American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

3 WINS Fitness is dedicated to empowering people to improve their quality of life by building healthier minds, bodies and communities. The program is led by university-educated staff who deliver progressive exercise programs and health education courses. According to the 3 WINS Fitness mission statement, the intent is to develop an “exercise program that would be free (accessible), sustainable (no external funding), and replicable.”  

The 3 WINS are defined in their mission statement as: 

  • For the student: An opportunity to apply their education, gain job-related experience and grow in leadership skills and self-empowerment 
  • For the participant: An opportunity for young and old, fit and less fit to improve their health and maximize their potential 
  • For the community: An opportunity to expose the entire community to a healthier lifestyle and provide the education and the programming to make changes in the health of their families and reduce the personal and economic burden of physical inactivity–related diseases 

Finally, “an important and final purpose was to expose communities to what those educated in kinesiology can do for public health with the intention of leading to job creation for kinesiology majors to make a difference in the health of our country.” 

A vital step for programs like 3 WINS Fitness is an independent assessment of their efficacy in terms of meeting their stated objectives. Stating your objectives is one thing; proving you can meet them is another thing entirely. 

Over the course of two months in 2021, researchers performed a qualitative analysis of the 3 WINS Fitness program and evaluated its value for the student instructors, participants and the community. 

The researchers conducted nine online focus groups, from which three primary themes emerged: 

  • Asset: For the student instructors, this included both professional and program-related assets, while for the participants and community, this referred to program assets.  
  • Health: This was divided into community and personal health. 
  • Social connection: This was defined as camaraderie, friendship, connections, community and family. 

What they found was that the program improves participants’ health and, through role modeling for their family and friends, encourages others to follow their example and provides a positive influence on overall community health. Meanwhile, the student instructors gain valuable experience and become better professionals.  

In their conclusion, the researchers state the following: “The 3 WINS as a student-led sustainable and replicable model can address the existing call from public health to reduce physical activity health-related diseases and inequities.”  

ACE Certified Professionals can play an important role as volunteers in such programs. As Graham Melstrand, ACE’s Executive Vice President of Community Health and Wellness Services, explains, “Building relationships with community organizations and institutions and equipping them with the content, tools and education necessary to empower individuals and communities to make the positive behavior?changes necessary to live healthier lives?through physical activity and related lifestyle practices?are central to ACE’s community health and wellness efforts.” 

Note that the researchers’ conclusion includes reducing inequities, which aligns perfectly with ACE’s goals related to the enhancement of equity, diversity and inclusion in the fitness industry.  

“These findings,” says Cedric X. Bryant, ACE’s President and Chief Science Officer, “demonstrate and support ACE’s commitment to bring equity to the health and fitness landscape and enhance the diversity of populations that have access to safe and effective physical activity.”  

ACE encourages all of its health coaches and exercise professionals to participate in such efforts, as doing so can enable you to reach individuals who might not otherwise have access to these services.  

ACE’s mission is to “Get People Moving,” and that means all people. Programs like 3 WINS Fitness expand the reach of the fitness industry and provide a model that empowers underserved people and communities to enjoy the many benefits of physical activity and movement.