A Personal Trainer is a Super Santa!

A qualified personal trainer can be like Santa fulfilling all your fitness wishes. Make the most of your personal training sessions in 2013 by following these simple tips.

 

1.)   Be Specific

 

Before working with your trainer, make sure to discuss both your goals and limitations. Your trainer should already have a set of questions to ask, but it’s important that you address how much time you have and how intensely you’d like to work. Include any past/current exercise routines and what you have/haven’t enjoyed in the past. Also, be sure to include any past or present injuries you may have (as well an ‘undiagnosed’ aches and pains) so that the trainer can design the safest, most effective program for you.

 

2.)   Give it Time

 

The first exercise session with a personal trainer usually involves a lot of learning and practicing form. Over the first few sessions, your trainer will probably want to tailor your program further to better suit you.  Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced exerciser, learning new exercises or techniques might take time, but they’ll be worth it in the end. It goes the same for those desired results; it may take a few weeks of pre-conditioning to improve your fitness level. Don’t be discouraged, fitness is a constant process!

 

3.)   Do the Work

 

Hiring a trainer doesn’t guarantee you the results that you want.  You must be prepared to put the sweat in yourself, as well as follow any nutritional guidelines you might have been given.  I’ve had many clients who come see me only once or twice a week, and are frustrated that they aren’t losing weight.  It’s important to understand that a trainer is a learning and motivational tool, but its how you act week long that makes the difference. If you aren’t getting the results you want, ask the trainer what else you could do to help you on your way.

 

4.)   Speak Up.

 

If you’re paying for your trainer’s services it’s important to remember that you are the client, and your program should be designed for you. While that might mean doing unpleasant exercises or working out more intensely than you would on your own, don’t be afraid to tell the trainer if you’re feeling pain in places you shouldn’t (like your joints/spine).  If you’re working with a qualified trainer, they should be able to either modify and correct your form or give you an alternate exercise.

 

5.)   Don’t be Embarrassed.

 

I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had apologizing throughout the first few sessions because they felt they weren’t “in shape” enough to be at the gym.  Trust me, the trainer isn’t judging you, and is probably just excited to help you improve and achieve your goals.  If you let go of your insecurities and stay positive, you’ll be more likely to push your self and return. (On a side note, don’t feel embarrassed if you have to miss a session or even a month at the gym. As personal trainers, we are used to life getting in the way of people’s exercise schedules. It’s more important that you get back on that horse if you’ve fallen off.)

 

If you’ve hired a trainer, you’ve already taken a step towards improving your health and fitness. Remember, consistency is the *most* important thing in your health regimen, so stay motivated use all the tools at your disposal!

Julia Quina

Julia Quina

is a HealthEase Fitness Manager who possesses a bachelor of science degree in Biokinetics. She also does personal training and health coaching for HealthEase clients.

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The Risks of Improper Running

Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise. Although running has many benefits, there are things to take into consideration whether you are new to the running scene or have been running for the past 10 years.  Running on a regular basis, with little change in one’s running routine, can lead to adverse affects on the body including overuse injuries, joint pain, and potential deterioration of cartilage in the lower extremities.

 

The most common signs of endurance overtraining are:  decreased performance and the inability to meet previously attained goals, decreased body fat, increased muscle soreness, chronic fatigue, constant feelings of thirst, loss of appetite, and headaches.  Those in an over-trained state may also experience depression, low self-esteem, fear of competition, and loss of perseverance. These symptoms are due to severe overtraining, which can take several weeks to several months to resolve.

 

More common issues experienced by runners are joint pain and eventual overuse injuries to the musculoskeletal system.  These injuries include shin splints, muscle strains especially in the hamstring and calf muscles, stress fractures, IT band syndrome and lateral knee pain, frontal knee pain, plantar fasciitis (excessive tightness of the arch and heel pain), and others.

 

To help prevent overuse injuries from running, follow these tips:

  • Change your running style and keep it varied
    • Run different distances, different speeds, and different routes to prevent the same type of impact affecting the muscles and joints day in and day out.
  • Cross Train
    • Add cycling or swimming days to replace one or more of your running workouts to decrease impact on the muscles and joints without sacrificing improvements in cardiovascular performance.
  • Lift weights
    • Running puts a great deal of stress on the muscles of the lower body and, without proper strength training, the muscles may be less likely to handle the stress, thus resulting in injury.  Increase strength and performance with exercises that target the major muscle groups including legs, chest, and back. Also include plenty of core work.
  • Stretch regularly
    • Most joint pain is caused by excessively tight muscles.  The best muscles to stretch after your run are your outer hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves to help prevent knee and low back pain.  Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds after each workout to prevent injury and improve running performance.
Meghan Rath

Meghan Rath

M.S., CSCS, HFS is a HealthEase Fitness Manager with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from West Chester University. She is also ACSM and NSCA certified.

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