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PERSEVERE121 SparkPoints: (4,752)
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Posts: 31
7/12/14 5:55 P

Thank you all for your help!!! So many good ideas! I will take all of this into consideration and will follow up :) Thank you again!!!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (199,935)
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Posts: 27,311
7/12/14 3:47 P


You have received some good advice. It is never too late to start another career.

Let me speak from some experience because I did do what you are currently considering. When I started my own journey, I hadn't planned on becoming a personal trainer. At the time, I was interested in teaching aerobics classes, specifically kick boxing. I loved kickboxing so much that I decided to become a certified instructor. What I did was to go to my gym and ask my favorite instructors, what did they do to become an instructor ?

First, I needed to be certified by a reputable fitness organization. I was told to start with AFAA. and that's what I did, I paid for their group instructor certification program and after a few weeks of study, got my certification. Once I had that certification, I was able to work with the instructors at the gym. Eventually, I felt confident enough to teach my own class. That's when I auditioned at the gym for a job and got one.

So, I started my part time career in fitness as a group exercise instructor. That eventually led to personal training. Mind you, I did this all while working a full time job. it was something I did on the side for fun and a little extra pocket money.

YES, professional fitness certifications can be very expensive. So can the so called Wellness Coaches. Anarie brings up a very good point, exactly what is a wellness or health coach ? That is a very vague title. I would say that if you are truly interested in becoming a person who advises people on their health and well being, you should start by becoming a personal trainer.

If you don't want to go the personal trainer route, then you should consider one of the programs for nutrition specialist. There are nutrition programs similar to personal training ones. You can be certified as a nutritionist, BUT you would need to submit any dietary plans you create to a registered dietitian for approval.

Wellness coach implies that you can advise someone with regards to their fitness, nutrition and over all well being. That's not something a signal program can teach you. That's why you need to start with one specialty first. that's either got to be nutrition or fitness.

Personal trainers have multiple certifications. Like Anarie mentioned, look into your local adult education classes to see what they offer for nutrition, wellness and fitness. take a class or two to decide if this is something you really want to do because it will be an investment.

I would encourage the OP to consider getting certified as a personal trainer if they are interested in becoming a wellness coach. It's never too late. I'm 50 and work part time as a PT.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
7/12/14 3:22 P

Never put aside the possibility of making a career of something you love. I think most people in later age wish they'd done something else or in addition to what they spent their lives in. You don't get second chances at that point! do it now.

I think the advice about Adult Ed or community college courses is good. If you're going to do something, have more than just "empty paper" to show for it.
I've seen some nutrition courses offered online, too. I don't know how such things are measured, but unless they're *REALLY* 'fly-by-night", at least you'd have some kind of structured program and hopefully a completion certificate to post in front of clients. That makes a difference, too -- remember, those folks probably don't have any idea what that certificate means, either. But it looks professional.
I will make a note - the "official" Dietetics folks only endorse rare programs. If you want to be a professional Dietitian, you're more or less constrained to those, because I believe they are the ones certifying the grads who pass their exams. But there are a lot of other nutritional specialists out there, and I think (as long as you're not hoping to work in some industrial/medical setting) that those specialists can be just as effective in providing good nutritional and health advice. Examine the program the official folks offer. You could add some electives from your community college to emulate at least a portion of that.

I think another very beneficial resource would be our own Dietitian here on SP. She should be able to direct you one way or another based upon your goals and what she knows from her own education and life experience.

Meanwhile, I would go on a search for companies offering courses in line with your interests. Take whatever basic courses you can, either online (they do have lots of these available) or at your local community college.

Just don't give up on this desire. You will thank yourself at some later point in life - and maybe very soon!

I'd love to know how you proceed. Please let us know?

SUNSHINE99999 Posts: 19,403
7/12/14 1:40 P

just might happen

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
7/12/14 12:16 A

The previous poster's idea about Adult Ed classes sounds great to me. Look into community college non-credit programs, and also the informal evening classes at most major universities (usually those are sponsored by the student union.) "Health coach" is a title you give yourself; any certification you could get without advanced coursework wouldn't be worth the paper it was printed on. But if you can say, "I've taught basic nutrition and dietary planning at XYZ Community College for the last four years," then you can start branching out and attracting paying clients. Just be aware that you would be teaching the courses for the experience, not the money-- most of those classes barely pay enough to cover your parking and the paper and such that you end up providing.

Weight Watchers and others are also a good idea, as long as you're comfortable with the specific program. That would probably pay more than an adult ed class, and maybe you can put that money away to be used toward a masters degree or registered dietitian training.

But you're probably not going to be able to quit your day job, at least not for a while.

7/11/14 11:22 P

Start a career search...head to library and get the the research librarian to help you! Check out your local community college and resources they have there! Call local weight loss organizations for possibilities, such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, nutrisystem, etc.
Are you qualified to teach an Adult Ed class? That would be a start! I wish you luck! Go for it...

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (587,078)
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Posts: 16,674
7/11/14 10:50 P

Sounds like a good and exciting plan. Maybe your local college could steer you in the right direction.

JO88BAKO SparkPoints: (319,343)
Fitness Minutes: (174,617)
Posts: 17,150
7/11/14 10:45 P

Sounds like a great plan. I don't know how

PERSEVERE121 SparkPoints: (4,752)
Fitness Minutes: (1,058)
Posts: 31
7/11/14 9:34 P

I've been in the banking industry for 7 years, I've been on my healthy living journey for 4 years. I've come to love it, and would love to help others with their journey. I've been doing research and saving money to become a Health Coach. emoticon The question, what is the most affordable way to enter into this field and become certified from a respected company? Currently have undergrad degree in business economics, hubby has student loan debt galore so another 2-4 yrs of college is out of the question. Any genuine help greatly appreciated!!! emoticon

Edited by: PERSEVERE121 at: 7/11/2014 (21:37)
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