Qualified exercise professionals are integral to Exercise is Medicine®. Health care providers must be able to expand their reach of care and refer patients for exercise guidance by qualified exercise professionals or allied health care staff.
- Some patients will benefit from the clinical guidance and monitoring provided by cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation programs. These programs are often staffed by clinical exercise physiologists (RCEPS, CEPs) and nurses. A clinical exercise physiologist is an allied health care professional who utilizes scientific rationale to design, administer and supervise exercise testing and therapeutic training programs for individuals with chronic health disorders, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease and metabolic disorders.
- Other patients need treatment and individualized exercise for musculoskeletal or neuromuscular conditions prior to engaging in a broader physical activity program. Physical therapists, occupational therapists and athletic trainers play a key role in this area.
- Exercise physiologists and personal trainers who possess NCCA accredited certifications and/or the EIM Credential are integral to Exercise is Medicine. Sedentary patients, or those with chronic diseases, often have limited access to reimbursed exercise programs within the healthcare setting. Patients need community-based solutions (professionals, places, programs) where they can be physically active and receive expert training. Properly prepared exercise professionals have an opportunity to work with referred patients and develop on-going relationships with healthcare providers and practices.
ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) Credential is a designation earned by those who have achieved a combination of education and certification enabling them to provide exercise guidance as an extended member of the health care team.
The EIM Credential online course is designed to help exercise professionals learn more about how to work effectively as a member of the extended healthcare team, provide exercise guidance to individuals with the most common chronic diseases, and utilize behavioral support strategies to help a patient successfully integrate regular physical activity into their lives.