In years gone by, the closest many people would get to health and fitness courses would be physical education hours at school. However, times have changed and today there are lots of opportunities for professionals in the health and fitness industry. With the increase in legislation that governs the industry, it has become necessary to have well educated employees. This coupled with the health & fitness requirements of fitness seekers are the reasons why courses in this area have become much more popular.
In terms of course types, there are several bachelor degrees and also higher certificates and diplomas. The majority of degree courses last four years, with certificate or diploma courses lasting one or two years. They will all end with a final examination, as well as several practical case studies designed to assess your ability to apply the skills that you have been taught.
Health and fitness courses generally have an introduction to exercise, the influence it has on the body, modern health problems and solutions, health promotion and the practice of behaviour change. Some focus on physiology, whilst others focus on the running and management of a health facility or coming up with lifestyle plans for individuals who need a health overhaul. Therefore, the course you choose largely depends on the career you envisage for yourself at the end of your studies.
In terms of career development, health and fitness courses can open up a range of opportunities for you. You could work in a health centre, go on to qualify as a fitness instructor, enter management of a health and fitness centre, become a physiotherapist or massage therapist, become a health consultant… the list goes on.
The courses at the institutions listed below can provide you with a great start to your research.
1. Motions Fitness was established in 1984 and today it runs three main courses. The courses on offer are: Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness (Accredited by University of Limerick), Diploma in Holistic Massage and Diploma in Sports Massage (Both accredited by ITEC). These professional qualifications are highly regarded in Ireland and abroad.
2. Institute of Massage and Sports Therapy – IMST was established in 1998 by Rachel McCarthy, to provide a professional center of training for complementary and sports therapists. Courses are run in Limerick and Galway.
3. The National Training Centre offer a wide range of fitness training courses in Physical Therapy, Personal Training, Holistic Massage, Strength and Conditioning and Nutrition.
4. Portobello Institute runs a range of Health and Fitness courses in both Further Education and Part Time Learning sectors. Courses range from posture and pilates workshops to sports massage and personal trainer certification.
5. Image Fitnes Training provide training opportunities for fitness professionals who are interested in working as personal Trainers and Gym Instructors. They also offer ongoing workshops for upskilling.
6. Litton lane Training run a range of highly regarded ITEC accredited courses in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The courses are run on a regular basis.
View Health and Fitness course listings at www.findacourse.ie/fitness-health-courses-c5.html.