Interested In The Science Of Staying Healthy Through Exercise? Consider A Career As An Exercise Physiologist

May 22, 2015

Exercise physiology is an allied healthcare field. Exercise physiologists focus on helping patients use exercise to get fitter and enjoy overall good health. They also use exercise to treat patients who have certain medical conditions. This is a very rewarding career that is ideal for someone who is interested in the science of staying healthy through exercise.

Detailed Job Description

An exercise physiologist is more than just a personal trainer that you typically see in gyms. Exercise physiologists are qualified professionals who have studied a range of subjects relating to this field at a university level. They have an in-depth knowledge about the human body and how exercise benefits the different parts of the body and the mind, from the musculoskeletal system to the cardiovascular and the endocrine systems.

Gap Medics students enjoying zip lining on the jungle adventure in Thailand.jpg Part of the role of an exercise physiologist includes prescribing exercise routines either for overall fitness or for rehabilitation purposes. They use exercise to treat a suite of diseases and problems including diabetes, depression, cancer, obesity, asthma and arthritis. They often help the patient with special nutrition and dietary plans in order to get the best results out of their exercise routines.

It is necessary for the exercise physiologist to encourage their patients to develop healthy habits so that they can treat their medical condition successfully and keep the symptoms under control. Exercise physiologists also often work alongside other health professionals such as physiotherapists, podiatrists and occupational therapists in order to give patients the best possible care.

An exercise physiologist can work in a number of different work settings, from hospitals, private practices, rehab centres and other related medical centres. A number of these professionals may also be employed by gyms. It is also possible for an exercise physiologist to get into the field of research or get employed by professional sportspersons to achieve peak fitness.

Education and Training Requirements

To practice in this field, you need to need to study at university and complete a four year degree course in Exercise Physiology. Select universities in Australia, including the Murdoch University offer this degree course. The course curriculum includes subjects such as physiology, psychology, nutrition and biometrics. As part of the coursework you would also have to create appropriate rehabilitation and fitness programmes for specific medical conditions.

However, if the course is not available in the university of your choice you have the option of undertaking other courses that are relevant to this field such as a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Applied Science or Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science. Most of these are three year degree courses.

After obtaining your degree, you can then apply to become a member of the ESSA (Exercise & Sports Science Australia). This is an organisation that oversees, represents and supports all exercise and sports science practitioners in Australia.

With work schedules getting more and more hectic, a number of people forget to fit enough exercise into their daily routines. This has led to a number of health issues ranging from diabetes to obesity. A rise in these conditions has made it necessary for people to consult with exercise physiologists, making this a field that is in great demand with a huge earning potential.