an elderly man lying on a bench holding dumbels under practitioner supervision

What Is Exercise Physiology And How Can It Help Me?

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An Accredited Exercise Physiologist or AEP is a university-qualified allied
health professional with specific knowledge and skills that can help design
and implement safe and effective exercise interventions for a wide range of
medical conditions, injuries, disabilities as well as the improvement of sporting
performance and injury reduction.

Some of the conditions that AEPs are trained in include:

– Musculoskeletal
– Sporting Performance
– Pain
– Cardiovascular
– Mental Health
– Metabolic
– Neurological
– Cancers
– Kidney
– Respiratory/Pulmonary
– Diabetes

AEPs in Australia are dual accredited and hold the foundational accreditation
of Exercise Science underneath their Exercise Physiology degree. This allows
them the basis of knowledge required for maximising sporting performance,
returning to sport from injury and reduction of potential injury risk.

There is an ever-growing body of research on the benefits of exercise for a
range of medical conditions. A recent meta-analysis found that exercise has
the potential to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events (such as heart
attack and stroke) by as much as 27%.

Another study published in the journal of Diabetologia found that increasing
physical activity can improve insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in
individuals with type 2 diabetes.

There is even research in the field of mental health that suggests exercise can
be an effective treatment for the symptoms of anxiety and depression. In
some cases, it can even be as effective as medication.

So how can an Exercise Physiologist help me?

An AEP can help by taking all of the relevant research surrounding the
condition you are struggling with and pairing it with your goals to create a
safe and effective exercise routine that will benefit you for years to come.
Exercise looks different for everyone and the way it is used will change from
person to person. By sitting down with an AEP you can express your goals,
and the symptoms you are struggling with the most to find a way to move
more.

What’s the difference between an Exercise Physiologist and a
Physiotherapist?

When working together the AEP and Physio can be a powerful combo.
Physiotherapists are trained in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of
musculoskeletal and movement disorders. They often focus on alleviating
pain and improving mobility and physical function. A physiotherapist will often take the
reins during the acute phase of an injury, ailment or recovery from surgery.
Helping to restore normal function, increase mobility and assist in the
management of pain.

After this stage has passed they can hand over their patient to an Exercise
Physiologist for additional long-term management of conditions with the use
of cardiovascular and resistance training (as well as other fitness principles).
By improving this patient’s knowledge of their condition and developing
exercises tailored to their needs, the patient can go on to self-manage their
condition and continue completing the activities they enjoy the most.
An exercise physiologist can be a valuable resource for those looking to move
more in an enjoyable way. They can help you to better understand your body,
set realistic goals, and design a personalized exercise program that takes into
account your individual needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking to
lose weight, improve your fitness, or simply enjoy an active and fulfilling
lifestyle, an exercise physiologist can help you to achieve your goals and make
movement a fun and enjoyable part of your daily routine.

So, if you’re ready to get moving, consider working with an exercise physiologist to help you reach
your fullest potential.

References:

Babyak, M., Blumenthal, J. A., Herman, S., Khatri, P., Doraiswamy, M., Moore, K.,
… & Krishnan, K. R. (2000). Exercise treatment for major depression:
maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months. Psychosomatic Medicine,
62(5), 633-638.

Blair, S. N., Cheng, Y., Holder, J. S., & Kohl, H. W., 3rd. (2019). Is physical activity
or physical fitness more important in defining health benefits? Medicine and
science in sports and exercise, 51(11), 2128-2139.

Dunstan, D. W., Howard, B., Healy, G. N., Owen, N., & De Courten, M. (2002).
High-intensity resistance training improves glycemic control in older patients
with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 25(2), 1729-1736.

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