The fitness industry has changed and grown tremendously during the last decade. The expansion of gyms, personal training and online learning has made fitness a priority in more people’s lives.
Awareness about the benefits of staying fit is also growing. Now, there are many avenues you can pursue in the health and fitness industry, and exercise science is one of the most popular careers.
What does a degree in exercise science cover?
A degree in exercise science covers the human body’s movement and development. In general, the degree covers human biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. It gives you a deep knowledge of the human body, including muscles, tissues, skin and bones. You will learn about biomechanics, kinesiology, nutrition, fitness management and other topics.
The degree helps you understand how the body moves and how to prevent injury or illness. You learn how to properly condition the body through fitness. You discover how diet affects the body and exercise.
What types of jobs can you pursue with an exercise science degree?
A degree in exercise science can open many doors in several industries. Some of the most common career options are to become fitness trainers and instructors. Today, you are not limited to working for a corporate gym chain. You can start your own small business, teach in schools or create courses and videos online. More companies are offering employees incentives to stay fit and join a gym, so this is a growing sector.
You can also coach and teach in a school. High schools and colleges that offer a variety of sports frequently need coaches with exercise science backgrounds. You will get to work closely with young athletes and help them. You will focus on fitness, performance, strength and nutrition.
Another option is to work as a rehabilitation specialist for active-duty service members and veterans.
You need tactical performance training to work with military personnel or rehabilitate injured veterans. Military members can face a variety of issues that require the help of someone with exercise science knowledge. They may have spinal cord injuries and other traumas that require rehabilitation.
Becoming an exercise physiologist will allow you to work with a greater range of injured and sick patients. You analyze a patients’ fitness and help them improve. You may work with patients who have heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or other health problems.
It is important to keep non-profits in mind as you search for jobs. Some nonprofit organizations need an activity specialist or athletic director to work with adults or children who participate in programs. Others need athletic therapists or rehabilitation specialists.
What supplemental studies can one take to complement this degree?
Exercise science degrees provide a solid foundation on which to build a thriving career in fitness. It is a versatile degree, but it is usually broad and more of an entry point or stepping stone in the industry. You can pursue supplemental studies to create more career options.
Further studies in a particular niche of interest are advisable, such as a personal trainer certification, sports psychology or athletic therapy. Once you have the exercise science degree, you can pursue other interests and find a niche.
How does one find a niche in exercise science?
Finding your niche can take time. One of the best ways to find out more about the exercise science career options is to talk to someone in the field or do job shadowing.
You can ask this person what they learned while studying for their degree, the courses they took and how much they use at their jobs on a daily basis. You can get first-hand experiences from people actively working in the field.
Another way to choose a niche in exercise science is to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Think about the courses and volunteer activities you have enjoyed in the past. Ask a mentor or teacher to point out your strengths and give you ideas. Finally, consider making a chart that highlights what you enjoy doing and what you are good at, so you can narrow down the options.
Sometimes you may discover your niche after you start working. It is normal to begin a career in a broad category and narrow it down later once you discover your true passions and talents. It can be a journey to find your niche. You want to stay open to ideas and pursue the ones that appeal most to you.
A degree in exercise science is versatile and opens many doors for people. You are not limited to working in a gym as a personal trainer since you have many options. Keep in mind that your interests may change over time, and you may discover new niches in exercise science you want to go after and try.