The ACE Health Coach Certification was launched in the Fall 2012 and, since then, professionals in a number of different industries have added the certification to their list of credentials. In this series, ACE will be highlighting Health Coaches in various industries to show how the certification has helped expand their careers and assist their clients in making positive lifestyle changes. In this article, we highlight Allison Becker, who made the decision to become a health coach while working as a fitness professional during her college years.
ACE: Why did you decided to become a Health Coach?
Allison: My sophomore year in college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I was working as a group fitness instructor and fitness consultant at the student recreation center. My supervisor was developing a new lifestyle program, called Symmetry, and encouraged me to sign up for the ACE Lifestyle & Weight Management Prep Course (now Health Coach) and start one-on-one coaching. I wanted to blend my dietetics coursework with my fitness knowledge to help others develop healthy habits that worked with their lifestyles, and this was the perfect opportunity to do that. I loved how rewarding the position was, and it helped me realize that it was something I wanted to do as a profession.
ACE: How are you currently using your certification?
Allison: I am currently using my certification by working one-on-one with clients, educating my staff and presenting to the community.
I currently oversee the Fitness Operations and Personal Training Program at Purdue University's Recreational Sports Center. My certification and experience as a Health Coach, along with my ACE Personal Training Certification, has tremendously enhanced my clients’ experiences. In addition to creating and implementing a fitness plan, I can also work with my clients on nutrition, stress management and behavior modification. As a result, I feel that my clients have not only met their goals, but also have developed tools to continue their healthy behaviors.
I have 18 trainers on my staff, and through our trainings, meetings and evaluations, I am able to introduce principles of the ACE Health Coach Certification. It is important for them to continue their education, and I enjoy providing lifestyle and wellness opportunities to optimize their services.
Lastly, working at a university provides many opportunities for outreach education and presentations. I have been able to talk with students and faculty/staff in many diverse departments on campus about various health and wellness topics.
ACE: How is it useful in your industry?
Allison: The ACE Health Coach Certification is very useful in the campus recreation industry. A university's recreation center is a central hub for students, faculty and staff to come together to access all realms of health and wellness. Health coaching provides an opportunity for this population to develop strategies for a healthy lifestyle and has the unique ability to collaborate with the other services in the recreation center such as group exercises, mind/body classes, personal training, massage therapy, intramural and club sports, aquatics, climbing and challenge education, informal recreation and demonstration kitchen.
ACE: How would you like to use your certification in the future?
Allison: I would like to use my certification in the future for group health coaching. I know that having a support system of individuals with similar goals helps increase motivation and adherence to a healthier lifestyle.
I would also love to teach the Health Coach Prep Course to provide education opportunities for growing professionals. I feel this would be a great way to give back, because I took the course and it encouraged me to do what I'm doing today.
Allison is currently the Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning at Purdue University Recreational Sports. She co-instructs a Health and Kinesiology clinical course at Purdue University, managing student's roles as Fitness Consultants in the recreation center. She holds a bachelor's degree in Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a master's degree in Recreation Administration from Illinois State University as well as three ACE Certifications (Health Coach, Group Fitness Instructor, and Personal Trainer); she is also a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, YogaFit Instructor, and TRX Trainer. Prior to her position at Purdue University, Becker was the Graduate Assistant of Fitness at Illinois State University and worked previously as the Health and Fitness Coordinator at Milwaukee Athletic Club, where she implemented a health coaching program and weekly healthy recipe makeovers. She is an avid runner and enjoys spending her time outdoors.