Exercise Physiology jobs are becoming recognized as one of the most promising careers in the future. The roots of this practice can be traced back to Hippocrates and Galen, who believed that exercise can be one of the most important lifestyle components that can help maintain good health and treat specific diseases. They called these beliefs the “Laws of Health.”
These laws became a practice in the early 19th century, and were called “Physical Education.” It later became “Exercise Physiology”, and even today, still uses the same fundamental beliefs that Hippocrates and Galen advocated some centuries ago.
Modern times may have changed and expanded this practice, but at the core of this job lies only one main goal: To study the body’s physiological changes and responses as a result of physical activity and use that to improve the performance of athletes and maintain the fitness level of individuals.
There are many occupational titles that Exercise Physiologists may have. You might not be familiar with some of them, but they mostly vary depending on the location that they are in. They include the following:
And while they are all different in titles, their job descriptions are all basically similar in nature. They all work in tandem with a physician, and they make sure that patients follow their exercise regimen on a regular basis. Aside from this, the job also requires the following responsibilities within varying degrees:
Develop, create, implement, and coordinate exercise programs
Perform various medical tests and examinations
Explain to patients test procedures and exercise programs
Obtains vital statistics and medical histories of patients
Measure oxygen consumption and lung performance
Checks blood samples for cholesterol levels and glucose tolerance
Measures body fat using appropriate instruments
Plans exercise programs depending on the patient’s level of fitness
Checks out the level of physiological and psychological stress of individuals
Demonstrates the correct way of using exercise equipments and routines
Teaches stress management and body relaxation techniques
Calibrates all the exercise equipments for better accuracy
Areas of Expertise
There are two major areas of Exercise Physiology: Clinical and Applied Physiology. Clinical Exercise Physiology jobs work in rehabilitating and creating therapy programs with a doctor or a physician; while Applied Exercise Physiology jobs deal with athletic development and fitness. Job descriptions on each of these two areas may differ slightly from each other, and specialties may or may not converge. For instance, those with doctorate degrees on either specialty can also become professors and perform research studies at universities.
Where do most of these specialists work? They are often found working as:
Sports programs as directors and instructors
Coaches in professional and educational fields, such as colleges and universities
Professors of higher learning
Fitness instructors in centers
Exercise specialists in rehabilitation programs, such as cardiopulmonary, arthritis, and other specific ailments
Fitness managers and directors in the military
Researchers for physiological equipment testing
Health or fitness supervisors for police, emergency response, fire, and correctional services
Sports consultants specializing in metabolism, nutrition, psychology, biomechanics, and athletic training
There are many benefits working in this profession. Aside from good salary potential, there are also 401(k) options, paid holidays, vacation, life insurance, and even tuition and training reimbursements. They also can enjoy gym or health club memberships.
Outlook for Career Opportunities
There is a good job outlook for salaries in this field, and many are now accepting the importance of Exercise Physiology in the healthcare professions. Most of the increased demand occurs in fitness, athletics, and rehabilitation areas, and those who graduated from accredited institutions enjoy diverse areas of specialization. Researchers for future advancements in this field are also growing, especially in exercise and training equipment.
Education and Jobs
A strong factor in getting a good position in this field is education. Professional registration and certification can give you a much better edge in employment opportunities. Clinical Exercise Physiologists can register with the American College of Sports Medicine after they have passed an exam, gained at least 12,000 hours of working at hospitals, and earned a master’s degree title. They can also be certified if they have acquired a bachelor’s degree (or anything equivalent), gained 500 hours of working at hospitals, and passed the required examination. Another good option is to get certification from the American Society of Exercise Physiologists and pass their examination. Those who have passed all the requirements are also required to take continuing education classes to keep their certifications current.
Aside from education, annual salary depends on many factors, such as work experience, strong professional networks, specialization, industry (you’re working for), and employers. However, an average salary usually starts at around $23,000, and can increase to $40,000. Those with many years of experience can enjoy as much as $90,000 to $100,000 in a year.
Choosing a career in this field can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience for the right person. These jobs are tremendously valuable to a growing number of people, and those working in this field will make a great contribution to individuals and groups who are striving for better health and fitness in their lives.
To find out more detailed information about a career in Exercise Physiology visit:
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