Health and fitness are very big issues today--everyone wants to look good, feel better and live longer. If you like working out and you're good at encouraging others to get fit, then this could be the business for you. As a personal trainer, you'll instruct clients on proper exercise techniques, design regimes based on their goals, and analyze progress in body weight, muscle development and weight training. While many of your clients will be interested in shaping up and losing weight, you can also help people with specific problems like arthritis to build other muscles to compensate or those who want to rebuild or retrain their bodies after accidents or illness. You can work with your clients in their homes, at a health club where you have a membership, or even on a scenic beach. The advantages to this business are that you have the potential to make a very good living and you have the satisfaction of helping people become healthier and happier. Besides being physically fit and healthy yourself, you'll need terrific motivational skills to help your clients push beyond their physical and mental boundaries and keep at it week after week.
Your clients will be people who want to lose weight, gain muscle, recover from illness or injury, or just get into better shape. Sell yourself by leaving fliers or brochures at health clubs and spas; swim, running and biking clubs; fitness centers; athletic shoe and clothing shops; and vitamin and nutrition shops. Place ads in local newspapers. Introduce yourself and leave brochures with chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons and doctors of sports medicine. Give seminars to professional and civic groups and volunteer yourself as a guest on a local radio chat show. Get yourself written up in local publications. Donate a few sessions to a charity fund-raiser in exchange for publicity.
You'll need certification as a personal trainer. In addition, most personal trainers have a college degree in physical therapy, physical education, exercise physiology, sports medicine or related fields--this is particularly important if you'll be working with people recovering from illness or injuries. You may want to purchase assessment tools like fat calipers, but this depends on your (and your clients') personal tastes. As for exercise equipment, you can let your clients purchase their own.