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Getting people moving:

Our work and impact in 2019

An overwhelming body of evidence indicates that even a moderate amount of physical activity every day enhances health, prevents costly inactivity-related disease and contributes to a more joyful life. In 2019, ACE was committed to translating that evidence into tangible action.

Certification

The foundation of our approach to getting people moving is the certification of well-qualified exercise professionals and health coaches. With every professional we certify, the impact of the science-based physical-activity and behavior-change content that ACE provides becomes more widespread.

Our four primary certification programs are accredited not only by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), but also by the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) and Europe Active/European Registry of Exercise Professionals (EREPS). The recognition of ACE certification programs is truly global.

5%

The number of ACE Certified Professionals continued to grow in 2019, with a 5% increase worldwide.

Personal Trainer

2018
2019
(+6.4%)

Group Fitness Instructor

2018
2019
(+4.1%)

Health Coach

2018
2019
(+4.8%)

Certified Medical Exercise Specialist

2018
2019
(+0.5%)

50 million

Estimated number of client sessions conducted by ACE Certified Personal Trainers in 2019*

5.5 million

Estimated number of classes led by ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructors in 2019*

2.7 million

Estimated number of coaching sessions conducted by ACE Certified Health Coaches in 2019*

*Figures based on number of personal trainers, group fitness instructors and health coaches and the average number of client sessions and classes per week. Averages are based on survey data collected from ACE Certified Professionals.

Every day, our family of more than 90,000 ACE Certified exercise professionals and health coaches helps get millions of people moving and supports these individuals live happier and healthier lives worldwide.

Scott Goudeseune

Chief Executive Officer, American Council on Exercise

Education

ACE offers a wide array of evidence-based educational resources that equip ACE Certified Professionals and others with the knowledge and skills to reach more clients and grow their careers. In 2019, ACE developed 31 new education courses and updated a number of other education programs, including:

ACE Health Coach Study Program

The enhanced certification study and training program blends evidence-based behavior-change coaching methods with the principles of lifestyle medicine. This program prepares individuals to sit for the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam and be part of a rapidly growing workforce that helps people sustain lifestyle changes that prevent, mitigate and reverse chronic conditions.

ACE Health Coach Live Class

This course provides an opportunity for those studying for their ACE Health Coach Certification Exam to review concepts and interact with the instructor and peers in a live, virtual classroom.

ACE Diabetes Prevention Coaching

This new continuing-education course arms certified exercise professionals and health coaches with proven and effective strategies, including behavior-change coaching methods, to help individuals at risk for diabetes adopt healthy, lasting lifestyle changes.

ACE Orthopedic Exercise Specialist Program

This specialist program provides a step-by-step method of recognizing client needs and applying appropriate exercise and programming techniques to support clients in achieving improved mobility, stability and strength.

ACE Live Webinars

ACE continues to provide free, live-streamed video courses monthly. These courses offer audience members the opportunity to engage with top experts in the field in real-time and focus on the application of skills for exercise professionals and health coaches.

  • ACE Health Coach Study Program

    ACE Health Coach Study Program

    The enhanced certification study and training program blends evidence-based behavior-change coaching methods with the principles of lifestyle medicine. This program prepares individuals to sit for the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam and be part of a rapidly growing workforce that helps people sustain lifestyle changes that, prevent, mitigate and reverse chronic conditions.

  • ACE Health Coach Live Class

    ACE Health Coach Live Class

    This course provides an opportunity for those studying for their ACE Health Coach Certification Exam to review concepts and interact with the instructor and peers in a live, virtual classroom.

  • ACE Diabetes Prevention Coaching

    ACE Diabetes Prevention Coaching

    This new continuing-education course arms certified exercise professionals and health coaches with proven and effective strategies, including behavior-change coaching methods, to help individuals at risk for diabetes adopt healthy, lasting lifestyle changes.

  • ACE Orthopedic Exercise Specialist Program

    ACE Orthopedic Exercise Specialist Program

    This specialist program provides a step-by-step method of recognizing client needs and applying appropriate exercise and programming techniques to support clients in achieving improved mobility, stability and strength.

  • ACE Live Webinars

    ACE Live Webinars

    ACE continues to provide free, live-streamed video courses monthly. These courses offer audience members the opportunity to engage with top experts in the field in real-time and focus on the application of skills for exercise professionals and health coaches.

Population Health Improvement

In 2019, ACE continued to cultivate partnerships across sectors to help set the table for individuals worldwide to reach recommended physical-activity levels and stave off chronic disease as a result.

Key Partnerships

ACE leaders served on numerous advisory panels and forged collaborative relationships with leaders in the realm of population-health improvement, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and others:

One of ACE's core values is collaboration and connection, and we are proud to practice this every day though our work with diverse partners who help us advance our mission of encouraging people from all walks of life to make healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes.

Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, FACSM

President & Chief Science Officer, American Council on Exercise

Collaboration and Advocacy

Like-minded collaborators

Featured partner: Cooper Institute

In 2019, ACE forged a long-term collaborative partnership with the Cooper Institute, renowned for its landmark research documenting the health benefits associated with fitness status and physical activity. ACE and Cooper Institute agreed to co-serve certified exercise professionals and health coaches in the coming years through:

  • Training and education on medical exercise and lifestyle medicine practices
  • Co-advocacy and shared physical-activity promotion
  • Live education and workshop-style learning experiences
  • Shared gathering of evidence on the efficacy of medical-exercise
    and lifestyle intervention

ACE advocated with allies, including:

  • National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA)
  • National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA)
  • Obesity Care Advocacy Network
  • Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act Coalition

Advancing standards for the profession

ACE is among the most vocal advocates for consistent standards of professionalism within the fitness industry. In 2019, ACE served on boards and committees that improve the quality of education, credentialing and workplaces for the exercise professional, including:

Standards Subcommittee

Facility Certification Committee

Standards Revision Main Committee

Nominating Committee

Committee on Accreditation for Education Programs for Kinesiotherapy (CoA-KT)

U.S. policy and engagement

Monitoring policy

ACE tracked more than 95 federal and state pieces of legislation in 2019, including bills that provide tax incentives for physical activity.

95

federal and state pieces of
legislation tracked

Getting Congress moving

In 2019, 67 members of the U.S. Congress and more than 850 of their staffers participated in the annual ACE Congressional Fitness Challenge, collectively walking 152,000 miles in six weeks.

152,000

collective miles walked
in six weeks

International Partnerships

In 2019, there were more than 16,000 ACE Certified Professionals in 111 countries outside of the U.S.

Through strategic partnerships with vocational schools, institutions of higher learning and major health-club chains spanning from China to the U.K., ACE expanded the global footprint of ACE Certified Professionals.

16,300 ACE Certified
Professionals
111 Countries outside
of the U.S.
San Diego Canada United Kingdom Lebanon China Taiwan Thailand Australia Zimbabwe

San Diego

ACE headquarters

Canada

ACE partnered with Elevated Learning Academy Inc. to train exercise professionals in Calgary and Edmonton.

United Kingdom

ACE partnered with Train Fitness to provide the first ACE-approved education course in the U.K., the ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist Program.

Lebanon

ACE supported Inspire Fitness Academy in the launch of their first conference by providing speakers and event sponsorship.

China

ACE partnered with 3HFIT and Xinchun Wellness, which collectively provided ACE education materials and support to more than 7,500 certified exercise professionals and health coaches.

Taiwan

Through ACE partnerships, Fit Taiwan and 3HFIT use ACE curriculum and study materials to instruct the growing body of exercise professionals, which increased by more than 20% from 2018 to 2019.

Thailand

ACE supported FIT Thailand, an ACE partner for more than 10 years, with planning for the annual Asia Fitness Conference & Expo and provided FIT Thailand with ACE education materials. ACE also presented to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Australia

Through a partnership with Fitness Australia, exercise professionals and health coaches in Australia may now claim continuing education credit after completing select ACE courses.

Zimbabwe

ACE partnered with Innovate Sport & Health, an ACE educational partner for more than 10 years, which provided certification preparation courses and continuing education workshops to fitness professionals in Harare.

  • Australia

    Australia

    Through a partnership with Fitness Australia, exercise professionals and health coaches in Australia may now claim continuing education credit after completing select ACE courses.

  • China

    China

    ACE partnered with 3HFIT and Xinchun Wellness, who collectively provided ACE education materials and support to more than 7,500 certified exercise professionals and health coaches.

  • Lebanon

    Lebanon

    ACE supported Inspire Fitness Academy launch their first conference by providing speakers and event sponsorship.

  • Taiwan

    Taiwan

    Through ACE partnerships, Fit Taiwan and 3HFIT use ACE curriculum and study materials to instruct the growing body of exercise professionals, which increased more than 20% from 2018 to 2019.

  • Thailand

    Thailand

    ACE supported FIT Thailand, an ACE partner for more than 10 years, with planning for the annual Asia Fitness Conference & Expo and provided FIT Thailand with ACE education materials.

  • United Kingdom

    United Kingdom

    ACE partnered with Train Fitness to provide the first ACE approved education course in the U.K., the ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist Program.

Countries and regions with ACE Certified Professionals

Spreading the Word

ACE spreads the message for increased physical activity by providing science-based, publicly available content and engaging the news media. In 2019, ACE generated nearly 400 unique stories that generated more than 1 billion impressions globally.


ENCOURAGING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY THROUGH QUALITY CONTENT

ACE continued to provide the public with educational, science-based content to encourage people from all walks of life to achieve sustainable health change.

8.1 million

More than 8.1 million unique
ACE website visitors

3.8 million

More than 3.8 million unique
ACE Healthy Living Blog visitors

2.7 million

More than 2.7 million unique
ACE Insights Blog visitors