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3 Careers For Fitness And Sports Enthusiasts

Are you bored of sitting in the office each day, counting down the minutes until you can be at the gym again? Do you wish that sport could become more than just a passion, but a full on career? If you are ready to turn a hobby into a career then you’re in luck.

There are actually a range of job roles that are ideal for sport and fitness enthusiasts. Some involve more teaching than others, but all will enable you to develop your own health and fitness knowledge, while getting paid.

Here are 3 of the main routes open to those seeking a career in sport or fitness.

Personal Trainers and Gym Instructors

Personal trainers (PT) are the hands-on experts in body toning that almost everyone comes into contact with at one time or another. You often can’t join a gym without being offered at least one taster session with a PT.

If your passion for fitness manifests itself through love for circuits, weights and crossfit, working as personal trainer is a great way to earn money whilst doing what you love. It’s also a great career for people lovers out there, as you’ll often work one on one with clients.

As a PT, you will create fitness programme for your clients in order to promote realistic health and fitness goals, as well as one-on-one training sessions with clients to further help them meet their individual goals. This includes anything from losing weight to gaining muscle, and can be done through a variety of means, such as through aerobics, using gym machines or weights.

In order to become a personal trainer, you will need to have some kind of personal trainer degree. This will cover the biological, anatomical and physiological aspects of being a PT. It’s not all about practice, it’s also about the principals.

Courses that provide you with the best possible chance of employment in the personal training industry must be accredited by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). In order to be accepted onto these courses, you will usually have to show some sort of enthusiasm towards fitness and the gym as a whole.

FE Sport and Physical Education in Schools

With recent statistics showing that 58% of women and 68% of men in England are overweight or obese, the importance of providing young people with the tools to be able to exercise effectively cannot be overstated. By setting them up with good habits for life, the problem of obesity can be effectively tackled. This is where sport and fitness educators in schools and colleges comes in.

There are a number of jobs in FE sport and physical education, ranging from sport lecturers, to football apprentices and youth activity leaders, as well as PE teacher and other educational roles in secondary schools.

With the Department for Education promising to double the amount of funding for PE and sport in schools by the end of the year amid concerns about the health of young people today, working as a Sport and Fitness instructor will allow you make a real difference to young people’s lives.

In order to thrive in this role, you’ll need a range of different skills, including:

  • Good organisational skills – to effectively plan your lessons
  • The ability to manage classes
  • Be able to deal with challenging behaviour
  • Excellent communication skills

You’ll need to be physically fit, and having previous experience of some sports coaching or teaching is beneficial.

The most common route to becoming a PE teacher is to do an Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) and gain qualified teacher status (QTS). You can gain an ITET either through a university qualification (either an undergraduate degree or postgraduate award) or from school-led work-based training.

Nutritionists and Dieticians

If you enjoy the physical part of fitness, but are more passionate about the science side, you might want to work as a nutritionist. This will allow you to work with people who are actively trying to improve their overall health and influence them to lead an all round healthier lifestyle, imparting your knowledge of clean eating to help others, all while educating yourself.

Nutritionists work in a number of different settings, including offices, hospitals and schools, as well as one-to-one with private clients.

Your main tasks will include explaining the benefits of nutrition and what it can do for your clients, and by assessing individual clients’ health needs and diet, developing meal plans for them. You will often need to provide customised information for different individuals, like teaching a patient with high blood pressure how to eat less salt, or help overweight people lose weight by planning diets with less processed foods and sugar.

To be a nutritionist you will need a good scientific brain above all. Most nutritionists have a qualification in nutrition, which usually comes in the form of an undergraduate degree, such as those in nutritional science or dietetics, or a food science degree. There are entry level degrees readable available for those who don’t have qualifications already.

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About Paul Stainthorpe

Running has been part of my life since 2011. While growing up I hated running and would do anything to avoid it at school. Give me a ball and a racket any day. It’s funny how some things change. I run for good. In 2012 I ran the 12 Days of Christmas for the Percy Hedley Foundation. In 2013 I attempted (with friend Lee Nyland), the 12 parkruns of Christmas for the Tiny Lives Trust.

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