Exercsie Physiologist - How to Become an Exercise Physiologist

Exercise Physiologist

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Exercise Physiologist Job Description

 

An exercise physiologist is a health care professional who monitors, documents and analyzes the improvement and maintenance of health and fitness. In addition to these, exercise physiologists can oversee the results of heart disease rehabilitation and the rehabilitation of other chronic diseases and disabilities.

One of the most important responsibilities of exercise physiologists is guiding and counseling professional and amateur athletes so that these individuals can enhance their performances or recover from injuries.

Exercise physiologists are commonly referred to as personal trainers, but their job description goes far beyond that. They administer exercise stress tests, evaluate the overall health and fitness of a person and develop a complete exercise program to enhance fitness, strength and endurance.

Sometimes, they are appointed by physicians to develop a customized exercise plan to meet the individual fitness goals of the patient.

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Responsibilities

 

Exercise physiologists are tasked with the analyzing patient health, developing exercise programs, and maintaining patient wellness goals. This involves performing body composition and BMI examinations, recording accurate data, collaborating with other healthcare professionals in clinical meetings, educating patients and families on fitness programs, providing outreach to hospitals and clinics, and training other staff members in the exercise elements of the field. 

They also work alongside coaching staff members to maximize the effects of their training recommendations by advising them on heart rate monitoring, recovery, hydration, and overtraining. Exercise physiologists typically work with physiotherapists, dietitians, and sport psychologists.

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Skills

 

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Perceptiveness

Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.

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Working Conditions

 

Exercise physiologists can work in a variety of settings such as colleges, universities, fitness facilities, athletic programs, corporate wellness programs, military training centers, hospitals and rehabilitation clinics. Additionally, some may find positions as sports managers, exercise directors, program coordinators, or rehabilitation specialists.

Some exercise physiologists are employed by the makers of sports gear and equipment where their expertise becomes invaluable to the development of products. Some of these physiologists are known to open up their own businesses where they serve as sports or athletic performance consultants.

 


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How to Become an Exercise Physiologist:

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

Employers prefer bachelor prepared exercise physiologists who have completed an accredited program. These programs are continually improved and held to stringent guidelines in order to train students on the most current knowledge and methods of the field.

Certain programs are geared toward leading students directly into a graduate program, so having an idea in place as to which specific position you want may be useful. If unsure, it is best to enroll in a graduate-focused undergraduate program to leave options open.

 

The preparation timeline below outlines the suggested courses:

 

Grade Level

Example Courses

Freshman Year

 

  • Chemistry I & Lab

  • Chemistry II & Lab

  • College Algebra

  • Statistics

  • Introduction to Kinesiology

  • English I

  • English II

  • Humanities Requirements

  • Electives

Sophomore Year

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I & Lab

  • Emergency Medical Response

  • Foundation of Physical Conditioning

  • Nutrition I

  • Applied Kinesiology

  • Physical Conditioning

  • Humanities Requirements

  • Electives

Junior Year

 

  • Exercise Science Organizations

  • Exercise Physiology Foundation

  • Exercise Physiology Application

  • Principles of Strength & Conditioning

  • Exercise Testing & Lab

  • Humanities Requirements

  • Electives

Senior Year

  • Pharmacology I

  • Exercise Prescription

  • Biomechanics

  • Weight Management & Behavior

  • Seminar

  • Remaining Requirements

  • Remaining Electives

 

3. Earn a Master's Degree (2 Years)

 

Following graduation from college, students can take part in an ASEP exercise physiology program that is accredited by the American Society of Exercise Physiologists. The academic coursework in such programs usually include biomechanics, sports nutrition, exercise testing and prescription, statistics, psychophysiology, ECG interpretation, kinesiology and other related areas of study.

These programs are not required for entry into the field, but may be necessary to qualify for certain positions. For example, high-level clinical and research positions will likely required a master's or doctoral program completion for qualification. 

 

4. Earn an Exercise Physiologist Certification

 

A master's degree is not required to become certified.

The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) offers the certification exam for the field. The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions with 4 options each and lasts for 4 hours total. Each question is comprised of factual data or the described situation (the stem) and 4 answer choices, one of which is correct.

 

The exam is broken down as follows:

 

Section/Category

% of Exam

Exercise Physiology

 36% (72 Questions)

 

Cardiac Rehabilitation

 18.5% (37 Questions)

 

Exercise Metabolism & Regulation

 11.5% (23 Questions)

 

Kinesiology

 10.5% (21 Questions)

 

Research

 6.5% (13 Questions)

 

Sports Biomechanics

 6% (12 Questions)

 

Environmental Exercise Physiology

 6% (12 Questions)

 

Sports Nutrition

5% (10 Questions)

 

 

Learn More About the EPC Examination

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
The Exercise Physiologist treats a variety of diagnoses with a high degree of professional competency and efficiency to ensure quality patient care. Able to treat the adolescent, geriatric and the general population. Assesses and re-assesses...
12.05.2016
Bachelor's of Science 1 Year of Experience Required The Exercise Physiologist is an essential part of the Cardiopulmonary Rehab health care team and provides care to Cardiopulmonary Rehab/Wellness populations in Phase II, III, IV Programs....
12.05.2016
Like any organization, it's the people that make the difference- Are you ready for the challenge? Do You Know Who We Are? We are Baystate Health- one of the largest health care systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals...
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
Position Summary: The cardiopulmonary therapist will be responsible for obtaining diagnostic information used to evaluate patients for heart disease by performing various non-invasive cardiac testing. The therapist performs and documents...
12.07.2016
Exercise Physiology Technician Apply Refer a Friend Back Category: Allied Health Location: Everett, MA Department: Pulmonary Rehab Employment Type: Part Time Job Type: Non-Union Work Shift: Days Work Days: 2 days/week...
  1. Exercise Physiologist Melrose, MA Hallmark Health System
    The Exercise Physiologist treats a variety of diagnoses with a high degree of professional competency and efficiency to ensure quality patient care. Able to treat the adolescent, geriatric and the general population. Assesses and re-assesses...
  2. EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Bachelor's of Science 1 Year of Experience Required The Exercise Physiologist is an essential part of the Cardiopulmonary Rehab health care team and provides care to Cardiopulmonary Rehab/Wellness populations in Phase II, III, IV Programs....
  3. Exercise Physiologist Springfield, MA Baystate Health
    Like any organization, it's the people that make the difference- Are you ready for the challenge? Do You Know Who We Are? We are Baystate Health- one of the largest health care systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals...
  4. Exercise Physiologist Elkin, NC Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital
  5. Cardiopulmonary Rehab Therapist St. Paul, MN Regions Hospital
    Position Summary: The cardiopulmonary therapist will be responsible for obtaining diagnostic information used to evaluate patients for heart disease by performing various non-invasive cardiac testing. The therapist performs and documents...
  6. Exercise Physiology Technician Cambridge, MA Cambridge Health Alliance
    Exercise Physiology Technician Apply Refer a Friend Back Category: Allied Health Location: Everett, MA Department: Pulmonary Rehab Employment Type: Part Time Job Type: Non-Union Work Shift: Days Work Days: 2 days/week...