Did you know…

  • About one in three Canadians live with at least one major chronic disease, and this is expected to rise as the population ages and the risk factors for these diseases increases.1
  • As of 2018, approximately 27% of adult Canadians (roughly 7.3 million adults) are considered obese.2
  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in Canada and the third leading cause of death.3
  • 6 million Canadians have arthritis.4
  • More than 10 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes; type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 per cent of diabetes cases.5,6

For many with chronic disease or medical conditions, once surgeries are completed and medications have been established, they must often live with lifelong disabilities to one degree or another, oftentimes in pain.

Research has shown a regular fitness plan positively affects chronic disease, medical conditions, disabilities, and mental health. Additionally, fitness is the best deterrent of chronic disease in primary and secondary prevention.

Properly educated personal trainers and fitness professionals can greatly improve the quality of life for millions with medical conditions or chronic disease, and be the first line of defense against the impacts of lifestyle diseases.

The Challenge to Growing Your Business into this Space

Working in the ‘medical fitness’ space, you’ll be on the front line of healthcare, positively impacting the health of those in your community. You’ll increase your income by expanding your services — advanced services that allow you to charge a higher rate. Your scope of practice will include a whole new world of clients — one that’s becoming larger every year.

There are millions of “unwell” potential clients in the market looking for specialized personal trainers; trainers who understand their condition(s) and create the appropriate safe and effective programming. Most trainers don’t have the expertise to work with anyone outside of the generally healthy, fit, or near-fit. So, the major challenge for personal trainers looking to grow into this space is finding the appropriate specialized education. Without the right education, you can’t market yourself to these populations and the medical community won’t refer patients to personal trainers that aren’t credible.

By completing specialized education, you’re diversifying your career, becoming more valuable to your current clients and future clients. You are also increasing your value to your future employers or business opportunities.

Rather than looking at continuing education as something you must do, look at it from this perspective: “how can I invest in my education to grow my business and have more clients benefit from my services?” Specialized education is an opportunity to get better at what you do, forge a path to success, and create positive changes in the lives of those in your community.

Start Now with MedFit Classroom

canfitpro has teamed up with MedFit Classroom to offer an exclusive 25% discount on their online specialist courses. These courses will equip you with specialized knowledge to make a world of difference for your clients. 

canfitpro approved* specialist courses include:

Arthritis Fitness Specialist (15-hour course)

Many fitness professionals lack the knowledge to safely and effectively design fitness programs that specifically meet the needs of the arthritic population. Understanding the types of arthritis, symptoms that stem from the disease process, and mastering methods to improve muscle strength, range of motion, and flexibility is paramount when working with this population.  As the yearly number of people diagnosed with one or more types of arthritis increases, so does the demand for fitness professionals who have the skills and education to deliver quality and individualized fitness programming.

Drug and Alcohol Recovery Fitness Specialist (12-hour course)

Arm yourself with the knowledge & tools to build successful fitness programming for drug and alcohol recovery. Research shows that exercise therapy can help be hugely beneficial to those recovering from substance use disorder and can improve long-term neurological outcomes to relapse prevention. This course will cover physiological and psychological considerations you must understand, as well as how to design and implement successful exercise programs for this population. Distinguish yourself with this first-of-its-kind specialization, grow your business to serve this population, and make a huge impact in the lives of those in recovery.

Medical Fitness Specialist (20-hour course)

Fitness professionals trained in program design and management, who have knowledge of chronic disease, and in collaboration with health care providers, are in a prime position to help clients and patients ease the burden of chronic disease. This online course is for fitness professionals who want to learn more about using exercise as medicine with patients who suffer from one or more chronic diseases including cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, or orthopedic dysfunction. As a Medical Fitness Specialist, you will be able to prevent and/or manage numerous chronic diseases, and collaborate with clinicians.

Multiple Sclerosis Fitness Specialist (10-hour course)

Exercise offers many benefits for people with MS. In addition to improving your overall health, exercise reduces fatigue and improves bladder and bowel function, strength, and mood. This course will prepare you to work with clients with MS, to help develop strength, flexibility, balance, and breathing. Provide a better quality of life, hope for the future, and continued improvement for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Osteoporosis Fitness Specialist (10-hour course)

Help your clients keep their bones healthy, avoid osteoporosis and minimize bone loss! Many trainers are intimidated to take on clients with osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and other bone issues. These clients need and can benefit the most from a sound, sensible, bone-enhancing fitness program. This course will go over the anatomy and physiology of bone health, the use of diet and exercise to restore and maintain healthy bones and their functions, and how to program an exercise regimen to reduce the risk of traumatic falls in clients wanting healthier bones.

Parkinson’s Disease Fitness Specialist (12-hour course)

Research shows that exercise can improve many Parkinson’s Disease symptoms, and is integral in helping maintain balance, mobility, and daily activities. As the yearly number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s increases, so does the demand for fitness professionals who have the skills and education to deliver quality and individualized fitness programming for this population. This course brings together research, medical and fitness fields so trainers gain a comprehensive understanding of the disease and learn how to work with those who have it.

Stroke Recovery Fitness Specialist

A stroke is a life-altering occurrence that can profoundly affect activities of daily life to greatly varying degrees. However, after the hospital and rehab is done, there is still so much that can improve, with the right guidance. Stroke Recovery Fitness Specialists can uniquely position themselves to help stroke survivors regain function as well as improve their fitness. This course will provide the education to do just that! The course provides the fitness professional tools needed to assure survivors, their families, and other medical professionals that they are qualified to provide effective and safe continuing training and care.

Ready to get started?

*Courses approved for 4 canfitpro CECs.
Payment plans available for purchases of $399 or more.

References:

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4910465/

(2) https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-625-x/2019001/article/00005-eng.htm

(3) https://tbrhsc.net/programs-services/stroke-program/nwostroke/public-awareness/quick-facts

(4) https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/what-is-arthritis/the-truth-about-arthritis

(5) https://www.diabetes.ca/media-room/press-releases/new-diabetes-rates-released-with-urgent-plea-for-governments-to-implement-national-diabetes-strategy

(6) https://www.diabetes.ca/media-room/press-releases/one-in-three-canadians-is-living-with-diabetes-or-prediabetes,-yet-knowledge-of-risk-and-complicatio

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Dougherty started her fitness career in 1999 and has worked for over 22 years with clients with medical conditions or chronic disease, amassing dozens of certification and continuing education along the way.

Inspired by her father’s cancer battle, she created the MedFit Network to help connect those with medical conditions to fitness, health & wellness professionals who could serve them. Later, seeing a gap in specialized education for these professionals, she founded the MedFit Education Foundation to facilitate and create high-quality education for all facets of medical fitness.