An exercise physiologist is an important part of injury recovery treatments. Patients who are injured, have recently undergone surgery, or are healing can take advantage of the health services offered by these professionals. They also play a key role in addressing chronic illnesses. Unlike medical doctors that rely on medicine, these medical experts rely on exercise and fitness programs that boost their patient’s health, restore function to injured areas, improve range of motion, and boost overall wellness. The exercise plans recommended will be based on the patient’s medical history, their current diagnosis, and the goal in mind. Patients who have been referred to an exercise physiologist by their General Practitioner (GP) can learn more at Movement 101 – Health Clinic in Botany.
Exercise physiologists are an important part of many companies including sporting teams and clubs, healthcare companies, and more. They use their skills and knowledge to help athletes and employees heal and maintain the highest level of health and performance. To join this profession, one needs to have undergone a bachelor’s degree program in physical therapy or physiology. There are other requirements to be met depending on the state and area of practice.
What Does An Exercise Physiologist Do?
Exercise physiologists focus on helping patients to get over the effects of chronic diseases, improve cardiovascular function, develop flexibility, and build body composition. These professionals also mostly deal with injuries and conditions at the sub-acute or acute phase.
Some of their duties include;
- Analysis of the patient’s medical history. This is used to develop appropriate exercise treatment plans and fitness regimen
- Perform stress and fitness tests using specialized medical equipment. This can help in determining the right exercises for specific treatment needs.
- Conduct tests aimed at measuring oxygen usage, blood pressure, heart rhythm, and other vital indicators
- Develop exercise programs that improve patient health
- Oversee patient’s clinical tests to ensure safety.
- Exercise physiologists are geared towards improving the function and performance of the body. They are trained to address a wide range of health problems including diabetes, pulmonary diseases, cancer and cancer treatment, and more.
Most exercise physiologists work closely with healthcare professionals to ensure that patients enjoy holistic and all-around medical help. They should not be confused with fitness and health instructors. Fitness and health instructors work with healthy people to help them lose excess fat and get in shape. On the other hand, exercise physiologists use exercises to address the health needs of patients who suffer from injuries, pain, and other health concerns.
Becoming An Exercise Physiologist
To become an exercise physiologist, you need a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field or a science-related course. Common science-related courses that can put you on track include biology, kinesiology, anatomy, and nutrition.
Exercise physiologists are required to further their studies after they have completed their bachelor’s degree. Earning a master’s degree or a doctorate puts them on track to becoming specialized in their field. High school students who are interested in pursuing a career in exercise psychology can begin by taking physiology, anatomy, physics, and other science-related courses.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Each state has its own requirement for exercise psychologists to become professionals who can safely practice. Some states have licensing examinations for exercise physiologists while others have pending legislation regarding the requirement for these professionals to practice.
Exercise physiologists can boost their training and reputation by obtaining additional certifications like the Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) certification. To qualify for this certification, the applicant will be required to have graduated from the university with a relevant bachelor’s degree. The certification exam must also have been taken and the applicant must partake in continuing education courses at 5 years intervals.
To become an exercise physiologist, interested persons will be required to have some or all of the following qualities
Compassion – Exercise physiologists are expected to be compassionate enough to help their patients address pain and discomfort. These professionals must exhibit compassion while also working on ways to reduce pain using personalized exercise programs.
Decision Making – Exercise physiologists are decision-makers. They need to make the right decisions for their patients based on the patient’s health and medical history.
Detail-Oriented – Treating pain can be a complex process. Exercise physiologists are expected to be detail-oriented so that they can identify the minor details that can impact the health and progress of their patients.
The exercise physiologist will also be required to be highly professional while following the strict rules guiding the profession. Experienced exercise physiologists who are compassionate, detail-oriented, and precise when making decisions have a better chance of getting more clients.