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What is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)?AEP is an allied health professional who can help manage a number of chronic (long term) conditions by designing and delivering safe exercises. An AEP can help you manage diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, falls risk, osteoporosis, COPD, Parkinson's disease, stroke, chronic pain and many more. AEPs can also help you make lifestyle changes, whether you're looking to lose weight or get stronger, to help prevent chronic conditions.
What is the difference between an AEP and a physiotherapist?Let's first look at what is similar. AEPs and physiotherapists are both university qualified health professionals recognized under the Medicare program, DVA and private health care. Physiotherapists help to manage injuries and pain through a range of hands-on techniques. These include massage, dry needling, joint mobilization and so on. Typically, a person may see a physiotherapist shortly after they have an injury such as a fracture, neck or back pain and range of other joint and muscle pains. Physiotherapists aim to stop the injury from getting worse while managing pain levels and also restore movement of the joint. AEPs on the other hand will help manage the condition over the long term. They use their expertise of exercise prescription to help improve your balance and get stronger so everyday tasks are easier to perform. AEPs also help the client make behavioural and lifestyle changes and educate the clients to self-manage their own condition.
What is the difference between an AEP and a personal trainer?Let's first look at what is similar. AEPs and personal trainers both design and prescribe exercise programs. Personal trainers are qualified to work with healthy populations. The training to be a personal trainer takes approximately 6 weeks in which they are taught about the body and exercise programming. AEPs are qualified to work with a range of clients, including healthy as well as those with a chronic (long term) conditions. All AEPs complete a 4 year university degree in which they are taught about the body, exercise programming, latest research, a range of clinical conditions and their management. All AEPs complete 500 hours of supervised practice before they can be called an AEP.
What do you mean by 'exercise'?This is a great question. Often times, I can see the anxiety set in when I mention the word 'exercise'. However, an exercise is any activity that you perform for the purpose of improving your health or preventing harm. It can be as simple as breathing to as intense as running a marathon. If you do something that is too easy, then it' does not bring you much benefit. Whereas if you do something that is too hard, you may give it up or even hurt yourself. This is why it is important to consult a exercise professional about what type, amount and frequency of exercise is right for you.
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