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Distance Learning Fitness Instructor Training Courses

Online training courses for fitness instructors are offered through distance learning programs that confer undergraduate degrees, diplomas and certificates. Aspiring fitness instructors can take online training courses for credit toward certification or a degree in health and fitness.

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Fitness Instructor Courses Available Online

The following are descriptions for some commonly offered online courses in fitness instruction.

  • Introduction to Anatomy, Kinesiology and Physiology: Courses in anatomy, kinesiology and physiology help students learn the structures and functions of the human body. In some programs, the course may focus on the unique anatomy and physiology of women. The course focuses on the physiology of exercise and the effects of exercise movements on joint structure, as well as energy metabolism and the functions of the cardiovascular system.
  • Designing Exercise: In some programs, the exercise program design course is specific to women, the elderly or other special populations, but the principles remain the same for every fitness instructor. Aspiring fitness instructors are taught to plan specific fitness programs to meet needs of individual clients, taking into consideration the mobility, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular fitness of their clients.
  • Nutrition Analysis: Health and lifestyle both impact nutrition, and vice versa. In this course, fitness trainers are taught to consider lifestyle and health in terms of nutrition. In addition to fundamental nutrition principles and information on dietary supplements, they are taught how to recognize good and poor eating patterns.
  • Physiological and Social Elements of Aging: Aging produces many changes that can alter a person's fitness needs. This course presents the physical changes and theories of aging, as well as illnesses that commonly occur with aging. Students will learn how getting older can cause social changes as well as how aging can affect health and fitness.
  • Business Administration and Management: Most distance learning training courses for fitness instructors recognize that many instructors will need to have some business management and administration knowledge and skills. These courses touch on topics ranging from marketing strategies to financial management.
  • Weight Management: In this course students will learn about the risk factors of being overweight or obese, as well as cultural and socio-economic contributors to the prevalence of obesity in certain populations. The course will teach effective weight loss and maintenance methodologies. Students will also become familiar with disordered eating habits and symptoms.
  • Health Risk Profiles: Through this online course, students will be taught how to assess a person's health and any risks to his or her health. Assessment of flexibility, blood pressure, cardiorespiratory endurance and other health factors will be explored.
  • Exercise Prescription Design: Some people have illnesses or disabilities that may limit their ability to exercise. Students in this course will learn how to formulate special exercise plans for people based on their health restrictions, age and fitness level. The course is research-intensive and examines a variety of conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and physical disabilities.

Program Information

Most online programs are designed for students wishing to get started in the field of fitness instruction. Certificate and diploma programs can take as little as a few months to complete, while associate's degree programs typically take about two years of full-time study, and bachelor's degree programs may take up to four years. Schools may use a number of different program titles, all of which cover fitness instructor training, such as Personal Fitness Trainer, Health Fitness Specialist, or Certified Personal Trainer.

Fitness instructors can find related courses offered online in a variety of program levels, including certificate, associate's and bachelor's. Courses cover a diversity of topics, including exercise physiology, aging, weight management and business administration, to prepare you for a career in personal training.

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