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Hot Career: Personal Training

September 13, 2012, 6:13 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Hot Career: Personal Training

If you're thinking about a new career, what about personal training? Employment of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 24 percent by 2020.

Jenna Donkersloot leads several small group classes at the Sanford Wellness Center.

"It started actually first with me getting healthier myself," Donkersloot said.

She's thankful for a strength in new members because thanks to an increased need, she had no problem finding a job after graduating in May.

"I saw online there was an opening. I applied and they called me a couple weeks later and here I am," Donkersloot said.

The main reason for more personal trainers is because more people are coming to the gym.

"The awareness is being generated by our employers, who want to see medical expenditures drop. They want to see productivity go up. Our government, our politicians are talking about it consistently," Sanford Wellness Center Director Cal Hanson said.

Hanson also believes more people, even though not enough, are taking better care of themselves. The center has seen a six percent increase in memberships over the last two years. And nationally memberships are up around two and a half percent.

"You have to individualize it and that's where the personal trainer comes in,” Hanson said. “We sit down with the individual and hand them back their life by teaching them accountability and how to establish goals with priorities.”

And those are priorities Donkersloot hopes weigh heavily on people's minds.

"I think this fitness field, the health industry, is never going to go away and it's important to take care of our bodies," Donkersloot said.

The Sanford Wellness Center has more personal trainers than ever before. Right now it has 24 on staff and it plans to hire more next month.

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