The physical fitness guidelines for good health are clear. Everyone, including individuals with disabilities, needs about an hour per day of physical activity according to the CDC. However, about 50% of people who have disabilities (but are capable of being physically active) don’t get enough regular exercise. As a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities, you would help reduce that percentage and improve exercise opportunities for people with all levels of physical capability.
However, becoming a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities may seem like a daunting task. It requires more specialized certification in order to provide the highest level of service. So, is becoming a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities the right career choice for you? Continue reading to find out.
You Want to Help People
If your primary goal as a personal trainer is helping as many people as you can (as it is for most personal trainers), it never hurts to add another powerful tool to your tool kit. And certification as an inclusive personal trainer is one of the most powerful tools you can have.
According to the United States Census Bureau and the ADA, nearly one in five people have a disability in the U.S., which means people with disabilities make up a huge portion of our population.
If helping people on a daily basis brings you joy, there are few better career paths than working as a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities.
Especially if you live in a region where there are few other special needs personal trainers, you’ll directly bring better health and quality of life to each client you serve. Each day, you’ll know that you’re helping clients who wouldn’t have access to that service without you.
You Know that Fitness is for Everyone
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) makes a point of including people with disabilities in their exercise and fitness recommendations. That’s because most people with disabilities are capable of some physical activity. Even light physical activity can help protect against early death, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Daily physical activity is also known to improve mental health, which is crucial for individuals with disabilities, whose daily activities may be more limited than others’.
If you want to help level the playing field and make physical fitness available to everyone, becoming a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities is the number-one best way to do so.
You Know Being Inclusive is the Right Thing to Do
As a personal trainer, you have the option to cater to—or not cater to—a special population. If you choose not to specialize as a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities, you may have a more simple schedule and more predictable client needs. Each client will likely have similar needs based on their goals (losing weight, toning up, putting on muscle). You can have a straightforward, baseline training routine for each of these fitness goals.
However, catering only to this population means leaving out the population who needs physical fitness the most. The term “special population” includes people with a wide variety of mental and physical disabilities, all of whom have much more limited access to exercise. Developing specialized training protocols and making your services available to the broader special population will also allow you to work with other underserved populations. Those populations include the elderly, those with terminal illnesses such as cancer, and those who are morbidly obese.
Becoming certified as an all-inclusive personal trainer is inherently the right thing to do. It allows you to work with chronically underserved populations who need exercise the most.
You Want to Make Your Business More Competitive
You want to help people and make your business as a personal trainer more inclusive. Those are excellent reasons to become a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities, and reason enough to seek certification. However, becoming certified as a special needs personal therapist will also help your business’s bottom line.
Personal trainers for people with disabilities are still few and far between, which means clients will rely on your services. If you provide excellent quality and your clients see results, you’ll gain a loyal base of clients and a highly rewarding practice.
So, becoming a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities can be rewarding spiritually, and it’s a good business decision. But what does it take to reach that level of proficiency as a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities?
How to Get Certified as a Special Needs Personal Trainer
To offer the correct care and safety measures, and to maximize the returns your clients gain from their exercise routines, you can certification as a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities.
Special Strong Certification is nationally accredited, and it requires zero previous experience. The certification is more than just a piece of paper: through the process, you’ll focus on meeting four specific targets to help you serve special needs clients:
- Core, Balance, and Flexibility. You’ll learn the best function movements and corrective exercises to use as a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities.
- Brain and Sensory System. You’ll learn how to target auditory, tactile, vestibular, and visual pathways to help clients where these systems are affected.
- Strength and Muscle Development. You’ll learn how to deliver key training in anaerobic resistance, no matter what limitations the client might have.
- Endurance and Stamina Development. You’ll learn how to help your clients develop their aerobic and cardiovascular endurance through targeted exercises.
Special Strong Certification is highly adaptable. Whether your clients have Down syndrome, autism, a physical disability, or a rare condition, you’ll have the tools you need.
Personal Trainer for Individuals with Disabilities: Are You Right for the Job?
It’s important to consider whether becoming a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities is the right choice for you. It’s also important to think about whether you’re the right choice for the career.
If you value helping people, and you know the importance of physical fitness, you’re likely a good candidate. However, gaining the skills required to become certified as a personal trainer for individuals with disabilities also requires dedication and time.
If you’re ready to start the certification journey to become a personal trainer for people with special needs, Certify Strong is ready to help.