What is a Certified Exercise Physiologist?

 A Certified Exercise Physiologist, defined by the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, is an individual who possesses advanced formal academic preparation and practical experience in both health-related and performance-related physical activity/exercise science fitness applications for non-clinical and clinical populations.  So, a CEP must have completed a four year degree in Physical Activity or Exercise Sciences, Kinesiology, or Human Kinetics with a specialization in health-related fitness, as well as work and sport-related fitness applications for asymptomatic and symptomatic populations. The CEP performs assessments/evaluations, prescribes conditioning exercise, provides exercise supervision or monitoring, counselling, healthy lifestyle education, and outcome evaluation for "apparently healthy" individuals and/or populations with medical conditions, functional limitations, or disabilities through the application of physical activity/exercise, for the purpose of improving health, function, and work or sport performance.  All Certified Exercise Physiologists are trained and certified in Standard First Aid and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).    

A CEP can accept referrals from licensed health care professional and provide their patients who may suffer from musculoskeletal, cardio-pulmonary, and metabolic conditions with evidence-based exercise therapy.  Certified Exercise Physiologists are trained to perform assessments and fitness tests, and based on the outcomes of these, exercise prescriptions are given, proper form is taught and demonstrated, and then sessions are carried out to supervise and monitor individuals to assure that exercises are done safely and correctly.  Asymptomatic and symptomatic populations with medical conditions, functional limitations and disabilities are evaluated and treated through the application of exercise and physical activity for the purpose of improving health and function.  Older adults, children and pregnant women can feel safe in the hands of a CEP to provide appropriate exercise prescriptions to improve health and prevent impairment and disability.

Regarding nutrition, a CEP can suggest healthy dietary practices for health-related nutrition to achieve and manage a healthy weight, as well as performance related nutrition for those involved in organized or recreational sports.  Successful weight management to improve overall health requires a lifelong commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviours that emphasize sustainable and enjoyable eating practices in combination with daily physical activity.  A CEP can assist in the guidance of positive behaviour changes by providing the accountability and motivation to be successful.  



CSEP CEP Certification Guide, 2007

CSEP-PATH: Physical Activity Training for Health, 2013