By, Louise Court, Discovery Learning Tutor and Assessor
I have worked in the fitness industry for over 10 years, and my passion has always been teaching fitness classes.
Once I passed my Exercise to Music (ETM) qualification the easiest way to get work was to apply to all the fitness centres, sports clubs and leisure centres in my area and get my name on the aerobics cover list. The purpose of a cover list is to provide contact details to the aerobics co-ordinator of a centre (they are in charge on the aerobics timetable) of all the local ETM instructors in the area. When the regular aerobics instructor is ill, the aerobics co-ordinator will call all the names on the list to get the class covered. This is a great opportunity to get your name known in a centre and also to earn extra money. For an aerobics class, you will be paid approx £20 – £25 per hour (depending on where you live). If you deliver a fun, effective class and you are reliable, they are more likely to use you more frequently. Permanent classes will come up and the aerobics co-ordinator could offer you the class.
If you are not yet qualified, but are interested in teaching classes please look at Discovery website www.discovery.uk.com/aerobics-instructor-training-course and look at the ETM course.
By, Alan Jackson, Director of Discovery Learning and Weight Management Centre
I wanted to share my experiences of writing this course with others and in particular weight management students and practitioners. I hope that it is both helpful and interesting for students to understand the process of developing a new training course; after all without the student this organisation is nothing. Developing this course has been perhaps the most interesting, challenging and technically complex piece of work that I have ever undertaken and has been an enormous learning experience for me. I consider myself still to be a student of weight and obesity management and I don’t expect this to change whilst I continue to work in this arena.
The subject of obesity is enormous and the large amount of established data alongside the vast emerging new information at times has seemed overwhelming. Deciphering all of this information, putting it into the context of current scientific opinion and then converting it into manageable and usable information for the weight management practitioner, has been and remains an absolute mission for me and the many other superb researchers and practitioners that have worked on the development of this course with me – I salute them all.
In terms of the rapidly emerging data, some of the animal models are providing perhaps the most intriguing insights into the biology of the adipocyte and its function and interaction with the brain, central nervous system and other tissues. Glimpses into the development of obesity in the very early programming years (first few weeks of life) also offer very real opportunities for human behavioural intervention into the obesity epidemic. The whole social, economic, cultural, political, environmental matrix presents an enormous challenge to society – where to we want to go with this, and how far are we prepared to change the landscape?
I continue to wait with baited breath as Obesity Reviews and International Journal of Obesity drop through the door with the latest collection of reviews and journals, and consider how this month’s offerings will impact what has been previously written and hypothesized. Invariably it leads to alterations, additions, amendments, updates and sometimes a complete review of a previously established understanding. There are still some huge questions to be answered and it is this that keeps me burning the midnight oil and as interested now as 10 years ago when I set up Weight Management Centre Ltd.
I suppose this represents the ‘living’ nature of this course and in particular the student reference manual. It is exciting to work on something so dynamic, and researching, writing and delivering this course has often felt like a race – often a sprint, always a marathon. It really is a work in progress and it absolutely must remain this way if it is to be relevant to the student and weight management practitioner. The most enjoyable aspect of putting this course together by far has been converting all of the experiences and interactions gained into bite sized manageable learning packages. For myself and the other weight management practitioners that work with me on delivering obesity and weight management programmes to thousands of adults and children I know that I speak for the entire team when I say that there is nothing more rewarding that to receive a Xmas card from a family who will forever be in your debt because of the difference that your work has made to their lives.
This piece of work represents a ten year labour of love and the more I have learned, the more I appreciate how little I know; and how little is known about this fascinating and absorbing subject. I hope that this piece will stimulate a similar hunger in you to join me on this exploration into the relative unknown and that together we can help to ameliorate the terrible burden that obesity is placing upon our communities and most significantly on our children.
I hope that more than anything this course represents a small opportunity for turning back the obesity epidemic in the UK, and that perhaps you will become one of the foot soldiers in this monumental battle. Above all else, keep looking, keep learning and keep asking why – because knowledge matters!