There has been a growing interest in personal fitness over the past few decades, and with high-speed access to information, images, and other people at our fingertips, this comes as no surprise. Since the dawn of the fitness industry in the 1970s, we've come a long way from having to travel to a gym to seek advice from fitness and nutrition "experts." Every other Facebook post seems to be a check-in at the gym by our old high school friend, you can find a handful of 15-minute workouts on Pinterest within seconds, and Instagram is full of fitness influencers claiming to have the best dieting tips or fat loss products.
This abundance of information can make for a very confused consumer. It is why I believe that if you are a professional in the fitness industry (or are striving to be one), it's essential never to stop learning and acquiring knowledge related to your craft and your client's needs. With nutrition, in particular, there is a vast market of people who have health and fitness goals but are unsure of where to start.
If you are on the fence about whether or not you should take the leap and enroll in a nutrition certification program, here are five reasons why I believe it's worth the investment:
1. Evidence-based information
As I mentioned above, there is a plethora of information out there, but not all of it is sound information that the consumer can trust. It can be challenging to differentiate between what is trustworthy information and what is not, and this goes not only for the majority of the population who has no background in nutrition but also for those individuals looking to expand their knowledge in the field. There may be some people in the industry who look the part and look like they have the credentials to provide sound advice, but the information they're offering may be incorrect. By acquiring a certification through a reputable organization, you can rest assured that the information has been vetted and supported by legitimate science.
2. Easy to learn and understand
The information in a nutrition course is compiled in an easy-to-explore manner, so you're learning from the fundamentals first. Starting from point A and working your way down to point Z can save you a lot of time and money rather than jumping from topic to topic.
3. A variety of mentors/contributors
Reputable organizations hire the best experts out there with experience and knowledge in the different aspects of nutrition, so you don't have just one person behind the scenes providing all of your information. In addition to the editors and authors, there is a lot of time and money that goes into ensuring you're receiving quality information.
4. Confidence and credibility
Getting certified through an accredited organization can help you stand out as a professional and add credibility to your brand. Getting a certification can help you feel more confident in your ability to help your clients reach their goals. You will not only gain new information and facts, but you'll also learn methods and strategies so that you can be more productive with your clients.
5. Resources and more opportunities to learn
When you associate yourself with a certifying body such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine, you're not just receiving textbook materials and a piece of paper saying you're qualified to help others. Not only do you have more opportunities to expand your knowledge with other certifications, but you also have access to blogs, research, news, magazines (like the American Fitness magazine), special events, and more.
6. Increase your revenue
With your nutrition certification, you can build an in-person or online business around guiding your clients through their diet, or you can add a service onto an already existing business in the fitness industry.
While I believe a nutrition certification shouldn't be the be-all and end-all of your career, it can open up a lot of doors for you. Think of it as having another tool in your toolbox. It's another way to bridge the gap between where your client is today and where they want to be. With nutrition being the most critical aspect of most people's fitness goals, why not be the professional that your clients can go to to see the results that they want to see?