see.  Two of the possums crawled away, heading towards mum who was on the flat roof nearby.  The third one sat on the window frame, curled up like a field mouse – almost round. It didn’t really move.  Fear? Sickness? Just the runt?  The kids watched, I got a bit bored so turned away.  Then I heard a loud “Dad, there’s a cat!”.  I looked back.  It was true.  There it was – orange and white, all stealth and ready to pounce.  It was about to unfold.  Survival of the fittest, no David Attenborough, but 5 kids and 2 confused parents.  Right, I had to stop the bloodshed.  I couldn’t just watch this happen.  Sorry David.  So, I opened the window and tried to get through.  My sternum stopped me. My wife tried the same – her boobs stopped her.  I got out onto the balcony, climbed onto the roof and grabbed the possum.  That all sounds more heroic than it is – I’m a failure at coping with heights – it was a simple job really.  But effective.  The possum had been saved from Cringer/ Battle Cat (He-Man fans will appreciate).

We unwrapped the thing to see that it had one blurry looking eye and one good eye.  Ok, it’s name was born “pirate”.  Pirate’s been eating pears, and more pears, and more pears.  His eye cleared up, but he’s still Pirate.  He’s a he – it’s easier to tell with possums.  But the question was – how would Frozbie, our rather large Australian Shepherd dog react?  After all, he’s basically a cattle dog – surely killing anything that looks like a mouse is in the breed/ job spec.  We tentatively watched Frozbie sniffing Pirate.  The jaws of life or death – nearby.  With a bit of training – some progress.  Again, the kids kept the faith throughout.

Now of course possums are nocturnal.  So Pirate basically sleeps all day, and comes out at night, raids the kitchen (mainly pears) and eats all our previously aesthetically pleasing indoor plants.  One funny thing – there’s a delicious pot plant near the piano and at night  you can distinctly tell what Pirate’s up to because there’s a “ghost” who plays the piano sometimes!

Anyway, so we just had to “trust” everything.  And so, we went out the other night and came back late.  What did we find – Pirate saturated in dog saliva.  Possum dreadlocks.  Yet, he still chooses to sit on the dog bed with Frozbie.  Snuggling.   Best buddies.  Again, I’m flabbergasted.

So, going back to my thoughts.  When I was a kid, I was optimistic, trusting, and put life and love before “practicality”.   Then I grew up, and life experience jaded me at times.  Repeatedly.  And, more worrying, I started to buy into the notion that life was about survival, underpinned by having enough money.  Money is important, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want to be frivolous.  But when you’re a kid – you don’t live to survive and make enough money etc.  That’s not the point of your life.  You’re born too wise for that.  You really live man. You love. You laugh. You cry.  You believe in Santa.  You shed a tear for road-kill.  You play with your friends and family.  You draw, you paint.  You sing.  You imagine.  You believe in the good of mankind (dog kind, possum kind).  You’re there for the people around you. You wish up on a star, and so put up posters to find your lost pets, even when the odds are one in a million.  You don’t start wars for the sake of the economy.  You’re oblivious to status.  Admittedly…you also do some dumb things along the way, and sleep it off in the bathtub.

So, going back to my rather random comment to my GP colleague about becoming an arsehole as an adult.  I meant it.  Remember, each one of us was born cool.  We turn into “survival machines”, but we were born free and cool.  Don’t ever let go of that.  For Skittles sake!


Merry Christmas everybody and may your New Year be something truly special ?

Atticus is an award winner!

An award!

We are so very proud to announce our team received a Teaching Excellence Award from Monash University recently, including a win by our superwoman Practice Manager, Samantha Allen, whom took home a well deserved award for her work in support.

Thank you to Monash University for entrusting the teaching of students to our care. Thank you to all the Atticus Doctors involved in the 5th year program – Dr Clement Lau, Dr Jeet Patel, Dr Shadab Fallahtafti, Dr Hardik Solanki and Dr Sai Andey, as well as our nurses – Helen, Clare and Sheridan.

Thank you to the students for being so motivated, and last but not least, thank you to all our patients for being so willing to allow the students to be a part of your care, so they may learn.

Atticus Health GP clinics continues to forge a positive relationship with Monash University, and very much looks forward to partaking in the training of medical students in 2019.

Yours sincerely,

Department of General Practice, GP affiliate Awards Dinner, 2018

What do you want your children to remember?

Your chest is swelling..

You feel like it’s going to burst, you take a deep breath that enables the expansion, while your smile breaks across your face like a sunrise breaking over the horizon. Your eyes light up and glisten with unshed tears. You’re so proud…

You are so unbelievably proud. That’s your child, and you love them so much. They haven’t done anything particularly amazing, they’ve just stopped and told you they love you, given you a hug when you needed it most, helped their sibling, cleaned up after themselves or you’ve just spotted them sharing and playing with another child who looked lonely. Just something small, an everyday thing, that makes you appreciate all those little things that make life worth all the chaos.

These small fleeting moments of life are our memories that we carry throughout our journey, shaping us as humans – the only thing we truly own. We cherish them and actively seek out ways to create new or recreate old memories.

Our children’s memories matter to us even more than our own. We want them to experience all the good things life has to offer, we want them to feel and see every ounce of pride and love we feel for them and to always remember that we do, no matter what the future may hold. We want to provide them with the best and most efficient care possible. To be able to trust in a healthcare provider who will genuinely care for them, and not see them as just as a number but as an actual person, with memories and feelings that we want to preserve, maintain and continue to grow, learn and expand for years and years to come.

Make sure your child’s memories are in the right hands, by making sure their health is in the right hands. What do you want your children to remember when they look back across their life? Ensure it was of healthy happy years.

This coming year, make sure your health and that of your children’s is in safe hands and book in with an Atticus Health GP so you can look after your children’s and your memories for the long-term.

Happy Holidays, with love from Atticus Health.