What is an Exercise Physiologist?
You may or may not be aware of what a personal trainer does (designs tailor-made exercise plans for people, taking into account their goals and attributes) but do you know what an exercise physiologist does?
An exercise physiologist, or EP, designs exercise programmes, too, but for people who are at risk of, or who already have, chronic conditions or injuries, such as diabetes or arthritis. They have specialist training at university, where they learn not only about exercise but about its impact on the human body and a person’s mental health and wellbeing. At university over four years they learn about physiology, nutrition and psychology.
They know how exercise can affect, for example:
- Bone disorders such as osteoporosis
- Cardiovascular disease
An exercise physiologist can create a programme for you that will either help prevent conditions occurring, or manage and treat existing conditions. As our population increases and gets older, exercise physiologists will be in great demand, especially with people becoming more obese.
A great EP can prescribe exercise like a medication, knowing how the programmes they design especially for you will benefit you and your current circumstances. As always, they’ll take a detailed history and it will pay to be honest; the information you give them will form the basis of the programme they’ll draw up. And, as always, you’ll need to stick to their instructions religiously to see any benefit.