Your Questions About Health And Fitness Careers

Donna asks…

What is the first step to becoming a personal trainer (fitness expert)?

I would like to know what should be my #1 step. I think its that I should start focusing on my own health (diet and fitness)…but other than that, what can I do?

If its not too lengthy, what are the next few steps?
Any tips? Personal experience?

dknol answers:

You got it…the first step is getting yourself in shape, and that's done with knowledge. You have to learn all about calories and eating, anatomy and physiology, exercise and fitness, and lastly about implementing fitness programs for different populations. A good personal trainer is a good role model…and coach, and teacher, and mentor…you have to inspire people and keep them motivated, and it helps to have personal anecdotes to share when the going gets rough. I started with a personal quest…I wanted to get into shape; so I learned all about diets and fitness, and eventually I moved on to sharing my knowledge with others. It hasn't always been fun or easy, but it is a rewarding career with intrinsic as well as extrinsic reward. I think you've made the right choice, let me know if you need any more information.

Ken asks…

Can you list me the careers that specialize in weight problems?

Hi im 2 years away about to graduate school, i know it's too early to think of a career, but I know I want something with helping people loose weight, and telling them what to eat is right, and/or also showing them how to loose weight (A gym, Being a personal trainer?).
Thank you !

dknol answers:

Gym/heath club – fitness club instructor, health advisor or coach.

Lisa asks…

I would like names of schools that will allow me to study fitness and nutrition at home?

I would like to study Fitness and Nutrition. Please provide me a list of schools that will allow me to study via correspondence.

Thanks for all your help.

dknol answers:

Fitness & Nutrition Training Schools

# West Palm Beach, Florida Culinary Nutrition
# West Palm Beach, Florida Culinary Nutrition
# Fitness Training & Health Science
# Phoenix, Arizona Master of Arts (MA) in Sport-Exercise Psychology
Everett, Washington
Fife (Tacoma), Washington
Portland (Tigard), Oregon
Seattle, Washington
# Vancouver, Washington Fitness Trainer
# Las Vegas, Nevada Personal Training
# Oakdale, Minnesota Health Fitness Specialist
Layton, Utah
# West Jordan, Utah Health & Exercise Sciences
# Birmingham, Alabama Personal Fitness Trainer
# New York City, New York Certification in Health Counseling
# Sacramento, California Advanced Therapeutic Massage & Fitness
# Basic Health & Fitness Professional
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
# Port St. Lucie, Florida Sports Medicine & Fitness Technology
# Albuquerque, New Mexico Sports Medicine & Fitness Technician
# Online & Distance Learning Fitness & Nutrition
# Distance Learning Fitness Specialist
# Nutrition Specialist
# Online & Distance Learning Fitness & Nutrition
# Distance Learning Fitness and Nutrition
# Natural Health Consultant

David asks…

Is it bad to pick nursing just because of the job security and money?

Nursing is not my passion, but I feel like it is a career that I could be content with. My real passion is fitness and health, but there are not that many careers that are in that field. (I mean like good paying careers with security) I'm about to be a sophomore in college so I need to pick a major, So is nursing a bad idea?

dknol answers:

In a word – YES.

You must be absolutely certain that nursing is for you. It is simply not a job where you can wing it, do it for the money, and just get on with it regardless. I went into nursing for similar reasons. I was made redundant when I was 23, wanted a job with security, stability and to never be made redundant again! I wanted a profession – something where I could progress and climb the ladder. This is NOT a good reason when it comes to nursing, trust me. I was dumb and very naive. The only thing I did have was a caring nature, but that alone is simply and realistically not enough. The job is not what it may appear, is ten times harder than you think, involves long hours, a lot of stress (both physical and mental) a lot of time management skills (sometimes juggling 8 patients or more at a time) and a huge amount of reponsibility for people's well being. You will find your social life all but disappear (unless you can work it around 12 hour, erratic day and night shifts) as you will be too tired even on your days off. You need an iron clad stomach, you need to be mentally resilient, you need to be able to take abuse (this happens frequently) and you need to want to nurse and care for people more than any of these things matter.

If you can't be sure that you can handle all of this, don't do it. It is NOT advisable, despite the earning potential, and you can earn a good living from it, but boy do you earn every penny.

James asks…

what is the success rate of becoming a personal fitness trainer?

I want to go to college through ISSA and obtain a certification as a personal trainer, fitness nutrition, and fitness / exercise therapist. before i do that what are my chances of making decent money while doing something i love? Thanks!!

dknol answers:

ISSA isn't college. Its a certification program. If you're looking to make fitness your career, I would go to an accredited college FIRST and get your bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Science or any other exercise-based degree. ACSM says degrees in allied-health fields like nursing will be accepted, but i advise against that as they will stop accepting them after 2011 and will require an exercise-based degree. After that, go for certification from ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). ACE is the most widely recognized certification for personal trainers but ACSM gives the top certifications in the industry. It is possible to get their personal trainer certification without a degree, but I assume you want better pay and many of the higher certifications require a bachelor's degree. Their exercise specialist certification, for example, allows you to work with clients who have or are at risk for cardiovascular, pulmonary and metabolic diseases. Generally, those that require more education give more pay. ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologists for example require, not just a bachelor's degree but that you get your Masters. Naturally, they will earn more than say…a ISSA certified personal trainer who would earn on average between $22-$45 an hour.

Read into the different certifications here:

So dont say, im going to be a personal trainer first. Get your degree from an accredited college. If you are a senior, REMEMBER, Common App is due the beginning of January. DONT BE LATE!

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