What is Exercise Physiology?
Exercise Physiology is a rapidly growing allied health profession that specialises in clinical exercise interventions for people at risk of developing, or with existing medical conditions and injuries.
Exercise Physiologists operate uniquely in the healthcare system in that we deliver exercise programs that also incorporate strategies to facilitate long-term health behavioural change.
The practice of Exercise Physiology involves providing the right education, support, exercise prescription and lifestyle modification advice to help you achieve your goals.
Why might you need Exercise Physiology?
An Exercise Physiologist is experienced in designing an exercise program for anyone in the community, you may be 5 years old or 95 years old, an elite athlete or a person with serious medical conditions, it is our job to be able to tailor an exercise and health plan to help you navigate your way back to good health.
An Exercise Physiologist’s job is to take the fear away from exercise and support you in your quest for optimal health.
What’s the difference between Exercise Physiology & Physiotherapy?
There are without doubt some similarities between the fields, after all we both tend to promote the use of exercise to restore people back from injury or illness. There are however also many differences. Physiotherapy typically focuses on supporting the person during the initial phases of an injury and as such will use modalities such as ultrasound and TENS machines to minimise tissue damage and support an expeditious recovery during the acute phase of an injury. They may also prescribe some low level exercises to restore range of motion and tissue integrity. Some Physiotherapists move beyond these treatments to more advanced exercises but the majority of the work is in the early stages of injury management.
Exercise Physiologists do at times provide consultations for acute injuries but typically assist people restore their movement once the acute and sub acute phases of injury have passed. We commonly see people who have sustained an injury 4-6 weeks ago and while their acute symptoms have passed, their movement quality and condition has not returned, and this is where we feel exercise physiology comes into its own. We take the time to design a thorough exercise rehabilitation program, that focuses not only on their acute injury site but also on what may be deeper underlying causes of their injury. Our detailed approach ensures a restoration and even an improvement on the person’s pre-injury condition, and better likelihood of preventing further injury.
What about the difference between Exercise Physiology & Personal Training?
If you were to walk into our gym and see us working one on one with a client you could easily confuse us for a Personal Trainer. However it is what is behind the scenes that is the big difference. Firstly an Exercise Physiologist has at least four years of university education during which time they have gained an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics/kinesiology, pathology, nutrition and exercise programming that simply cannot be matched by a short-term personal training course. This does not mean we are dismissing personal training, in fact the personal training qualifications are improving all the time, and many experienced Personal Trainers have learnt a tremendous amount “on the job”.
Our Exercise Physiology services, in particular our Exercise and Health Coaching Packages, offer the best of both worlds – our clinical knowledge and training, and the attention to detail only a one on one training session can bring.