The American Council on Exercise (ACE), San Diego, launched the ACE Medical Exercise Specialist Certification this month.
The program, which ACE announced Wednesday, is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). It will provide exercise professionals with advanced credentials to work collaboratively with healthcare teams, including developing and delivering specific and complementary exercise programs for clients with clinical issues.
“This program, the most comprehensive of its kind in the medical fitness realm, offers the best opportunity for professionals to safely and effectively work with clients who suffer from a variety of chronic medical conditions, which frankly, is a large portion of our country’s population,” ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune said in a statement. “That includes people who have completed rehabilitation or those recovering from cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic and musculoskeletal conditions.”
The certification is the evolution of the ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist Certification, which launched in 2008. ACE has developed the ACE Medical Exercise Specialist Manual, which includes the latest science-based assessments and programming from experts in clinical and post-rehab exercise.
“We’ve placed a greater emphasis on behavior change strategies and updated and expanded content around helping clients affected by a wide variety of chronic medical conditions—from cardiometabolic disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to arthritis and osteoporosis,” ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric Bryant said in a statement.
Bryant said the specialized knowledge from the certification will allow those professionals to work alongside physicians, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals.
“Our goal is always to provide the type of education and training that professionals need to more effectively help people live their most healthy and fit lives,” Goudeseune added. “Being able to serve and provide the best care to people who need it most is at the core of this certification. As ACE expands its reach into the healthcare space, our certified medical expert specialists will play an integral role in driving our efforts.”
ACE, a nonprofit organization, educates, certifies and represents more than 58,000 fitness professionals, health coaches and other allied health professionals.
(Editor's Note: This year's Club Industry Show includes a track on medical wellness that will offer information for fitness facilities of all types, hospitals and fitness professionals to get involved in this growing trend.)