Why seek qualified service for our bodies?

We ensure our cars are serviced by qualified mechanics so why do we not ensure we are seeking qualified service for our bodies?

Running a car is often a large investment and a material item we heavily rely on every day. When something goes wrong with our cars it is a major inconvenience and we make it a priority to get it sorted. We ensure our cars are serviced on time, we trust our mechanics and when something goes wrong, we are sure to complain.

So why do we not have the same standards when it comes to our bodies and our health?

The fitness industry is heavily populated with a multitude of ‘fitness professionals’, ‘health experts’, ‘health coaches’ and ‘health professionals’. Throw social media fitness influencers in there as well and we have an extremely competitive industry to choose from and a multitude of different and often controversial fitness and health related advice. It is fair to say that everyone has a role in the fitness industry to improve the level of health and reduce the ever-growing financial burden of chronic disease in Australia. Statistics show that approximately 90% of Australians are not meeting the minimum exercise guidelines on a weekly basis.

What are the levels of qualifications?

It is important to be aware of the level of qualification and experience of professionals who work in the health and fitness industry so that you can source the ‘right fit’. The level of qualification is guided by the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) which provides a criterion of the relative complexity of achievement and demonstrates that achievement.
Based on the AQF the fitness industry can be generally summarised at the following levels:
Level 3 – Group Fitness Instructor
Level 4 – Personal Training
Level 7 – Exercise Sport Scientist
Level 9 – Exercise Physiologist

So how do you know who is the right fitness professional to invest in?

Firstly, it is important to assess some considerations before selecting the right qualified profession.

  1. Assess your current health. Are you currently managing some health conditions including blood pressure or pre-diabetes?
  2. Assess your current fitness level. Think about the last time your routinely engaged in exercise.
  3. Consider your barriers for currently not exercising. Is it the fear of being sore or getting injured?
  4. Consider what you are willing to invest to achieve improved levels of health and fitness.

Once you have assessed your considerations you can move to the levels of qualification and find your most suited professional based on the below:

Level 3

Group Fitness Instructor generally provided choreographed group-based classes including the likes of Les Mills and Zumba. This level is best suited to regular gym goers with minimal history of injury and who love group-based atmosphere.

Level 4

Personal Trainers are suited to delivering individualised exercise to ‘generally healthy population’. This means individuals you are not managing health conditions, injuries or have a risk associated to exercise engagement.

Level 7

Exercise Sport Scientists are suited to delivering individualised exercise and group-based exercise. They have a 3-year university degree studying exercise and delivery to the healthy population. They have the knowledge and experience to work with individual’s managing acute health conditions such as managed hypertension or injuries. You also may find these professionals working in spaces such as senior’s health and diabetes.

Level 9

Exercise Physiologist’s have a minimum 5-year university degree studying exercise and delivery to the healthy population and providing exercise and management for individuals with chronic disease. Exercise physiologists are considered allied health professionals and you may be seen via a GP referral or alternative referral pathway.

So, can I see someone with more qualification?

If you do some research you may find you could seek services and guidance from an Exercise Sport Scientist and Exercise Physiologist for a similar cost to a personal trainer so you can certainly opt for a more qualified professional to get you on your way to a healthier and fitter version of you.