5 Reasons why Athletes Should See a Sports Exercise Physiologist.

What does an Exercise Physiologist do?

Exercise physiologists use exercise as therapy, in other words, prescribe exercise as ‘medicine’. 

An exercise physiologist is concerned with how exercise positively changes the human body to improve short and long-term health. They can help you understand how to exercise safely and effectively to improve your sports performance, rehabilitate and prevent injury. Exercise Physiologists do this by prescribing exercises to prevent disease and medical conditions, improve the strength and endurance of your body, and help you recover and manage from injury or conditions. Exercise advice is individualised to your needs, as your exercise physiologist will assess your individual ability, health, sporting goals and rehabilitation needs. They will design and deliver a safe and effective exercise program for you and evaluate the exercises to maintain its safety and challenge for you. Exercises can range from strength, resistance and conditioning programs, to aerobic, balance or flexibility-based exercises. These exercises will be modified to help you with your acute or chronic injury or to enhance your sports performance.

You don’t have to be a sports person or athlete to work with an exercise physiologist. But if you are, they can assist you within achieving your best performance through research, assessment, coaching, training, competition and recovery principles.

Every sports exercise physiologist in Perth is university qualified after four years of study and are considered as part of the allied health profession.

Exercise physiology and soft tissue

An exercise physiologists exercise therapy is mainly to improve the soft tissue function of the body. But what is soft tissue? The soft tissue of the body involves the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and fascia, all which allow us to freely move and participate in activities. These soft tissues provide us the strength and flexibility to maintain our posture, and to support our movement. Unfortunately, the soft tissues of our body are prone to injuries such as: muscle tears, sprains, postural misalignments and other trauma, all of which can improve from exercise.  All these injuries can occur during our day-to-day lives, from work, exercise, hobbies, and even sleep may cause soft tissue issues. Alongside these injuries, as we age, our soft tissues begin to deteriorate. This reduction in our soft tissue function often leads to disability and other negative consequences to our health and quality of life – if our body doesn’t allow us the function to do the things we love, this will then reduce our mental wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to look after our soft tissues and to maintain optimal strength throughout our lifespan.

Reasons people see an exercise physiologist:

  • Optimising health after a diagnosis of a medical condition
  • Avoid the need for surgery
  • Safe return to activities after an illness, injury or surgery
  • Management of conditions such as arthritis during exercises
  • Assistance with weight loss or body building
  • Prevention of further illness or injury
  • Provide you the skills to exercise safely and manage your own exercise routine

They can assist with many conditions: 

  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular conditions (heart attack, arrythmia, hypertension, CVD)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Ehlers-Danlos 
  • Parkinson’s Disease 
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and Obesity
  • Acute pain
  • Chronic Pain (for example: low back pain, knee pain)
  • During and post-cancer treatment
  • Musculoskeletal injuries 
  • Fatigue
  • Heart disease
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hypertension
  • Mental Health – stress, anxiety, depression
  • Sports injury and performance
  • Workplace injury
  • Strengthening and conditioning 
  • Kidney health
  • Respiratory health
  • Pulmonary health 
  • Neurological conditions
  • Neuromuscular conditions 
  • Stroke
  • Pregnancy
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Aging (falls risk, maintain muscle and bone structure, balance)
  • Pre- and post-surgery

They can work across the lifespan, from children (paediatrics) to older adults (geriatrics). 

In conclusion, a sports exercise physiologist assists with:

  • Helping speed recovery from pain and injury
  • Managing and improve medical conditions
  • Improving joint, bone, muscle, heart and lung health
  • Improving core stability and posture
  • Decreasing weight and body fat levels
  • Improving balance and coordination
  • Improving mental wellbeing
  • Assisting with pregnancy 
  • Improving sports performance

Book in to see a Sports Exercise Physiologist in Perth, WA.

At Urban Health HQ our highly trained Sports Exercise Physiologist in Perth will use individualised approaches to help treat your injuries, conditions or any concerns you may have. Book in to see a Sports Exercise Physiologist today by calling 0411 563 391 or email kristen@urbanhealthhq.com.au 

Published by Urban Health HQ

We are a health and fitness centre offering Occupational Therapy, Exercise Physiology, Personal Training and Group Fitness classes.

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