Eating nutritiously without physical activity is like eating a sandwich with no filling. Although the bread may be nourishing, it isn’t exactly fully satisfying, is it? In order to achieve great health and proper glycaemic control then you need both the bread and the jam. If you’ve invested your time and your money in a dietician to help you manoeuvre the tricky world of balanced eating, a guide in your physical journey can be just what you need to fully get your health in order.
Most of us are familiar with dieticians and have a rough idea of what they do and why seeing one is a good idea if you’re looking to either lose or gain weight. However, if you’ve been referred to an exercise physiologist you may be wondering just what is an exercise physiologist is and how they can benefit you.
There are some people who confuse exercise physiologists with physical therapists. Physical therapists help restore limb and muscle function after injury, but you don’t have to have suffered an injury to enjoy the benefit of an EP. Planning and starting an exercise routine can be challenging for some, however, that’s where one can truly benefit from the assistance of an EP. Training you to exercise safely no matter your starting condition.
Diabetes complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy as well as joint problems and excess weight all require specialised training techniques. EPs have the fundamental training to be able to recommend and display exercises that improve your muscle and cardiovascular strength without worsening existing medical condition or conditions.
The exercise physiologist is trained to identify lifestyle-related issues that contribute towards bad health, and design and implement a behaviour-based treatment plan aimed at modifying said behaviours. A combination of being time poor as well as a lack of motivation are the usual reasons used not to exercise, an EP’s strength is his or hers ability to match exercises and techniques to suit any individual lifestyle. There is no such thing as a one size fits all solution.
Initially, the EP will analyse the client’s current fitness level and curate an individual exercise and lifestyle plan to improve blood glucose control (for diabetic patients) as well as cardiovascular function.
An exercise physiologist is trained to:
- Evaluate a person’s overall health, paying special attention to the strength of the heart and metabolism
- Carry out exercise stress tests in both healthy and unhealthy populations
- Work out individualised exercise prescriptions to boost physical fitness, endurance, flexibility and strength
- Create customised exercise programs with clear goals in mind
You may consider visiting an EP if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You’re trying to either lose or gain weight
- You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes
- You’re afraid of developing diabetes
- You’re looking for a tailored exercise solution to help manage your weight or muscle goals
- Seeking help in getting your blood glucose under control
- You’ve been diagnosed with a health condition that benefits from an exercise plan (high cholesterol, high blood pressure or a bone condition).
Meeting and working with a good Exercise Physiologist can prove to be beneficial to no end. A dietician can sort out your pantry, but can only take you so far. It’s when you meet someone who understands your body, what it needs, and how to get the best out of it then you’ll really see results.