An Exercise Physiologist is an allied health professional with expert medical knowledge of the human body and the role exercise plays in health, fitness and reducing the onset or symptoms of chronic disease. Effectively an Exercise Physiologist uses exercise as medication to help you treat your condition! But how do they do this?
Exercise Physiologists have a three-pronged approach to health care and rehabilitation, which is vital to achieving the best results. Firstly, probably, most importantly, they tailor the exercises to you. When meeting with an Exercise Physiologist for the first time they will conduct a thorough assessment of you, gathering information on things like your motivation, exercise history and previous medical or injury history. They will then use this information to decide the best way to deliver your exercise plan – exercises specific to you and what you can or cannot do! This plan may include one on one gym based exercise, group exercise, home exercise or even hydrotherapy.
Secondly, Exercise Physiologists educate and facilitate behavioural change. They don’t keep all this knowledge to themselves. Exercise Physiologists deliver together with exercise, the knowledge on how to transfer these movement strategies into your every day life – making the things you do at home that little bit easier. Additionally, they are trained in behavioural change, aiming to increase your current attitudes and beliefs towards physical activity or exercise from doing little or none to some.
Finally, the combination of these things promotes long term lifestyle modification. Thus, enabling you to exercise more and more independently and effectively. Research has shown that once someone has seen an Exercise Physiologist, they (even those with chronic disease) are capable of maintaining their physical activity levels on their own for years to come.