The fitness industry is booming these days. What changed, you may ask?
For years, the medical community has been focused on fighting communicable diseases. Vaccines took care of most of these problems. Today we are faced with a more challenging problem…hypokinetic disease…or the disease of inactivity.
The act of sitting too much has made us sick. It is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, cancer, back pain, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and many diseases and disorders related to mental health.
Trillions of dollars are spent on this “sickness” industry each year. I cannot fathom “trillions.”
Positive change is afoot.
In 2007, the American Medical Association joined forces with the American College of Sports Medicine to ignite an initiative called Exercise is Medicine. (You have probably heard about it because we are embracing it at GCC!) They are simply asking that exercise be recognized as a medical vital sign. If patients are not getting enough exercise (150 minutes per week), they should be referred to an exercise professional.
A long time ago…before times changed…the exercise professional was the person who liked sports and spent a lot of time in the gym. If you had muscle definition, you were considered an expert.
The fitness professional has evolved, thank goodness. We now have reputable organizations that certify and demand excellence through continuing education. Today’s fitness experts have a solid understanding of the skeletal and neuromuscular systems, they understand the inner workings of the heart and lungs, and they know how to fuel the body with optimum nutrition. They can design individualized exercise programs for a variety of populations, they know how to motivate and lead, and they understand their scope of practice within the allied health continuum.
The other thing that changed that has led to a booming fitness industry is the number of baby boomers hitting retirement. Sedentary baby boomers…
This is great news for graduates of the GCC Exercise Science and Personal Training programs who are looking for immediate entry into the workforce. Back in 1985 GCC was one of the first colleges in the country to offer a personal trainer certification. We were innovators on the cusp of a health revolution.
This health revolution is preventative medicine. It is very simple and it does not require any pills. It simply requires that we move more.
What does this change mean to the faculty, staff, students and GCC community? It’s time to “move” in the right direction and stop sitting so much!