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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:
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:
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!
By Amber Gragert
Health and fitness has been a subject of great importance since Adam and Eve. God has told us through scripture that our bodies are a temple and it is important to take care of them as such. 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”
In this day and age, with the influence of social media and with the ease of accessibility regarding news on health, more and more people are concerned with being healthier and stronger versions of themselves than ever before. Obtaining your degree in exercise science could help you be the professional people turn to for help with reaching their own health and fitness goals.
What precisely is exercise science and what can you do with that field of study? According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, exercise science is the scientific study of human movement performed to maintain or improve physical fitness. With exercise science as your career major, the options for a professional in this area are wide open under the category of health and fitness but also in select medical profession realms. Other professions that are similar to exercise science would include exercise physiology, kinesiology, movement science and fitness & wellness. This degree would be a great stepping stone for jobs in the fitness industry in general including training, strength coaching, managing a gym or even as a director of a corporate wellness program. Perhaps a career as clinical exercise specialist or exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab in the medical field interests you? If you continue to further your exercise science education after you receive your bachelor’s degree, you may want to work towards a master's degree or even a doctorate degree. This could lead to a profession in something like sports medicine and could open doors into the pro sports arena if that is your passion.
Positive traits to naturally have or develop further would include interest in the physical anatomy, working well with people from all backgrounds, sensitivity to others, a desire to stay up to date on the latest medical recommendations and how to apply them in this field, one who is observant and enjoys helping and motivating others reach their own goals.
Should you choose to continue your education you can move higher in your profession, receiving higher pay, become a chair on the board of a hospital or perhaps move on to teaching exercise science as a professor for a university.
As you can see, a degree in exercise science is very versatile. This degree can provide a strong educational background for your very own health and fitness career as well as provide a stepping stone into a graduate or healthcare professional program.