American Exercise and Fitness Professional Association Inc. (AEFPA)
2015 – Position Statement
Status of the Profession
Decades of scientific data have clearly shown the benefits of balanced nutrition and regular exercise for the universal and targeted prevention of many chronic diseases, athletic performance enhancement, pain management, weight loss and the improvement of activities for daily living. We know that exercise, activity and proper nutrition are beneficial and good for us. There is ample research that suggests that exercise is beneficial in reducing the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke and some forms of cancer. Exercise is helpful in addressing obesity and managing Type II Diabetes. Additionally exercise has been shown to help control blood pressure and blood lipid levels. In recent years being sedentary has been included as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Some experts suggest that being sedentary is as detrimental to overall health as is smoking cigarettes. As Exercise and Fitness Professionals we play an active role in the prevention of many chronic diseases. This preventative approach to managing health has been shown to result in an overall decrease in healthcare costs.
Clearly being an Exercise and Fitness Professional goes beyond working with special populations. Our clientele is diverse, many of whom are apparently healthy and have goals related to athletic performance, feeling better, stress management and physique transformation. Because of the diversity of our clients it is imperative for Exercise and Fitness Professionals to be adequately educated and trained prior to initiating a career in the field. A solid foundation of knowledge will increase the likelihood of long and successful careers in the fitness industry. Properly educated and successful Exercise and Fitness Professionals will continue to have a positive and profound impact in the lives of both individuals and the community. Properly educated Exercise and Fitness Professionals are also less likely to design and implement ineffective or unsafe programs for their clientele.
As our base of knowledge has continued to grow, we’ve also experienced simultaneous growth of the fitness industry. Despite this growth in both our understanding of the exercise sciences and the fitness industry, the prevalence of the chronic diseases that exercise has been shown to benefit has continued to escalate. There is a disconnection. To address this, it is the position of the AEFPA that it is time for the exercise and fitness professions to organize and move forward in a new and different direction.