Exercise science studies human movement from a variety of perspectives, including historical, developmental, mechanical, motor control, psychological, physiological, and pathological. Students in the field will study a variety of subjects, including how exercise affects the body, how to prevent injury and illness, how to condition the body, and how muscles, skin, and tissue all work together in the human body. Those who study exercise science tend to have a natural interest in health, physical fitness, and biology. Read on to learn about the many different facets of exercise science, and what you can do with a background in this field.
Concentrations within the field
If you are a high school student interested in studying exercise science, then it’s good to know now that there are a variety of tracks you can take within the field itself once you are pursuing a degree. You might, for example, focus your studies around preparing for a professional career as a physical therapist or physician assistant. Or, you might concentrate in corporate wellness or fitness training. Other potential concentrations include research, strength and conditioning, and outdoor adventure leadership.
A background in exercise science could be considered a stepping stone to other educational and career opportunities. You might, for example, enter a graduate program in exercise physiology, public health, biomechanics, sport and fitness administration, education, or business. Or, you might consider a career that would benefit from a background in exercise science (see below).
Of course, you can also apply the principles you learn in exercise science to your own life. Having extensive knowledge about how exercise affects the body, and about how to best use exercise to strengthen the body, can prove invaluable as you nurture your own physical and mental fitness.
While a college degree in exercise science, be it an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, isn’t a professional degree (one that would lead to a specific profession after graduation), it can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities such as athletic trainer, physical therapist, coach, or teacher. You can also apply knowledge in this field to an entry-level healthcare position such as clinical exercise specialist or exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab. Additionally, there are a great many fitness career options that don’t necessarily require higher education, but may require knowledge of exercise science, such as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, or gym manager. Ultimately, for anyone interested in a health and fitness career field, having an exercise science background is a must.