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If you’re looking for a new gym or trainer for yourself or for someone on your holiday gift list, stop wading through the Internet and try a free directory by the IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

IDEA FitnessConnect, which is great for both fitness professionals and consumers, can definitely help make the process of finding a certified trainer, instructor or reputable health club or class more bearable and less time-consuming. Furthermore, it is the fitness industry’s only fitness professional directory that verifies certifications so you can be assured that your trainer or gym is on the up and up.

Since its launch in 2010, the number of fitness professionals who claim to be certified — but who actually are not — has decreased to 36%, which represents a 20% improvement, according to a recent survey conducted by IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

“It is very gratifying to know that we have made such a big change for the fitness industry in such a short time,” said Peter Davis, CEO of IDEA Health & Fitness Association, in a release. “We have not only accomplished the change we envisioned, but this is great news for the safety of fitness consumers everywhere.”

In addition to increasing fitness certification transparency, IDEA FitnessConnect has doubled the number of fitness professionals listed to more than 250,000. It has also increased its certification-verifying partners to more than 150, making it the single-most complete and comprehensive directory for health and fitness professionals in the United States.

IDEA Health & Fitness Association plans to expand IDEA FitnessConnect to include other wellness professionals, such as dietitians, sports performance coaches, massage therapists and more. Awesome!

Need some personal trainer advice? Read our articles on choosing the right personal trainer and building a (professional!) relationship with your trainer.