Friday, November 24, 2006

The Day After

As many of us are recovering from our Thanksgiving day indulgence today (hope yours was good), it seemed like a good day to note that in every health crisis, there's a market opportunity: in this case, a growing demand for personal trainers as American gets, well, larger. And as in most fast-growing markets, the not-so-good can do well along with the good.

The nation's aging, overweight population is fueling demand for personal trainers skilled at prodding the out-of-shape of all ages to get fit.

But there's no guarantee those buff trainers know the best workout for a 65-year-old man with heart disease or an obese woman in her 50s with diabetes.

Virtually anyone can become a certified trainer because there are no national educational standards for the field. Numerous Web sites offer personal trainer certification after just a few hours of online training — and a few hundred dollars.

That situation galls personal trainers like Ken Baldwin, who has seen people become disillusioned or injured by working with unqualified trainers.

The Purdue University instructor helped create that school's four-year undergraduate personal fitness trainer degree, which he believes is the first of its kind in the nation. The year-old program is built on Purdue's health and fitness major, which already focused on exercise physiology, basic health studies, fitness evaluation and program management, psychology and nutrition.

 So, if you decide that you need a trainer to help get back into your idea shape after this holiday season... check those credentials!

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