What Is The Role Of An Exercise Physiologist?
Many people only get to find out about exercise physiologists after they get a referral from their General Practitioner. If you have been referred to an exercise physiologist, chances are high that you have visited a click site in search of information about who they are and what they do. This article addresses your need by taking you through everything you need to know about an exercise physiologist.
Who Is An Exercise Physiologist?
Exercise physiologists are trained professionals who have undergone extensive university training on the treatment of different medical conditions and pain. These professionals are trained to treat health conditions using exercise as the main tool. They are also equipped to help patients map out a long-term exercise plan that’ll improve their health and wellness.
With exercise physiologists, patients who suffer from conditions like heart diseases and diabetes can enjoy a lot of health advantages. Patients who are also at risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease can also take advantage of the services offered to prevent health disasters.
Exercise physiologists often take a holistic approach to treating issues presented by their patients. The goal is to help each patient to regain their strength and stamina, restore range of motion, and improve their confidence, health, and wellness. Patients can also learn better ways to avoid injuries in the future with help from these professionals.
Conditions that can be prevented or managed with help from an exercise physiologist include;
- Cardiovascular disease
- Overweight problems and obesity
- Mental health and mood-related conditions
- Diabetes and gestational diabetes
- Cancer and cancer recovery
- Osteoporosis and arthritis
- COPD and pulmonary diseases
- Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral Palsy
- Pre and post-surgical rehabilitation
- Chronic pain and chronic fatigue
Duties of an Exercise Physiologist
The duties of an exercise physiologist can include;
- Carrying out a comprehensive physical assessment of patients
- Performing fitness and stress tests with medical equipment. They also analyze the results and use this in exercise prescription
- Analyze the patient’s medical history to assess their risks during exercise. This can play a huge role in determining the exercises to prescribe and the best possible fitness regimen for each patient.
- Measure patient’s blood pressure, heart rhythms, oxygen levels, and other key vital metrics to determine whether they are under stress or not
- Develop and carefully plan exercise programs to improve patient’s health and wellness
- Offer exercise programs in-clinic and outside of clinics including in gyms and at home.
- Patient education and discussion
- Healthcare team coordination to ensure desired results
- Telehealth services to guide patients through their exercise regimen.
Exercise physiologists are also trained to educate patients about their bodies and how it works. Through education, patients will learn more about safe manual handling and lifting, ergonomics and injury prevention, and more. The information provided will help patients when engaging in their exercises and will also help them to remain conscious of their health and wellness in all areas.
Patients are often referred to exercise physiologists after they have undergone surgery or have been involved in an accident that has caused severe injuries. Exercise physiologists offer detailed and comprehensive rehabilitation solutions aimed at restoring health and wellness. To ensure the desired results, exercise physiologists integrate themselves into the patient’s medical team and work closely with the whole team to ensure a common goal.
Unlike physiotherapists, exercise physiologists work with patients from the earliest stages of their rehabilitation. Many exercise physiologists address common acute conditions that affect the full functioning of the body.
Exercise Physiologists vs Personal Trainers
While the job description may appear the same, exercise physiologists should not be confused with personal trainers or fitness instructors. Exercise physiologists undergo at least four years of training in a university and then proceed to a post-graduate level where they obtain their Master’s or Doctorate degrees.
Exercise physiologists will also be required to take on accreditation examinations before they can practice. All of this training is aimed at ensuring that the professionals understand what is required of them and how to address patient’s issues when presented.
On the other hand, personal trainers are focused on the healthy population of clients who wish to get in shape, lose weight, build muscles, and become fit. Fitness trainers are not required to go through extensive training on the human body and physiology as required of exercise physiologists.
In addition, fitness trainers cannot address the health needs of patients dealing with conditions like cardiovascular complications, cancer, musculoskeletal problems, neurological issues, and metabolic conditions. Patients who have health concerns relating to their range of motion, physical fitness, and others can visit an exercise physiologist for help.