You’re passionate about working out, eating healthy, and taking good care of yourself from the inside out. And you have a desire to help others feel, look, and function their best. So, you know you want to pursue a career that allows you to do just that. Here, we’ve got 5 tips for navigating careers in nutrition and fitness so you can turn your passion into a paycheck.

Choosing the right career path is a crucial component of your life, as a large chunk of your time will be spent at work. So, it’s essential to consider a variety of different factors as you explore which fitness and nutrition career is right for you! 

Follow along as we share 5 essential tips to help you navigate which fitness and nutrition career is the right fit for you!

1. Uncover Your Passion

Finding what you’re really passionate about is easier said than done. But, uncovering your passion and finding a way to make money doing it is the thing that so many people want to pursue. The critical component, however, is to find your true passion. 

You already know that you love fitness and nutrition, so finding your true passion is identifying which element of fitness and nutrition is best suited for you. As you work to unravel the best fitness and nutrition path, you can ask yourself these questions to help guide you:

  1. Are you most interested in internal health, the foods people consume, and nutrient absorption in the body?
  2. Are you more drawn to helping people change the behaviors that keep them stuck?
  3. What are the things you are more passionate about within your own fitness journey?
  4. Do you enjoy creating effective workouts and helping others challenge themselves physically?
  5. Is your interest rooted in recovery and injury prevention?
  6. What type of clients do you want to work with (youth, athletes, elderly, etc.)?
  7. What type of facility do you see yourself working in (gym, clinical setting, college, etc.)?
  8. Do you want the opportunity to travel?
  9. What are the things that you know you don’t want in your career? 
  10. Do you know anyone that has a job you are envious of? If so, what do you love about what they do?

Consider each question and dig down into the nitty-gritty of what you really love about fitness, who you want to help, and how you want to help them. 

For example, let’s say you know you want to work with clients who are obese and lack physical education, and are part of the youth demographic. Your primary goal is to help them lose weight, educate them on proper nutrition, and feel good about themselves. But, there are many ways to help them do that.  

If you work to narrow down what elements of the weight loss process you are most drawn to, you’ll be one step closer to unraveling the right career for you.  

If you prefer to help clients with their exercise routines and are most interested in helping others find ways to increase their physical activity, becoming a personal trainer might be the best route for you.

Or maybe you’re primarily interested in food, how it’s used for energy, and what the human body needs to function correctly. If this is the case, a career as a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or nutrition coach might be the career for you.

Similarly, you might find the challenges associated with changing behaviors to improve one’s health and physical fitness are most intriguing. If that’s the case, a career as a health coach or a behavior change specialist could be the best path for you.

If you spend the time digging into each of these questions, you’ll start to narrow down whether you’d be best suited for a career in physical therapy, nutrition, personal training, public health, a health educator, or one of many other fitness and nutrition careers. 

2. Try Out Different Professions

One of the best ways to determine the best career path for you is to try many of them. If you know fitness professionals that have a career that interests you, ask them if you can shadow them for a short time.  

If you don’t already have the contacts, consider booking a session or two with the fitness professionals you’re interested in. You can explore their career and experience the role from a client’s perspective. 

For example, hire a personal trainer for a few sessions, set up a few meetings with a registered dietitian, find a health coach or life coach to help you with one of your short-term goals. 

3. Ask A Variety Of Questions

Suppose you don’t have the ability to shadow fitness and nutrition professionals and don’t have the budget to book a session with any of them. In that case, you can ask friends and family for connections or use social media to find the right professionals.  

From there, ask lots of questions. You’d be surprised how many people are open to sharing the things they like and don’t like about what they do for work.  

The following does not necessarily include all the different fitness and nutrition professions but can give you an idea of some of the different types of occupations you can explore:

  • Health Coach
  • Registered Dietician
  • Nutritionist
  • Life Coach
  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Holistic Nutrition Specialist
  • Health Educator
  • Public Health Professional
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Behavior Change Coach
  • Group Fitness Trainer
  • Sports Nutrition Specialist
  • Food Safety Professional
  • Exercise Scientist
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Wellness Director

4.Determine The Lifestyle You Want

In addition to the three tips above, it’s essential to also think about the type of lifestyle you want. This means you should think about your income, location, whether or not you want to travel, your work hours, and your professional responsibilities. 

All of those factors are important to consider when trying to determine which fitness and nutrition career is right for you. 

However, it’s essential to keep in mind every career will have pros and cons. But, most of the factors above should align with the lifestyle you want. 

5. Research The skills And Education You Need To Be Successful

When you are exploring fitness and nutrition careers, it is crucial to understand the steps you need to take to practice as each of those types of health and fitness professionals.  

For example, if you have a desire to become a registered dietician, there are a few steps you will need to take to get there. Becoming a registered dietician typically requires students to complete a four-year degree (ideally a nutrition degree program or something similar with a focus on nutrition education), a dietetics internship, and an exam. Then, students must achieve and maintain licensure in the state they choose to practice as a nutrition professional.  

A four-year health and fitness degree in exercise science, exercise physiology, or something similar is ideal for starting as a personal trainer (although a degree is not required). The next step is completing an accredited personal training certification course. From there, personal trainers will pursue other types of education that will help them specialize within their niche.

With any profession, each step is essential in helping prepare you for your wellness career. So, it’s crucial that you are aware of the steps you need to take for the career you want. 

Are you ready to take the next step toward the fitness career you really want? Regardless of the fitness job you’re looking to get, one thing is for sure. Education is important. Employers and customers alike want to ensure that safety is a priority while still achieving fitness and health results. For careers in health sciences, having a Lionel degree on your resume will help you stand apart from the competition. This is in large part because of the elite reputation of Lionel in the fitness education space. 

History, credibility, and reputation are important when it comes to an exercise science degree program.

In addition to a degree, you’ll need a certification. One of the unique things about Lionel University is that you earn your personal training certification as you go through the education program. This means you can start working as a fitness trainer before you even graduate. This helps you with our tips for navigating careers in nutrition and fitness because you’ll learn about yourself and where you want to go as you go through your studies. 

Even better, Lionel offers additional certifications and specializations in the degree programs. This will earn you a Master Trainer Certificate. The personal training certification and Master Trainer Certificate mean you don’t have to invest additional money on expensive certifications. 

Regardless of whether you’re pursuing an associates degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree, at Lionel you earn multiple certifications and specializations along the way. This means you can start working on getting that dream job before graduation day. 

And, with the help of financial aid, earning your exercise science degree is even more of a possibility. Check out our programs and contact Lionel today!