Can Getting Fit Set Up Your Next Career Move?
We know that a lot of people get less active as they get older. Kids are naturally active, and often play sports or engage in similar physical activity as they grow up. As organized sports, extracurricular dance, and things of this nature taper off though, and young people get more caught up in real-world responsibilities, exercise can fall by the wayside.
Most are familiar with the basic reasons this is generally a bad trend. A lack of exercise can lead to everything from poor mental wellbeing, to less social lifestyle, to obesity. Years ago, an academic study on young adult exercise even confirmed that people who exercise regularly at a young age can have better heart health decades later. In other words, it’s not a stretch to say that staying active into adulthood affects your total health in a positive way.
But this is something most people tend to understand, and even discuss fairly regularly. What isn’t mentioned as often is that making an effort to stay fit (or get fit again!) can also set you up for some interesting careers. Below are a few appealing examples.
Physical therapy is a specific discipline that requires a degree of education and expertise to do well (let alone professionally). Nevertheless, having a foundation of personal fitness can certainly help you to pursue this kind of work. As you work to get fit, and particularly if you engage in personal training, you’ll learn how different activities work different muscle groups, how different parts of the body impact one another, when and how often to rest, and so on. This is legitimate education in physical fitness and to some extent anatomy and physiology. Again, more specific education is needed to become a professional physical therapist, but a strong foundation in fitness can help.
An effort to get fit can serve you well in massage therapy for similar reasons to those just mentioned above. A better understanding of muscle groups, strain, and rest will help you to identify what may be ailing patients — both as you converse with them and as you set about the actual practice of massage. Also of note to those interested is that the massage industry may be on the way up. Information about the health benefits of massage has become a great deal more prevalent in recent years, such that people now look at it more as a healthy practice than a luxury (which helps more people “justify” getting massages). Additionally, while we can’t predict it with certainty, there’s some logic to anticipating a post-COVID boom in massage therapy, simply as a result of people’s desire for stress relief, wellness, and even physical closeness.
As with physical therapy, you will of course need specific education and a relevant degree to pursue a career in nursing. However, these qualifications are arguably easier to pursue today than at any point in history, even if you’re past your schooling days. Online programs have made it possible for adults and working professionals to target careers in the nursing field and obtain the education they need to pursue them. In at least some of these careers though — most notably the ones revolving around direct patient care — experience working toward personal fitness can again make for a strong foundation. The better you understand exercise, nutrition, and the human body, the better you’ll be at responding to the physical needs and difficulties of nursing patients.
It goes without saying that if you’re interested in being an athletic coach — say, at a community center or school — you’ll need knowledge of the sport you’re coaching. Granted, some coaches of younger children get away with only understanding the very basics, but it’s generally best for all involved if you have knowledge and insight in the sport at hand. If you can supplement that insight with a fundamental understanding of personal fitness though, you’ll be all the more helpful to the people you coach. Fitness is a key aspect of any sport, and a coach who knows his or her way around a workout program can help kids to get the most out of their activity.
Last but not least, you can take on personal training as your own pursuit as well! You need ample experience to do this job well, and a few relevant certifications and references will be needed if you’re to show potential clients that you’re legitimate. But every trainer has to start somewhere, and getting a firm handle on your own fitness is the first step if you’re interested in starting this kind of business.
Exclusively written for TENNESSEEFITNESSSPA.com
By: Ravinia Jaleigh