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How do I Become an Exercise Physiologist?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are four items necessary to become an exercise physiologist: post-secondary education, work related experience, observation skills, and communication skills. An exercise physiologist is a scientist who studies the impact on the body of exercise at varying degrees of intensity. The research in this field is relatively new, and exercise physiologists are most frequently found in universities and other research institutions.

The first step necessary to become an exercise physiologist is obtain admission to a university degree program in physiology. Either the Faculty of Arts & Science or Physical Health can coordinate these programs. There are a limited number of schools offering this degree, and the enrollment classes tend to be small.

In the undergraduate degree program, the courses focus on the study of movement, biomechanics, human anatomy, human biology, and communications. In order to gain admittance, candidates should have high school credits in biology, chemistry, physics, English, and physical health and education. People who want to become an exercise physiologist often have a high level of personal interest is the effect of exercise on the body.

A master's or doctorate is a standard requirement when looking for employment opportunities as an exercise physiologist. Admission to these programs is based on the marks earned in the bachelor's degree program and recommendations from course instructors. Select an area of specialization to study at the graduate level, based on research topics that are relevant and of interest to you.

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Almost all programs to help you become an exercise physiologist at the graduate level include research opportunities, industry placements, and group projects. Invitations to these projects are based on academic standing and class participation. This field has many opportunities for growth, and quality candidates have multiple opportunities available to them.

An exercise physiologist spends a great deal of time studying movement, physical responses, chemical and biological changes, and the impact of decisions on the body. This type of work requires an ability to observe others for extended periods of time and maintain scientific objectivity. The role of psychology into exercise physiology is rather complex and independent observation and evaluation skills are necessary to separate personal emotions from a purely physical reaction to the exercise.

Communication skills are critical in this role, as the exercise physiologist is an important source of professional guidance and support to athletes and coaches. Written and oral communication skills greatly enhance the effectiveness of the process. People who have the greatest level of satisfaction in this career enjoy working with people, are detail oriented, and naturally curious.

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