Exercise Physiology is the science of how exercise can influence the physiology of the body! Accredited Exercise Physiologists utilize this knowledge to prescribe effective exercise programs for rehab and relief from pain and discomfort as well as treat many chronic health conditions. However, we are often asked “What’s the difference between an Exercise Physiologist and a Personal Trainer”?
Both professions have a common goal of getting you active and improving your health and wellbeing, but here are five reasons why you should visit an exercise physiologist for your unique health needs:
- Qualifications:Exercise Physiologists complete a minimum 4-year university degree which includes extensive study and over 500 hours of placement in which they gain an in-depth knowledge of the human body and how it responds to exercise. In contrast, Personal Trainers are required to complete a minimum cert 4 in fitness which can take from 6 weeks to 12 months and covers training principles for apparently healthy adults only.
- Scope of Practice:Personal trainers are well- equipped to prescribe exercise for health populations (those without medical conditions or injuries) to stay fit and well. Exercise Physiologists on the other hand, can see healthy population and meet the needs of those with musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, mental health, cancer and metabolic conditions.
- Collaboration: Exercise Physiologists will ensure that the other members of your healthcare team (doctors, specialists, surgeons, allied health) are notified of your assessment findings and progress along the way. These health professionals will refer to each other for specialized advice to get the best outcome for those in their care. Since Exercise Physiology is a recognized allied health profession, you may also be eligible for Medicare and private health rebates.
- The Psychology of Exercise:Not only do Exercise Physiologists know what exercises will work best for you but they also receive education in behavior modification. They have skills to help you find ways to be motivated to exercise and implement long-term health behaviors. Their goal is to help you learn about what you need to do so you don’t need them!
- Ongoing Education:Just like any profession, Exercise Physiologists are required to comply with standards of accreditation that must be fulfilled annually – ensuring that prescribed exercise is always guided by the latest research. Personal trainers also need to do continuing education, but about half as much and only every two years.
If you have a condition or injury which would benefit from physical activity, but you aren’t sure where to start, an Exercise Physiologist is the right health professional for you.