Top Ten Free Online Courses in Health and Fitness With Certificates in 2022

Why should I enroll in the free online courses in health and fitness? Health is wealth! Although people are obsessed with money, however, wealth is meaningless if you aren’t healthy enough to enjoy it. As a result, getting and staying in shape is essential for healthy and prosperous living.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control 2021 survey, U.S. adults are more physically active than 20 years ago, which means they’ve been paying attention to their body fitness. Health and fitness trainers are responsible for helping their clients meet their fitness goals and live actively. Thus, they create workout plans, assist clients with their exercise routines, and provide general health, nutrition, and lifestyle advice.

Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 39 percent growth in the demand for fitness trainers and instructors from 2020 to 2030, and it is much faster than the average for all occupations. Also, it predicted about 69,100 openings for fitness trainers and instructors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Hence, the demand for health and fitness coaches will continue to see an uptrend, so, if you love helping people keep fit, now is the best time to make a career in your passion.

You can start by enrolling in any free online courses in health and fitness that we will be listing out. So, read on to learn more about health and wellness.

Top Ten Free Online Courses in Health and Fitness With Certificates

What Does “Health and Fitness” Mean?

Most people believe that being healthy and being fit are synonymous. In reality, they can be distinct physical states. You can be very fit but not very nutritious, or very healthy but not very fit. Hence, the best results are obtained by attempting to balance the two, and, this necessitates distinguishing between fitness and health. So, let us define both of them.

Health has been defined by the World Health Organisation as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It includes aging well, longevity, quality of life, freedom from pain, etc.

Fitness, on the other hand, is a set of characteristics that people possess or achieve in relation to their ability to engage in physical activity. Fitness is made up of many components, and when discussing fitness, the following factors must be considered: endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, accuracy, agility, and balance.

Why Pursue a Career in Health and Fitness?

More than 30% of adults are classified as obese, and another 30% are classified as overweight; as a result, there has been an increasing need for health and fitness coaches. Now, the world requires individuals who can train and motivate others to lose weight, regain cardiovascular vigor, and increase strength. Some of the reasons why you should consider a career in health and fitness are as follows:

1. It’s a Highly Rewarding Career

Working in the health and fitness industry can be extremely rewarding because you assist people in changing their lives and improving their health and fitness levels while you earn good money doing so. Furthermore, according to glassdoor, the estimated total pay for a Fitness Coach is $71,107 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $46,583 per year. All these show that a career in health and fitness is a rewarding path.

2. The Industry is Continually Growing

Just as we earlier said, the BLS speculate that employment of fitness trainers and instructors will experience a 39 percent growth from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. According to the job outlook, the industry will continue to grow and expand, so you can be confident that there will be plenty of job opportunities in the health and fitness industry as long as you have the necessary skills.

4. You Can Make a Difference In People’s Lives

Generally, staying fit and in shape is critical for every human being because even riches are meaningless if you aren’t healthy enough to enjoy them. As a health and fitness coach, you’ll make good money while improving people’s quality of life. Working in this role allows you to assist people of all abilities and fitness levels in believing in themselves, gaining confidence, and improving their overall well-being. So you’ll make a difference in their lives, and as the weeks pass, you’ll be able to see the difference in how they feel and look, which is very rewarding for many trainers.

4. You Can Be Your Own Boss

If you want to work for yourself, becoming a self-employed personal trainer in the health and fitness industry is a great way to do so. As a fitness professional, you have the freedom to create your work schedule, allowing you to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Personal training is a trendy career right now, and it’s easy to see why when the job prospects are so good. Not only can you work in a variety of settings, but personal trainers and other fitness professionals can also tailor their work to their specific needs, such as teaching a class, working with a small group, or focusing on one-on-one sessions.

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5. Low Stress and High Reward

The U.S. news network CNN said that personal training was among its top 20 career choices thanks to the low levels of stress and the high levels of job satisfaction. Personal training is a low-stress activity. Although there is pressure to perform, unlike other jobs, most clients understand that they, not you, are responsible for their success. Your performance is more about how you interact emotionally with the person you’re training than client outcomes because you play a supporting, mentoring role.

Why Enroll in an Online Course in Health and Fitness?

A health and fitness degree can lead to various opportunities; you can decide to start on your own, and enrolling in any of the free online courses in health and fitness will give you a headstart. Below are reasons why you should enroll in online certificate courses in health and fitness:

1. Self Paced Learning

Enrolling in any free online courses in health and fitness allows you to learn at your own pace. As a result, you can continue your daily activities while learning new skills. With these adaptable online courses, you can learn and practice at your own pace from the comfort of your own home without worrying about missing deadlines or traveling to the learning center.

2. It is Cost-Effective

How appealing would it be to stay at home and learn about health and fitness from prestigious universities such as the University of Rochester, the University of Colorado, the University of Pennsylvania, and others without spending a dime? There are numerous free online courses in health and fitness that are littered online, and they’re loaded with online resources that’ll foster your learning process. Hence, online certificate courses in health and fitness are cost-effective and time-saving.

How Do You Become a Health and Fitness Professional?

Here are some simple tips to help you get started if you want to make a difference in people’s lives through physical fitness.

Step 1: Conduct Your Research

Choosing the type of instructor you want to be, is the first step toward a health and fitness instructor career. For example, would you like to work as a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, or a hybrid instructor? Do you see yourself as a virtual fitness instructor working at a health club, recreation center, small studio, or from home? Having a clear vision of what you want your career to be can assist you in creating a clear path to get there.

Step 2: Consider Getting a Degree

Now, after you’ve done your research and determined what you want, the next step is to apply for the degree. Fitness instructors typically have a high school diploma, but some employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in exercise science, physical education, or kinesiology.

Step 3: Get your CPR and AED Certification

Many professional certifications in the health and fitness industry demand current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) certifications. You’ll be prepared to provide first aid in an emergency with these skills.

Step 4: Get Certified

Earning certification helps validate your skills and abilities to potential employers and potential clients. Most health and fitness professionals start off with a general diploma. Many organizations offer certification. For example, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredits certifying organizations in the fitness and wellness industry, including several others that provide personal trainers or general certification. In addition, some private companies offer accreditation in the types of classes they offer.

Top Ten Free Online Courses in Health and Fitness

The following are our best picks of free certificate courses in health and fitness:

1. Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us

Vital Signs is our top choice for free online courses in health and fitness. Vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, respiration rate, and pain convey essential information about the physiological state of the human body. In this six-part course designed by the University of Pennsylvania, you will investigate the anatomy and physiology underlying vital signs to develop a systematic, integrated understanding of how the body functions.

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Furthermore, relevant body systems, such as cardiovascular and respiratory, are reviewed, followed by explanations of how the function of these systems affects vital signs. The course also includes demonstrations of appropriate techniques for measuring vital signs in yourself and others.

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 14 Hours

Course: Vital Signs

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

2. Science of Exercise

This free online course will assist you in developing a better physiological understanding of how your body responds to exercise and identify behaviors, choices, and environments that influence your health and training. You will also learn about the significant changes your body must make to properly respond to the physical stress of exercise, such as changes in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, nutritional considerations, causes of muscle soreness and fatigue, and the effectiveness and risks of performance-enhancing drugs. The University of Colorado Boulder offers the course.

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 10 Hours

Course: Science of Exercise

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

3. Health Behavior Change: From Evidence to Action

Typically, humans frequently make irrational decisions that have a negative impact on their health. This free online health and fitness course aims to improve understanding of the social and behavioral factors that influence health decisions and behaviors, with the ultimate goal of learning how to apply these factors in public health efforts. Students will learn how to identify social, behavioral, and psychological factors that influence health and health care through experiential learning exercises. Yale University offers the course.

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 15 Hours

Course: Health Behavior Change

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

4. Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

We are facing global epidemics of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and other primarily diet-related diseases all over the globe. To address these public health crises, we urgently need to investigate novel strategies for promoting healthy eating.

This free course from Stanford University will teach you the practical skills you need to start optimizing your eating habits. In addition, the course will shift the emphasis away from reductionist discussions about nutrients and practical discussions about real food and the environment we consume it.

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 7 Hours

Course: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

5. Hacking Exercise For Health. The surprising new science of fitness.

Are you looking for a health and fitness course that will teach you the tools and techniques you need to incorporate exercise into your life, no matter how hectic it is? Then this free online course in health and fitness may be ideal for you.

Martin Gibala and Stuart Phillips of McMaster University, renowned exercise physiologists, teach the surprising new science of cardio fitness and strength-building in this course and then provide you with hacks to get fit, strong, and healthy! in less time than you ever imagined possible.

In Hacking Exercise for Health, you’ll join Marty and Stu as they teach you the fundamentals of how your body increases its fitness and strength. They’ll then put that theory into practice, giving you a series of do-anywhere workouts and, most importantly, teaching you how to design your sessions.

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 23 Hours

Course: Hacking Exercise For Health

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

6. Biohacking Your Brain’s Health

With global health deterioration, particularly in brain health, this free online course will introduce you to methods for maximizing your brain’s fitness through nutrition, exercise, meditation, and sleep. We’ll debunk common myths about recommended practices for overall health before delving into studies from the last few decades that reveal practical routines and interventions that have helped in improving the brain. You’ll also look at the brain’s structure and standard brain functions and a “prescription” for improving your brain’s health each week. Emory University offers the course.

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 14 Hours

Course: Biohacking Your Brain’s Health

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

7. Platform Thinking: exploiting data through platforms

One of the reasons Platform Thinking is on our list of free online courses in health and fitness is that digital data is frequently referred to as the “new oil.” As a result, companies often exploit them by constructing platforms that involve various sets of users who generate data, such as those who enjoy a digital service via a mobile app and other organizations that see value in those data and wish to leverage it.

This module aims to evaluate the role of data in digital platforms. We’re talking about companies like social networks that use data to offer personalized advertising or personalized experiences in services like Netflix or Spotify and companies that share data with third-party partners for other purposes, such as fitness apps that share data with pharmaceutical companies.

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Provider: Coursera

Duration: 5 Hours

Course: Platform Thinking

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

8. Engineering Health: Introduction to Yoga and Physiology

This free course will take you on a journey through physiological systems from the standpoint of overall health and fitness. A particular emphasis is on yoga, meditation, and mindfulness as therapeutic interventions in chronic illness and long-term treatments.

Furthermore, the value of taking this course is understanding the impact that yoga can have on stress reduction, healing, and the prevention of physiological pathologies. Throughout this course, you will learn about various physiological systems and yoga practices that can influence these systems and reduce pathology.

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 54 Hours

Course: Engineering Health

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

9. National Academy of Sports Medicine Nutrition Essentials

NASM’s Nutrition Coaching Essentials is also our top pick for free online certificate courses in health and fitness. The course will help you give evidence-based advice to people who want to improve their body composition, athletic performance, and health as a result, after completing this program, you will have the knowledge and skills to use nutrition education to help your clients succeed, reduce turnover, and maximize adherence.

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 23 Hours

Course: National Academy of Sports Medicine Nutrition Essentials

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here

10. Introduction to Self-Determination Theory: An approach to motivation, development, and wellness

Self-determination theory (SDT) is an empirically based theory of motivation and psychological development that focuses on the fundamental psychological needs that promote high-quality cause and wellness and how they are supported in social contexts. SDT explains how motivators’ styles and strategies, such as those of parents, teachers, coaches, managers, and healthcare professionals, can promote or undermine engagement and positive outcomes.

Professor Richard Ryan, co-founder of SDT, will provide an overview of the theory in this course, focusing on how autonomy, competence, and relatedness support and facilitate behavioral persistence, relationship quality, and healthy developmental processes, among other topics.   

Provider: Coursera

Duration: 21 Hours

Course: Introduction to Self-Determination Theory

Start Date: Self-Paced

Enroll Here


Just as it has been said that; money is good, but what is wealth if you aren’t healthy enough to enjoy it, health is wealth. As a result, staying in shape and improving your health is critical to living a fulfilling life. People have never desired to be in better health than they do now; hence, they are constantly seeking health and fitness professionals to advise them on staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Thus, if you’re passionate about assisting others in achieving such results, you can start a career in health and fitness by enrolling in any of the free online courses in health and fitness that we’ve listed. One of the benefits of these courses is that they include engaging materials that will foster your learning. We hope you found this post helpful. P.S.: If you have anybody who may need to read this article, you can share the link with them. Cheers to a healthy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Online Courses in Health and Fitness

What is the importance of health and fitness?

Exercise and physical activity can improve your health and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Also, exercise and physical activity can have both immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular physical activity can improve your overall well-being.

How long does it take to become a personal trainer?

Becoming a personal trainer will involve education, certifications, and other training. Getting a bachelor’s degree typically takes around four years. On the other hand, personal trainer certification courses can frequently be completed in less than a year. So, you have the option of choosing the path that best suits your needs.

Which app is best for free courses with certificates?

The following are the best educational apps and websites for online learning:

Khan Academy

How can I improve my health and fitness?

If you want to start your journey to having a better body to feel great, here are some tips:

Exercise daily 
Keep track of Calories and daily food intake
Eat the right foods
Ensure to get some sleep


  • – Occupational outlook of health and fitness 
  • – Why Choose a Career in Fitness?
  • – Benefits of health and wellness 
  • – What is the Difference Between Health and Fitness?
  • – Free Online Courses in Health and Fitness 
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