There’s no doubt that the combination of a new year and a new decade has made a lot of people assess their career options. If you’ve reached a point in your working life where you’re in need of something different, exciting and possibly even life-changing, moving into the fitness industry could be for you.
Why now you might be wondering? Well, there really hasn’t been a better and more opportunity-filled time to get involved with one of the world’s most diverse and rapidly expanding industries. Currently, in the UK, the fitness industry is worth over £5bn and more than 15% of the population (that’s over 10 million people) is a member of a gym or health club. As you might expect, especially if you’re a regular gym-goer yourself, one of the most popular roles is that of a personal trainer. That being said, a recent report by the American College of Sports Medicine identified group exercise as the number two global fitness trend.
In terms of the most popular styles of group exercise, yoga, Pilates and exercise to music (or you might simply know it as aerobics) rank incredibly highly with regards to the amount of people participating on a regular basis. So, if you’re curious about a career in the fitness industry and group exercise feels like the right move for you, let’s explore your options.
Yoga is an incredibly versatile and inclusive form of exercise. Many take part in classes for the holistic benefits, for mental clarity and stress relief, while others choose to focus more on the physical side. Of course, combining both sides of the practice is common too. In fact, yoga comes from an ancient Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means to unite. This union of body and mind is what really sets yoga apart.
On your journey to become a qualified yoga teacher, you’ll master how to perform and instructor various poses (also known as asanas), as well as how to teach a range of breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques.
If you want to become a yogi, find the best yoga instructor course near you to get started.
There are many similarities between yoga and Pilates but many choose the latter for specific strengthening, flexibility and rehabilitation benefits. Depending on the type of class being taught, there is often less of a focus on the mental side of things and more on the practical applications of founder Joseph Pilates’ original 34 exercises.
Alongside doing a mat-based Pilates instructor course, many choose to upskill and complete a reformer Pilates course. Reformer Pilates is generally considered to be a more dynamic form of the exercise and involves use of a reformer, which visually looks like an old-fashioned bed frame.
Exercise to music
Flash back a few decades and group aerobics used to be all about legs, bums and tums. Nowadays, freestyle exercise to music is as vibrant and diverse as those who attend classes each and every week.
As a qualified exercise to music instructor you’ll have the opportunity to really run the show. You could craft your own choreography, select your favourite music and teach a class that is truly unique. Alternatively, ETM also opens the door to the worldwide sensations like Les Mills and Bokwa.
So, there you have three great options if you’re looking to kickstart your group exercise career. The beautiful thing with the fitness industry is you don’t ever have to be tied to a single discipline. Many instructors and teachers choose to gain multiple qualifications which can you only make you even more in demand.
Written by Josh Douglas-Walton, a writer for HFE, the UK’s leading provider of personal training courses and fitness qualifications.