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The Fitness Zone

Become An Exercise Therapist
July 9, 2012

The Institute's newly launched Exercise Therapist (Diploma of Fitness) program gives you the skills and qualification to work with people who have chronic health conditions, providing the missing link between Personal Trainers and Allied Health Professionals.

We spoke to John Felton, Exercise Physiologist from The Exercise Clinic, to explain what an Exercise Therapist is and why they need further training after Certificate lll and IV.

What is the role of an Exercise Therapist?

Their role is to help those fighting chronic disease or those trying to rehabilitate after some type of injury or chronic dysfunction, taking referrals from Allied Health Professionals, such as Exercise Physiologists, General Practitioners, Physiotherapists, and Dieticians.

Why are they needed?

They are able to understand chronic conditions and can effectively manage and supervise those patients who have been referred, helping them on a road to a better life.

Why is the extra education so important?

Exercise Therapists will encounter people who are on medication, people who are de-trained or those who haven't exercised in a long time, so they need that extra knowledge after becoming a Personal Trainer. They also need to be able to stabilise and improve the integrity of the joint they're trying to rehabilitate.

What is a day like as an Exercise Therapist?

You'll be working with a number of people who have chronic disease or dysfunction, helping them to understand what exercises they need to do, and giving them the cues and the education that they need to be able to perform the exercises properly. You'll work with them to progress those exercises so they get a progressive overload and improvement of physical function.

What are the most common conditions you see?

We see a lot of diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, chronic dysfunction for hip and knee problems, hip replacements, knee replacements, mechanical instability, low back pain, shoulder problems, and neck pain.

How does an Exercise Therapist go about treating them?

The biggest thing is understanding the condition before you start to train the person. If you don't understand the person's condition you may prescribe an exercise that isn't appropriate for someone with that condition or you may progress an exercise too fast, both of which may give you a less than desired outcome.

How rewarding is it to be an Exercise Therapist?

The Exercise Therapists who work with us love their job because they're working with people who have conditions that really impact their lives and their families. If you can actually improve that condition, and improve the way the feel about their self then they come back a much happier, healthier person. They're able to do more in their activities in daily living, and the job satisfaction that comes with that is enormous.

10 facts about becoming an Institute Certified Exercise Therapist

  1. You will be opening up more opportunities.
  2. It a hugely rewarding career path as you will be helping fellow human beings to improve the quality of their life.
  3. You could deliver exercise plans in a broad range of settings, including exercise therapy clinics, medical and rehabilitation clinics, hospitals, health care centres, corporate health, as well as in health clubs and gyms.
  4. You will take referrals from Allied Health Professionals.
  5. It will suit you if you're an established Personal Trainer or health professional who already has industry experience and is looking to up-skill.
  6. Having a desire to make a difference, and help or improve the health of those around you is important.
  7. It requires dedication and maturity.
  8. The program was developed by highly qualified and respected experts.
  9. It's delivered online, through eBooks and assessments, along three compulsory face-to-face workshops known as Exercise Therapy Clinics.
  10. You will have 18 months in which to complete the program.

Exercise Therapist is an innovative, highly researched and relevant course that will empower you to help make positive change to patients suffering from known and identified chronic conditions, and even open the door to having your own exercise therapy clinic.

This is the only way you can get certified as an Institute Exercise Therapist. This Diploma of Fitness has been highly customised for the purposes of exercise therapy for a wide range of chronic conditions, and electives have been chosen for the specialty areas of disabilities, neurological impairment, children and older adults, as well as metabolic, cardio-respiratory and musculoskeletal conditions.

The program requires specific prior experience and knowledge, so please call 1300 669 669 and speak with the Careers Team at Australian Institute of Fitness to see if you qualify.

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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