After months of studying you’ve finally earned your Personal Training Certification. What’s next for you? Along with taking the steps to begin your career, you will want to continue your efforts to become an expert in your field. Focusing your continuing education on training for special populations is one way to gain this expertise. There is a growing demand in the industry for training people with unique health and fitness needs. Seniors Studies have shown that many of the conditions attributed to old age can be minimized or avoided altogether by staying active and eating a healthy diet. Specifically, resistance training helps to build muscle mass as well as countering the loss of bone density. Seniors, particularly those who are inactive or have special health concerns, require specialized training that focuses on building balance, flexibility, coordination, strength and endurance. Meditec.com offers an extensive Personal Training and Group Exercise for Older Adults course. This course is approved by ACSM for 50 continuing education credits and will prepare you to work with older adults at senior centers, medically-based fitness facilities, retirement communities, YMCA/JCC’s, hospitals, community wellness programs, personal training studios, physical therapy clinics, long-term care facilities, corporate fitness centers, collegiate settings, and private and commercial health clubs. Youth With an ever increasing number of overweight adolescents, it has never been more important to address the health needs of this special population. Preparation for training this group will involve understanding how to motivate, build confidence and safely set realistic goals. Successfully training a young person creates a healthy habit that will benefit them throughout their lifetime. Pregnancy The idea that women should shy away from being physically active during pregnancy is slowly changing. In fact, both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Sports Medicine conclude that a reasonable exercise program is safe for women with uncomplicated pregnancies and has potential benefits to infant health from maternal exercise. Before offering personal training to this special population, it is imperative to have a solid understanding of the proper techniques and methods used to keep mother and baby safe. What better way to use your skills as a trainer than to help mothers stay fit and healthy throughout their pregnancy and help bring a healthy baby into the world. Medical Conditions Clients under the care of physicians for health issues, such as diabetes, heart conditions or high blood pressure, often benefit from specialized fitness training that restores health while carefully monitoring conditions to minimize potential risks. With your help, these clients can often return to an active lifestyle and reduce their reliance on medical intervention. Personal Training, in general , is a hugely rewarding endeavor and the rewards are even greater when training special populations whose unique needs can’t be met by common training modalities.