Okay, so I’m a bit biased because I’m a kinesiologist, but I think EVERYONE can benefit from working with a kinesiologist, if not right away then at some point in their lives.
You can lead a more active life with the help of a kinesiologist, which leads to a wide range of health benefits. Just ask any health professional: movement is the answer– a claim backed by science.
You have probably heard about how to choose a kinesiologist and the active treatment they provide, but how do you know if it’s for you, what types of clients do registered kinesiologists treat? With a kinesiologist’s diverse scope of practice, they offer a range of services such as personal training, health coaching, postural assessments, ergonomic assessments, and the list goes on. But who are these services for?
Many people can benefit from kinesiology treatment, and not just for injury rehab. Read on to find out if you would benefit from kinesiology.
Who Can Benefit from Kinesiology?
Kinesiologists are specialists in the scientific fields that focus on human movement and its impact on health, performance, society and quality of life. If you want to learn about what a kinesiologist does, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Kinesiology here.
Science tells us that a sedentary lifestyle has a direct impact on some really important systems in our body: metabolism, bone mineral content, and vascular health. Without moderate to vigorous exercise in your day these systems are negatively affected which can take a toll on your mental and physical health.
Work in an office all day and you might be sitting for 6-8 hours 5 days a week and for most of us much of that time is spent in a poor posture (leaning, crossing legs, neck bent forward). Add a car commute or regularly sitting on the couch at home and the negative health effects of sitting are magnified and can cause lasting damage to our bodies.
A kinesiologist is a great accountability partner to help introduce daily activity into your lifestyle. Whether it be sessions in-person or a weekly check-in and exercises at home, following the guidance of a kinesiologist can help office workers fight the negative impact of sitting all day.
Sitting for long periods of time can cause low back, neck, shoulder, and wrist pain and discomfort, especially if we sit with poor posture. Some kinesiologists are specialists in ergonomics and can provide ergonomic assessments and provide suggestions to optimize a worker’s work environment so they can sit more comfortably, stay more active and be more productive at work.
Office workers may also benefit from the strengthening and postural work that happens in kinesiology sessions so that they can better tolerate seated postures and lower the risk of low back or neck pain.
Weekend warriors - hikers, bikers, campers, surfers and more
If you live in Vancouver like I do, there is ample opportunity to head out of town for a hike on the weekends. But, like many hikes around here, this means significant uphill! If your body isn’t used to this level of intensity and duration of the hike, you may find yourself hobbling to your desk Monday morning.
In most cases, soreness after an active weekend is the result of “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness” (DOMS for short), which is a very common condition that occurs 1-2 days after exercise. DOMS is the soreness you feel after your first workout in a long time. However, if your body is not conditioned to the load your muscles and joints are subjected to, a very active weekend could result in injured tissues and a longer recovery period than DOMS.
As a weekend warrior, seeing a kinesiologist smooths out those spikes of activity by introducing challenging workouts into your week, decreasing the chances of DOMS and muscle or joint injury. And if you’ve overdone it and actually injured yourself after a big weekend, a kinesiologist will help with your rehab so you can get back to activities more quickly.
A kinesiology session can be tailored to a specific sport. If you want to do a lot of hiking for example, your kinesiologist will program exercises like squats and lunges to help you get stronger to withstand the rigors of the trail.
In every sport, athletes require their bodies to perform at 100% of their ability. Having strong and adapted muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons help athletes excel on the field, prevent injuries from occurring, and reduce recovery time when they do. Kinesiologists are well trained to work with athletes to build strength and treat injuries that their scope of practice includes athletic therapy.
As movement specialists, kinesiologists can help athletes by supporting them in training and game preparation by creating an exercise program specifically relating to their sport. For example if an athlete needs to jump or sprint, those movements can be trained with the help of a kinesiologist pre-season, or during the playing season. And while an exercise program for a long distance runner is equally important, this would involve less power training and more endurance practice.
Training for strength and agility makes an athlete more resilient. Athletes are less likely to sprain an ankle while falling or hurt their shoulder when interacting with other players. Unfortunately, sports injuries are always possible, and when they occur, a stronger athlete will be able to return to their given sport faster.
Athletes can also benefit from working with a kinesiologist when they get injured because of kinesiologists’ unique skill sets which includes athletic therapy. Many kinesiologists specialize in musculoskeletal rehabilitation and are able to include specialized strength, endurance and rehabilitation exercises into an athlete’s training plan.
Working with a trainer isn’t only for adults. Young people can also benefit from seeing a kinesiologist. Physical activity is very important for the younger population because it helps with body awareness, body composition, and injury prevention.
Similar to working with elite athletes, kinesiologists can help young adults/teens with training for a specific sport or activity. Although heavy weight training isn’t recommended for children when their body’s tissues are still maturing/growing, using weights at a moderate intensity and body weight exercises is appropriate for youth and children.
Retirees and Seniors
As we get older it becomes more important to maintain our strength and flexibility to continue to be independent with the activities of daily living. Simple tasks like getting off the toilet can be arduous when you don’t have the leg strength to do a simple squat. Kinesiologists help build strength and resilience into our lives as we age.
Seniors can benefit immensely from resistance training as it drastically impacts their day-to-day ability to care for themselves. Falls are the number one cause of fatal injuries and the leading cause of trauma related hospital visits in older adults. Regular exercise/resistance training helps seniors reduce their risk of falling, maintains balance, coordination, and bone density.
A kinesiologist can use resistance training and other exercises to reduce the risk of injury in older people. Some kinesiologists can travel to where you live, which means they can help train seniors directly in their homes or convenient locations.
A kinesiologist is trained to safely progress exercise with the elderly population, reducing their risk of injury and ensuring they keep up with everyday activities.
Kinesiology isn’t ALL about active rehabilitation (though it plays a big part in our work), so you don’t need to be injured to reap the benefits from working with a kinesiologist.
Kinesiologists are ready to help you with getting stronger for a sports tournament, stay ready for your next adventure, streamline your workstation, or recover from an injury or fall. Discover the top kinesiologists in Canada in our recent blog post.
1. Facts About Falls. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Found at https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html