HomeExercise:  Excercise Experts: A Physiologist

Physiologist Studies Excercise and Effects

There are many misconceptions about what or who an excercise physiology actually is. Many people think that anyone who has some type of fitness-related certification or training is an excercise physiologist, or at least equivalent to one. It is especially easy to think that anyone leading a fitness class, working to design specialized workouts, or advising about excercise and nutrition is an excercise physiologist who knows the minor details of everything relating to excercise and its effects. This, however, is not the case. Excercise physiology is actually a specific course of academic study, one requires a college degree for people to accurately be described as excercise physiologists.

Describing an Excercise Physiologist

There are many diverse components studied and examined by an excercise physiologist. One of the most common things people think of when they hear the term "excercise physiologist" is the stress test. In case you are unfamiliar with this procedure, a stress test usually involves performing some kind of excercise (most often running) while being carefully monitored so that the excercise physiologist can precisely determine how much excercise and related stress your body can handle before the effects on the body systems become harmful or dangerous. This is helpful in creating workouts for people with risky health conditions or in helping people gradually and safely recover from serious problems or procedures like heart surgery.

In addition to the stress test, though, there are many other aspects of an excercise physiologist's job. Generally speaking, an excercise physiologist studies or monitors the body's response and adaptation to excercise. They can analyze data and figure out how to help people run faster or longer, as well as perform excercise testing, make excercise prescriptions, deal with excercise nutrition, work with cardiac rehabilitation, and and study metabolic and cardiac effects and mechanisms. Everything essentially boils down to the study of excercise, but the many possible specializations or branches are quite diverse.

Most people will never deal with an excercise physiologist because they are such specialized excercise professions. The majority of people that visit excercise physiologists are people with specific problems and concerns. It is common, for instance, for serious competitive athletes to work with an excercise physiologist in order to determine how to reach their full excercise or sports-related competitive potential. People involved in rehabilitation, as mentioned earlier, also often work with excercise physiologists because, though the excercise is highly beneficial in their recovery, they must proceed in their excercise routines with extra care and monitoring.

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