After losing 100 lbs and developing a passion for life-changing fitness and wellness, I would like to pursue a career in fitness where I can help others change their lives, too. I would like to write about fitness (I currently write for a fitness blog for college students), be a group fitness instructor (and maybe someday a personal trainer!), and/or work with a non-profit dedicated to wellness. I already have an advanced degree, but not in this field at all! Is going back to school for exercise science the best way to go? Or is it possible to build experience without a formal degree? I want to make a difference but I’m not sure where to start!
first my most heart-felt congratulations to you for your personal accomplishments. You should be proud of yourself, and it is a great credit to you that you now want to inspire others and make a difference in their lives.
Deciding how much you want to make fitness your career will determine which route to go. If you are seeking employment with certain organizations you may need to pursue a degree. Ironically, those same organizations often require also a certification, simply because degrees do not require continued education whereas certifications do.
But it is also possible to build a career without a formal degree. If I were you, I would start with getting a group exercise certification and then start teaching group fitness. This will get your toes in the water, and it does not preclude you from pursuing a degree if you choose to.
A lot in group fitness and personal training has nothing to do with exercise science and all with communication and your ability to relate to people. In many ways, you can empathize so much better with people who are overweight than many of us because you have been there. This is a great asset to you.
I wish you all the best for the future.