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How to Become a Fitness Instructor and Nutritionist Online

author image Beth Rifkin
Based in San Francisco, Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis," "American Fitness" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.
How to Become a Fitness Instructor and Nutritionist Online
Helping people get fit can be rewarding. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Approximately one-third of Americans are obese, according to the U.S. government’s health website for women, Women’s Health. Thus, people who work in health and fitness fields, such as personal trainers and nutritionists, can help by teaching people how to become physically fit and adopt healthy eating patterns. You can become a fully certified personal trainer and nutritionist without leaving your home; many accredited organizations offer online certification courses, training, materials and exams.

Step 1

Learn about strength training and nutrition. If you didn't study nutrition, exercise physiology or kinesiology at a university level, you can learn effective strength training, nutrition techniques and concepts on your own. Hands-on knowledge of how to do different exercises will help you understand the mechanics and terminology of personal training, which will assist you in passing the certification exam. Firsthand experience will also make you a more efficient and confident trainer once you begin working with clients. The same goes for nutrition; you should gain a full understanding of nutrition and be able to explain food, vitamin and supplement concepts to people in a clear, concise manner.

Step 2

Investigate fitness instructor and nutrition certifications and select a program to pursue. Most accredited organizations offer some type of online educational resources, and some even allow you to take the certification exam online rather than in a proctored test. Many organizations offer both personal training and nutrition certification, which makes it more convenient to obtain both. These organizations include the American Fitness Training of Athletics, the International Sports Science Association and the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association.

Step 3

Research the fees. The price for online course studies and exams can vary greatly. Some offer course materials and the exam for as low as $70, while others may charge upward of $500, as of November 2010. Each organization has different reputations, depending on the area in which you prefer to specialize. Make sure to look into all variables of each organization.

Step 4

Enroll in the online certification programs and study the materials. Depending on the organization, study materials may include downloadable documents, interactive slides, PowerPoint presentations and online videos, the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association states.

Step 5

Take the exam. The American Fitness Training of Athletics reports that some gyms or fitness facilities prefer that you take a proctored exam, while others don't mind if you complete the exam online.

Step 6

Retake the exam if you didn't pass the first time. Most organizations will allow you to retake the exam once without paying an additional fee.

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