Exercise physiologists describe and explain the functional changes that occur during exercise. For example, they can predict the heart rate with various kinds of exercise, and the chemical and physical changes responsible for that rate.
They_may conduct research on oxygen uptake, muscle fatigue, muscle hypertrophy, body composition, and other phenomena. Exercise physiologists may also work with patients in the areas of cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation.
Exercise physiologists can work with personal fitness trainers, exercise science professionals, and physicians in cardiac rehabilitation, typically in a hospital or clinical setting. Exercise physiologists work with clients who have been diagnosed with a chronic metabolic, pulmonary, or cardiac disease.
Traditionally, exercise physiologists worked and studied only with athletes to improve performance. Today, however, exercise physiologists also work and study in commercial, clinical, and workplace settings to increase health, fitness, and quality of life in the general population. For example, an exercise physiologist may work as a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist, a personal trainer, or direct an employee fitness program. At least an undergraduate degree is required. It is also recommended to obtain a recognized certification, such as one from the American College of Sports Medicine.