It may seem that fitness fads have been around for eons, but they are actually relatively new, at least in the form we currently think of. For example, according to Glamour magazine, the first fitness fad in the 1940s, was that women were told not to do anything strenuous at all. In other words, the dictum at the time: do nothing! Since then, we’ve had everything from vibrating belts, to rollerblading, to aerobics become the latest fitness craze.

Currently, the paleo diet is popular, in which participants only eat food that a caveman would have eaten, such as fish, meat, vegetables and fruit. Adherents to the paleo diet eat no refined sugar, processed grains, or other processed food. Whether this fad will last, or whether it goes the way of the Atkins diet, only time will tell. What we do know is that doctors and scientists now agree that regular exercise, a diet low in processed foods, and eating in moderation are all excellent starts to becoming physically fit. In fact, these days, it is possible to say that we’re in an era of fitness awareness. So much so, that many universities with online programs also have programs to help people become trainers. There are also associations that can provide online courses in aerobics and fitness generally.

For example, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America provides live online workshops, and allows people to get trained and certified in becoming a personal trainer, a kick boxing expert, or a step aerobics instructor. Moreover, interested individuals can subscribe to American Fitness magazine, take exercise courses and order self study materials. Finally, for those who are already certified and interested in teaching a course, there is a job board, as well as instructions on how to apply to become a presenter for the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.

Or, for people interested in sports and fitness, there is the National Academy of Sports Medicine, which is endorsed by athletic luminaries such as the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash, and which provides courses, training and certification procedures for those interested in a career in sports training and medicine. Lastly, many universities with online programs have related courses. For example, Drexel University has an online course in sports management, while Globe University has online health fitness degrees that are connected to a plethora of different health, sports, and medicine associations.

The important thing when looking into becoming a professional in the world of fitness is to go with what is known. This can be taken in two senses: first, do not get swept away by the latest fad. For example, while there may still be some instructors who only teach Tae-Bo training, most of the fitness world has moved on. So make sure that when you learn to teach or work in fitness, you have a broad background, so that your training does go the way of the dodo bird. Second, when you sign up for online courses or programs, make sure that the course is certified by the prevailing certification board in your area. There can be a lot of different certifying boards, and not all of them are recognized by all states. Therefore, check and double check that your program is properly certified. One way to check this is to visit the U.S Department of Education’s website, where there is a listing of certified programs. Another way to check is to talk with already-certified trainers in your area about what they recommend. Regardless, fads may come and go, but fitness is here to stay, so if you have an interest in a career in that realm, jump to it!