How Do I Get into Exercise Physiology?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
A woman exercising.
A woman exercising.

Exercise physiology is essentially the study of how the body operates and adapts to physical exercise. It generally includes the study of biochemistry, biomechanics, pathology, and other scientific studies as they relate to the human body, and a wide range of jobs in the fields of sciences, sports, and medicine are available to people who earn advanced degrees in exercise physiology. If you are considering entering this field, you can start preparing as early as high school by studying as much science as possible. It helps to participate in sports as well, or at least develop a keen interest in them.

Most jobs in exercise physiology will require some sort of college degree. You will need to take college courses at a community college, a four-year college, or a university to obtain the degrees necessary to get a job in the field. The amount of schooling you will need will depend on your overall career goals, so it helps to think about what kind of careers within exercise physiology interest you and compel you to pursue. Once you have decided, try to meet with a guidance counselor or advisor to determine the best course of action for you.

At some point during your exercise physiology education, it is likely that you will be required to do an internship outside of the classroom. Such an internship can give you extremely valuable experience as you work your way into the field, and it will also help you establish important professional contacts that may be able to help you secure employment after school. Be sure the program in which you are participating offers internship placement or resources for finding quality internships pertaining to the field in which you intend to work after you finish school.

Once you graduate with a degree in exercise physiology, you may decide to continue your education, or you may try to enter the job market. Hospitals, doctor's offices, and other medical settings often offer jobs to people with such degrees, as do hospice centers, elder care centers, and even athletic training centers. Sometimes professional sports teams may hire such people to tend directly to the athletes. It may also be possible to secure a job with a college or university, where you can conduct research in the field and publish your findings. You may also be able to secure a job teaching exercise physiology at certain institutions.

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    • A woman exercising.
      By: Ken Hurst
      A woman exercising.