Exercise Science

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Articles on Exercise Science:
   Major in Exercise Science
   A future in Exercise Science

Major in Exercise Science

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

 “Work gives us the opportunity to use our endowed talents to showcase God’s love for the world.” ~Christos Makridis

The human body is fearfully and wonderfully created and capable of amazing things, including the ability to heal and to overcome challenges. Exercise science is concerned with a person’s response and adaptation to exercise. As a subfield of kinesiology, it not only focuses on the mechanics of human movement, but with specific bodily changes resulting from proper exercise and nutrition. A degree in exercise science may lead to employment in a rehab facility, recreation center, high school or college athletic department, fitness club, or hospital or primary care facility, just to name a few. It will enable you to work with clients in achieving their health goals—whether that be improving overall athletic performance, losing weight, strength conditioning, recovering from injury or illness or training for a specific event such as a marathon.

Besides having a desire to promote active lifestyles and wellness, an exercise major should possess certain traits such as good communication and interpersonal skills. These are necessary when working as a team player amongst diverse cliental. It is important to be able to listen well, ask clarifying questions and respond clearly. It’s also to your advantage to be attentive to detail and possess keen observational and problem-solving skills. Athletes are all different and there is not a “one size fits all” mold, so it is imperative that you are naturally curious, able to think outside the box and research effective treatment options when the standard solutions aren’t working.

As an exercise science major you can expect to take plenty of science classes such as biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry and physics. Some of the other classes you might take include:

  • Sports Physiology
  • Motor Learning and Development
  • Nutrition
  • Injury Prevention
  • Fitness Testing
  • Biomechanics
  • Sports Medicine  

Some exercise science majors go on for further education and pursue careers in physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthopedics, education and research, or some sort of medical career. However, exercise science is not only a “stepping stone” major. The need for well-trained individuals who are qualified to design and implement effective exercise programs is on the rise. In fact, the growth rate for many jobs related to exercise science is between 13-19% (well above the average national growth rate for other careers). Some popular career outcomes for those with an exercise science degree are:

  • Exercise physiologists. These professionals work with a team of trained medical personnel to create rehabilitation exercise plans for those with chronic illness or injury.
  • Cardiac rehab therapists work specifically with patients who have heart disease or are recovering from heart surgery. They labor, from a variety of angles, to improve heart function and speed recovery.
  • Personal trainers guide clients into individualized exercise programs designed to help them meet their unique health goals.
  • Recreational therapists work with aging individuals or those with physical disabilities and employ arts, crafts, dance, sports, music and community outings to encourage overall well-being and healing.
  • Coaches/Intramural sports program directors/athletic trainers work in schools or city recreation centers to provide sports instruction or to oversee recreational programming.
  • Nutritionists. Working in a wide range of settings, these experts advise clients on healthy eating in order to assist them in achieving their wellness and fitness goals.

The career possibilities are endless when it comes to an exercise science degree. If you enjoy physical fitness and desire to lead others to new heights of healthy living, then perhaps God is leading you to dive into this exciting major!