I am sat on a train after a fabulous day in London teaching a level 4 Low Back Pain course for Train.Fitness. As I was flicking through my usual social media I spotted a conversation where two Personal trainers were discussing the pros and cons of fitness professionals working more in the realm of medicine.
One of the trainers was of the firm belief that as an industry we are taking too much of step into the world of medicine. This in his opinion was an area that as an industry we are not geared up to deal with. He was quiet adamant that personal trainers were not supposed to work in this field, it is not our role or calling.
The other personal trainer a person who works in the field of exercise referral was on the total opposite side of the fence. He had seen the difference that a supported exercise programme can have on an individual’s overall health and functionality. He quoted a number of incidences where exercise had been effective in controlling or reversing a number of conditions.
I always find these kind of debates very interesting as, as with many things it all comes down to the definition. We have a number of different titles for what we do most commonly used is personal trainer or fitness professional. But what are these roles and are they as clearly defined as some people think?
Many moons ago when I started in the fitness industry it was practically unheard of for a personal trainer to work in any other setting than a gym. We have come a long way since then with what are now more commonly referred to as fitness professional working in such a wide range of settings, and with a much wider client base. I think that as the fitness industry becomes increasingly inclusive. It is important thats those delivering training stay ahead of the game and ensure that they have the knowledge and skills needed to make sure that all clients receive the very best service. Unfortunately in this day and age this includes the training of those that may have specific illnesses.
Overall I think as long as trainers maintain in their minds that we are not acting to diagnose or act beyond the scope of our practice then the working with those who may be classed as ill is a very important area that needs to be catered for. This is especially important as physical activity is such a powerful tool in the promotion of overall health and wellbeing!
Please feel free to comment below! What do you think, should exercise professionals be involved in the training of those with illnesses? How far should this go?