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Note: The online classroom is designed to time students out after 90 minutes of inactivity. Because of this, we strongly suggest that you compose your work in a word processing program and copy and paste it into the discussion post when you are ready to submit it.

Hello and welcome to Week 1 of Exercise and Physiology! In this first week, we will be exploring the field of exercise physiology, nutrition in sports, performance enhancers, and career planning. We will be covering the following learning outcomes:

  1. Explain the origins of and job opportunities for careers in exercise physiology
  2. Explain the function and importance of macronutrients and micronutrients in the human body
  3. Analyze the negative impact of using performance enhancing chemicals or hormones
  4. Develop a career plan

There are four learning activities this week that you are responsible for completing. First, you need to post your introduction by Day 1, complete the Formulating a Career Plan Discussion by Day 3, create a poster about performance enhancers by Day 5, and complete a PowerPoint presentation on precompetition meals by Day 7. Please read the course guide for specific detail on each of these assignments and email your instructor or use the Ask the Instructor forum if you have any questions about these assignments.


What is exercise physiology?

The most important first question to answer is what is exercise physiology? Exercise is defined as a planned, structured activity with a purpose. The purpose may vary depending on the goal. Some individuals may exercise to reduce the risk of chronic disease such as obesity or cardiovascular disease. Athletes may exercise to improve or maintain maximal oxygen uptake of the body. Others may exercise to improve specific bodily functions. For example, a person enrolled in pulmonary rehab may have a goal to improve pulmonary function to help decrease shortness of breath. Physiology is defined as the study of normal functions of the body (Merrier-Webster, 2014). Therefore, exercise physiology is the study of how the body functions during exercise. The study of exercise physiology can answer the following questions:

  1. What acute responses occur in the body during short bouts of exercise?
  2. What are the chronic adaptations that occur in the body with long-term exercise?
  3. What health benefits occur with regular exercise?
  4. How does the body supply energy to all of the body systems during exercise?

These are just a few questions that can be answered through the study of exercise physiology. Next, we will discuss some of the careers available in the field of exercise physiology.

Careers in exercise physiology

Exercise physiology is actually a study of various disciplines including medicine, physiology, and anatomy (Katch, McArdle, & Katch, 2011). Therefore, the exercise physiology student will find himself taking various courses related to health, anatomy and physiology, and biology. The study of exercise physiology may be found in a variety of health related programs because professionals in the field cannot settle on one program area to offer courses in exercise physiology. Exercise physiology may be found under the following university departments: Allied Health Sciences, Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education, Kinesiology, Movement Studies, Wellness and Fitness, and Sports Studies to name just a few. There are various certifications available for someone who has graduated with a degree in exercise physiology. A few of these certifications include clinical exercise physiologist, certified strength and conditioning specialist, certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management consultant, sports nutrition certification, and group fitness instructor (Katch, McArdle, & Katch, 2011). Practicing exercise physiologists may be found in hospitals, universities, fitness centers, and rehabilitation clinics. If you are interested in a certification related to exercise physiology, check out the following websites:

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