What is an Exercise Physiologist?

An exercise physiologist is a health care professional that studies how exercise affects the human body. By using various types of equipment, they can observe the human body during the rigours of exercise. This information gives them a better understanding of their client's body and its limitations.

Exercise physiologists work with athletes to help them improve their physical strength so they are able to perform the physical demands of their sport. They can also work with patients that have a broad range of illnesses and disabilities.

What does an Exercise Physiologist do?

Exercise physiology is a specialization within the field of kinesiology, and is focused on the human body’s response and adaptation to physical activity.

Exercise physiologists analyze their clients’ fitness level so they can help them improve their health, maintain good health, or achieve athletic performance goals. They study the human body's physiology during exercise and physical exertion through a type of physiological analysis. This allows the exercise physiologist to gather information for the understanding of the patient, athlete, or study being conducted.

An exercise physiologist observing a patient while he is running on a treadmill.

Since the human body goes through stress in each of the body systems as it conducts exercise, it is important that the exercise physiologist study the body and the changes that take place as it goes through each phase of exercise.

Exercise physiologists administer exercise stress tests, paying particular attention to heart and lung strength, and then design appropriate fitness plans unique to each client.

For athletes this is important information, as the results can help to adjust their exercise routine to their physical ability for a more effective program. For those suffering from debilitating disease and disability, the test results can help to decipher the therapeutic and rehabilitation needs of the client.

Exercise physiology is useful in various areas, such as:

  • Sports and wellness programs
  • Research
  • Exercise technology
  • Strength coaching for sports teams and universities
  • Cardiology clinics and rehab institutions
  • Athletics
  • Electrophysiology technology

Are you suited to be an exercise physiologist?

Exercise physiologists have distinct personalities. They tend to be social individuals, which means they’re kind, generous, cooperative, patient, caring, helpful, empathetic, tactful, and friendly. They excel at socializing, helping others, and teaching. Some of them are also investigative, meaning they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive.

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What is the workplace of an Exercise Physiologist like?

Exercise physiologists can work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, doctor's offices, rehabilitation clinics, military training centers, sports medicine clinics, fitness facilities, corporate wellness programs, athletic training programs at colleges and universities, and physical therapy clinics.

Exercise physiologists can work under several titles, such as clinicians, sports directors, wellness directors, exercise managers, program coordinators, or rehabilitation specialists.

Exercise Physiologists are also known as:
Certified Exercise Physiologist