The fitness mantra seems to be catching up as people are realizing the need to maintain good health with a regular fitness regimen. Aerobics, yoga, gyms and fitness therapy centers are coming up in large numbers to keep the body and mind in good shape. There are plenty of natural and non-invasive ways to tune up one's body and mind.
Fitness is not merely a sports man's pursuit. Younger people wish to chisel the body with appropriate exercise regimen. Senior citizens want to keep fit with walking exercises. Expectant mothers exercise to complement their body rhythm. Cardiovascular ailments, blood pressure or diabetes - appropriate exercise can help with them all. Nowadays even a child is taught to shape up and shed excess fat if need be.
Till a decade ago, a fitness career was considered more as a hobby than as a profession. Today fitness is serious business and there are many opportunities in the fitness sector.
Fitness industry is booming with career opportunities.
- Fitness instructor
- Freelance fitness instructor
- Personal trainer
- Fitness coach
- Fitness consultant
- Fitness specialist
- Health and life style coordinator
Let us take a closer look at each one of the above listed career prospects in fitness industry:
There is a resident fitness instructor in most gyms for teaching fitness exercises. Previously most of these instructors were self taught. With the increased sophistication in the fitness equipments and infrastructural facilities, gymnasiums are keen to employ only trained and educated fitness instructors. Some of the areas of specialized exercise are:
- High / low aerobics
- Step aerobics
- Strength training
- Water aerobics
The leisure industry has varied fitness job opportunities from entry level to management cadre. Fitness instructor's jobs in sports, spas, personal trainings are available in plenty. There are tremendous opportunities for such instructors in corporate environs where group fitness instructors are highly sought after.
Freelance fitness instructor:
This is a more popular preference because there is flexibility for the fitness instructor. The income depends upon where the instructor works and how many classes he/she is able to take. The lessons can also be taught in person, and followed up by telephone or email. A freelance fitness instructor can also write books, articles, teach in seminar classes and workshops. He/she can also work with personal trainers, doctors, dieticians and other health, fitness and lifestyle professionals at a preferred pace.
A personal fitness trainer must have the right background, passion for work and discipline to stay in the profession. Most sportsperson are in need of personal trainers. The trainer should monitor the day-to-day improvements in fitness and should focus on continuous updating of his client with what is new.
Certification as a personal trainer is essential for this employment. A trainer must have a bachelors, Masters or doctoral degree in exercise science, kinesiology, exercise physiology, physical education or sports management. It is essential for the fitness trainer to provide motivation, professional expertise and personalized attention to the client. Qualified training certainly helps to assess the individual fitness levels.
A trainer should have basic knowledge of how the human anatomy works and how the body has to be maintained. A four to six year background in human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and exercise prescription techniques is strongly advised. Credentials in nutrition are also recommended.
A fitness coach has a variety of specialized fitness options to choose from. Weight management, nutrition, stress reduction, health risk management, smoking cessation, control of conditions like blood pressure and diabetes - the field of training and management is wide. A fitness coach can make a difference to your health, body, mood, mind, energy levels and confidence.
Fitness consultants are sought after by film stars, beauty queens, sports persons, industrialists and corporate heads. A fitness consultant must be proficient and trained in martial arts, sports and in exercise techniques and routines. The exercise regimen varies from person to person according to the specific personal requirements. A pregnant woman’s concept of exercise is different from a cardiac patient from a person requiring cosmetic help.
Fitness consultants are in demand in fitness clubs where lot of energy, enthusiasm and 'can do' attitude to fitness is reflected. Fitness consultant is an exciting career with rewards to people who are committed and passionate about their work. Consultancy work can be done even for distance learning - online training programs that are increasingly available in sports management, nutrition, personal fitness, sports therapies and aerobics.
Fitness specialists help coach and instruct groups or individuals in activities such as aerobics, sports and exercise. The specialist plans, organizes, heads, instructs, directs fitness and wellness programs. The specialist also demonstrates techniques and indulges in corrective measures to improve one’s physical skills. The specialist should analyze, monitor client's physical condition and provide nutritional recommendations. Fitness specialists should also have the ability to provide first aid to injured persons, treat minor injuries, and give massages and relief to soreness and strains.
Health and life style coordinators:
The scope of health and life style coordinators is increasing day by day with healthy eating and life style programs becoming a rage with all age groups. Ability to implement and assist in coordination of health and wellness programs is essential for a life style coordinator. A proactive, well-organized approach with excellent communication and presentation skills are essential skills for a health coordinator. There are rewarding career opportunities and exciting challenges waiting in state-of-the-art work environments in corporate settings and fitness centers. A lifestyle coordinator should exhibit leadership qualities and ability to work in dynamic and competitive environment. There are tremendous career opportunities in media especially television.
Fitness career requirements
- A trainer should be highly professional. He/she should insist on the workout right from the first meeting onwards.
- A trainer who does not train his/her own body lacks the dedication needed to inspire their clients.
- Reputed trainers shall abide by a code of ethics and professional standards.
- A trainer should not become commercial minded and start selling dietary supplements along with exercise regimen for his/her own benefit.
- A trainer should keep abreast of any advances and new developments in the field.
- A trainer should not be egoistical and dogmatic. He/she should be able to appreciate and accept the new methodologies in training and fitness that may be adopted elsewhere.
Fitness career prospects
The growth of fitness facilities and programs, sophisticated exercise equipments with strong scientific foundations have resulted in additional job opportunities for exercise, sports and fitness professionals. People have begun to realize that the time and money spent on staying fit is well worth the pounds that are lost in the process.
Fitness careers offer excellent remuneration with additional attractive incentives like leave and compensatory benefits, pension and saving schemes and holiday offers. A qualified personal trainer charges anywhere from $ 50 to $ 100 for every single session of fitness training. Apart from the handsome returns that fitness careers offers, there is a personal satisfaction derived by helping the clients stay fit.