Exercise Physiologist

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What is an Exercise Physiologist?

An exercise physiologist studies the human body's physiology during exercise and physical exertion. He or she uses different tools to study the body systems and how they respond to the stimulus of exercise. This allows the physiologist to gather information for the understanding of the patient, athlete, or study being conducted. A physiologist works in many different types of environments to help carry out the study of exercise and how it affects the human body. Using different types of equipment, they observe the human body through the rigors of exercise to understand how it functions and how this function varies between different people. They then calculate the exercise data to complete reports on their patients.

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What does an Exercise Physiologist do?

An exercise physiologist conducts studies of the human body and studies the physiology of the body as it responds to exercise. Since the human body goes through stress in each of the body systems as it conducts exercise, it is important that the physiologist study the body and the changes that take place as it goes through the phases of exercise. This information is gathered so that the individual's exercise routine can be catered to their ability for a more effective program.

The exercise physiologist treats patients through a type of physiological analysis. By learning how the patient's body responds to stress during exercise and physical activity, the physiologist is able to help those who suffer from debilitating disease and disability. The physiologist is then able to decipher the therapeutic and rehabilitation needs of the patient.

The physiologist works with a broad range of illnesses and disabilities in patients. He or she may also work with athletes to help them become conditioned in their bodies and better able to perform the physical demands of their sport. This type of career is needed in many different fields that involve the health and well-being of humans. This allows the physiologist to choose among different fields of study within exercise physiology.

Exercise physiologists can be hired in all types of fields including:

  • Sports and wellness programs

  • Research

  • Exercise technology

  • Strength coaches for sports teams and universities

  • Exercise experts in cardiology clinics and rehab institutions

  • Fitness instructors in athletics

  • Electrophysiology technicians

How to become an Exercise Physiologist

Most exercise physiologists study to get their bachelor of science degree in exercise physiology. This is normally a four-year program, but those who want to obtain this career can benefit well from further studies in health and exercise science studies. The more education that a person acquires, the more of an increase they will see in exercise physiology employment opportunities.

Once the four-year bachelor degree is acquired, an oral and written exam must be passed. This exam can vary by country and state, but in many states the exam must be accomplished with a passing grade before one can be certified. Different countries require different methods of exams. While the United States has a two-part exam, other countries have multi-part exams or exams that are only written.

In America, the American Society of Exercise Physiologists is a required membership for those wanting to work in this field. This society sets forth the ethics and educational standards of all exercise physiologists working in America. Other countries have their own standards and societal membership requirements. It is important that the physiologist check in his or her own country or city to be sure that they meet all of the requirements.

It is vital that the physiologist have a great understanding of the human body and all of its components. Math is also needed in this field as the physiologist must use math to calculate the different degrees of exercise and the components of exertion on the body. The physiologist must also have a good grasp of computers and the different types of machinery that are used in the field. Without a full understanding of computer processes and programs, the physiologist will not be able to conduct their job well.

What is the workplace of an Exercise Physiologist like?

The workplace of a physiologist is in different settings, depending on what type of role the physiologist has assumed. They work in environments including:

  • Hospitals

  • Doctor's offices

  • Sports medicine clinics

  • Physical therapy clinics

  • College sports programs

This makes the environment choices vast for the physiologist who may be working in a hospital setting, an office environment, a rehabilitation center, or a gym. The physiologist may work both indoors and outdoors and with all different types of equipment.