ASEP Mission StatementThe American Society of Exercise Physiologists, the professional organization representing and promoting the profession of exercise physiology, is committed to the professional development of exercise physiology, its advancement, and the credibility of exercise physiologists.
What is Exercise Physiology?
Exercise Physiology is the identification of physiological mechanisms underlying physical activity, the comprehensive delivery of treatment services concerned with the analysis, improvement, and maintenance of health and fitness, rehabilitation of heart disease and other diseases and/or disabilities, and the professional guidance and counsel of athletes and others interested in athletics, sports training, and human adaptability to acute and chronic exercise.
The Introduction to Exercise Physiology text is endorsed by the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). For more information about exercise physiology as a healthcare profession, go straight to Jones and Bartlett Publishing or click on any number of Internet sites such as Introduction to Exercise Physiology.
Who is an Exercise Physiologist?
Exercise Physiologist is a healthcare professional who either has an academic degree in exercise physiology or who is certified by ASEP to practice exercise physiology [via the Exercise Physiologist Certified exam (EPC)] or who has a doctorate degree in exercise physiology from an accredited college or university.
The Exercise Physiologist's Practice
Establishing and implementing standards of practice are major functions of a professional organization. The purpose of the standards is to describe the responsibilities for which exercise physiologists are accountable. The Exercise Physiology Practice promotes health and wellness, prevents illness and disability, restores health and well-being, and helps athletes reach their potential in sports training and performance.
Society is full of "personal trainers." They may or may not have a college degree. Often, they can earn a certification from any one of numerous organizations that do not meet qualifications set by the ASEP Board of Certification. People need regular exercise. After all, exercise medicine should be prescribed by Board Certified Exercise Physiologists.
A Board Certified Exercise Physiologist is a person who has passed the ASEP Exercise Physiologist Certified exam. EPCs are held accountable to the ASEP Code of Ethics and the Exercise Physiologist's Standards of Practice.
"Professional Distinction with Board Certification"
ASEP is important for many reasons, but one in particular is to promote the professional development of exercise physiology. Hence, implicit within the ASEP web pages is the notion that exercise physiology is a healthcare profession. The bulk of the epidemiologic evidence and the scientific papers by exercise physiologists support the health benefits of regular exercise. Moreover, it is clear that an active lifestyle protects from many diseases. Now, with the ASEP Board Certification as the gold standard for exercise physiologists, the supervision, safety, and care of clients are increasingly evident throughout the public sector.Personal trainers may or may not have a college degree and, if they do, the degree may or may not be in a related field. They are not qualified to earn the EPC degree. Therefore, they can neither be held accountable to the exercise physiology Code of Ethics nor practice exercise physiology.
ASEP: A True Vision!
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is a process. Working together is success." -- Henry Ford
Professional exercise physiologists have a responsibility to create change in their professional arenas, whether that is in the clinical area, education, administration, business, or research. Personal attention, role modeling, precepting, and mentoring are all critical to sharing values and career goals and other important professional matters, including but not limited to, accreditation, board certification, and standards of practice.
Exercise physiologists are recognized as healthcare professionals, which is certainly different from the old version of an exercise specialist, trainer, or fitness instructor. Exercise physiologists serve their clients in diverse career venues and practices. This kind of responsibility requires a credible certification that reflects professionalism, protects the public, and strengthens the profession.