AS A nation, we're getting fatter. We're among the fattest on the planet.
While that fact is keeping plenty in the healthcare industry busy, it's also resulting in more people looking to forge careers in the fitness sector.
According to the Australian Institute of Fitness, the past 12 months have seen a huge spike both in personal trainers delivering small group (2-4 participants) sessions in traditional gym environments and outdoor bootcamp-style sessions.
Given the increased range of options for gym members and exercisers, trainers are having to provide more bang for their clients' buck, mixing training techniques, equipment and venues.
A spokeswoman for the institute said a career as a personal trainer meant a lot more than spotting clients through sets of squats and bench presses.
"It's about changing lives and making a difference. It sounds like a horrible cliche, but the reality is if you get one person to start moving, feel better about themselves, get healthier, and reduce their risk of all those horrible diseases, you are actually helping someone, and that's fulfilling," she said.
"You've heard the old saying 'exercise is the best medicine'; well it's never been more true than now when more than 60% of Australian's are overweight or obese, and more fitness trainers are needed to motivate them to exercise, so they can avoid terrible lifestyle diseases.
"With the presence of chronic diseases in Australia increasing, personal trainers need to be equipped to confidently work with this changing population.
"This is why we now offer the exercise therapist program (diploma of fitness) as PTs can upskill from the certificate III and IV in fitness so they have the right skills to effectively and confidently work with what is unfortunately becoming the 'average' Australian."
Working with people with a range of fitness levels and abilities means prospective PTs must be able to understand the goals and motivations of each of their clients, and challenge them both mentally and physically while minimising the chances of injury.
The institute spokeswoman said the industry offered a range of career paths, and within each a wide range of roles and responsibilities.
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