Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

May 21, 2019

How much daily exercise is required to have health benefits?

Which diseases can be prevented and even treated with exercise?

How can you exercise to prevent an overuse injury?


These are just three of the important questions you’ll hear the answers to in this Masterclass on the effects of exercise on your health.

My guest on the podcast this week is Sport and Exercise Medicine Doctor, John Orchard, who has a combination career in professional sport and sports administration, clinical sports medicine practice and research. John and I studied Medicine together at the University of Melbourne, and John now works in Sydney where amongst other appointments he is Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney. John is well respected as one of the leading sport and exercise physicians in Australia, and indeed internationally. His main area of clinical specialisation is muscle and tendon injuries of the lower limb and his general research stream is sports injury epidemiology and prevention. John works as the Chief Medical Officer for Cricket Australia and also has 20 years of experience working in various professional football codes in Australia.

In this episode John answered an array of questions on many aspects of the health effects of exercise activity. Whether you have been trying to exercise more, whether you don’t know how much and which type of activity is best, or whether you are already an endurance athlete wondering whether there are any downsides, this episode should be very valuable.

John is a long-time friend of mine so he gave me some time to talk about topics like:

  • What sport and exercise medicine actually is
  • How exercise may have a better benefit/risk profile than many drugs
  • The amount of exercise we all need to derive health benefits
  • Increasing beyond moderate exercise improves performance but not health
  • Which diseases can be prevented and even treated with exercise
  • How a simple step counter is as effective as the expensive ones
  • The dangers of both over and under exercise for our musculoskeletal system
  • How much chronic use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increases the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Which pursuits lead to most musculoskeletal injuries
  • How overuse injuries are mostly due to increases in exercise load
  • His view on how inactivity has led to more hip and knee replacements
  • Some thoughts on the benefits of sit/stand desks
  • The cardiac arrhythmia that endurance athletes are prone to
  • The conditions under which endurance exercise seems less risky
  • When a sport and exercise medicine doctor is useful

After the interview, I talk about a recent ultra-marathon I completed, how I went with the challenge I made last episode, and the challenge I’ll make for the next 28 days.

Please enjoy listening to John Orchard.

Live well, feel well, do well.


Andrew Davies



About the New Normal Project podcast: The podcast is aimed to inspire and empower you to live your most plant-based, body-moving and mind-focused lifestyle, by hearing about healthy lifestyle pillars such as nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, sleep, connection and purpose. I hope you’ll glean insights to help you make choices about your habits so you become more healthy, fulfilled and conscious.



Links to people, organisations & other resources mentioned

John Orchard’s website

John Orchard on Twitter: @DrJohnOrchard 

John Orchard on LinkedIn

Sport and exercise medicine in Australia

School of Public Health, Sydney University


Cricket World Cup

Cricket Australia

American Journal of Sports Medicine

British Journal of Sports Medicine

Selected publications from John Orchard

Further publications from John Orchard


Great Ocean Road Running Festival

Coeliac disease

Dr Malcolm Mackay

Dr Paul Froomes

Episode 52 of New Normal Project podcast with Natalie and Stuart McIntosh

New Normal Project podcast

New Normal Project website

New Normal Project on Facebook

New Normal Project on Instagram: @newnormalproject

New Normal Project on Twitter: @newnormalproj

Email Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies on Instagram: @andrewdavies66

Andrew Davies on Twitter: @andrewdavies66

Andrew Davies on Facebook

Subscribe to the New Normal Project newsletter