There is much discussion these days about fitness and related health issues.
From governments to schools, everyone is talking about how to improve people's
physical health through exercise and better nutrition.
Given this concern, it is clear that personal trainers have an important
role to play in keeping the nation healthy. They guide people in improving
their fitness levels.
Properly educated personal trainers, "assess physical fitness, provide
general lifestyle counseling, and act as a personal trainer in a health-related
setting," explains Dr. Kirstin Lane, chair of a group promoting exercise physiology.
In short, personal trainers determine how fit (or unfit) their clients
are. They then develop an appropriate exercise program and offer support to
help the clients become more fit.
Most personal trainers work in a gym or fitness facility. Many make themselves
available to work with their client at the client's home, workplace or other
more convenient location. Because of the flexible options, trainers' working
hours vary and can include days, evenings and weekends.
"You typically work when your clients don't. Early mornings and after regular
working hours tend to be busy times," says Neal I. Pire, university-trained
exercise physiologist and owner of his own personal training company in New
The range of working hours and a casual working environment appeals to
both men and women. Personal trainers can work full- or part-time, making
it a good profession for those who have other interests, obligations or responsibilities.
This is also a good profession for those with special needs. In fact, Lane
believes that there is a growing need for these specialized trainers: "As
[our understanding of] the benefits of exercise within special needs populations
becomes more mainstream, those clients are seeking out knowledgeable role
models who understand their unique situation."
Other trends affecting personal training include:
An aging population: Older people are concerned about aging and
how it will affect their health. They want trainers to help them reduce their
risk of chronic disease.
The rising rate of obesity and associated health problems: Personal
trainers play an important role in the battle against obesity by motivating
individuals to achieve fitness goals.
Increased focus on preventive medical alternatives: As diseases
associated with obesity rise, the focus begins to turn to either preventing
obesity or correcting the condition.
Greater support for personal trainers from the mainstream medical community:
Better understanding of medical complications caused by inactivity and obesity
means that more doctors are seeing the value of personal trainers for their
patients who need more guidance to lose weight and/or improve their fitness
More funding from insurance companies: It may not be obvious, but
even insurance companies are playing a role in the future of personal training.
Some company benefit plans now accept fitness-oriented claims for things like
gym memberships and personal training expenses.