2 No 5
is devoted to informative articles and news items about exercise physiology.
It is a monthly magazine of news, opinions, exercise physiology professionals,
and events that shape exercise physiology. While it contains views and
opinions of the Editor
who oversees the ASEP Internet Websites, visitors can have a voice as well.
We welcome interested practitioners, researchers, and academicians to e-mail
the Publisher their thoughts and ideas or to respond directly via the ASEP
I can't remember....
men dream in the dusty recesses of their minds and wake to find their dreams
but vanity. Some men dream with their eyes open. These are dangerous men
for they are awake to see their dreams come true. "
ASEP members did!
Boone, PhD, MPH
of Exercise Physiology
of St. Scholastica
physiologists have within their grasp the most powerful force possible
in creating change. That force is an achievable and compelling vision of
the future. To dream is to hope and to believe in something better. It
is the opportunity to discover and to achieve excellence and completeness
as a profession. But, exercise physiologists must first free themselves
from the idea that exercise physiology can grow within the context of a
sports medicine philosophy. Only then can exercise physiologists create
their own future as professionals in health, fitness, rehabilitation, and
sports performance. Only then will there be the opportunity for discussion
and analysis of ways to help our BS and MS graduates access
jobs with respect and a salary to pay the bills. Common sense suggests
that now is the time to marshal commitment to strengthen and maximize professional
growth. With visionary thinking, exercise physiologists have within their
power the opportunity to advance new and innovative professional possibilities.
It is the sensible link between where exercise physiologists are today
and their ability to compete in the job market in the twenty-first century.
But, first, what is a vision?
Is Visionary Thinking?
thinking is like a dream or something imagined that motivates a person
to run (or even win) a 10-K a race or, perhaps, publish a research manuscript
in a prestigeous journal. The mind-body connnectedness goes to work to
figure out how to do it. The motivation, drive, and willingness to work,
to hope, and to believe in possibilities is the power of an idea, a dream,
or a vision. It helps to pull resources together to realize a common purpose.
of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists have organized to realize
the ASEP Vision
that they think is realistic, credible, and necessary for exercise physiology
professionalization. The vision and the ASEP
Goals are without a doubt an attractive, new view of the future for
exercise physiologists in the United States. It is about tomorrow and giving
shape to decades of a shapeless existence. It is about becoming that which
exercise physiologists have hoped for without having defined previously
a clear direction of how to get there. It is about calling forth all execise
physiologists to stand up and be counted. Each one must contribute his/her
part by way of specialized skills, talents, and resources to make a difference.
may be the personal trainer at the local health and fitness club who points
the way toward new job opportunities. It may be the cardiac rehabilitation
specialist who sees a way to dramatically increase the application of exercise
physiology in the educational-clinical setting. It may be the chair of
a department of physical education or human performance who has convinced
the administration to offer an academic degree in exercise physiology versus
an emphasis. It may be the athletic trainer with an academic background
in exercise physiology who understand how and why exercise physiologists
(from undergraduate through PhD) are needed (and can be employed) in sports
and athletic programs. It may be the exercise physiologist who is working
in corporate fitness or health promotion who comes up with an idea so new
that a totally different direction is created in hiring exercise physiologists.
Or, it may be the shared expertise of the business oriented exercise physiologists
who owns his/her business and who consultants, lectures, and educates the
public about health, fitness, and risk factor management.
or later, the wake-up call had to come. Academic exercise physiologists
have invested a lot of time in doing research and publishing their work.
Non-PhD exercise physiologists have been equally involved in their work
outside of the academic setting. They are also professionals who deserve
recognition and respect. What is needed, however, is a strong commitment
by all exercise physiologists (regardless of their work environment or
college degree) to unify and build a better bridge to professional status
for all exercise physiologists. In short, academic exercise physiologists
should work harder in helping their students access jobs, in obtaining
credibility, and professional status. They should work at instilling trust
while inspiring and challenging the upcoming exercise physiologists to
keep dreaming. Success can be built into the academic exercise physiology
(science) programs in the same way that other professional programs have
Power Behind A Vision
does the power come from? Why is an idea so enabling, catching, and moving?
It is the hope of something different that an idea or a vision creates.
Hope and faith are powerful motivators in creating change and providing
for opportunities. With hope, there is always a chance of making progress.
The power is in the belief that change will come with the right idea. As
a result, people are energized and compelled to commit voluntarily to achieving
American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) is such a vision. It
is right and timely. It is attractive and gives meaning to many exercise
physiologists, particularly to those without the PhD degree. It allows
for a shared vision that brings exercise physiologists together with the
opportunity to build their self-image and to advance the profession. ASEP
allows for a continued existence of exercise physiologists because without
a vision of hope and financial survival, non-PhD exercise physiologists
may continue to drift in confusion and disappointment.
to press the point, the question may be raised, "To
what extent are exercise physiologists ready for a vision?" The answer
is fairly clear by now. Non-PhD exercise physiologists are having some
difficult problems in the job market. Simply stated, there are are enough
good jobs and too many of the skills they are prepared to perform are being
done by non-exercise physiologists. Hence, there are many indications that
a vision is needed to give direction and certainity to what they do. Consider,
for example, the following points of concern:
Are exercise physiologists concerned about their future?
time is right to choose a new direction. Exercise physiologists must be
visionary thinkers. To start with, they need to break from the sports medicine
consensus of what constitutes an exercise physiologist. Also, they should
learn that it is okay to disagree without being wrong. They do not have
to be subject to "group think" that requires a strong commitment to support
the apparent majority at the expense of other members in the organization.
Discord and contrary points of view are okay in a democratic society. Exercise
physiologists (with or without the PhD) have no reason to censor themselves
when doubts surface and concerns become obvious.
short answer is YES, especially given the array of e-mails to ASEP regarding
the lack of jobs, poor pay scale, little to no medical coverage, the lack
of respect, and the public's misundertanding of who they are and what they
do. Their e-mails even speak of PhD
exercise physiologists who tell them that they aren't exercise physiologists
until they have a master's degree and have published in scientific journals!
No wonder they are confused. Just when they need help at graduation from
an exercise physiology (science) curriculum, they are told that they aren't
Are there indications in the hospital settings that working as an exercise
physiologist in the clinical setting is getting difficult if not impossible?
it is a challenge for many exercise physiologists who are academically
prepared to work with cardiopulmonary patients yet, instead, are subject
to assisting the physical therapist assistant! Nurses and occupational
therapist prescrib exercise and performing stress tests while exercise
physiologists are required to standby. And, if that isn't enough, they
have to endure questions such as, "What do you do around here?" or "Are
you a coach or physical education teacher?"
Are exercise physiologists more likely today to say what they think about
sports medicine organizations, especially whether they are sports medicine
organizations per se versus a combination of sports medicine and exercise
answer is, again, YES. However, it is still interesting how PhD exercise
physiologists seem to still confuse sports medicine with exercise physiology
and, unfortunately, many sports medicine personalities fail completely
in acknowledging responsibility to the exercise physiology profession!
Are there graduates of exercise science academic programs who are unhappy
career choice, particularly being an exercise physiologists?
there is less pride today than five years ago. The sense of commitment
to exercise physiology is not the same. In time, if the PhD academic exercise
physiologists do not address this issue, there may well be a larger issue
to face. Fewer students will mean fewer academic jobs for the PhDs!
Is there a feeling within sports medicine that equals an unwillingness
to step up and address the exercise physiology professionalization issues?
Much of what sports medicine has not done for exercise physiologists is
in keeping with the development of sports medicine. In fact, there is little
question that a strong relationship exists between the sports medicine/doctor
emphasis by medical professionals from different fields of study and the
lack of an emphasis on exercise physiology.
Are there exercise physiologists who are no longer supportive of the shared
sports medicine/exercise science vision and direction?
Interestingly, sport medicine organizations and their directors refuse
to acknowledge that exercise physiologists are not given the same support.
In fact, they refer to the exercise physiology as exercise science and,
yet everyone of the exercise physiologists who have written texts for the
profession use the title -- Exercise Physiology." It appears that sports
medicine personalities are interested in only their definition of exercise
physiology. However, clearly, their title of who is an exercise physiologist
and their definition of what exercise physiologists do are grossly inappropriate
and inadequate. Unfortunately, the few exercise physiologists in sports
medicine who have tried to look objectively at the future of the exercise
physiology profession have had relatively little impact.
Is Visionary Thinking Right?
differently, how does the exercise physiologist know when he/she is supporting
the right vision? To answer the question, consider the reasons for the
Will exercise physiologists benefit from ASEP's efforts to professionalize
the field? If the answer is YES, then the vision is right.
Will ASEP require new standards of performance (i.e., outcomes and code
of ethics)? If the answer is YES, the vision is right.
Will ASEP clarify what exercise physiologists do, the education that is
required, and the significance of certification? If the answer is YES,
the vision is correct.
Will ASEP increase credibility, and will membership facilitate credibility
(i.e., via ASEP academic accreditation)? If the answer is YES, the vision
Will ASEP result in a more focused, reflective, and professional understanding
of the differences between sports medicine and exercise physiologists?
If YES, then it is right.
Will ASEP reflect the strengths and uniqueness of exercise physiologists?
If YES, the vision is right.
Will the ASEP vision require Society members to share in sacrificing time
and effort to growth as well as the possibility of failure? If YES, then
it is right.
The ASEP Vision Is Important?
Physiologists Have Rights!
people not only deserve good visionary thinking, but the thinking must
be believable, credible, and truthful. It is not business-as-usual with
the usual mistakes. Rather, it is a reaching and growing statement with
a destination (end result) in mind. Visionary thinking is unique and refreshing.
It fosters pride and allows for the attitude, "We are important, and have
a right to our future." And, in this context, the reader may want to refer
VISION is a collaborative action requiring an active role and support
of as many exercise physiologists as possible. In short, it comes down
to a statement by John M. Richardson, Jr. "When it comes to the future,
there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make
it happen, and those who wonder what happened." Exercise physiologists
are people who make it happen. That is part of their heritage. They are
committed to visionary thinking, therefore, they will want to participate
and will do so freely without coercion or manipulation. They will want
to continue living the vision that got its start in physical education
departments all across the United States.
leaders in the fitness, health, rehabilitation, and sports/athletics fields
of study, they will want to be a deliberate part of the change in the direction
exercise physiology is moving. They understand loyalty, self-sacrifice,
and persistence, and are willing to trust in their sense of what is right,
and thus move forwards in implementing ASEP stability.
Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it," Visionary thinking
is dreaming and hoping and believing that it can be done. It is taking
a chance and achieving shared excellence. All exercise physiologists have
to do is dream the dream and put their full resources and commitment behind
DEDICATED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGISTS who are working on
behalf of the Society, click
on the internet page that lists the different ASEP committees and the membership
you have a different view of this subject or something to add that other
ASEP readers would find important, please consider posting your comments
via the ASEP
Public Forum. Its FREE!
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