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C H A P T E R 13 Careers in Health and Fitness Sandra Minor Bulmer and Jeremy Howell Chapter 13 Careers in Health and Fitness
Professions in Health and Fitness • • • Group fitness instructor Health and fitness specialist Wellness coach Personal trainer Health and fitness director Specialist positions – Public health educator – Clinical exercise physiologist – Registered dietitian • Others
Expanding Scope of Health and Fitness Profession • The core goal of these professions is to improve physical functioning and physical health of individuals and communities. • This improvement is based on a multifaceted view of health and fitness, including physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions. • Physical activity is being viewed increasingly as an integral component of the nation’s health care delivery system. • Recognition that prevention is as critical as treatment
Health and Fitness Settings • • Worksite Commercial Clinical Community Recently, the lines between these settings have blurred, resulting in expanded job descriptions and a greater number of positions.
Employee Health and Fitness Programs Employers have found that health and fitness programs reduce health care costs, increase productivity and morale, decrease absenteeism, and improve their corporate image.
Group Exercise Instructor • Leader of aerobic exercise classes, outdoor activities, aquatic fitness classes, exercise classes for specific populations (older adults, pregnant women, children) • Degree in kinesiology or another health- and fitness -related discipline recommended • Competent with current exercise trends (for example, Pilates, yoga, tai chi, TRX, Crossfit ) • Certified: ACSM exercise leader or ACE group fitness instructor • Needs to be knowledgeable and dynamic, have excellent leadership skills, and enjoy working with people in a group setting
Fitness Instructor • Works with apparently healthy adults • Conducts fitness assessments, designs individualized exercise programs • Has bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or another health- and fitness-related discipline recommended • Able to excite people to become and stay physically active
Health and Fitness Specialist • Requires degree in kinesiology or another health- and fitness-related discipline • Conducts fitness and functional assessments, designs comprehensive individualized exercise programs that incorporate strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness components and maximize safety and long-term results • Works with specialized populations (such as elderly, children, adolescents)
Wellness Coach • Relatively new career option • Requires minimum of bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or another health- and fitnessrelated discipline • Helps others change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health by focusing on behavior change, stress management, relaxation techniques, time management, smoking cessation, weight management, and exercise prescription
Personal Trainer • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in kinesiology or another health- and fitnessrelated discipline • Certified and experienced; may specialize with certain populations • Able to continually present new and exciting ways to keep clients on track, interested, motivated, and excited about making changes and maintaining new health behaviors as part of their lifestyle (continued)
Personal Trainer (continued) • Understands weight management, stress management, physical fitness, sport conditioning • Works independently or is employed at a facility • Business savvy • “Counselor” • Aesthetic or performance objectives
Health and Fitness Director • Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology; may require graduate degree • Experience as health and fitness counselor or personal trainer • ACSM health or fitness director • Visionary who keeps current with the field of health and fitness and a mentor who supports staff members in moving toward individual goals and aspirations (continued)
Health and Fitness Director (continued) • • Manages facility’s services and programs May supervise team of managers Hires, trains, and provides support for staff Does business planning, establishes budgets and renovations, selects equipment, designs and markets programs, forecasts trends
Specialist Positions • Sport coach, athletic trainer, health educator, clinical exercise physiologist, physical therapist, registered dietitian, population specialist, public health educator (see chapter 14 for additional information) • Graduate-level studies; bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or another health- and fitness-related discipline • Many require certifications, licensure • Client base with medical conditions; registered dietitian and ACSM exercise specialist
Multidimensional Model of Wellness • • • Physical Intellectual Emotional Social Spiritual Health and fitness professionals integrate exercise and physical fitness into a broader definition of health.
Certification and Continuing Education • Minimum criteria must be met to be hired and maintain your position in the health and fitness professions. • Several certification organizations can assist with this process. – American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) – National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) – Cooper Institute (CI) – American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Advice for Health and Fitness Students • Earn a combined degree in kinesiology plus another discipline (health, psychology). • Seek practical experience through practicum opportunities and internships. • Attend workshops and obtain certifications through NSCA, ACSM, ACE, CI. • Stay current: Read health and fitness journals and industry publications. • Maximize your marketability with your choice of elective courses.
Health and Fitness • The world of health and fitness is ever changing, making this profession dynamic and exciting. • Pay attention to the trends and tailor your degree to meet your individual career goals.