Health & Fitness I

Study Health and Fitness online. Learn how wellbeing can be improved through physical exercise. Study as a stand alone program or as the first of three modules.

Course Code: BRE101
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Home Study Health and Fitness Course

  • Learn to understand and manage health and wellbeing by studying at home

  • Self paced fitness course, 100 hours, study from anywhere

  • Exceptional support from health and fitness professionals in both Australia and the UK

  • Help yourself, family, friends, or take a step toward a career in Health and fitness

Health and Fitness are only two of the many different words used to describe people’s physiological condition. The Health and Fitness industry is not a clearly defined industry, for it includes many aspects, and it overlaps onto many other fields, such a medicine, sports, recreation, tourism, education and so on. As you commence this course, your perception of the scope of this field may be limited, but by the time you complete the course, your perspective will have broadened considerably. Your ability to identify prospects for employment, and to pursue those that suit you, will have also broadened.

Many different services and products are on offer, all promising to improve or maintain the state of person’s wellbeing. They include such different things as medical services, sport, recreation services, food, and natural therapies. Any and all of these goods and services can be considered to be part of the health and fitness industry.

Job opportunities in health and fitness are equally varied. The following are just some of the organisations/businesses that might employ people with management skills in the health and fitness industry:

Leisure Centres

Fitness Centre/Gymnasiums

Swimming Pools

Sporting Clubs

Medical Practitioners

Chiropractors or naturopaths

Health Food Shops

Health food manufacturers


Sports equipment retailers

Sport equipment manufacturers

Sport Facilities



Tourist industry


Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Health and Fitness
    • Scope and Nature of the Health and Fitness Industry
    • Exploring the Definition of Fitness
    • Components of Physical Fitness (Strength, Muscular Endurance, Flexibility, Motor Skill Performance, Cardiorespiratory Endurance)
    • Health and Fitness Resources
    • Health and Fitness Organisations
  2. Exercise Physiology
    • Muscle, and Muscle Contraction
    • Fast and Slow Muscle
    • Exercise and Muscle
    • Cardiorespiratory System
    • Pulse Rate
    • Energy
    • Enzymes
    • Food as an Energy Source
    • Recommended Daily Intake of Nutrients
    • Respiration
    • Exercise Recovery
  3. Exercise Principles and Cardiorespiratory Programming
    • Relationship between heart rate and workload
    • Biology of the Circulatory System
    • Blood Composition
    • Blood Functions; clotting, immunity
    • Blood Vessels
    • The Heart
    • Pulse Rate, Cardiac Output
    • Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease
    • Spleen, Lymphatic System
  4. Biomechanics and Risk
    • The Skeleton
    • The Muscular System -Tendons, Ligaments, Bursas
    • Training and Risk
    • Common Musculoskeletal Injuries
    • Back Injuries, Spinal Injuries
    • Tips for Preventing Injury
  5. Fitness Program Design
    • Typical Fitness Program Design Process
    • Kinds of Exercise
    • Developing the Physique
    • A Balanced Program
    • Indoor and Outdoor Locations -facilities and equipment in each
    • Music
  6. Delivering a Fitness Program
    • Fitness Leader Functions; teaching, planning, counselling, motivation, evaluation, creating opportunity, etc
    • Leadership Communication, and Communication Barriers
    • Communicating with Children and Young People
    • Communication Techniques eg. Whistle, Raising arm, etc
    • Motivation
    • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
    • Factors Affecting Motivation
    • Self Belief and Self Talk
    • Relationship with Participants
    • Motivation for Fitness and Weight Control
    • Nutrition and Sport
    • Weight Control
    • Sports Psychologists and Fitness Programmes
    • Program Delivery
    • Elements of a Session or Class; Introduction, Warm Up, Stretch, Body of Exercise Session,Recovery, etc
    • Concluding a Session
    • Writing an Exercise Program
    • Supporting Participants Needs
    • Communication Strategies, Active Listening, Giving Instructions, Reinforcement, etc
    • Dealing with Problems and Conflict
  7. Safety, Injury and General Wellbeing
    • Safety Considerations
    • Incorrect Exercises
    • Safety in Aerobic Activities
    • Dealing with Injury; First Aid
    • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
    • Identifying Hazards
    • Fitness Legalities
    • Pre Screening Clients
    • Suitable Surfaces
    • Clothing and Footwear
    • Pre Screening
    • Anthropometric Measurements
    • Cancer and General Wellbeing
  8. Fitness Programs for Special Groups
    • Inclusive Program Management
    • Exercise Variables (frequency, duration, intensity)
    • Special Considerations
    • Training Zones
    • Older Adults
    • Mental Disabilities
    • Physical Disabilities
    • Ethnic Groups
    • Programs for Weight Control
    • Evaluating Cardio Respiratory Endurance
    • Evaluating Muscular Strength and Endurance
    • Principle of Weight Control

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the nature of the health and fitness industries.
  • Explain the relationship between the body and health, fitness & exercise, with reference to physiological processes.
  • Explain the relationship between the body and health, fitness & exercise, with respect to risk involved in exercise.
  • Evaluate body movements during different exercises.
  • Design fitness programs, which are both safe and effective, to fulfil specified requirements of an individual.
  • To deliver a fitness program to a small group of clients.
  • Manage the wellbeing of participants in a fitness program, including safety and injury.
  • Design fitness programs, which are both safe and effective, catering to needs of special populations (including weight control programs and programs for handicapped/disabled persons).

What You Will Do

  • Explain the philosophical basis of health and fitness in a workplace you are familiar with, explain legal implications of providing fitness services in a gymnasium in your locality and explain official systems of accreditation, registration, and licensing which relate to providing services in the health and fitness industries, on a local, state or national basis.
  • Explain the status of professionalism, in the health and fitness industry and develop guidelines for ethical behaviour of staff in a health and fitness industry workplace.
  • Explain a physiological response to a balanced exercise program over a period of months, in an adult who has not regularly exercised for many years (i.e. what happens to the adult over the time period of the exercise).
  • Explain the mechanics of body movement during three different exercises, using illustrations.
  • Apply the principles of training, to design an exercise program to suit your lifestyle, resources and aims and design instructions, for two different series of stretching routines, for different purposes.
  • Explain how the principles of leadership and learning principles may be applied in a fitness program by analysing different motivational techniques being used by a leader, in a fitness session which you observe.
  • Develop a checklist of criteria which are critical to customer satisfaction in the delivery of a fitness program.
  • Develop safety procedures for a specified fitness setting.
  • Compare different weight loss programs.
  • Explain the general benefits of regular exercise, for different demographic groups including:
    • Paraplegics
    • Elderly
    • Overweight people
  • Design a weight control program for a specific person and design a healthy weight gain program for a specific person.

Tips for Reducing Health Risks

Certain health behaviours are known to be associated with increased mortality and morbidity for a number of conditions. Examples of known risk factors include smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, and exposure to UV radiation. Improvements in health status can result from behaviour changes in relation to these risk factors.

Many health risks have changed in the last century with antibiotics, clean drinking water, and waste care and treatment.  A few of the most common causes of death, which can often be closely linked to lifestyle choices, today are:

  • Cardiovascular disease 

  • Infectious and parasitic diseases 

  • Cancers 

  • Ischaemic heart disease

  • Stroke 

  • Respiratory disease and infections  

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 

  • Accidents including drowning, falling, driving  (many are alcohol-related) 

  • Diabetes mellitus 

  • Alzheimer's disease 

  • Kidney disease 

  • Poisoning

Another very important risk factor today is obesity.  Not only is it a health risk in itself – it also can lead to other problems with health such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems just to name a few.  This is not a global risk, but it is certainly a problem for countries such as the U.S.A, Australia and a few other developed countries.

Being overweight or obese is associated with increased mortality and morbidity from a number of conditions including coronary heart disease, hypertension, non-insulin-dependant diabetes mellitus and degenerative joint disease. By reducing body mass index (BMI), which is a statistical measurement of a person’s ideal weight for their particular height, a person can increase their health and reduce the risk of developing diseases associated with obesity.  You should note BMI measurements do not calculate a person’s percentage of body fat as commonly misinterpreted.  The benefits of exercise go beyond the initial idea of weight loss. 

Regular exercise is important in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease by strengthening the heart muscle and decreasing resting blood pressure rate. In addition to cardiovascular benefits, regular exercise strengthens bone tissue and so can also reduce the risk of injury from falls and conditions such as osteoporosis later in life.    
Exercised muscle tissues need time and energy to recover and repair and so you continue to utilise energy stores after exercise is finished and even during sleep.  This increases basal metabolism (the energy used by the body while at rest).  You feel more energised after exercise as blood flow has increased to all vital organs and the skin carrying oxygen and other essential nutrients to cells. 

A human health risk factor translates as something that increases a person’s chance for developing a disease.  Disease can also be looked at dis-ease or stress.  Stress occurs as a result of changes in your daily routine.  It causes chemical changes in the brain and can have a direct affect on your health.  Consider when you experience times of great happiness in your life.  You may feel energetic, active yet calm.  The chances are you are producing high levels of the hormones serotonin and melatonin. Melatonin acts as an anti-oxidant, mopping up harmful chemicals, also known as free radicals, which can be found in our blood; and it protects essential fatty-acids which make up parts of cells of the brain and nervous system, for example.  Melatonin is also involved in the production of cells of the immune system, enabling you to fight infection as soon as you are at risk.  So clearly if you feel good, your body produces hormones which lead to physical health and well-being.  If you have low levels of serotonin (serotonin production is lowered as insulin levels rise – often as result of high levels of carbohydrate intake – this can be linked back to healthy nutritional balance) you may suffer from feeling depressed, irritable and even experience periods of insomnia. 

By pushing the body to cope in times of stress, you often exhaust energy sources and this therefore results in a reduced ability of the body to deal with bacterial or viral infection or to repair tissue damage.  Also heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, heart palpitations and stroke may be stress related cardiovascular conditions. Often people feel the effects of negative stress as fatigue, various aches and pains (often lower back complaints) and headaches.  It can be quite simply put; stress is detrimental to a person’s physical health.

Stress on the human body can be as a result of psychological circumstances, chemical or mechanical.  There are so many chemicals that create a health risk in our immediate environment and in the community. Today chemicals are a part of our household. Cleaning materials can pose a threat if not used properly.  This is currently a somewhat divisive subject as it is often the case that people who believe they have been affected by chemicals bought from supermarkets and used in their homes, have not had their cases fully investigated. 

It has been suggested that products that are meant to reduce the risk of disease from bacterial infection i.e. anti-bacterial household cleaners, can actually lead to greater, more serious health risks by creating a resistance in certain bacterial strains.  Like antibiotic medication, anti-bacterial cleaners, work on the same principle of prohibiting bacterial growth (numbers) by damaging the bacterial cell itself to prevent reproduction.  The problem faced is that some bacteria are becoming resistant to the chemicals which are meant to destroy them or prevent their growth.  Scientists face problems in terms of creating new anti-bacterial agents to destroy the new strains which evolve. This means we are still subjected to the bacteria which exist in the home environment.  



Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author.
BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics.
Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projects and has lectured to undergraduate university students. Has co authored two books on nutrition and several other books in health sciences.

John Edwards

Professional photographer. Experienced in Environmental and Water Services management. Has traveled extensively for photography projects. John has a BA (Hons) Photography, BSc (Hons) Env.Mgt, PGCE

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.

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