Get Fiscally Fit As An Aerobics Instructor

aerobics instructorI work from home, and so the biggest decision about what to wear to the office is usually between the fuzzy slippers and the nonskid socks. Lunch is always just around the corner, and the contents of my fridge all know me by name. It's all too easy to turn a coffee break into naptime. This means I have to make that much more of an effort to stay in shape. I'm a DIY type, but occasionally I'll pick up a health mag to see what's new (this just in: to stay slim and fit, you have to diet and exercise).

An article I just read in the March 2010 issue of Fitness magazine caught my attention. It's called Lean Times (written by Joanne Chen), and while the piece is mostly about how keeping fit can keep you focused and help you run your troubles away instead of running away from them, some of the statistics cited surprised me.

"At gyms, trainers are busier than ever; the number of clients who paid for one to nine sessions a week jumped from 22 to 38 percent in the past year, according to IDEA (a national association for fitness instructors). "Retail sales are up for home gym equipment (per: Sears), and so are sales on exercise DVDs (per: Anchor Bay).

According to Chen, "As jobs have disappeared, athletic careers have blossomed." So I got to thinking: what does it take to become an aerobics instructor or a personal trainer? Is it all about the abs, or is there more to it than that?

If the first machine the health club puts you on is the respirator, then it probably isn't the career for you - but it's food for thought. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're thinking about turning muscle into money:

  • You'll need to be certified by at least one nationally recognized organization such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), or the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). Many offer courses which can be taken online.

  • Knowing CPR is a requirement. You'll have to enroll in a CPR and first aid training class. You will also have to buy personal liability insurance covering personal injury and property loss.

  • Once you've got that, you then need to decide if you'd rather be a personal instructor (you can make $30 - $300 an hour, but on the higher end you've really got to find a hook that sets you apart from everyone else) or work for someone else (my cursory searches on brought up several jobs, most of them ranging from $7 - $18 per hour).

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