The old saying goes that you should do something you love for a living. After all, the average person spends a third of their life working, so why not spend that time doing something you know they’re truly passionate about?
For a number of people, working in health and fitness is exactly that. Keeping fit helps you stay healthy which, in turn, keeps you and your body in tip-top condition. The act of exercising also releases a rush of endorphins, which keeps your brain healthy and wards off mental health problems like depression or anxiety.
So, now we know why health and fitness is great, how about working in it? What kind of career could you have? Fortunately, there are a lot to choose from. Let’s take a look to see what kind of roles are on offer.
- Physical Therapist
Fitness is not all about looking as beefed up as Zac Efron, it's also about helping others recoup and recover from injuries. Working as a Physical Therapist will allow you to work with people who have suffered from certain debilitating injuries, helping them to rebuild the strength – both mentally and physically – to recuperate.
Whether you are helping an athlete recover from a muscle injury, or an elderly person on the mend from surgery, working in physical therapy can be a highly rewarding career. It also allows you to meet, get to know and train with people from all works of life, so it can be a great choice of career if you enjoy the satisfaction of helping others.
- Personal Trainer
Most personal trainers work in gyms of fitness centres, helping those who are members at the gym they work in to improve their health and fitness. Whether somebody is looking to tone up, build muscle or simply lose weight, life as a personal trainer allows you to meet many people from different backgrounds.
Similar to a Physical Therapist, it can also be a highly rewarding career, encouraging those who come in with low confidence to improve themselves and their bodies. However, to work as a personal trainer, you will need the correct certification first, which typically involves studying either a two-year Associate’s Degree or four-year Bachelor’s degree in Health and Fitness. This ensures you receive the sufficient skills and confidence to safely plan and instruct exercise sessions within a gym environment, using a combination of cardiovascular equipment, resistance machines, free weights and body weight exercises.
- PE (Physical Education) Teacher
If you like the idea of working with children, moulding their minds and providing them with a nice break from the long hours of studying, then being a PE teacher could be the ideal role for you.
Some studies even show that physical education does more than help kids stay fit – it can even improve their overall academic ability as well.
Eating well is vital to keeping fit and healthy. Everyone knows that eating too many sugary foods is bad for you, but not everyone knows how much protein they need to eat in order to promote muscle growth. Working as a registered Nutritionist or Dietitian, you will monitor client’s diets, keeping on track of their daily carbohydrate, fat and protein intakes and helping them to make informed decisions on what to eat and when.
One of the benefits of working as a nutritionist or dietitian is the fact that you can do it more or less anywhere. Nutritionists are commonly found in schools, hospitals, nursing homes or working self-employed in their own office. Some lucky ones even land jobs in luxury hotels or resorts so, if travelling is in your blood, nutrition could be your calling.
- Gym Owner
If you have more of an entrepreneurial bug about you, how about a career as a Gym Owner? It’ll allow you to stay on top of your own health and fitness, and help others to improve theirs as well.
Working as a Gym Owner will also give you the freedom and flexibility to make your own decisions. From the staff you employ to the machines you choose to buy, every choice will be in your own two hands – you’ll do it all. Some people don’t like that level of authority but if you do, life as a gym owner could be a dream career move.
- Fitness Magazine Journalist
Working as a magazine journalist or eventual editor of a fitness magazine can be a highly rewarding career. Not only will it allow you to sustain your love for health and fitness, but it’ll also enable you to pass on that knowledge to other interested people.
If you’re a fitness buff with a creative side, life as a journalist could be great for you. It might not generally pay as well as some other fitness-related roles, but it’ll be a fun and rewarding career choice. Depending on the magazine you work for, you might even get the chance to meet and interview some fitness icons, such as the aforementioned Zac Efron.
- Sports Clothes Designer
Sportswear is a huge market, with Global Industry Analysts, Inc. projecting the industry to value at over £178 billion by 2024. If you come from a more scientific background, why not take advantage of this trend by working as a Fitness Tech Engineer? You could work for one of a number of companies who focus on creating sportswear products that help make people’s lives easier, whether they’re a pro-athlete or not.
It could be a fabric that helps keep athletes cool and sweat-free, or a top that ensures breathability. Whatever it is, designing sports clothes can be a great choice of career if creativity and innovation is in your blood.
- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
If working with athletes is your passion, then a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) degree could be the perfect choice. Once you’re qualified, you will train athletes, improving their performance ability through sports-specific tests and exercises.
Depending on the sport they participate in, your knowledge will help them improve their speed, strength, power and agility to become the best athlete that they can be. It’s a similar role to personal training in a way, but you’ll be helping professional athletes rather than the average gym-goer.