What is an exercise physiologist, and do I need one?

Your health and fitness are the most important thing in your life. So it makes sense to have as many specialists as you can working with you to make sure you reach your goals. From personal trainers, fitness instructors, physios, nutritionists to your families and friends, they all play an important role in guiding and motivating you to perform at your best.

But what about an exercise physiologist (EP)? Do you need to use one? Do you even know what they do?

Let’s start with the basics – what is an exercise physiologist? Simply put it is someone who specialises in how the human body works. They give clients information and advice about what exercises can deliver safe and effective exercises for people who have medical conditions, injuries or disabilities.

They are university qualified allied health professionals and are the most qualified professionals in Australia when it comes to prescribing an exercise program.

Who should be looking at using an EP?

If you have a disability
If you have chronic pain
Have chronic illnesses or diseases
You are recovering from an injury
Suffering from a mental illness
Had a recent surgery
You are pregnant or have recently given birth.

One common question is what is the difference between a physiotherapist and an exercise physiologist?

A physio is very hands on involving manipulating the muscles and joints – they usually work with people with sports injuries and conditions. The main goal is to help the patient maximise their movement and hopefully recover and prevent future injuries.

An exercise physiologist takes a more hands-off approach and provides specific programs as part of a rehabilitation process.

An EP is also very different to a Personal Traine. A PT creates exercise programs for people who usually have no obvious health issues or limitations. Due to their extensive training and qualifications, EPs can improve the health and lifestyle of people who have serious physical and mental conditions.

The main benefits of using an EP:

Helps you live longer
Improves the quality of your life
Educates people to exercise the right way to exercise and how they can improve their lifestyle
Helps people fight diseases
Helps manage pain

An EP doesn’t just help people with illnesses and diseases – EPs can also play a vital role in helping athletes with their training. An athlete is always looking for that edge and having an EP on side could make that difference.

So how can an EP help an athlete?

Boost performance
Show how to avoid injuries
Recommend ways to make a quick recovery from any injuries
Ensuring they are in top physical condition

Basically they can provide a detailed and thorough program to help an athlete reach their sporting goals.

Whatever way you look at it, an EP’s support can be life changing for many people. By using evidence-based research (and not the latest fads), you can be assured you are getting the best advice on how exercise can minimise pain and disability and maximise life to the fullest!

If you would like to know more you can always book a call for a 15min consult. Book A Call

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Scott Henry