How Exercise Physiologists help people with neurological conditions live a better life
Ever wondered what an Exercise Physiologist does? Or, more importantly, how they could help you lead your best life? Let’s take a look.
More than just someone who holds a stopwatch and tells you how many leg lifts to do, an Exercise Physiologist is a highly trained and qualified expert who designs and delivers personalised exercise and lifestyle programs for people living with chronic conditions and other disabilities. In fact, they complete a minimum of four years of tertiary education to get their qualification. After all this training, they are true experts in understanding how different bodies respond to exercise.
Firstly, why does exercise matter?
Exercise helps people living with chronic neurological conditions – such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and brain or spinal cord injuries – to enjoy a better quality of life. Well-designed, regular, long-term exercise programs deliver a wide range of benefits. You may find that exercise helps by:
- Reducing other symptoms like pain and poor sleep
- Boosting your mental wellbeing
- Making it easier to complete daily activities
- Connecting with other people, whether at a club, gym or just getting outdoors
- Reducing cardiovascular risk factors
- Establishing positive routines that help with weekly structure
There’s no doubt that having a chronic condition can have a huge impact on your general motivation. With a supportive health professional like an Exercise Physiologist in your corner, it’s much easier to overcome any lack of motivation and keep you on the best path so that you can reap all the benefits that exercise has to offer.
Getting your own personalised exercise program
People living with chronic neurological conditions often have complex, unique needs. There are physical limitations to consider. Sometimes, there are cognitive and behavioural difficulties, too; not to mention other ‘invisible’ symptoms such as fatigue, pain and anxiety. Without the right support, these issues can lead to inactivity – which in turn negatively affects your quality of life.
On top of all this, people with chronic neurological conditions can also find it hard to access exercise programs that meet their unique needs. Not only do they need a personalised program, but they may need help from a support person, or specialised equipment to help them move.
This is where an Exercise Physiologist comes in. They take a knowledgeable yet creative approach in designing a program specific to an individual’s circumstances. For example, a rehabilitation program for a stroke patient will look different to an exercise program for someone with MS.
What’s more, Exercise Physiologists work alongside other healthcare professionals – such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dieticians – to ensure that your exercise program aligns with all the other aspects of your treatment or care.
ARC Exercise Physiologists are here to help
Working in close collaboration with the wider team, our Exercise Physiologists spend their time between our Artarmon clinic and home visits with our clients, delivering a mix of one-on-one and group classes.
Very broadly, here’s what to expect at a typical exercise physiology session:
- Prescription of an exercise program to improve strength and/or fitness
- Education about the importance of physical activity
- Advice and support on long-term care management and behavioural change
- Helping you find ways to participate in social activities and community programs
Ready to get started?
If you or someone you love has a chronic neurological condition or require rehabilitation following stroke or spinal cord injury, then you may qualify for funding from NDIS for exercise physiology. As an NDIS registered provider, ARC can help you get started with making positive changes in your life.
To learn more, send us an enquiry – we’d be delighted to help.