By Colleen Kane, CNBC.com
Look, it's not breaking news that working as a physical trainer or fitness instructor makes you fit. Duh. In that line, it's an essential job requirement: "People will always judge you on your appearance," says certified personal trainer Joshua Margolis, of Mind Over Matter Health.
Additional no-brainers in this "fit jobs" category include dancers and athletes. Any active job requiring moving all day, like bike messengers, farmers, construction workers, and landscapers also come to mind. But for this slideshow, we went beyond the most obvious to find some of the less commonly cited occupations in the category-including one we can practically guarantee you didn't know was a legitimate job.
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The flight attendant lifestyle seems to be the polar opposite of the dreaded desk job. "Being a flight attendant keeps you fit! Not only did it used to be a requirement to stay within a weight limit (I had to weigh in monthly when I was new) but it's so physically demanding moving the carts, etc. that you naturally stay fit," says Carolyn Paddock of the In-Flight insider luxury travel website.
"I have spent more than 20,000 hours in the air, and racked up 10 million miles around the world flying in the last 22 years, both in commercial and private aviation, and I was moving 95% of the time. Not only that- once we land, usually abroad, I'm out the door touring and exploring-again moving. Then bringing back my various groceries and shopping is more exercise to carry my luggage and bags."
And although flight attendants can make excuses not to exercise as well as anyone else, flight attendant Amanda Pleva says, "constant availability of hotel gyms is great. When away from home, the 'I was too busy' excuse can rarely apply."
But for those who aren't careful, this is one active job that can still have the opposite effect of fitness, Pleva is quick to point out. "Hotel and airport food will kill you." Flight attendant can experience pitfalls leading to their version of the Freshman 15 (http://www.freshman15.com/): eating out all the time, drinking (a lot), not packing their own food, and consequently eating poorly on overnights. "I gained about 20 pounds my second year on the job," says Pleva, but she has since developed the habit of packing food and resistance bands.
Rosie Enos is a dog sled tour guide during the winter months at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon, and during the summer, she is a backpacking guide for Roam the Woods, a women's backpacking company. "The great thing? I never have to squeeze in a workout at the end of a long day."
The winter job results in upper body strength. "You are working with Alaskan Huskies that are up to 50 pounds of pure muscle, that are super excited to go for a run, your lifting them, loading them, and trying to hold them back (twelve of them-all attached to one sled!!) Your whole body gets a workout."
Her summer job reverses the strength to her lower section. "I do lose some of that upper body strength because you are using your legs as the powerhouse while backpacking. All that I lose in my upper body I gain back in my legs!"
This fitness and work regime doesn't mean she's 100% muscle. "Typically, during the winter I'm not afraid to embrace some fat. On top of all the hard work, it can get cold so some butter in my diet is a lifesaver on the single digit days. As for the summer, backpackers burn between 4,000 - 8,000 calories a day. "During the summer, I eat fairly good on the trail as we use lots of dehydrated veggies in our meals, the best thing on the trail though: Snickers!! In town requirement: a stop at an all-you-can-eat buffet."
When J.J. Kunkle of The Fit Life worked at the Santa Barbara Adventure Company, she says, "our guides were in top shape. When you spend the day leading kayaking, hiking and biking trips-there's no way you can NOT be fit. Even as the office manager I stayed in great shape helping them load and unload kayaks, wash wetsuits and occasionally guiding trips."
The fitness benefits of the guide occupation extend into the off-season, says Jo Ann Taylor of WalkTalk, because "when you are not traveling you are very motivated to get fit for your next tour."
Treadmill Test Walker
Believe it or not, fitness equipment manufacturer Life Fitness employs full-time, professional treadmill walkers. The position is actually called "Key Operator" and their job is to test the equipment.
They walk an average of 150 minutes per day for 247 working days, which translates to 37,050 minutes of treadmill time a year. With an average speed of 2 MPH, that works out to be 1,235 miles walked yearly.
They're testing the voltage, for current leakage, and adjusting rollers and belts, all while the machine is running. They also handle assembling the machine, troubleshooting, and some packing, after the tests.
At the company's Franklin Park, Illinois headquarters there are two full-time testers on the cross-trainer line and four on the treadmill line, running all day, with testers in other locations.
So, are these key operators totally ripped? "Heck yes," says Christopher Clawson, president of Life Fitness-especially on the elliptical line. "They're very trim, strong, and still very active in athletics at an older age."
See more jobs that get you into shape
By Colleen Kane, CNBC.com