Why Exercise Physiology?

It is a science to be able to tailor exercise prescription to meet the needs, ability, and sometimes-complex presentation of an individual in order to maximise the holistic benefits that exercise can provide. Exercise goes beyond just fitness!

The role of exercise isn't necessarily to affect the underlying process that is occurring with a given condition or disability. In fact, rarely does exercise have the capacity to alter what is happening physiologically to the body. However, the effects are still crucial to overall health, wellbeing, and quality of life. Using Muscular Dystrophy as an example, the abnormal changes in the muscle fibers affected by Muscular Dystrophy will continue, but the physical conditioning resulting from tailored exercise may improve the function of the healthy muscle fibers, as well as benefits such as endurance, improved confidence and help to prevent or minimise contractures.

Another example of a condition whereby exercise can have an indirect effect is Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM). In this condition, the endocrine and metabolic deficiencies associated with T1DM will not change with physical activity, but daily diabetic control may be improved with regular exercise. Or Asthma, where an Exercise Physiologist can use exercise as a therapy to improve lung function, and reduce airway sensitivity. 

Exercise is crucial for both mental and physical health and development, but Exercise Physiology provides targeted and purposeful exercise programs, which can also:

  • improve endurance, ambulation and a number of other skills important for daily tasks and participation

  • have condition-specific benefits for a number of disabilities and chronic health conditions

  • Cognitive benefits – such improving executive functioning

  • develop fine and gross motor skills

  • increase aerobic fitness

  • increase muscle strength

  • increase joint range of motion

  • help prevent or minimise contractures

  • improve balance

  • improve posture, core strength and muscle tone

  • improve coordination, speed and power

*as examples

Improvements in these areas can contribute to motor development and skill mastery, which can lead to feelings of competence, and achievement, thereby increasing self-esteem and self-confidence.

Want to find out more about what conditions may benefit?