Nutrition, Fitness & Health Online Certificate Programs


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Senior Fitness Training

Professional Certificate Program

Register Online

The Online Professional Certificate in Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults is a comprehensive Web-based program with an Optional Field Internship course.  It is designed to ensure the development of safe and effective exercise programs for older adults by personal trainers, allied health/medical and fitness professionals, and the general public.  The certificate program has been designed to incorporate curriculum standards from the “International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults” in Collaboration with and endorsed by the World Health Organization

The program will supply essential educational pathways and job opportunities to begin a career working with senior/older adults in the emerging fitness/health industry; for established fitness professionals who desire advanced education in working with older adults; and for allied health and medical professionals from all fields seeking to design specialized exercise and wellness programs for their older adult clients and patients.  Graduating students will be prepared for a career working with older adults at senior centers, medically-based fitness facilities, retirement communities, YMCA/JCC’s, hospitals, community wellness programs, personal training studios, physical therapy clinics, long-term care facilities, corporate fitness centers, collegiate settings, and private and commercial health clubs.  In addition, the certificate will also prepare individual 50+ exercise enthusiasts in the development of a personalized program based on current research and organizational guidelines. 

The program is offered in partnership with the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA), Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness Program, and the National Posture Institute (NPI). Students graduating from the certificate program will receive a complimentary subscription to ICAA Research Review and an electronic copy of ICAA's  bi-monthly Journal on Active Aging. If a student wishes to upgrade to a full membership, they will receive a 40% discount on their membership fee (offer good for new members only).   In addition, graduating students will receive preferred discounts for the SFA’s certification exams (Senior Personal Trainer Certification or the Senior Fitness Instructor Certification), the AEA’s certification exam (Aquatic Exercise Association Fitness Professional Certification), and for Healthways Instructor Accreditation for Older Adult Exercise.  NPI provides graduating students with a registration discount for their Online Certified Posture Specialist Program. 

Who Should Attend

The Certificate Program is for (1) current allied health/medical and fitness professionals and personal trainers interested in developing safe and effective exercise programs for older adults, (2) current fitness managers and directors wishing to manage and market new programs to older adults, (3) education directors of multi-site facilities or chains training fitness professionals to work with older adults, (4) companies that require the certificate program as a professional development program for employees to achieve key business goals, career objectives, and skills to advance beyond entry-level positions and (5) individual senior and older exercise enthusiasts interested in seeking to stay current in exercise program design, health, and wellness would benefit from this program as well. 

Program Requirements

To earn the certificate you are required to complete all four core courses.  The four core courses are offered in an OPEN ENROLLMENT FORMAT, meaning you can register AT ANY TIME, and once logged in, you are provided 8 full weeks of unlimited access for each individual course you registered for with no penalty for finishing early.  Typically the program can be completed in as little as 10 weeks, but you must complete the requirements within two-years.

Workplace Advantages and Benefits

  • On-going guidance, instruction, and interaction from instructors that hold either a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in exercise science, biomechanics, exercise physiology, kinesiology, physical therapy, nutrition or an exercise science-related degree.  Our instructors will support their students and become valuable resources and mentors well after they graduate.
  • Optional-Field Internship in Older Adult Exercise (Elective)
  • A professional certificate from an accredited institution.
  • College courses provide CECs or CEUs for personal trainers and allied health/medical professionals seeking re-certification, re-licensure, or career advancement.
  • Networking opportunities with industry experts.

Award of the Certificate:

  • Professional Certificate in Personal Training and Group Exercise for Older Adults: complete all four core courses within a period of two years
  • Complete and receive a passing grade of (C- or above) in all courses:  which includes quizzes, exams, written/research projects, and class assignments

Why Online Learning?

  • Learning occurs in a user-friendly environment and is accessible to participants with little or no computer experience.
  • Online courses give you the knowledge and tools you need to stay ahead in today’s rapidly changing professional marketplace.
  • Online education allows students to access their courses from anywhere there is an Internet connection even if you are traveling for business or on vacation.
  • Flexibility: Students can attend class in the comfort and convenience of their own home, office, library, or internet café and complete assignments after breakfast, during lunch, late at night, while on vacation, or any time that is convenient for the student.  
  • Cost-effective: expenses related to facilities, travel, and non-productive time is reduced.

Continuing Education Credits

For a complete list of the organizations and associations that have approved this program for continuing education, CLICK HERE


For an online demo go to

For program information contact:

Natalie Johnson, MS
Natalie Johnson, MS, is the Program Coordinator and an instructor for the Professional Certificate in Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults Program. She is a Fitness Professional with over 26 years experience in the field. She has a MS in Wellness Promotion and a BS in Exercise Physiology. Natalie is a Certified Fitness Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Sports Nutritionist, Wellness Coach and Pre/Post Natal Specialist. Natalie has taught for San Diego State University and continues to teach other fitness professionals through a mentorship program she runs through her business "Fit Chicks". She currently manages the preventative programs for a Medical Health Plan and is the Regional Director for the Medical Fitness Association.

Certificate Course Descriptions

Course 1: Socio-Physiological Aspects of Aging..... $249
Instructor: Natalie Johnson, MS
This course will provide the student with a solid foundation in the social and physiological aspects of aging.  Topics covered include: theories of aging; physiological changes within cells, organs, and bodily systems; social implications of growing older; and common conditions and diseases associated with aging. 

Course 2: Designing Older Adult Exercise Programs...... $249
Instructor: Natalie Johnson, MS
In this course, students will gain an understanding of the role of exercise in improving health, fitness, function and quality of life in older adults.  The current recommendations for cardiovascular, flexibility, resistance, mobility and balance training will be discussed.  An emphasis will be given to common health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and frailty.                                                                                  

Course 3: Business Management and Administration for the Mature Market......$249
Instructor: Natalie Johnson, MS
A contemporary view of aging in this country will be explored to better understand the current and rising aging cohorts.  Through a study of age-friendly facility design, equipment selection, fitness management, marketing, administration, financial procedures and protocols, and various aspects of operations students will appreciate how to attract, serve and retain the mature market. 

Course 4: Exercise and Aging for Special Populations...... $249
Instructor: Natalie Johnson, MS
As a continuation of Designing Older Adult Exercise Programs, this course encompasses a deeper study of designing safe and effective exercise programs for older adults.  Going beyond the basic exercise recommendations for this population, students will, by the end of this course, be able to design an appropriate fitness regimen taking into consideration critical information such as a client’s age, gender, health history, current health conditions and exercise history. 

Course 5: Optional Elective Course
Course 5: Optional-Field Internship in Older Adult Exercise..... $299
Instructor: Natalie Johnson, MS
Prerequisite: 4 Core Courses and CPR Certification
NOTE: This course is an optional course and is not required to receive the Professional Certificate.  Learn to work with professionals in the fitness and health industry for a hands-on experience working with older adults at senior fitness facilities and health centers.  Students intern for 60 total hours in this course.                                                                        

Student Testimonials                                                                                                                                                       

 Read below for what our past students have to say about the Online Certificate in Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults

“This on-line study is educational and interesting. It opened my interest to an on-line study program in the health & Fitness Industry further.”  Angelika B.  Washington

“Very informative, relevant information. Excellent textbook and additional readings.”   Kathy P.  Illinois


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