Laying the Foundation for a Successful Career in Health and Fitness. Whether you work in health and fitness full-time or part-time, or simply sub a group exercise class as needed, you have the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of others. With the majority of Americans still failing to reach the minimal physical activity standards for improved health and well-being, health and fitness experts like you are needed to provide conditions and opportunities for physical activity. Here are four things you can do right now to lay the groundwork for a prosperous career.
- Make a commitment to becoming a lifelong learner.
Whether you’re prepared for your first certification exam or a college student studying exercise science, make a professional development plan now. The body of knowledge connected with health and fitness is based on a variety of academic disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, physical education, and psychology. It is difficult to learn everything at the same time. Your degree or certification is critical in establishing your professional identity and reputation. Professional development resources include specialty certificates, journal articles, workshops, and health and fitness conferences.
2. Look for a mentor.
Throughout my career, I’ve had a number of mentors. These folks have been sources of inspiration and have encouraged me to accomplish difficult things that have been required in order for me to achieve many of my career goals. Find someone who is a little further along in their career journey than you are. They will be an excellent resource in assisting you in becoming involved in professional groups and in the process of expanding your professional network. It is critical to select a mentor who will be open and honest with you while also providing constructive critique when appropriate. This will be critical to your development and success.
3. Know your scope of practice.
A professional’s scope of practise outlines the services that he or she is qualified to do. You become a health and fitness professional because you want to help others. Currently, it is believed that six out of every ten Americans have one or more chronic health issues. This means that you will undoubtedly come across people who are dealing with one or more of these ailments, as well as some other sort of injury or illness, over the course of your work. You play an essential role in assisting these people in maintaining exercise levels that benefit their health and overall quality of life. However, this is the extent of your practise. Never attempt to diagnose or prescribe treatment for medical conditions. When someone is in pain or discomfort, it is natural to want to help, but frequently the most helpful thing you can do is direct them to a more trained professional. Consider establishing a referral network comprised of dietitians, orthopedists, sports trainers, and physical therapists. When a client has a query regarding a complicated medical issue, you can refer them to a skilled specialist who can assist them.
4. Prioritize inclusion.
Health and fitness leadership is a person-centered endeavour. Unfortunately, our industry is not immune to stereotyping, bigotry, and discrimination. Weight bias is prevalent in practically all aspects of life, including the health and fitness industry. Low levels of activity and a higher frequency of chronic diseases disproportionately affect blacks, Hispanics, individuals with impairments, and older adults. Although research on the physical activity levels of the LGBTQ+ community is still in its early stages, we know there is still work to be done to guarantee safe spaces for physical activity for all people. To achieve global health equity, a multifaceted approach will be required.
My work in health and fitness has given me so much. I’ve seen the power of movement and physical activity in my own life as well as the lives of countless others. A single session of exercise can improve your mood, and regular physical activity can provide long-term health advantages. I firmly believe that health and fitness leadership is a mission-driven occupation. Trends come and go in this sector, but our purpose remains the same: get people moving and keep them moving.