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Size-Inclusive Fitness: Key for Attracting Members

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Size Inclusive Fitness

ACE and the Size Inclusive Training Academy launched a new continuing education course, the Size Inclusive Fitness Specialist.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, health and well-being have become more of a priority across the nation. This is allowing an opportunity for health clubs to open their doors to a new member base. However, while it’s exciting to gain new members, it’s vital to be inclusive and accepting of new people and their needs.

To aid in this process, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Size Inclusive Training Academy launched a new continuing education course, the Size Inclusive Fitness Specialist.

This new course prepares exercise professionals to equip larger bodied individuals to make healthy lifestyle changes with a weight neutral mentality. This course is part of ACE’s larger effort to build a more inclusive fitness industry.   

“ACE is proud to partner with the Size Inclusive Training Academy to better serve individuals who have larger bodies,” said Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of ACE, in a statement. “Ensuring exercise professionals apply a weight neutral mentality in working with this population creates a more welcoming environment for the client and a more inclusive space in the fitness industry. This provides equal access to a healthier lifestyle and more opportunities to incorporate movement into people’s daily lives regardless of individual differences.” 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Size Inclusive Fitness Specialist Program provides strategies to create a size-inclusive fitness approach that lowers barriers to increased physical activity. This includes gym intake recommendations, exercise program design, workout space set-up, and business and marketing considerations.

In addition, the course offers methods on how to repair larger bodied individuals often impaired relationship with exercise, including a deep examination of the psychological, physiological and often physical barriers this population faces in the fitness space. 

“When it comes to physical activity and exercise, the larger bodied demographic has different needs; fitness is not a one size fits all,” said Louise Green, the CEO of Size Inclusive Training Academy, and author of the Size Inclusive Fitness Specialist Program, in a statement. “Most courses that have a focus on working with larger bodied individuals are either weight management or weight loss focused. This specialist program approaches the situation from a weight neutral position to help foster sustainable health outcomes.” 

In a 2021 systematic review of physical activity motives, barriers and preferences in people with obesity, the three most common physical activity barriers were lack of self-discipline/motivation, pain or physical discomfort, and lack of time. Research findings like these demonstrate the need for trained exercise professionals who can offer a safe and inclusive space, along with appropriate motivation toward their goals and fitness programs specifically designed to help reduce pain and discomfort during workouts.

Specialized health and fitness professionals trained to work and guide people with larger bodies help break down barriers this population faces to live a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, helping people stay motivated can help your facility gain a long-term member.

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Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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