SAN DIEGO, CA—July 25, 2022—Today, 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, ACE president and chief science officer. “Ensuring that 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, using evidence-based methods, the Size Inclusive Fitness Specialist Program provides strategies to create a size-inclusive fitness approach that lowers barriers to increased physical activity, including 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, CEO of Size Inclusive Training Academy and author of the Size Inclusive Fitness Specialist Program. “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 of more than 5,000 papers, 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 towards 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.
Two years ago, ACE strengthened its commitment to addressing structural inequities by enacting much-needed change. Since then, ACE has launched almost ten equity, diversity, and inclusion courses focused on educating exercise professionals and health coaches to feel better equipped and confident in supporting and allowing all physical activity participants to have equal access and feel welcome in every environment.
About the American Council on Exercise
Since 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) has been the leading non-profit education and certification provider for health coaches and exercise professionals in the United States and around the world.
With more than 90,000 highly respected certified health coaches and exercise professionals, ACE Certified Professionals are on the ground daily helping people move, stay active and make lasting lifestyle behavior changes to build healthier communities.
Headquartered in San Diego, ACE collaborates with public health partners to educate people of all backgrounds about the importance of physical activity and other healthy lifestyle behaviors; advocates for public policies to increase physical activity opportunities; and supports scientific research that investigates the efficacy of behavior-change interventions and the effectiveness of exercise practices and trends.
For more information visit acefitness.org/about-ace. AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.