Accredited Exercise Physiologists are allied health professionals, providing exercise and lifestyle therapies for the prevention and management of chronic disease, injury and disability.
AEP vs. PT Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are not Personal Trainers. AEPs are allied-health professionals with Medicare Provider numbers and are trained members of the health and medical sector. Fitness professionals (e.g. personal trainers) are members of the sport and recreation sector.
- Rebates: AEP services are eligible for Medicare, DVA and private health rebates
- Evidence: Exercise physiology enhances patient outcomes through evidence based practice
1. A patient recently diagnosed with osteoporosis.
High intensity strength training and impact exercise have been shown to be effective in increasing muscle strength and maintaining or even increasing bone density by up to 2%/year, which will assist in reducing the risk of a fracture during a fall. An AEP can design and supervise a specifically focused strength and balance training program, so as to reduce the possibility of a premature fracture during falls. The AEP may also be able to advise on a nutrition program to maximise the gains in muscle and bone mass with exercise.
2. A patient recently diagnosed with chronic depression.
Regular exercise is now well recognised to reduce the symptoms associated with depressive illness. However, as these benefits are associated with high intensity weight training, it is important that exercise sessions are supervised by an AEP. The AEP can also assist with motivation and compliance of the program, which is an important support mechanism especially for patients with a mental illness.
3. An overweight patient with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
After examining the patient’s medical history, medications, and conducting a musculoskeletal assessment, the AEP will develop an integrated exercise and nutrition program to assist the patient to reduce body fat levels, improve blood glucose control and reduce blood pressure. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg and significantly increase insulin sensitivity. An exercise program will be designed that takes into account any musculoskeletal or biomechanical concerns and the patient’s current fitness level. This information will be used to determine the most appropriate exercise options. Nutritional advice may also be provided to assist the patient to achieve their health goals. The program may also include some supervised exercise sessions to ensure the patient is exercising at the appropriate intensity.