Sahiba Singh:

What better a time to discuss careers in fitness than in the month of April, which hosts the World Health day.

For many of us the physical education period was about strange exercises and the occasional game sessions. Now with the people getting more concerned about their body image, physical education has become more than just a period squeezed into our air tight schedules. Fitness is no longer about the slimmest body or restricted to sportspersons or celebrities. It is about having a healthy and an active body which the aam admi must have too!!

The fitness industry has seen tremendous growth over the last five years. With the expansion many careers have become popular like Fitness trainer, Nutritionist, Physiotherapist and many others. The routine walks around the parks are giving away to more specialized activities that work on all the aspects of the body and mind.

A fitness trainer is a person who looks after the issues concerning the health and physical fitness of his/her clients. The job of the person is to give the clients guidance on fitness and health. Fitness trainers plans the exercise regimen, by considering the age, lifestyle, health problems and other constraints of the person opting for the training program. The trainer has to decide whether a person should opt for weights, aerobics, stretching and muscle conditioning exercises or other machines available in the gym. In addition to this, the person also tells them the duration of each exercise. Decisions regarding the eating habits, posture, change in lifestyle etc are also taken by the fitness trainer. Fitness trainers either work with a person on one-on-one basis or conduct group workout sessions. They set objectives for their client, assist them in achieving the target and help them in following correct techniques of exercise.

A fitness trainer should have good communication skills, apart from being physically fit. In addition to this, patience, dedication, strong analytical skills, and a calm attitude are also required to excel in this field. Apart from this, a fitness trainer should ensure safety while instructing his/her clients. A good fitness instructor should be amiable, at the same time, should be strict about workout regimes.

Career Prospects
Fitness trainers can work as health club managers, fitness directors, aerobics instructors, corporate wellness directors, personal trainers, weight loss counselors etc. One can also get employed in hotels, health clubs, gyms, fitness centre, spas, tourist resorts, housing societies and large organizations. One can specialize in any of the following – weightlifting, aerobics, karate and kickboxing, spin cycling, yoga, spinning and work as a fitness trainer.

Institutes offering
With the popularity and need of fitness trainer, many institutions are now conducting specialized training program. Some of the prominent institutions are National Association for Fitness Certification, Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Sciences (New Delhi), Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (Kerala), Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports (Punjab), HVPM (Amravati), NS Eastern Centre (West Bengal) and Symbiosis Department of Health Sciences (Maharashtra).

Remuneration
In the field of fitness training, one might earn a salary between Rs 5000- Rs7000 per month, as a beginner. An experienced fitness trainer can earn Rs. 1000 per hour.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and covers alternative career options.

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