19 May What to expect when you see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) for the first time
Let’s face it, going to see any health professional can be a daunting activity if it’s your first visit.
You are basically going to see someone to explain how your health is failing you. It can take a lot of courage to set up the appointment, let alone go into your personal details and routines.
However, working with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) can be a truly rewarding process and they can make a hugely positive impact to your life.
What makes AEPs different to other exercise professionals?
- They are university qualified
- They are subject to strict accreditation requirements
- They are eligible to register with Medicare Australia, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and WorkCover and are recognised by most private health insurers
- They can treat and work with all types of people, those who want to improve their health and wellbeing to those unfortunately living with a chronic illness.
What makes AEPs even more special is they know how to set goals and maintain motivation, these are two aspects that will most commonly see people fail at exercise.
So what should you expect on your journey with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist?
Step 1 – Search for an AEP
If you Google ‘Accredited Exercise Physiologist’ and your suburb you will easily find an AEP near you.
Alternatively you can use this search function to find an AEP in your postcode. This search function will also help you search for any particular requirements you need (e.g. specialities, languages etc.).
Step 2 – Make contact
Call or email your friendly AEP and book in an appointment. Allow up to an hour for your initial consultation.
P.S. You do not need a doctor’s referral to book in with an AEP.
Step 3 – Initial Consultation
During your first session with an AEP, they will undertake a comprehensive assessment in order to develop an exercise plan based on your unique requirements.
This session will most likely be a fair few questions about your health and history.
A lot of people are concerned about what to wear for this appointment. We always say wear loose comfortable clothing as you may be asked to do a range of movements, it is highly unlikely that you will be doing any actual ‘exercising’ so no need to pack the lycra!
After this session, an AEP will provide you with a plan of action.
In some situations your AEP may advise a referral to another health or medical professional.
Step 4 – Implementing Your Plan
The next step is actually undertaking the plan as set out by your AEP. This can sometimes be home based exercises, exercises at the clinic or joining your AEP at a local gym. This is the time you need to have your work out gear on.
Step 5 – Check-ups and tracking
This is the point where you will have a catch up with your AEP and monitor and check out how you are tracking.
An AEP will always compare your current health status with previously established results. This catch up will determine the next course of action – this could be more sessions with under direct guidance from an AEP or a plan for you to do in your own time.
Step 6 – Teaching you how to take control of your health
Throughout the entire process, an AEP will work with you to implement a number of strategies to help you manage your health in the future.
These strategies could include:
- Collaborative goal setting
- Managing potential barriers
- A set plan on how to reduce treatment or medication
- Create a plan that will lead to a stronger, healthier body
An AEP’s ultimate goal is to provide you with the tools, knowledge and mindset that will mean you are not only happier and healthier, but also reduce your need to see an AEP in the future.
Many AEPs are dual qualifies in other health disciplines (E.g. an AEP can also be an Accredited Practising Dietitian) and can use this knowledge to out together a comprehensive plan.
Seeing an AEP should never be daunting, they are experts in managing your health and their ultimate goal is to help you manage it yourself.
Things an AEP will never do:
- Judge you or make you uncomfortable about your health levels or goals
- Never leave any question unanswered
- Take the motto “no pain, no gain”
- Will never take a one size fits all approach
- Will never dictate, they will always work with you to achieve your goals
To find out more, contact your nearest Accredited Exercise Physiologist.