The type and amount of food your clients consume play a critical role in their ability to achieve their fitness goals. Whether the goals include losing weight, building muscle, training for a marathon or just staying in shape, nutrition can make or break the fitness program. As a fitness professional, you are probably used to clients and members approaching you for advice and information on the latest diets, supplements and nutrition news.
To assist you in developing knowledge of numerous nutrition topics, and to demonstrate that we understand how important a tool the latest nutrition knowledge is to your success as a professional, IDEA for the first time is offering a preconference nutrition series immediately prior to this year’s IDEA World Fitness Convention™, plus expanded nutrition coverage during the convention itself.
“Exercise professionals provide a wide range of modalities providing support and structure to clientele, and it’s crucial to establish your professionalism and credibility by staying within your scope of practice,” says Scott Josephson, MS, RD, director of operations at the Florida-based Hippocrates Health Institute.
Sports dietitian Shawn H. Dolan, PhD, RD, CSSD, agrees. “Many clients and class participants consider fitness professionals to be experts for all health-related questions or concerns. It is critical for fitness professionals to be aware of this [and to] understand their scope of practice, as well as their knowledge.”
“If a client has weight loss goals, basic nutrition education needs to be incorporated into the program design and objectives in order to reach [those] goals. If a client's goals are less specific, [such as] improving basic fitness and adherence to exercise, the fitness professional should focus on helping [the client reach his or her] current goals before introducing nutrition education or discussion,” explains Dolan, assistant professor of kinesiology at Cal State Long Beach.
Dolan will present the latest research on vitamin D and chronic disease prevention in his session, “Vitamin D: Expose Yourself to the Benefits.” In Josephson’s session, “Sugar Sabotage,” attendees will learn about the different types of sugars and the various long- and short-term effects they have on the body. Josephson’s “Popular Diets: Promises and Pitfalls” session will teach attendees the criteria needed to evaluate 25 diets.
Other session topics include eating “green,” nutrition needs for athletes, eating for energy, encouraging kids to eat healthful meals, and nutrition habits for busy fitness professionals, in addition to a fun “Iron Chef”–style class on sushi. Continuing education credits will be available for many sessions.
The IDEA World Fitness Convention takes place August 12–16 in Anaheim, California. For more information on this preconference session or to register for the event, visit the IDEA website.