What is an Exercise Physiologist? Being fit and healthy can help you recover from various health ailments. However, if you are interested in harnessing the power of exercise to help you lead a healthier life, you need to consult an exercise physiologist (EP).
This healthcare professional puts together customized workout programs for individuals to help them manage acute and chronic conditions, injuries, and disabilities. EPs also provide their clients with information and advice on preventing injuries while working out. In addition, they ensure that the workouts they recommend are safe and effective.
Difference between an exercise physiologist and a personal trainer
Exercise physiologists mainly work with people with various health issues, such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, cancer, chronic pain, and depression. They also work with people who are at risk of developing medical problems.
The significant difference between a personal trainer and a physiologist is that the physiologist gives you workouts that aim to prevent or manage the disease or injury. They want to help you restore your physical function and wellness.
They offer various interventions, such as lifestyle modification, physical activity, advice, and health education. In addition, they will work alongside your healthcare team to develop safe interventions to help you get healthy. Personal trainers usually work with a healthy population.
Difference between an exercise physiologist and physiotherapist
There are a lot of crossover similarities between a physiologist and a physiotherapist. This might leave you wondering whether you should book an appointment with a physiotherapist or physiologist.
In simple terms, an exercise physiologist will primarily manage your condition using exercise. A physiotherapist will assess, diagnose, and treat you using training, hands-on skills, and education.
Sometimes you might need to hire one of these professionals, and in other cases, you might need to hire both to help you manage and treat your condition.
If you are unsure which professional to see, consult a healthcare professional, and they will advise you on the best course of action.
When should you see an exercise physiologist?
Suppose you have a chronic disease. These professionals will help you in the management of various chronic diseases. These include:
- Cardiovascular issues
- Neurological Disease
- Metabolic issue
- Musculoskeletal issues, such as osteoporosis and arthritis
The goal is to help you improve your condition with a workout plan. When you have a chronic disease, you must consider many factors, such as your medication and movement range. An exercise physiologist understands this. They have the knowledge and skills to understand this and prescribe safe workouts customized to your individual needs.
Chronic pain management
Chronic pain refers to prolonged pain that lasts beyond the average period of healing or pain that goes on for three months or more. An exercise physiologist can prescribe workouts to help improve your quality of life and manage the pain.
Most people with chronic pain fear working out can worsen things. But programs that a professional has prescribed can help in pain management.
Pregnant or have just given birth.
Doing the wrong exercises can be quite harmful when you are pregnant. Therefore, it would be best if you did safe workouts during pregnancy and the post-natal period. This is because your body will undergo many changes during this time; therefore, you must adjust your movements accordingly.
Working out can be helpful when you have a mental illness, such as depression and anxiety. An exercise physiologist can prescribe workouts for individuals with mental illness. In addition, they have researched the benefits of working out to improve mental illness.
People with mental illness face specific barriers that might prevent them from getting active. An exercise physiologist understands this with their specialized training and can help you overcome these barriers. In addition, working out will help to enhance your mood and give you a more positive outlook on life. As a result, you will also be able to achieve more of your life.
Advice on lifestyle modification to improve your health status
You need behavioral change if you desire to become more active to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. This can be tough, especially if you are doing it independently. However, an exercise physiologist can work with you to help you make long-term lifestyle modifications that you will stick to.
Want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight by having an effective exercise plan
You want a customized workout program to help you attain your wellness and fitness goals.
This is especially if you have been inactive for an extended period. The Exercise physiologist can provide you with an exercise plan to help you get on track.
For cancer management
Workouts can help manage cancer—patients who start exercising following a cancer diagnosis experience less fatigue and side effects of chemotherapy and surgery.
Recovering from an injury
If you are recovering from an injury, the chances are high that you are already working with a physiotherapist to aid your recovery journey. Once you show improvement, the physiotherapist might refer you to an exercise physiologist to assist in your recovery and minimize the chances of re-injuring yourself. Therefore, these two professionals can work hand in hand to help in your recovery.
Other reasons to hire an exercise physiologist:
- For workplace assessments,
- To prescribe workouts for improving strength and function pre and post-surgery
Conclusion on exercise physiologist
An exercise physiologist is the best to consult for prescription workout programs for people with chronic conditions, injuries, or disabilities. These academically qualified health professionals can design and prescribe safe workout interventions. The good thing is that, in most cases, most health insurance companies cover services delivered by an exercise physiologist.