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!
Congratulations on wanting to join the Health, Fitness and Wellness industry. As you’ve already learned there are a lot of ways to get started and a lot of different paths you can follow. All of them will help people to live healthier lives.
If you’re not quite sure where you’d like to start or where to focus, don’t worry, most of us don’t! A great place to start is to talk to local fitness professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, gym managers, etc), health professionals (physical therapists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, etc) and coaches (life coaches, health coaches, sports coaches, etc) and ask them what their day in day out job entails. What do they like? What do they dislike? How did they get started? What education do they need? Are there continuing education requirements? What advice would they give to someone just starting out?
You’ll get a lot of great information and it may help you to narrow your focus. It will also be a great connection for you to work with like minded professionals who can quide you along your journey. I often work with new trainers in this capacity. I find we all learn and grow from the experience.
Good luck in your search!