Why you should see an Exercise Physiologist?

If I told you there was a medication that could:

  • Reduce your;

  • Pain

  • Weight

  • Fat mass

  • Waist circumference

  • Total cholesterol

  • Blood pressure

  • Risk of chronic disease

  • Risk of falls

AND

  • Improve your;

  • Strength

  • Aerobic Fitness

  • Flexibility

  • Balance

  • Muscle mass

  • Mental Health


Would you take it?


Like any medications, there are some side effects:


You MAY experience some of the following:

  • Muscular soreness

  • Sweating

  • Flushing and redness of the face and skin


If taken or administered incorrectly you may also experience:

  • Light-headedness

  • Dizziness

  • Pain

  • Injury


If I told you there was someone who was an EXPERT in your medication and it was in fact the only type of medication they administered, and ever administered.


If I told you that the person administering this medication was a University Educated Allied Health Professional with knowledge of the human body including all of its physiology. This person’s training also gave them the knowledge and understanding of how this medication interacts with the other medications you take and how to appropriately adjust the dose of this medication to minimise any possible side effects.


Would you take it?


If you answered yes, you should probably see an Exercise Physiologist. As Exercise Physiologists we prescribe exercise in a similar way in which a doctor prescribes medication. Except we only prescribe one type of medication, and we know it back to front.


The way we do this is by completing a thorough initial assessment. Where applicable and appropriate we assess:

  • Your medical history

  • Your current medication

  • Your current physical activity levels including likes and dislikes

  • Your resting measurements (Blood Pressure, Pulse, Oxygen Saturation, Blood Sugars)

  • Your Anthropometric Data (Height, Weight, Waist and Hip Circumference, Body Fat Percentage)

  • Your cardiorespiratory fitness levels

  • Your upper and lower body strength

  • Your joint range of motion or flexibility

  • Your balance, stability and core strength


Most importantly we ask you what your goals are and what you want to achieve!


We take this information to understand the right type and dose of medication for you. This being the right volume, intensity and type of exercise for you to achieve your goals.







So what does this look like?


Example 1


Bob, a 68 year old male with diabetes, history of heart disease, who had a total knee replacement two years ago, currently taking a number of different medications to manage his chronic disease came to see an Exercise Physiologist (EP). Bobs attended with the goal of losing weight and improving his fitness so he can keep up with his grandkids!


Bob’s assessment told us he was taking a medication called a beta blocker, he currently did no regular physical activity, and he had a waist circumference that put him at a health risk, plus he had stage 1 hypertension. The physical assessment showed poor lower body strength, balance, range of motion in his knee he had replaced and reduced cardiorespiratory fitness when compared to other males his age.


Bob’s EP knew that because of his medication that slows his cardiac function he needed to use other methods other than heart rate and blood pressure to ensure he exercises safely and chose to use RPE (rating of perceived exertion) during their sessions. Because of Bob’s new knee he was not able to get on the bike yet, but the EP knew the exact speed he could walk comfortably at to improve his fitness and help him achieve his goal! The EP also prescribed Bob exercises to improve his lower body strength and flexibility and prescribed the perfect amount to ensure Bob felt better after his session and not sore for the next few days. The EP also took the time to educate Bob on exercises he can do at home and how often to complete these exercises to help manage his diabetes and assist him in losing weight and made sure he could complete these and still go to bowls 2 days a week and spend time with his grandkids.


On the other hand…


Lisa, a 34 year old female who gets some pain on the inside of her knee when she runs, comes to see an EP. Lisa’s goal is to get some advice to help her knee pain and improve her running so she can complete her local park run in under 30 minutes!


Lisa’s assessments showed she had a history of knee and low back pain. Her current exercise routine was doing a park run every Saturday morning and completing the “Abs, Bums and Thighs” at her local gym once a week. Lisa’s physical assessment showed reduced range of motion and strength at her hips, poor lateral core strength and an antalgic (pain avoiding) running gait.


Lisa’s EP prescribed her a gym based exercise program she can complete to strengthen her hips and core, based on what was found in the assessment. Lisa’s EP also took her through some running drills to improve her running gait and prescribed her a 6 week running program to help her achieve her goal of 5km under 30mins!


To conclude, Exercise IS Medicine and Exercise Physiologists are the experts in prescribing this medication. As Exercise Physiologists we pride ourselves in tailoring everything we do to you! If you or someone in your family is looking to set some health and fitness goals, but are currently holding back due to pain, an old injury or not knowing what to do, we are here and you can be confident that we can cater for both what you want and what you need.


Still not sure what an Exercise Physiologist is? Click Below.


References

  • Riebe, D., Ehrman, J., Liguori, G. and Magal, M., 2018. ACSM's Guidelines For Exercise Testing And Prescription. 10th ed.

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