Many, if not most, employers require exercise professionals to hold a current certification. In addition, exercise professionals often include their certifications on business cards, websites and social media channels. While this is a good start, there are other ways that you can leverage your ACE Certifications in your quest to help people lead active and healthy lifestyles. The following are some not-so-obvious ideas you can use to make the most of your ACE Certifications.
Volunteer in your community
Another opportunity to leverage your certification is by establishing yourself as a fitness expert in your community. There are a few ways to do this. If you have children in school in might mean volunteering to work on a school wellness committee or volunteering your services at a school event. This is not only a way to give back to your community; but it can also be a subtle marketing tool. You’ll get to know parents attending the events or participating on these committees, and these relationships/connections may ultimately lead to new clients. The same idea can be applied to faith based organizations, who often have a wellness committee and offer a variety of events, some of which are open to the community at large.
Participate in coalitions
You can also seek out local coalitions that are working toward ensuring the community is a proponent of active and healthy lifestyles. Sitting on coalitions and offering your physical activity knowledge is a way to leverage your certification to both gain visibility and do something meaningful in your community.
Let USREPS work for you
One powerful way to leverage your certification is through the United States Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS)—operated by the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP). ACE is a founding member of CREP, which provides organizations offering NCCA-accredited certification programs a vehicle to educate and engage the industry, policymakers and standard-setting organizations on best practices for exercise professional credentials. This optimally serves both you and your clients. The US Registry provides consumers, employers and referring professionals the ability to verify current credentials for all member organizations’ certified exercise professionals and is mapped to international registries, which provides portability for individuals who would like to have their certifications recognized by employers internationally. Check the accuracy of your registration and download the “Find Me At” badge to use on your website and social media.
Use your voice
Finally, you can involve yourself in local, state and/or federal policy issues that help to get people moving. On the local level, this could mean working with your city/town to establish a shared use policy for professionally led physical activity in parks (ACEfitness.org/Advocacy/Activity-in-Communities/) or advocating for pedestrian/bicycle friendly policies. On the state and/or federal level, there may be other initiatives that you could weigh in on such as tax incentives for physical activity (ACEfitness.org/PassPHIT), physical education in schools, etc. ACE publishes a short monthly newsletter—Exercise your Voice—about physical activity policy that can help you stay up-to-date on and learn how to advocate for issues you care about. You can subscribe here: www.acefitness.org/advocacy/stay-informed/
People like to be associated with people who are actively involved in doing good things for their communities. Once you’ve begun to explore these non-traditional ways of leveraging your certification, share what you’re doing on social media. Have you successfully advocated for safer sidewalks? Or participated in a coalition that received grant funding to provide free after school exercise programs? Tell these stories and talk about how your ACE Certification provides you with the skills needed to get people moving.
Your ACE Certification is more than just an avenue to work as an exercise professional; it is something that you can use as a marketing tool and a means to fuel your passion for helping others lead their most fit lives.
ACE readies fitness professionals, health coaches and other wellness experts to contribute to the national response to the obesity epidemic and other chronic diseases. Find out more about ACE’s Advocacy efforts.