In 2012 we'll see the increased use of fitness coaches (multi-specialty personal trainers) as front line health care providers, says John L. Honcharuk, ATC, CSCS, SPARQ, Clinical Sportsmetrics Instructor and Facility Manager at AthletiCo in St. Charles, Ill. "As a result of recent economic conditions in health care, the fitness coach will be on the front line of the medical establishment. Individual co-pays and deductibles will force the general population to take better care of themselves."
Honcharuk points out the increasing number of insurance-subsidized fitness programs helping to lead this trend, and he says we will see fitness professionals being forced to seek out medically based certifications and referral relationships. "The accountability pendulum will swing hard and fast on the individual policy holder, and those that are in better shape will not need to access the traditional healthcare system. Our facility has seen a significant increase in patients and clients who want to take control of the preventative work on their bodies and minds."