Exercise Physiology is a discipline that addresses the short- and long-term responses of physical stress or activity on the body. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) utilises knowledge of how the body works, including mechanical, physical and chemical processes, to prescribe effective exercise programs for rehabilitation, chronic disease management, pain management and improved health and well-being.
Today, there is an abundance of clinical research supporting the positive effects of exercise of physical, mental and social well-being. Moreover, exercise has been shown to be clinically significant in the treatment and management of chronic health conditions, which contribute to high mortality rates within Australia. These conditions mainly arise from physical inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle and include hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression and cancers. Regular exercise assists with improving heart and respiratory health, prevents rise in blood pressure and with weight loss and control.
Exercise also plays a crucial role in rehabilitation and recovery from injury, illness or surgery. Rehabilitation exercises help to restore range of motion, strength, coordination, control endurance and overall function. In addition, exercise is vital for future injury prevention.
Accredited Exercise Physiologists are university qualified allied health professionals who will assist in developing a physical activity plan in order to achieve optimal function. An initial assessment helps to develop an appropriate plan suited for the patient, which will primarily include an individualised exercise program, education on how exercise will benefit the patient and behaviour modification advice. Common exercise programs will incorporate training for aerobic fitness, strength, balance, postural correction and functional mobility (i.e falls prevention). Regular reviews with an AEP, ensure that patients are compliant with their prescribed program and will assist in determining the effectiveness of the program. This is also a time for the plan to be modified accordingly, particularly if goals are not being met.
If you are concerned about your health or have an injury and believe Exercise Physiology may help you, visit your local doctor about a referral to an accredited Exercise Physiologist.