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A future in Kinesiology
By Amber Bailey
Holistic health is all the rage recently, but it is not at all a new study, practice or goal. The study of kinesiology focuses on the mechanics and anatomy of muscular activity in relation to human movement. The word is derived from the Greek word "kinesis" which means "movement". It was a method originally used by physiotherapists to do what is commonly known as "muscle testing" where different techniques are used to test a person's range of movement and muscle tone. This is only the tip of the iceberg for today's kinesiology majors.
This is typically a major offered as only a small facet, or part of, a much larger degree program within physical therapy, sports medicine or a similar subject. It is a stepping stone, of sorts, into a graduate program like occupational or physical therapies. There are also a handful of schools that offer a 4-year degree that concentrates specifically on kinesiology.
Course work includes study in classes such as, but not limited to, assessing sports injuries, biomechanics, fitness testing, exercise physiology, human anatomy, motor behavior and learning, motor development and coordination, nutrition and sports physiology. Most programs will also require hands on learning through an internship at a local fitness facility, health clinic or rehabilitation center. These would typically last a semester and count towards your credit hours. You will not only learn about the physical body but also the psychology and social aspects of wellness.
These courses are designed to prepare you for a career in any setting that includes the physical activity of people. You will leave school prepared for a career in a hybrid health and medical specialty practice, any part of the fitness and wellness industries, perhaps a health and physical education teacher at a high school or college and/or prepare for graduate school. You can become a key member of the health care team for a professional sports program or sports medicine clinic. Kinesiologists also do things like designing exercise programs for people with disabilities and work with patients recovering from an accident or surgery.
Kinesiology is very much a helping and service based profession. You must have an interest in helping others achieve their fitness and wellness goals. As its foundation is in the sciences, you must also have an interest in basic biology, psychology and sociology. Having a personality that is caring and compassionate will go a long way. And, as with any career working in close proximity to others, stellar communication skills are a must.
It was once said, "Most people have no idea how good their body was designed to feel." Majoring in kinesiology will help you gain the knowledge and skills necessary to help people realize the potential of their God given physical forms and live up to their true potential. As Christians, we should understand more fully just how intricately God made us in both physical and spiritual form. If the spiritual body is unhealthy, the physical body often manifests symptoms and ailments. You could be helping people create a balance in both as your future career.
"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
- I Corinthians 15:44 NKJV