Thursday, 20 August 2015 04:40

What is an EP?

What is an Exercise Physiologist?

Have you ever been referred to see an Exercise Phyisologist and found yourself asking the question "What is that?" or "What do they do?". Quite often it's the first question that I am asked during an intial consultation and in light of that I have taken the time to give you a little more information which will hopefully answer the question for you.

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist is an allied health professional specifically trained to develop and implement exercise and lifestyle interventions to aid in the prevention and management of chronic disease or injury.

What is the difference between an Exercise Physiologist and a Personal Trainer?

The major differential between an exercise physiologist and a personal trainer is the level of training required to gain appropriate accreditation. An accredited exercise physiologist in Australia must complete a four year or equivalent university degree and be recognized by Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA). A personal trainer is required to complete a Certificate 4 in Fitness and may take as little as 6 weeks to complete.

This provides an exercise physiologist with the knowledge and training to provide advice and exercise interventions to higher risk populations whilst a personal trainer is well suited to work with individuals who are seemingly fit and healthy.

Who might see an Exercise Physiologist?

Any Individuals seeking advice to initiate an exercise or lifestyle intervention to improve their health or manage chronic disease would be suited to see an exercise physiologist. Common concerns may include:

  • Exercise and diabetes
  • Recovery/prevention of a cardiac episode
  • Improve strength and range of motion pre/post joint replacement
  • Exercise during/following cancer treatment
  • Exercise for bone health
  • Exercise to aid with weight management

What to expect when seeing one of our Exercise Physiologists.

 

A typical session with one of our Exercise Physiologists will involve a process of:

Consultation

A discussion in which the Exercise Physiologist will assess your current medical history, medications, physical limitations and barriers to exercise. It provides an opportunity for your exercise physiologist to get to know you on a more personal level and evaluate your goals to improve your health.

Assessment

At this time the Exercise Physiologist will assess a range of measurements based on the patient’s capacity and also goal orientation to determine baseline capacity and for future comparison. Measurements might include:

  • Body composition – height, weight, waist and body fat percentage                                                                         
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Range of Motion (ROM)
  • Flexibility
  • Muscular strength
  • Balance

Prescription

The exercise physiologist will have gathered enough information to set a physical activity schedule to suit the patient’s needs to aid in the management of chronic disease and to achieve specific goals. An exercise or lifestyle intervention may be home or clinic based depending on the needs of the patient but will aim to increase physical activity levels to meet the recommended guidelines for a given chronic disease or injury.

Review

Our ongoing review process allows the exercise physiologist to reassess your goals and adherence to the program. This is also an opportunity to determine the effectiveness of the program and review/modify intensity or approach of the exercise prescription to suit your needs. Re-assessment of functional measures will also occur to aid with this review process and to give a comparison to baseline measures. This is also an opportunity for you and your exercise physiologist to address any barriers to exercise such as motivation and to develop a strategy to overcome it.

AEP Health Group boasts a team of 11 fully accredited exercise physiologists with vast knowledge and experience to help guide you with exercise and health related goals. We have developed lasting relationships with over 900 referring General Practitioners and Specialists who have referred over 20,000 patients, trusting that they are receiving the best possible evidence-based health care available.

Meet our team of Exercise Physiologists