What you might not know about exercise physiology is that our clientele expands across all ages including children and teens. Now I hear you ask but what would a child or teen see and exercise physiologist for? There are many reasons that a child might see an EP and here are some.
Firstly, childhood cancers, exercise participation during treatment and post treatment are crucial following cancer diagnosis. During cancer treatment our whole body is impacted which is why exercise is so important to maintain good physical and mental health. Exercise helps us to manage fatigue, maintain cardiovascular fitness and strength and improve quality of life. For young children it helps to maintain correct motor control patterns and developmental progress.
Another area we often see children is mental health, one in seven young people aged between 4-17 experience a mental health condition. The treatment for mental health conditions should always include exercise prescription due to the effectiveness of exercise on the conditions. Exercise also helps to manage the side effects of mental health medication.
Children diagnosed with respiratory conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. Children with these conditions can improve or maintain lung function with participation in exercise. For cystic fibrosis it helps children to maintain good quality of life and being able to participate in activity.
Children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, physical disabilities and juvenile arthritis to assist in them maintaining good health, improve function, maintain/improve range of motion and decrease pain. Exercise helps to increase their function, improve their quality of life and independence.
Other conditions that children benefit from exercise physiology include: diabetes, heart disease, intellectual disabilities, obesity and musculoskeletal injuries. There are so many benefits for children to participate in exercise physiology and research shows us that participation in exercise when we are younger increases likelihood of participation as adults. Not only does exercise benefit a condition they may already have but it prevents any further conditions developing due to lack of physical activity.