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Philosophy on Exercise Science

Megan Ludke
Carroll University

Running Head: PHILOSOPHY OF EXERCISE SCIENCE

Philosophy on Exercise Science


My goal in becoming an exercise science professional is to spread the importance of
exercise.
According to the ACSMS Introduction to Exercise Science, exercise science is a broad
term used to describe many different fields that have the common aspect of movement and
adaptations related to physical activity (Potteiger, 2014). To me, exercise science means so much
more. My philosophy of exercise science includes the positive impacts of exercise science on
the community, my responsibility to walk the talk, how I believe that exercise is medicine, the
fields connection to my personality, and the goals that I want to complete as an exercise science
professional.
Impact on the Community
I believe that exercise science is an important field of study that can be used to help the
community. The importance of health and regular exercise can be seen through the negative
effects of obesity. Obese employees compared to non-obese employees miss more days from
work due to absences and premature death (Economic Costs, 2012). This statement reflects
that individuals should be fit and healthy in order to properly complete their jobs. Obesity is also
linked to depression. 43% of adults with depression were obese and depressed adults are more
likely to be obese (Pratt & Brody, 2014). Obesity is linked to hypertension, coronary heart
disease, heart failure, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease (O'Riordan, 2011). All of
these effects of obesity have had a negative impact on the economy through an increase in the
cost of heath care services. The medical costs of cardiovascular diseases was $273 billion in
2011 (O'Riordan, 2011). The medical costs for treating obesity-related diseases are expected to
rise $48 billion to $66 billion per year (Tang, 2013). Many of these diseases and conditions are
preventable. As a future exercise science professional, I believe that it is my duty to raise
awareness of the importance of exercise. These numerous facts have shown how being unfit can
cause negative effects on the economy, mental health, and disease prevalence. By promoting
exercise, I would be promoting a healthy lifestyle in my community, reducing disease, and
helping improve the United States economy.
Exercise science is a broad umbrella term used to describe many different disciplines
which range from nutrition to sports medicine (Potteiger, 2014). Because exercise science is
such a broad term, there is a wide range of services that exercise science professionals can
provide to help the community. For example, a clinical exercise physiologist can help
rehabilitate patients in the community with acute and chronic diseases. While an exercise
psychologist can help individuals with the mental aspects of exercise (Potteiger, 2014). There
are numerous disciplines and subdisciplines that fall under the exercise science category, all of
which have a unique and beneficial impact on the community.
Walk the Talk
As a future exercise science professional, it is one of my goals to walk the talk. I
believe that it is my duty as an exercise science major to be a role model. This means that I
should promote a healthy lifestyle and walk the talk by using exercise and proper nutrition to
maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is a very important aspect of my beliefs because obesity is a
growing problem in the United States. Currently, 34.9% of U.S. adults are obese and
approximately 17% of children in the United States are obese (Adult Obesity Facts, 2015)

Running Head: PHILOSOPHY OF EXERCISE SCIENCE

(Childhood Obesity Facts, 2015). I want to walk the talk in order to prevent and eliminate
obesity.
I believe that I must also walk the talk in order to effectively help my patients or
clients. There are negative consequences to being an overweight and unfit health care provider.
Patients may view an overweight exercise science professional as hypocritical if the professional
is giving them tips to be healthy. Also, patients treated by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare
providers that are overweight may think that they do not have to have a healthy lifestyle because
their healthcare professional does not have a health lifestyle (Russell, 2012). These facts further
emphasize the need that all exercise science and healthcare professionals should walk the talk.
If I do not walk the talk I may be viewed as hypocritical and unfit to properly complete my job
tasks as an exercise science professional.
Exercise as Medicine
Part of my philosophy of exercise science is that exercise can be used as a type of
medicine and that exercise is medicine. I believe that exercise can be prescribed and help
increase an individuals quality of life. According to a new study, exercise may be as effective
as medication in preventing early death in heart attack or stroke patients (Hellmich, 2013).
Exercise can also lower the risk of early death; help control weight; and reduce the risk of heart
disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, some types of cancer, and a numerous additional
conditions. The risk of cognitive decline and hip fractures is also reduced by regular exercise
(Hellmich, 2013). This study shows how exercise can improve peoples lives as effectively as
medication. Also, exercise is medicine according to the findings reported in BMJ, a British
medical journal which states that among stroke patients, exercise was more effective than drugs
(Hellmich, 2013). For patients who had had heart attacks, exercise appeared to be as effective as
drugs in preventing early deaths, Naci said (Hellmich, 2013). These facts further prove my
belief of how exercise is as effective as medicine which shows that exercise can be used as
medicine to increase the quality of life and health of patients. Regular physical activity reduces
mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by about 50% (Exercise is Medicine, 2015).
Physical activity also reduces the risk of developing Alzheimers disease and lowers the risk of
all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer-specific specific mortality in adults with higher levels of
muscle strength (Exercise is Medicine, 2015). This is another fact that proves the importance
of physical activity and how it can help reduce mortality rates. Doctors often prescribe exercise
for patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes, cardiac disease or pulmonary disease
(Exercise Physiologist, 2015). In these cases, exercise is being prescribed just like any other
prescription drug (Exercise Physiologist, 2015). This fact offers another insight into how
exercise is medicine through which doctors are prescribing exercise like it is medication.
Exercise can reduce the rate of diseases and depression and help individuals to be healthy. My
belief of exercise is medicine is proven through the numerous positive benefits, such as a
decrease in risk of early death and diseases, of using exercise as medicine.
Exercise as medicine can also be seen through the effects of physical inactivity. Physical
inactivity is a leading cause of death worldwide and is a major risk factor for chronic diseases,
such as coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, and several cancers. Physical inactivity was
responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths (9% of the total global premature mortality)
(Exercise is Medicine, 2015). Worldwide, it is estimated that physical inactivity causes 6% of
the global burden of disease from coronary heart disease; 7% of type II diabetes; and 10% of
breast and colon cancer cases (Exercise is Medicine, 2015). By viewing the effects of

Running Head: PHILOSOPHY ON EXERCISE SCIENCE

physical inactivity, it can be viewed how exercise can be medicine and how exercise can prevent
diseases and improve lives. I believe that it is my duty to spread the knowledge of the negative
effects of being inactive and how those negative effects can be reversed through regular exercise.
By advocating for individuals to be more active, I can help community members have heathier
lives.
Connection to Personality
I believe that the field of study that I pursue should have as strong connection to my
personality. I feel that exercise science is a fit for my personality. My personality type is
introverted, sensing, and feeling (ISFJ). I am introverted which means that I go through lifes
directions internally. I am also sensing which means that I absorb data through a literal and
concrete way. My decision making skills are based on what I believe that is right which is the
feeling part of my personality. I am also judging which means that I want things to be neat,
orderly, and settled (Personality Type Explained, 2015). Many aspects of my personality fit
well with general job tasks of exercise science careers. I work well one-on-one which is due to
the introverted part of my personality. This aspect of my personality can be viewed in my past
experience of tutoring. I work the best when I am teaching only one person at a time. Many
careers in exercise science deal with working one-on-one which is great for my personality.
Another aspect of my personality is that I am extremely aware of other peoples emotions. This
can help me to effectively motivate and help others become healthier if I am able to sense their
emotions. An additional aspect of my personality is that I am a great listener. Being a good
listener is necessary for many careers in exercise science because I must be able to listen and
understand what my patient or client is telling me. Another part of my personality is that I am
warm, friendly, and affirming by nature. These are great qualities to have as an exercise science
profession because my patients or clients will feel more at ease and comfortable around me. To
conclude, I feel that my major of exercise science is a great fit for my personality.
Conclusion of Goals as an Exercise Science Professional
I have numerous goals that I want to achieve by being an exercise science professional. I
want to raise awareness and advocate to the public the positive effects of exercise and how
exercise can be used as a type of medicine to help illnesses. It is also one of my goals to be a
positive influence to others by walking the talk in order to promote a healthy life. It is my
ultimate goal as an exercise science professional to help individuals live a longer, happier, and
healthier life through regular exercise.

Running Head: PHILOSOPHY OF EXERCISE SCIENCE

References
Adult Obesity Facts. (2015, September 21). Retrieved November 24, 2015, from
http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
Childhood Obesity Facts. (2015, June 19). Retrieved November 24, 2015, from
http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html
Economic Costs. (2012, October 20). Retrieved November 21, 2015, from
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic/
Exercise is Medicine. (2015). Retrieved November 24, 2015, from
http://www.exerciseismedicine.org/support_page.php?p=3
Exercise Physiologist. (2015, November 23). Retrieved November 24, 2015, from
http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/career/142/exercise_physiologist
Hellmich, N. (2013, October 2). Is exercise the best medicine? Studies show big benefit.
Retrieved November 24, 2015, from
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/02/exercise-medicine-heart-diseasediabetes/2907853/
O'Riordan, M. (2011, January 26). Cost of Cardiovascular Disease to Triple by 2030. Retrieved
November 24, 2015, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/736339
Personality Type Explained. (2015). Retrieved November 24, 2015, from
http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/type
Potteiger, J. (2014). ACSM's introduction to exercise science (2nd ed., p. 6). Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania: Wollters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Pratt LA, Brody DJ. Depression and obesity in the U.S. adult household population, 20052010.
NCHS data brief, no 167. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2014.
Russell, C. (2012, June 12). Doctors, Practice What You Preach. Retrieved November 24, 2015,
from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/06/doctors-practice-what-youpreach/258379/
Tang, K. (2013, March 13). Obesity and the Rising Cost of Healthcare in America. Retrieved
November 21, 2015, from http://www.fairfoodnetwork.org/connect/blog/obesity-andrising-cost-healthcare-america