American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise
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From teachers to therapists and engineers to accountants continuing professional development is important because it allows us the opportunity to constantly develop in our profession while at the same time developing and advancing the profession. Professional development is an ongoing process and should help advance us in both our skills keep us up to date on changes in the industry. While this can seem daunting at times or can something fall by the wayside constantly learning new skills or information helps keeps engaged as well. After all no one including us would be happy to pay for someone’s expertise in any field that is outdated or less effective because they don’t continually seek to upskill themselves.

The health and exercise industry is always evolving – whether it’s the updating the hypertension clinical guidelines to include more accurate science or the first ever revision to the Physical Activity Guidelines to adopting HIIT training methodologies for specific populations. Incorporating new and current knowledge and skills is always critical to ensuring that all individuals who are responsible for improving the lives of others, like health coaches and personal trainers, adopt the latest information and best science available.

Specialization through professional development has progressed from being a trend in the health and fitness industry and is now be considered a normal, best practice, and is one of the most important aspect to supporting a diverse field. While not everyone wishes to specialize in a specific area within their occupation, having a specialization does help when working with specific populations.

With more and more information readily available to the consumer through social media and apps, consumers are more knowledgeable and can now be very specific in their needs when seeking out expert advice. Consumers today are more savvy and informed than ever before. Their expectations are different. This isn’t a bad thing – it’s just different and we need to be prepared to adjust to their needs in a more tailored fashion.

Whether your focus or interest lies with helping to improve the lives of today’s youth, improving the quality of life for people recovering from an operation, or those who are impacted by diabetes or obesity becoming a specialist takes time, focus, and patience.

To do this, it is important to start by identifying where your passion lies, which will ultimately help you plan your career path. Once you have identified your passion, you are ready to take the next step in planning the groundwork need to start specializing in one area or possibly more. ACE is here for you as you consider embarking on this journey and can provide you with a program to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to take your career to the next level, and ultimately, make a greater impact on the people your work with.

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