Personal Trainers Aren’t Limited to Lifting Weights

young sporty couple stretching togetherYou have seen them at your local gym. They are personal trainers that are there to help members reach their fitness goals. But many members don’t know exactly what a personal trainer can do for them. Maybe you are one of those people.

A personal trainer is more than someone who can show you how to lift weights. He, or she, can do so much more.

Think of a personal trainer as a Health Coach. If you have ever played organized sports before you know that a coach does more than just teach you the basics of the sport. A coach wears many hats. They are confidantes, advisors and sometimes de facto parents.

A personal trainer wears many hats as well. Here are just a few things a personal trainer can do for you.

Fresh Ideas On Health And Nutrition
It is the personal trainer’s job to stay abreast on trends in health and nutrition. They are continually increasing their knowledge and progressing their education.  They tend to share this information with their clients in an attempt help them reach their fitness goals.

They can tell you if that new fad diet has any sound nutritional foundation. Or if certain exercises you read about will really give you six-pack abs.

Rehab
In the unfortunate event that you suffer an injury a personal trainer can help with your rehab. With a background in physiology, a personal trainer can help isolate the injured area and develop a plan to get your strength and range of motion back to normal levels.

They can also help in preventing you from getting injured in the first place. By showing you proper technique and personally observing you as you exercise, a personal trainer make sure you are doing each exercise correctly and thereby lowering your chance of injury.

Unbiased Support
Everyone needs some sort of support system to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, not everyone in your circle will have your best interest in mind. A personal trainer only cares about your success. The better you do, the better he is doing his job.

Any personal trainer worth their protein powder will sit down with you and discuss your fitness goals. Do you want to lose weight? Run a marathon? Whatever your goals are your personal trainer will support you until your reach them.

Sport Specific Training
If you play any type of organized sports (even just a pickup game on the weekends) you probably want to play that sport better than you do now. A personal trainer can help you develop muscles, strength and flexibility that will improve your performance.

You may not make it to the NBA of fight for a world championship but you could improve enough to be a standout on the field every weekend.

Working with a personal trainer will help you reach goals that you may not have been able to reach on your own.

Communication is Key with Your Personal Trainer

PT blog pic 2If you are serious about getting started in an exercise program after years of inactivity, or if you are in pretty good shape but would like to take your exercise routine to a higher level, consider working with a personal trainer. The benefits of working with a personal trainer are numerous:

  • Personalized workouts with feedback along the way
  • Education and experience that ensures safe, injury-free workouts
  • Help to stay motivated and keep you accountable to your fitness goals
  • Encouragement to go farther, push harder than you would by yourself
  • One-on-one attention that makes it easier to achieve your goals

Communication is key to working with a personal trainer. The topics that are especially important to discuss with your personal trainer are: fitness goals, exercise and health history, lifestyle and nutrition, and attitude.

Fitness Goals

In order to develop an exercise program just for you, your personal trainer must know what your goals are. Do you want to lose weight and reduce body fat? Do you want to add muscle mass? Are you trying to strengthen an area of the body that has suffered an injury? Are you preparing to compete in some sport?  Do you just want to look better and feel better?

Exercise History and General Health

One of the best benefits of working with a personal trainer is developing a program that will meet your needs safely and without fear of injury. Your personal trainer will need to know about any injuries or medical problems you may be dealing with. He or she will also need to know how much you have exercised in the past and what your level of physical fitness is at the moment.

Lifestyle and Nutrition

How active are you during your normal daily routine? Your personal trainer will want to know if you sit at a desk all day or if your job keeps you on the go for nine hours with little chance to take a break. Do you eat breakfast every day? What is your typical meal like? Your personal trainer will want to know about the foods that you like and dislike because nutrition is an important part of achieving a healthier lifestyle and will be discussed as part of your exercise program.

Attitude

How do you feel about exercise? Do you look forward to your time at the gym every week, or does it take all your will power to force yourself to go? Another benefit of working with a personal trainer is having someone to help boost your motivation. Whether your fitness goals are small or Olympic in proportion, a personal trainer can help you maintain the right attitude toward achieving them.

There will be many benefits to working with a certified personal trainer at a level that is right for you. You will know that your workout has been designed with your safety and fitness goals in mind. You will receive feedback and support as you progress. You will have the one-on-one attention that could take you farther than you would go by yourself. As with any worthwhile endeavor, communication is the key to success. Your personal trainer must start with basic information about your goals, health, and lifestyle. He or she will then be your best source of information about any changes you could make to your daily routine, nutrition, or attitude toward physical activity in order to achieve your goals. Finally, good communication ensures that your personal trainer is also your best cheerleader as you work to achieve the level of physical fitness that you desire.

How to Eat & Drink at Your Holiday Party

Holiday-food-blog-pic-1You can maintain your health and wellness going into the new year while still enjoying holiday parties. The key is to make a personal vow to eat fairly healthy at these parties and actually sticking to this promise. Do not lie to yourself. It is acceptable to eat some salty and sweet foods as well as some alcohol during your holiday get-together but it is important to not over-eat. Let’s take a closer look at how to eat at holiday functions.

Party atmospheres usually tempt people to go overboard on both food and drink. You can maintain your well-being and your body by consuming in moderation. Make a plan beforehand. Think of what sorts of foods and drinks will be present at the party and what you’d like to have. Do not eat more than you would during a typical meal. You’ll be able to satisfy yourself by trying out variety of tasty foods and drinks. That should be enough to satiate your cravings. There is no need to gorge on more food than you would normally eat just because it is available for free. Don’t use the availability and lack of expense as excuses to binge on salty foods, desserts and alcohol. Stick to your original game plan of satisfying normal cravings, trying a moderate amount of different foods and having a few drinks.

Be sure to eat the morning and afternoon of the party. That way you won’t be tempted to over-eat when faced with tables full of tasty holiday treats. It is prudent to eat a snack immediately before attending the party. This will help you abstain from gorging on unhealthy foods. If you don’t want to eat a snack beforehand, then drink a tall glass of water to fool your body into feeling more full than it actually is.

Once you are at the party, grab a small plate and re-fill it only once or twice. If you pick a smaller plate you’ll be less likely to over-consume. You’ll also be more self-conscious about repeated trips to the food tables as you’ll think that other people are taking notice of your excessive eating habits. Keep in mind that it usually takes the stomach about twenty minutes to send signals to the brain that it is full. So, one small to medium size plate might suffice for the evening. Be picky. Try a little sample of everything. That way you can feel satisfied while experiencing all of the tastes that the holiday party has to offer.

When choosing what to drink, try to avoid sugary drinks as they usually are high in calories. Limit yourself to only one or two alcoholic drinks since they are often high in fat and full of calories. You should try to consume water or other liquids before eating in order to reduce your food cravings. Have a drink or two while small talking with other party guests. You won’t rush into eating and can fill up your stomach with fluids. Try to socialize away from the food tables so that you are less tempted to graze throughout the party. All of those small finger foods can add up quickly.

Bring some tic tacs or gum to keep as a reserve in case you are tempted to go back to the food tables for unnecessary second and third helpings. It will also keep your breath extra fresh for the many face to face interactions that you’ll have throughout the evening. Remember, holiday parties are supposed to be about having a good time while socializing. They aren’t supposed to be about eating food.

How to Keep Your Workout Routine During the Holidays

Isolated Red Christmas Stocking A Holiday OrnamentThe holidays are special time filled with laughter, relaxation and good food. However, they can be a bad time for your waistline — all that fattening food combined with snowy weather and family reunions can sap your drive and willingness to maintain your exercise regimen. What’s worse is that these bad habits can carry over into the new year, making it even more difficult to get back on track to your health and fitness goals. Here are a few handy tips for those who want to keep their workout routine even during the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Workout with your family

Spending time with your family is one of the best perks of the holidays. However, there is no reason to spend that time together sitting inside the house. Instead, dress up and go outside — walking, sledding, and snowshoeing are great exercises that help burn those extra holiday calories while allowing you to spend time with your loved ones. To push you and your family even more, start your day with a 15 to 30 minute yoga session before breakfast.

2. Exercise before meals

Do a 5-minute workout before each meal to boost your metabolism. Pick five exercises and repeat each for one minute before you sit down on the table. You can choose from squats, pushups, abs, running in place, or jumping rope — anything that will get your body moving and calories burning. By the end of the day you have performed a 15 to 20 minute workout.

3. Condense your normal workout

If you’re exceptionally strapped for time, you can shorten your normal exercise routine by condensing it into a smaller number of more intense exercises. For best results, your condensed workout should consist of three upper body exercises and three lower body exercises. Start by jogging in place or doing a fast walk and then perform the main exercises, starting with the ones that target your lower body. End the routine by jogging in place again to cool down. Repeat the entire routine two or three times and end with stretches. This workout will maintain your fitness levels without being terribly time-consuming.

4. Work out in the airport

If you’re traveling during the holidays, you will be spending a lot of time in airports with nothing to do. Make a use of that time by doing a workout on the move. Doing a full-body workout is impractical, but you can always walk around the terminal. Ditch the train or convey belts and walk from gate to gate or use the stairs and carry your luggage instead of pulling it behind you.

5. Do a workout while sitting in the car

If you are driving long distances during the holidays, you can always do a workout in the car. Contract the muscles in your shoulders, abs or legs for 15 to 30 seconds, relax, and then repeat as many times as you can. You can also bring along small weights and do biceps, triceps and wrists curls if you are not driving. Before you know it, you have performed a 30-minute workout.

The holiday season doesn’t have to spell doom to your exercise routine and healthy lifestyle. By following these tips, you can stay active and on track to your fitness and health goals. Always remember to stay active, because the only person who can take you to your fitness goals is you.