Sports Medicine 2B: Working With Clients
Career Pathway Course Units
Unit 1: Exercise Physiology in a Nutshell
Have you ever wondered what happens inside your body to help you make the perfect pitch or run the fastest race or lift the heaviest load? What is the body actually doing in each of the systems to guarantee that you can successfully, without injury, execute the moves you wish to make? Finally, you must prepare the body for these masterful moves, so what steps do you take to ensure your body is ready for that all-out push? These questions should be on the minds of those training for competition and for those wishing to be more physically fit. Thinking about all human body systems and not just the muscular system matters!
Unit 2: The Basics of Exercise & Training
What is the purpose of creating an exercise plan? Isn’t it good enough to just go to the gym and do a couple of weight machine lifts and a few laps around the track? That’s exercise, right? These questions have long plagued the sports medicine community, along with the general medical and exercise communities. Walking around the block and doing 10 bicep curls is a start, but it doesn’t promote the benefits that most people are hoping for. Planning out an exercise training plan leads to the benefits the general population expects: better heart and lung function, bigger muscles that can sustain action, the flexibility to increase range of motion in the joints, and a better sense of balance to prevent falls and injuries.
Unit 3: Nutritional Aspects of Exercise & Physiology
Eating is rarely a hard thing to get people to do. However, getting them to pay attention to what they eat, along with their foods’ nutritional value, is difficult. Tasty favorites tend to be carbs and fats that are not good for you, especially if fitness is a goal. So how do you know which foods lead to better fuel? Which food molecules bring benefits such as building or repairing damaged tissues? Dieticians work in many realms of sports medicine to assist the work of this very important aspect of fitness, such as in physical therapy clinics, rehab facilities, and other sports and recreation centers, but you do not have to be a dietician to help clients understand what they need to eat and why.
Unit 4: Pharmacology & Its Role in Sports Medicine
“A doctor prescribed it for me, so it must be ok to take.” This is a common rationale for many people who take medication. While there are many good reasons to take prescribed medications or supplements, if no attention is paid to side effects or interactions, those same helpful pills can become harmful. A doctor knows only what you tell them about your current situation, and if you don’t give them the full scoop about everything you eat, drink, and do in a day, their course of action may not be helpful. Oftentimes, athletes take more medications than the general public, so a sports medicine professional should understand the benefits and risks of taking medications while exercising. Even if you don’t end up training athletes, learning how to take control of the medications you put into your system will benefit you for life.
Unit 5: Initial Client Consultation
What is a consultation and why do I need one? Isn’t deciding to get off the couch all the motivation I need? Do you really have to spell out the risks for something I could just choose to do in my own home? Is there really a need to encourage me in the benefits of becoming physically fit? I’m here, aren’t I? These questions, and many others, may fill the mind of a person choosing to buy a gym membership. To help that person understand your role in their health, being prepared with answers for those questions is a vital part of the initial consultation. Communication from the start will show them you have their health at the forefront of your mind. This will encourage them to have the same mindset and keep them coming back day after day.
Unit 6: Fitness Assessment
When someone wants to start a workout program, that’s great news! Everyone benefits by exercising their body. After the initial consultation and paperwork, it might be tempting for a new client to want to jump right into working out. Before this can happen, it’s important that you do a fitness assessment. Why? A fitness assessment allows you to gather data about the client’s current health as well as what their body can and can’t do. This data will help you plan the right workout for them so that they can reach their goals. Also, it will allow you to identify possible issues that may prevent them from doing exercises they may be eager to perform. You not only need to know how to analyze your client’s capabilities and body composition, but you also need to learn tactful ways to deliver the tough conversations about a person’s limits. Afterall, they rely on you to help them be their most fit self!