What Is Exercise Physiology? - Video

Exercise Physiology is a growing field of study that focuses on the body's response to exercise and to other types of physical activity. This field has become very important to the health care industry, with more and more people beginning to use exercise to prevent and improve health problems. Most students of this branch of health care become Exercise Physiologists.

Exercise Physiology Overview

People who have cancer, chronic heart problems, arthritis and other serious medical problems can benefit from certain physical activities. Unfortunately, many of these people have trouble exercising because they're limited by their diseases. This is where Exercise Physiologists come in. These professionals are trained to understand how the body responds to exercise and to other types of physical activity.

Exercise Physiologists know how to assess a patient's condition and prescribe an exercise plan that is appropriate for the patient's needs. When designing exercise plans, they consider how a specific physical activity will affect someone with lung disease or a bad heart. They also consider the patient's ability to move and use certain muscles.

After creating a feasible plan that will be safe for the patient, Exercise Physiologists often monitor the patient's workouts. In addition to watching the patient exercise, Exercise Physiologists also monitor the patient's blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level. If something seems off, the patient will be asked to slow down or exercise harder.

Careers in Exercise Physiology

Most Exercise Physiologists can be found working in clinical rehabilitation and health promotion. However, there are a number or professionals who choose to specialize in fitness. These Exercise Physiologists often work with athletes and with people who want to lose weight or get in shape. They are typically hired as instructors or directors for wellness programs, sports programs, fitness clubs and rehabilitation programs, though some choose to work as independent consultants.

Employment opportunities exist in research and academia as well. The need for research scientists trained in Exercise Physiology is growing. Colleges and universities also need knowledgeable Exercise Physiologists to teach students about the field.

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