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Anne Nixon – Studying Active IQ Qualifications through Study Active

Posted on 4/04/23

From starting in the spotlight as a children’s TV presenter to heading behind the scenes to help people transform their lives through fitness, Anne Nixon has dipped her toes into various sectors and jobs before ultimately finding her passion for wellbeing and fitness. Today, she’s obtained a range of qualifications through Study Active, one of Active IQ’s largest training providers. As a highly decorated fitness professional, Anne is far from finished, as she is constantly looking to expand her knowledge through additional qualifications that allow her to help people who may be struggling.

From children’s TV presenter to wellbeing expert

Before exploring the world of fitness, Anne started her career as a children’s TV presenter, allowing her to bring her effervescent and charismatic personality to screens across the UK. Stepping down from the limelight, Anne transitioned to a career in Broadcast Journalism, working for Al Gore via the BBC and assisting in setting up a production company based in London. 

“While I was working as a Broadcast Journalist, I was made redundant. After that, I did a variety of acting, casting and voiceover roles, but eventually, I got fed up with auditioning and not getting anywhere, so I cut ties with the entertainment industry to pursue something new.”

Deciding to reinvent herself completely, Anne changed careers completely and became a veterinary nurse. While it was an amazing opportunity, Anne started to struggle with her mental health.

“Working in veterinary, I struggled with anxiety and depression and I knew it wasn’t a healthy environment for me at the time. When I found out I was pregnant, it really changed my perspective on health and wellbeing as I needed to be more focused on myself and my baby.”

Prioritising her mental health, Anne once again shifted career paths and started a job working on the railway, which she found was a far healthier environment for her and her mental health. Working there for a few years, Anne rose through the ranks until she became pregnant with her second child.  She decided to start a new job that was less time-consuming.

“I started selling trainers in a DW Sports shoe shop which got me talking to people in the fitness industry. Members from the gym below the shop used to come up and talk to me about the kit. Eventually, I got a transfer to work in the gym and start my PT course. That same day, the business went into administration!”

The start of a flourishing fitness career

After lockdown hit the UK, Anne was browsing for receptionist jobs. She applied for one at Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL) but was offered an interview for a fitness instructor role.

“I wasn’t even qualified! BPL were amazing and told me to still come down for the interview for experience. I was offered a job pending qualification, so that’s when I got in touch with James at Study Active to get qualified!”

Anne completed her Level 3 GP Referral Qualification and became inspired to complete her Level 3 Supporting Pre and Post Natal in Exercise and Nutrition through Study Active. These courses were just the beginning of the catalogue of qualifications Anne would end up obtaining.

“I see people, and I want them to be the best person they can be – both inside and out! If I see anyone struggling, I latch onto it and want to help.”

Anne is particularly passionate about exercise for adults with autism. 

“Unfortunately, the services the industry provides for disability support often fail to accommodate for the people in between: adults with autism who would feel uncomfortable attending a class for adults with complex needs or those who might be overwhelmed in a mainstream gym.”

“It was my idea to create a functional workout space to help adults with autism, and it has worked amazingly well. You wouldn’t give a client with hypertension any overhead exercises, the same way you wouldn’t expect an adult with autism to work out in a gym with loud music.” 

“Every qualification I strive to get is to help people feel more comfortable. I feel like people feel confident coming to me to train because of the qualifications I have – they automatically relax because they know I understand. My life mission is to give everyone the same opportunity to be healthy.”

Anne has also spoken about how she keeps her work off social media, opting to focus her goals on helping people through fitness rather than publicising her work.

“I’m not anti-social media, but everything I do, I strive to do off social media – I don’t ever want to be in a position where this career is about self-promotion or my social status. All I want to do is give everyone the tools they need to be the healthiest they can be, and if I can help to take pressure off the NHS and contribute to people needing fewer operations, then that’s my goal.”

The state of the fitness industry and advice for people looking to train

Having studied a plethora of courses in just two years and expanding how she is able to help people, Anne has admitted that the academic part of the industry can be a real challenge, but that shouldn’t put anyone off.

“We need to be better at celebrating failure – I failed courses several times and just kept redoing them until I achieved the results I wanted. The reality of helping people is hard work.”

For people who want to train as a PT or fitness professional, Anne reminds them that not everything has to be achieved overnight and that pacing yourself is important. 

“I might have ten ideas in one week and feel burnt out trying to do everything at once.”

Her biggest piece of advice for anyone embarking on their journey to becoming a health and fitness professional is to practice what you preach.

“No one gains anything from me telling them to be fit and healthy if I don’t look after myself too – people are able to relate to you.”

“It’s not just about looking good – these qualifications allow people to come together and work towards a better wellbeing and quality of life.”

Anne is passionate about making fitness accessible to everyone. Talking about modern society, Anne believes the world has overcomplicated health and fitness with fad diets and marketing campaigns that can sometimes cause more harm than good.

“The professionals promoting fad diets do not see the mental health effects they have on people – I see a lot of people with eating disorders as a result of these diets.”

“I want to make fitness accessible to everyone – whether it’s in the park, gym or at home, I want to give everyone the equal opportunity to be fit and well.”

Currently working for BPL, Anne credits her ability to take on many qualifications to their shared enthusiasm and passion.

“Working for a company that encourages your passion is amazing – everyone always says the grass is greener, but sometimes you need to water your own grass!”

The courses provided by Study Active have pushed Anne to explore fitness for groups who otherwise may not have access to safe forms of physical activity. “Without James Luscombe and the Study Active team, I would be lost,” she said. “It has been so comforting to have a mentor at Study Active.”

“Anne Nixon is an inspirational fitness figure who has so much positivity and skill to offer the sector,” said James Luscombe,  Managing Director at Study Active. 

“Anne arrived with passion and determination to turn her keen interest in fitness into a career – it was obvious that she had her own very positive fitness journey and that she now wanted to give back to the sector and help others have similar journeys. Anne has completed multiple courses with Study Active, with each one adding an extra layer of expertise to her impressive resume. The area that Anne has most excelled in is certainly the GP Referral side of things. Anne loves helping people, and it’s clear to see her passion for helping those with common medical conditions. Study Active is thrilled to be supporting Anne with her journey through the courses and support that we offer – we all have absolutely no doubt that Anne will go from strength to strength and will truly blossom with her career in the fitness industry.”

Looking forward, Anne has no plans to slow down. Not only has she become an Active IQ-approved assessor, but she also continues to expand her knowledge even further by undertaking more qualifications in the future.

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