What is an Exercise Physiologist?
Updated: Jun 21
My name is Mia Jay, an Exercise Physiologist from Sydney, Australia. Thank you for taking your time to read my article about what I dedicate my professional career to. Firstly, I shall share a secret with you that you may not already know about me...
I love watching a beautiful sunrise by the ocean. I take delight in singing and performing music! AND I LOVE biomedical science.
I devoted my professional career to qualify as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and I can proudly say I am an Exercise Scientist too (which means at times you may find me in a laboratory, in a lab coat performing research.) I may assess your blood and measure inflammatory or stress markers, or interpret how efficient your heart is. I may evaluate your lung capacity and report how your body moves or responds to physical exertion. I believe our bodies are formidable. I help you achieve your goals to become an athlete or to become the healthiest version of you with specialised exercise prescription.
An Accredited Exercise Scientist is defined by Exercise Sports Science Australia as:
Professionals with high level training in exercise and sports science. This equips the AES with the knowledge and skills to apply the science of exercise to develop interventions that improve health, fitness, well being, performance, and that assist in the prevention of chronic conditions.
An Accredited Exercise Physiologist is defined as:
University qualified allied health professionals equipped with the knowledge, skills and competencies to design, deliver and evaluate safe and effective exercise interventions for people with acute, sub-acute or chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities.
As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, we studied the intricacies of #anatomy and #physiology, #histology, #biomechanics, #pharmacology, #psychology and #biology plus more in the #medicine faculty over 4 long educational years. This is where I learnt how wonderful and spectacular our human bodies are. #Baz Luhrmann was certainly right when he said our body is the best instrument we will ever own!
"Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own"
By Baz Luhrmann - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5giWfpANMac
Yes, sometimes we can wear a lab coat when we are in the laboratory performing and investigating physical outcome measures. I may examine the way your brain activates when you perform a physical task or I can analyse your biomechanics which means an assessment of the way you move or walk. I can measure the exact weight distribution between your feet and the GRF - Ground Reaction Force with the right lab equipment and measure the force your body exerts, from your hips to your, knees, heels and toes. I may analyse the amount of carbohydrates and fat you burn when riding a stationary bike or I can assess the effects of hypertension medication on your performance outcomes such as exploring how your body responds, specifically analysing your heart rate and assessing how efficient your heart pumps blood to your muscles and organs, or I may test your lung capacity and blood pressure when exerting energy. Below is a picture of my favourite #innovative places in the world, The TECH LAB at Sydney University.
In my early career I published some fancy corporate health studies as a #Public#Health#Researcher after I graduated from further studies at Sydney University with a Master of International Public Health.
What do I do?
Which Medical Conditions do We specialise in?
How can Mia's Health help?
As an #AEP I have spent my #professional career supporting those with Special Needs in addition to improving #sports#performance and #Corporate#Health.
I specialise in Special Needs primarily because I have the experience and expertise. I was a child carer from a very young age and life experience has taught me essential practical skills to help those that need us the most.
#Special#Needs and #Special#Population Groups
Using evidence based research, we (the Exercise Physiologists) can design and implement tailor made exercise sessions to improve #cognitive and #physical conditioning. We help to improve #mood, #concentration, self-efficacy, #musculoskeletal #strength and #endurance, #cardiovascular #fitness, better behaviour and reduce maladaptive behavioural patterns of Autism Spectrum Disorder which may include inappropriate sexual or violent behaviours.
Asperger's is a neurodevelopmental disorder. We, the Exercise Physiologists can help develop a greater sense of self-esteem and wellbeing in individuals with Asperger syndrome through the development of targeted exercise interventions that improve everyday living.
Distinctively has pain, impaired physical function, fatigue, and adverse changes in body composition (i.e muscle loss and increased adiposity).
Two types of Arthritis are:
#Osteoarthritis which is a progressive local degenerative joint disease affecting one or multiple joints (most common in the hands, hips, spin and knees).
#Rheumatoid Arthritis which is a chronic systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease of unknown etiology in which local inflammation results and can lead to bony erosions, systemic muscle loss, fat gain, accelerated atherosclerosis. Although pain and functional limitations can present challenges to physical activity amongst individuals with these conditions research suggests that regular exercise is a beneficial treatment modality that can maintain or improve strength, aerobic capacity, reduce weight, and reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease (Riebe, Ehrman, Liguori & Magal, 2018). An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can appropriately assess individuals with Arthritis to prescribe and monitor individualised exercise programs to ensure the benefits of exercise are achieved with minimal impact on affected joints.
Scientific Research suggests exercise to be a potent medicine in the management of cancer from helping to improve functional ability and capacity, health related quality of life across various domains including physical, mental and social wellbeing, to improving muscular strength, endurance and power. We can assist with the development of these benefits by providing services in one-on-one and group-based consultations that are underpinned by cancer and exercise evidence-based practice.
Chronic Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in such terms and is classified as acute (0-4 weeks), subacute/persistent (4-12) and chronic (>12 weeks). As pain persists the relationship between true need to protect the body tissue from harm decreases and can present clinically as hypersensitivity. However, research has shown that exercise can reverse the downward cycle of deconditioning associated with chronic pain and improves perceived pain when delivered with education. It is normal for people with chronic pain to experience discomfort and increased symptoms as they become more active. An accredited Exercise Physiologist is a qualified exercise professional who can establish acceptable and non-acceptable pain by adopting a biopsychosocial approach.
Diabetes is a common and increasing chronic health condition worldwide and here in #Australia. We can help to effectively manage diabetes by designing personal exercise programs that improve the muscles response to #insulin, thus helping to regulate blood glucose levels.
Type 1 Diabetes
Managing diabetes with regular structured physical activity is a key tool for preventing diabetes-related health complications, insulin resistance, and Type 2 (T2DM). Exercise Physiologists can tailor structured physical activity sessions to assist managing conditions like type 1 diabetes, #Gestational diabetes and preventing the progression to T2DM.
Type 2 Diabetes
We can develop and supervise exercise training sessions to help manage type 2 diabetes. Exercising regularly can improve #glucose tolerance, increased insulin sensitivity, and decrease HbA1C.
Global development delay is a term used when a child shows delays in areas of development ranging from: #gross and #fine #motor skills, #speech and #language, #cognition, #social and #personal and activities of daily living; at rates slower than other children their age. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can help with improving balance, posture, coordination and motor skills as well as provide physical activity management advice.
Health and wellness benefits of exercise during pregnancy for expecting mothers and their babies has been widely documented and include some of the following: reduces the risk of pregnancy-induced #hypertension and pre-eclampsia, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and weight gain, enhances mental well-being, self-esteem and #body image. We work closely with your doctor during pregnancy to prescribe safe and effective exercises for a healthy active pregnancy.
We carefully assess your health and fitness status and goals using practical guidelines to restore hip and spine #stability, improve pelvic weakness, develop #stamina and strength, and help prevent and or treat #incontinence and #diastasis recti (which means partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis, or “six-pack” muscles).
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of deaths in Australia and exercising regularly has been documented to be a critical preventative strategy to the disease development and progression. We understand the effects exercise has on cardiovascular disease and we use specific forms of exercise to reduce and manage a range of cardiovascular conditions.
Scoliosis is a condition affecting the spine where a lateral curvature occurs. A curvature of 10 degrees is the accepted baseline measure. Patients with severe scoliosis have ventilatory constraints (Sperandio et al., 2014) and often report having lower back pain and of greater severity, duration and frequency when compared to control subjects (Zapata et al., 2015). A common physical therapy practice for managing lower back pain in this clinical population is a supervised program of spinal stabilization exercises for 4-8 weeks (Zapata et al., 2015). An Exercise Physiologist can develop and supervise exercise programs that incorporate spinal stabilisation exercises.
Sticklers syndrome is a connective tissue disorder characterized by vitreoretinal degeneration, myopia, retinal detachment, cataract formation, hearing loss and skeletal disorders including; premature osteoarthritis, maxillofacial hypoplasia and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia (Niffenegger et al., 1993). These clinical manifestations are often divided into three groups; signs relating to the eyes, joints, facial appearance (Temple, 1989). Myopia (short sighted) is generally severe, degeneration may progress to retinal detachment and when extensive leads to blindness. Detachment occurs spontaneously and can be bilaterally (in both eyes). Mitral valve prolapses have been reported in this clinical population. As your AEP we are trained professionals in exercise prescription for chronic disease management and rehabilitation. We use appropriate skills, knowledge and exercise prescription to monitor your signs and symptoms during every session.
Mental illnesses like schizophrenia can impact a person’s cognitive, behavioural and social functioning, leading to a plethora of negative health outcomes like reduced physical activity, reduced life expectancy and #family and social #isolation. We lead exercise interventions that can positively influence mental health wellbeing, energy levels, positivity and physical health outcomes. Essentially we are improving mood, preventing and treating unwanted weight gain (from the many side-effects of Medications) and reducing #psychotic episodes through specific exercise #prescription.
Mental illnesses is associated with poor physical health outcomes. People living with Bipolar are at two times greater risk of developing #cardiometabolic diseases including #obesity, Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Our Exercise interventions can implement strategies that empower individuals towards greater #independence and self-management of personal health and wellbeing resulting in the positive mental and physical health outcomes such as: weight loss and maintenance, improvements in activities of daily living, decreased social isolation, increased self-esteem and improved quality of life.
If you would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact us, we would love to hear from you: email@example.com or call us on 0402629776
Furthermore if you are a health professional and would like educational guidance with any of these medical conditions, we offer workshops to develop your skill set when helping those that need us the most.