Exercise science is a very wide term. It encompasses everything from fitness, to body movement, to diet and more. It is the study of the mechanism of human body movement, physical activity, and exercise. It studies how exercise should interact with the human body. It lends a scientific touch to fitness and to enable people to understand the physiological impact of exercise and its impact more objectively. Exercise science is used interchangeably with kinesiology. Both the terms are closely related. While exercise science is the effect of physical activity on the body; kinesiology includes the studies of biomechanics, motor control and physiological effects of exercise. Exercise science typically covers areas of exercise physiology, kinesiology, sports medicine, human performance and physical education.
How did it all begin?
During the early 20th century the subject of exercise science gained prominence. The resurgence of Olympic Games was a major contributor too. What was being studied at the time was the effect of exercise on the heart rate, lungs, and hemoglobin. Exercising at higher altitudes, oxygen consumption and other related areas were also researched. This was also the time when insulin was synthesized for treatment of diabetes. Organizations, as well as, individuals woke up to the importance of fitness, physical activity and awareness about the same increased. Aerobics became a buzzword in addition to exercises like walking and jogging.
If you wish to pursue exercise science or are pursuing the same and are wondering about your prospects there are some useful resources like withmydegree.org out there. Sharing here some key terms associated with the discipline. The field of study in the discipline is fairly wide and a degree in the same can open several career paths for you. Though some of the more advanced occupations based on exercise might require further education.
Understanding the discipline of exercise science better
Kinesiology: It can be literally defined as the study of human movement. It can be broadly defined as the study of the biological, social, behavioral and developmental bases for physical activity, sports, etc.
Sports medicine: It deals directly with sports-related injuries also including injuries sustained during physical activity or exercise. It also covers the prevention and treatment of such injuries.
Exercise physiology: Though used interchangeably this is not the same exercise science. While exercise science might embody kinesiology, physical education, human performance and more, exercise physiology only covers a fixed a field of study. This is more or less standardized curriculum focused on physiology.
With increased interest and the need for fitness globally exercise science has become popular. It is an interesting field of study. There are several new discoveries in exercise science that have been path-breaking for the fitness industry; the 7-minute workout being one of them. There have been studies projecting growth for the job prospects for exercise physiologists and athletic trainers. This is in addition to median salaries for professionals in the field also increasing. It is fast becoming the most versatile field of study.