According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines, 40 of the most common chronic illnesses can be preceded with regular exercise on your own or through personal training. Another statistical states that over 30% of Americans do not exercise near enough. “Enough” is considered to be two and a half to three hours of moderate aerobic activity three to five times a week. Broken down, that can equate to one hour of exercise three times a week or just over thirty minutes of physical activity five times a week.
The lack of exercise in American society hinders on a number of factors – cost, time, location, the endless pursuit of a quick fix, and motivation. The latter point is where a personal trainer may be able to help you see the fitness results you've always wanted. Working with a trainer can help inspire you to keep going and to keep you on track with your fitness goals. However, there are a few things to lookout for when working with a professional trainer.
First step is the hardest.
Sometimes the first step towards physical fitness and committing to your own health and well-being is the most difficult one. A certified trainer can help lighten that load by becoming your fitness facilitator. They should have the knowledge, the capability and the training to weed out a lot of unnecessary steps in order to help you find the shortest route towards your ultimate fitness goals.
With that being said, finding that shortest route does not mean the road will actually be a short one. There are no quick fixes and fad diets do not work. There is no overnight solution to weight loss. Be patient. These things take time. To that end, be patient in finding the right trainer. Working with a fitness trainer can be a great and life changing experience. Take the time to choose the one that's perfect for you.
Putting your needs first.
Before even embarking on a fitness regimen or seeking out a trainer, do some serious soul searching and figure out what your long term health goals are. Not everyone hires a trainer to lose weight. Some want to enhance performance or gain muscle. Others want to improve endurance or flexibility. Think about what it is that you want most out of all these things, be realistic and be ready to do the work in order to reach those goals.
Go for a test drive.
Working with a trainer can be intimidating. They're in excellent shape, they're in top form as a result of their own nutrition and exercise regimen … but that is exactly why you should consider hiring one. Aside from being a walking advertisement for the service that they're selling, they know the exact right exercises for you in order to reach your get-fit goals.
Your trainer's ability to motivate you is also going to be key, and each have their own individual style of training, just as you have your own specific style of learning. The first trainer you meet may not be the one you decide to work with. Again, dig deep and think about what style you respond to best. Drill sergeant? Gentle coaxing? It's vital that your personality and your trainer's training style match so be sure to ask them about their communication style and work with them on a trial basis before you commit.
Minding their P's and Q's
Is your trainer present? During your session, your trainer should only have eyes for you and on what you're doing.
Are they prepared? Your trainer should be on time (if not early), should have your entire workout planned and ready to go, and they should be tracking your progress along the way.
Are they professional? Your relationship with your trainer is a professional one, despite their job title suggesting to the contrary. They should not be discussing the inner workings of their love life and neither should you. Stick to the task at hand: reaching your optimal health goals.
Are they asking you the right questions? At the afternoon, your trainer should take you through a series of tests, such as taking your blood pressure, your resting heart rate, your starting weight and your measurements to determine body composition. They should also ask you about your medical history, any surgeries you may have had or any past injuries you may have incurred. Your trainer should also ask you what you do for a living and what you do in your spare time. The answers to these questions play an important role in your get-fit plan.
For instance if you work at a job that requires a lot of sitting, your hips may be excessively tight and your cardio endurance may be low. Conversely, having a job where you are active and standing all day is telling, too. Someone like an electrician who works with his or her arms overhead for extended periods of time could cause dysfunction in the muscle system and needs to be taken into account when planning a fitness routine.
No gym membership? No problem.
Less than a quarter of people who invest in a gym membership actually utilize their membership. Among those who do use their membership, over three quarters of those individuals who invest in a certified fitness trainer also stick to going to the gym. They feel more structured and held more accountable when they know someone is counting on them to show up. And if budget constants are one of the main reasons holding you back from working with a trainer, the ones employed by health clubs are generally more cost effective than the ones who work on their own.
You do not need to join a gym to work with a fitness instructor. While most health clubs offer them, there are certified personal trainers who will either come to your home or you can go to them in their own home or rented space. Plus, if working out in a gym setting is too intimidating to even bear the thought of doing, finding a trainer who will work out with you in the privacy of your own home is a great option.