At its core, Exercise Physiology is the study of physiological mechanisms underlying physical activity. In this program. students learn how to deliver treatment services focused on the improvement of health and fitness, rehabilitate heart disease and other chronic diseases and provide professional guidance to athletes and other active people who are training for their sport or activity.
The Exercise Physiology Department offers these programs:
Exercise Physiology Courses
Provides students the opportunity to engage in an advanced introduction to: (a) the study of the origins, insertions, and functions of 75 major muscles of the upper and lower extremities; (b) the brachial plexus and lumbar-sacral plexus and the role of each in muscle function and dysfunction; (c) the application of functional anatomy concepts in weight lifting and stretching exercises, human movement activities, and athletics; and (d) the blending of anatomical information with the physiology of the body to thoroughly grasp the meaning of “the science of movement.”
Fundamental principles, calculations and applications of biomechanical analysis to the human body at rest and during movement. Special attention is given to the relationship of biomechanics to kinesiology and exercise physiology in order to understand the role of physical stressors as they influence significant clinical changes in the body.
Structure, function and dietary sources of macro and micronutrients. Determination of individual nutrient requirements and diet analysis. Effect of nutrition and hydration on health and athletic performance. Efficacy and ethical considerations regarding the use of nutritional manipulation techniques, supplements and ergogenic aids to improve performance and enhance recovery.
Studies basic principles of human physiology and metabolic processes used to produce and store energy with direct application to acute and chronic exercise. Structure, function and measurement of the cardiovascular, pulmonary and neuromuscular systems with respect to human activity and athletic performance. Measurement of hemodynamic parameters and expired ventilatory gases to determine energy expenditure at rest and during exercise.
Emphasis is on basic to advanced instrumentation used to evaluate aerobic capacity, flexibility, body composition, muscular strength and endurance, as well as exercise test protocols used to evaluate individuals ranging from the elite athlete to middle-aged and elderly adults. Application of various stress test protocols and exercise programs with individualized exercise prescriptions for both healthy and diseased individuals. Emphasis is on progression, safety, and legal ramifications of exercise as a therapeutic intervention.
Multi-disciplinary risk factors considered responsible for heart and vascular disease along with commonly associated diseases (obesity, diabetes) and behaviors (smoking, physical inactivity). Changes in cardiac structure, function and coronary circulation that occur in heart and vascular disease. Behavioral, surgical and pharmacological treatments used in primary and secondary prevention of heart disease. Use of diagnostic techniques to determine safe and effective exercise prescription for cardiac and pulmonary patients. Recognition of, and response to, common psychosocial issues as they relate to the post-myocardial infarction and pulmonary patients.
Scientific theory and practical application of strength training and aerobic exercise to enhance the function and capacity of the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.
The culmination of undergraduate exercise physiology classroom and laboratory experiences are integrated to illustrate how the understanding of the physiology of exercise, sport, and physical activity is applied in real world settings within the scope of practice of an exercise physiologist. Laboratory sessions focus on physical/physiological measurement and evaluation techniques while the lecture portion is centered on applied exercise physiology topics and professional development.
Foundations of research including the fundamental tenets of scientific investigation and the scientific method; the importance of objectivity and ethical behavior in research; and the ability to critically read, interpret, and discuss the content of scientific articles. The skills involved in writing a research paper according to specified guidelines will also be taught and will culminate in the writing of a research proposal paper.
Students read electrocardiograms of individuals at rest and during exercise with special attention paid to the electrocardiograms of post-myocardial infarction patients in cardiac rehabilitation programs. Includes cardiac medications and graded exercise testing.
The internship is designed to help you pursue your personal interests and career goals while upholding the standards of the Department of Exercise Physiology and the College of St. Scholastica. The Department allows wide latitude in terms of geographic location and type of facility at which the internship can be completed. Our primary goal is that you have a relevant, hands-on, working experience – it is not an opportunity for “observation”.
Courses not part of the regular Exercise Physiology curriculum but taught because of a special need, interest or opportunity.
Initiation and completion of an independent research project. The department chair must approve the topic.
An advanced, regional, musculoskeletal anatomy course that emphasizes the study of functional relationships between musculature, nervous tissue, vascular, and skeletal components for the extremities and axial skeleton. Gross anatomy laboratory for human dissection experience is used to enhance understanding of three dimensional anatomical relationships for specific body regions.
Principles of biochemistry and metabolic processes in relation to nutrition and exercise. Basic elements of carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism and their role in providing energy, building/repairing tissues and regulating metabolic processes during physical activity. Impact of nutrition on health, fitness and athletic performance. Regulation of cellular metabolism at the level of DNA replication through transcription to RNA and translation for protein synthesis. Effectiveness, ethical considerations, and the proposed biochemical/physiologic mechanisms of the most prevalent ergogenic aids used to enhance athletic performance.
The human body's adaptation to acute and chronic exercise, including hormonal responses, under standard and nonstandard environmental conditions. Physiological variables are contrasted based on age and gender. Laboratory sessions are used to collect data to physiologically profile the human response to selected stressors.
Prepares students to successfully carry out various physical assessments across the population spectrum with a focus on test selection and administration, preparticipation screening and risk stratification, risk management, emergency response procedures, and evaluation/interpretation of test scores.
Normal functioning of the cardiovascular system especially the integrative aspects of cardiovascular control and regulation in humans; cardiovascular responses to physiological (e.g., orthostasis, exercise) and pathological (e.g., hypertension, cardiac failure) situations.
Pathophysiology of common chronic diseases for which exercise has been shown to be a therapeutic benefit including diseases associated with the cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, metabolic, neurological, and immune systems. Focus is on preparing students to work with clinical and special populations in medical and nonmedical settings.
Graded exercise testing using different test modes and protocols; pre-participation screening procedures; contraindications and termination criteria for exercise testing; emergency procedures and risk management. Emphasis is also placed on the importance of resting and exercise electrocardiogram interpretation for the identification of arrhythmias and other heart-related abnormalities.
Lays the foundation for the safe and appropriate prescription of exercise and physical activity necessary to enhance musculoskeletal strength, power and endurance as well as cardiovascular fitness and aerobic capacity.
A semester internship in an off-campus setting, including but not limited to cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, adult fitness and training, corporate fitness or a clinical research institution. While off-campus, the student is supervised by an exercise physiologist or a practicing clinician. All internship activities are monitored by the clinical coordinator in the Department of Exercise Physiology.
The first semester of this year-long seminar focuses on professional skills needed by future exercise physiologists that are not addressed in detail in other graduate exercise physiology courses. During the second semester, professionals from fields related to exercise physiology will serve as guest speakers and share their professional experiences and advice with the class.
Topics in Exercise Physiology
The student writes and submits a research proposal to an advisor and/or the chair of the department of Exercise Physiology and the College's Institutional Review Board. If accepted, the first three chapters of the thesis (introduction, review of related literature, and methods) are written. The student collects, analyzes and interprets the data, then writes the final thesis chapters (e.g., results, discussion, and conclusions).