I am new to the industry and have recently discovered my love and passion for fitness and nutrition over the last couple of years. I have a bachelor’s degree with a major in sociology and a minor in psychology, and I currently work in retail.. but now I want to head in the direction of fitness, nutrition, and wellness. After researching, there seems to be so many options for certifications, I don’t know where to begin! What is the most accredited online certification program for nutrition and wellness? So far I have looked at ACE, NASM, AFPA, and Institute for Integrative Nutrition (which cost a lot more than the others and takes more time, but may be worth it?) I would love all the advice I can get!
Congratulation on your decision.
It depends on the type of clients you are looking to train. For example, Personal Training, coaching sports/athletes, teaching fitness classes, fitness for seniors, aquatics, wellness and life coaching are some of the different options you have when deciding which certification to get. Each one offers different information and possibilities. There are many great organizations out there which offer certifications so you have to decide which way to go. Price can be a factor when chosing a certification, but cutting corners just to get the cheapest one out there might not be the smartest or best way to proceed.
Do you have in mind what you would like to do or type of clients you would like to train? Our industry it’s a great place to be in and has opportunities for everyone. ACE, NSCA, ACSM are few that come to my mind which you can search for more information. There are many more out there for you to check and research to find out which one will fit you best.
I’m sure you will get some great answers here and I hope it will help you with your search.
I would look at ACE Lifestyle and Weight Management as an entry level cert. I don’t know much about it, but Wellcoaches might be the way to go if you want to work in healthcare/preventive medicine. For sports nutrition, CISSN would be my top choice. Your degree would make you eligible to take this. Another nutrition cert. is offered by ISSA and popular with personal trainers.
It’s great to hear you want to join one of the fastest growing industries out there! Congrats on taking the leap into the wide world of coaching/training/inspiring/motivating others to live healthier, happier lives!
It sounds like you’ve done your preliminary research on the various agencies out there. The number of available options can definitely feel overwhelming, especially when each one seems to have one benefit or feature that another might not.
If I were in your shoes, I’d keep the following considerations in mind to help guide me in my ultimate decision:
How do I want to define my scope of practice?
-Do I want to be certified to provide general advice to clients about nutrition?
-Do I want to become a registered/licensed dietitian to be able to provide more specific nutritional programs for people?
Where do I want to work and what are their qualifications?
-Do I want to work for someone else and their company’s rules?
-Do I want to open my own business and make the rules based on what’s legal/ethical?
What’s the fitness/nutrition industry like in the city/state I plan to work?
-Should I jump on board with what seems to be popular?
-Should I “break from the herd” and take advantage of a unique market opportunity?
If you’d like me to clarify any of the above please let me know and I’d be happy to.
No matter where you find yourself currently, I’d recommend you seek out advice from local businesses who provide fitness/nutritional services. If you haven’t done this already, ask them their thoughts on your situation and what their recommendations are.
Best of luck to you and your new adventure!