Exercise Physiology is the study of how exercise alters the function and structure of the body. A sports physiologist examines the acute responses and chronic adaptations to athletic performance in a variety of environments. The physiologist possesses a wide-ranging understanding of the body, enabling them to advise athletes and coaches of how training and preparation influence competition performance.
Testing can take place in the lab, which ensures a controlled environment to compare exercise test results. However, it is not always possible to simulate sporting activity in a lab and with advances in technology physiologists use field-based testing as much as possible. This work is vital as it can evaluate training as it happens, allowing the athlete and coach to objectively monitor what impact a particular session has had on the body.
Physiology can improve an athlete’s performance by giving important objective information which can help coaches to adapt training programmes to maximise their desired outcome. This will depend on many factors including the environment, diet, gender, age and health.
Physiology Improving Performance
Head of Physiology Steve Ingham on his work at the EIS
Audio courtesy of The Physiological Society