What is exercise physiology and how can it help you?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are allied health professionals with university training for prescribing exercise to individuals.

What is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)?
AEPs hold a four-year university degree and are allied health professionals. AEPs specialise in clinical exercise interventions for a broad range of pathological populations. These persons may be at risk of developing, or have existing, medical conditions and injuries. The aims of AEP interventions are to prevent acute or manage sub-acute or chronic disease or injury, and assist in restoring ones optimal physical function, health or wellness.

These interventions are exercise-based and include health and physical activity education, advice and support and lifestyle modification with a strong focus on achieving behavioural change. AEPs are recognised as allied health professionals displaying a diverse range of knowledge and skills, working across a variety of areas and target pathologies as presented below.

Common Exercise Modalities:

  • Land based exercises – the use of gravity and additional resistance to achieve strength and flexibility adaptations in appropriate populations
  • Water based exercises – the use of water to create a buoyant environment whereby weight-bearing is reduced, as well as hydrostatic pressure is increased, allowing for AEPs to target clients who are appropriate e.g., following joint replacement, osteoarthritis, and low level conditioning

Common Target Pathologies:

  • Cardiopulmonary – hypertension, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, myocardial infarction, chronic heart failure, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis
  • Metabolic – obesity, dyslipidaemias, impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes mellitus
  • Musculoskeletal – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, sub-acute and chronic specific and non-specific musculoskeletal pain/injuries
  • Neurological / neuromuscular – stroke, spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy

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