Tuesday, 18 November 2014

5 Reasons Why I'm Seeing An Exercise Physiologist

So I'm seeing an exercise physiologist through Body to Balance. It's my first time, but I'm liking their approach. It's very different to when I've seen physiotherapists, chiropractors, or osteopaths. Voila - my top five reasons to see an exercise physiologist!

#5. Hands Off! Exercise physiologists do not perform manipulations. In my case, manipulations are a really bad idea - even gentle massage post-surgery has been a big no-no. A hands-off approach is ideal for people in the same situation as me, or people who do not require manipulation for what they wish to achieve, or who really don't like getting touchy-feely with someone they don't know.

#4. Diversity! They cater for lots of different things. In my case, I have three aims - build core post-surgery, regain a little of my flexibility, and build muscle out of fat. These are pretty wide-reaching aims, but my exercise physiologist took it in her stride and did me up a plan to cover all three without aggravating things that shouldn't be aggravated.

#3. Variety! An exercise physiologist uses lots of different equipment, as well as no equipment at all! My current routine uses a Thera Band for resistance training, a towel, and that's about it. However, they also use other fun things like fitballs, foam rollers, and yoga mats. Activities can include aerobic and anaerobic exercises, and my current plan has two different routines on it to switch things up from day to day so I don't get bored.

#2. Convenience! You're doing most of this at home or at the gym, so aside from your consultation appointments (usually one to assess, one to set up, and after that, as many as you need to check in for updates when your goals change), you don't have to worry about attending the clinic. You can do the exercises when it suits you, whether that be 6pm when you get home from work, 11pm before bed, or 5am when you wake up. Squeeze it in at home, or add it to your gym routine. Flexibility counts.

#1. Empowerment! Yup, it's all you, baby! It is up to YOU to make the exercises happen in your schedule. It is up to YOU to self-monitor to make sure you are challenging yourself without pushing it ridiculously hard. It is up to YOU whether you increase your reps and sets, and up to YOU whether you increase your resistance or weights - all of this after the exercise physiologist gives you the parameters to aim between, of course! The great thing about this is that as you see yourself achieving your goals, you can also be empowered by the knowledge that YOU did this! You were given the plan, yes, but YOU did the hard work. Well done, you!

So those are my five reasons why I'm seeing an exercise physiologist rather than an osteo, chiro, or physio. I should note I'm not a healthcare professional so please do accept this as my personal opinion - consult an awesome surgeon or GP for a referral if you decide this sounds like it might fit your needs!