Spending money on a gym membership, which can add up to $500 or more a year, is not an option for many budget-cutters this year. But you still want to stay in shape, right? Consider part-time work as a fitness instructor. I did it, and so can you. Here's how, in four steps:
1. Decide what kind of class you want to teach. I initially thought I'd teach yoga, but decided my skills weren’t advanced enough. That’s when some fitness Googling (Stock Quote: GOOG) led me to an outdoor fitness boot camp near my apartment in Austin, Texas. The cardio and strength training class met at a public park four times a week for three weeks, and felt a lot like the conditioning I did for high school sports. I signed up for an initial cost of $195, made friends with the instructor and quickly informed her of my desire to get into her line of work part-time.
It's fairly common to strike a deal with the gym or the instructor to work out for free while you learn more and pick up a class here and there. This was perfect for me, since it crossed that gym membership need off my list and gave GOFit a backup boot camp instructor if they needed one. This tends to be the way of falling into the field: You find a class, a gym or a type of workout that you really enjoy and go to it as often as possible. Make friends with the instructor, and offer to teach if he or she needs to miss a class. If teaching is your goal, call around to various gyms, and see if they have openings before you sign up.2. Get yourself certified. State governments neither offer nor require a group fitness instructor certification to teach classes, but most employers do (and they won't be be willing to pay for your time if you're not certified). The two main certification boards the boot camp owner pointed me toward are the American Council on Exercise and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.