I broke my own code this morning, and ostensibly junked my own science: my promise on this blog has been to promote efficacious, trending fitness news. Today, a spark runneth through me that shalt not wither until its screech is universally audible: I deliberately sought information on a specific trend and applied it to my writing. That trend might speak to some of you, although you might find yourselves peering at one another over the fence: selfies do not a trainer make.
Let me be very clear: I laud those whose commitment to fitness and health are visible and inarguable. I appreciate that there are trends toward healthy fitness attitudes, even with a competitive spirit so long as that spirit does not concern itself with making others feel bad. In a generation consumed by digital media and #FOMO, what does not get promoted deteriorates, its mark never once a glimmer on the timeline. However, Instagram devotees are indelibly minted, their hashtagged photos rapidly metamorphosing that which we see first on our feeds. The ability to do this is actually commendable…as long as the promoter is not claiming to be something s/he is not, i.e., certified or licensed if they hold no degrees or credentials in the field. Posting a selfie and describing your workout is generally positive.
The fitness industry has endured a tumultuous legacy: one tarnished by unregulated authorities before a generation of standardization further legitimized what a few early trenders knew to be ethical. For further clarity, the intent behind today’s post it not to slap the selfie-taker’s hand, but rather to caution those seeking information and how unregulated information-dispensing could harm you. Below is a briefing on some certs & regs:
A Personal Trainer is a person authorized to guide exercisers through a workout – has completed a college degree and/or has completed a specifically designed program from an accredited agency earning a credential. A fitness enthusiast who happens to work out frequently – and may be exceptionally well-read – is not necessarily a personal trainer by regulatory standards. If a personal trainer does not also hold a nutrition certification, s/he should NOT be giving nutritional advice to clients: to do so is unethical.
A Nutrition Specialist is an individual who has completed a nutrition program and received a certification from an accredited agency. This individual may guide clients through basic nutrition education and support with plans and programs, but s/he is not credentialed to provide “prescription” diet plans. Additionally, if this individual is not credentialed as a Personal Trainer, s/he should NOT be giving clients exercise advice.
A Nutritionist has completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an accredited Nutrition program and is licensed by a national board. This individual has a recognized authority above a specialist, and is able to provide prescription diets.
A Sports Psychologist is a an individual who has completed a course of study pertinent to the field. There are degrees, certification and licenses associated with this burgeoning field so if you seek one such person, request to view his/her credentials.
For all others lacking regulated credentials, the terms “enthusiast” or “expert” might be applied, although expert comes with a perceived responsibility.
And, now, today’s “trends”: