So what, exactly, IS “Exercise Physiology”??
Exercise Physiology is the study of how exercise impacts the body.
Good question! In a nutshell, Exercise Physiology is “the prescription of exercise to assist in the management of chronic disease”. It serves to improve quality of life and maintaining independence. In my job in Sydney I saw patients with cancer, diabetes (Type 1 and 2), osteoporosis, arthritis, stroke patients, people with muscle injuries or “impairments”, and everyone in between.
A principle exists, known as “Exercise is Medicine” (http://exerciseismedicine.org) whereby exercise is, quite literally, seen as medicine. It helps to treat many conditions, but the “dose” has to be right. For example, an 80 year old with arthritis probably shouldn’t be prescribed a 20 minute jog on the treadmill for his cardio training… Exercise Physiology is about finding what that correct dose is. It assesses the individual and prescribes exercise based on their physical (and sometimes mental or emotional) condition.
There is a whole “branch” of Exercise Physiology which looks at the healthy population, namely sportsmen, women and teams.
My area of expertise, however, is in chronic disease management, and that is what I’m going to stick to! So if you want to know how to improve your lower back pain, what exercise can do for diabetes, or how to recover from a shoulder injury, read away!