Friday, August 27, 2010

How to choose a personal trainer

If you’re in the market for a personal trainer, not just anyone will do. You want to make sure that your trainer is exactly what you need…you are paying good money for them and their expertise. Here are some questions to ask yourself or ask your potential trainer before beginning a fitness program with him or her.

  1. Is the trainer nationally certified? There are a zillion personal trainer certifications out there, but only a handful of them are nationally recognized. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is an organization ensures the public’s health, welfare and safety. The 7 NCCA accredited personal training certification programs are listed below:
    • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
    • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
    • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
    • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
    • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
    • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
    • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

  1. Does the trainer practice what he/she preaches? An unfit trainer may not be the best person to take advice from. This doesn’t mean that a male trainer has to have a body builder’s body or a female trainer has to be a size zero, it just means that they should be in good shape, eat right, exercise and take care of their body…just as they are helping you do!
  2. How do current and past clients feel about their experience? That’s right, ask for references…you want to make sure that they have satisfied clients that are able to reach their goals with the trainers help.
  3. Will the training be convenient? If your trainer is at a place that’s hard for you to get to or is too far away from home or is at an bad time, you are more likely to cancel sessions, flake out or just not go.
  4. Does your personality match that of the trainer? If you are a person that responds well to gentle encouragement, your trainer should not be a yeller, boot-camp sergeant of a trainer. Make sure to meet the trainer or talk for a bit over the phone to see if your personalities and styles are the same. Also, consider whether you are comfortable with a trainer of the opposite sex since training can be somewhat physical.

Other questions to ask a potential personal trainer:

  • How long have you been training and what kind of clients do you normally work with?
  • How do you motivate your clients to reach their goals?
  • How do you measure achievement? Do you have a fitness evaluation you use?
  • Knowing my specific fitness goals, what kind of workout plan will you develop to help me?
  • How often will you change my workout routine?
  • What are your rates?
  • What is your cancellation policy?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Get some energy back in your day

The summer heat, getting everyone back into school, business at work, a on-the-run diet and lack of exercise can really cause a dip in energy levels. So what’s a person to do to get a bounce back in their step? There’s a lot you can do…check out these natural energy boosters without the caffeine, sugary energy drinks or naps!

  1. Exercise for energy. Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn’t make you tired, it actually builds energy within your body at the cellular level. So get off the couch or skip the nap and take a walk, run, swim, lift weights, play Dance Dance Revolution, whatever it takes to move your body. Just 10 minutes, can give you the boost that you need. So while waiting for dinner to cook, burst into some jumping jacks, take a speedy walk to a co-workers desk instead of e-mailing her or run the stairs at lunch. Just get moving…even if you don’t feel like it (especially if you don’t feel like it!)
  2. Eat for energy. You might get a quick energy boost from that handful of M&Ms or a chocolate chip cookie, but you will crash and burn just as quick. So fuel your body to keep you energized all day long. Eat healthy carbs such as whole wheat crackers or oatmeal, tons of veggies and fruit and remember to always eat protein with every meal or snack. Think almonds, tuna, chicken, turkey, walnuts, natural peanut butter and tofu. Think of your body as an engine and you are providing high grade gasoline when you eat well.
  3. Drink for energy. Ditch the “energy drinks,” caffeinated beverages and cocktails and drink water…a lot of water…at least 64 oz a day. One of the major symptoms of dehydration is fatigue, so when you are feeling tired or sleepy, especially in the middle of the day, chug a glass of water.
  4. Breathe for energy. Literally, take a breather. Just sit and take 5-10 deep breaths. Stress can cause us to fatigue mentally and emotionally which can manifest as physical exhaustion…so take a seat, inhale deeply, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly and completely.
  5. Sleep for energy. Studies show that getting less than 6 hours of sleep leaves us WAY less than 100% not only mentally and physically but energy-wise as well. So get at least 7 hours of sleep and really shoot for 8 for optimal energy. Also, going to bed and waking up at the same time every night and day will help with energy dips. Sweet Dreams!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Keep fit on your vacation!

It’s August and that means it’s time for one last vacation before summer ends and school gets started. Whether you’re heading to the beach, mountains, historical sites or grandma’s house, you don’t have to ditch your fitness routine and throw your hard work out the door.

Make it a priority to be active on your vacation and come home and pick up your fitness routine where you left off…maybe even fitter than before you left! Here are several easy and some family friendly ways to take your workout on the road to stay healthy and happy!

  • Take a hike and burn 405 calories per hour!
  • Go for a ride…on a horse, that is…and burn 171 calories per hour
  • Ditch the car and briskly walk everywhere possible while burning 297 calories per hour
  • Have some time on the green planned? Make sure to carry your clubs and burn 414 calories per hour.
  • Canoe down a river and burn 306 miles per hour
  • Burn 270 calories per hour by taking a bike to your destinations
  • Learn to surf and burn 207 calories per hour
  • Take a dip in the pool, lake, river or ocean and burn 414 calories per hour
  • Mountain bike up and down awesome hills for a burn of 576 calories per hour
  • Take to the slopes and ski off 594 calories per hour
  • View what’s under the sea with a snorkeling excursion and burn 360 calories per hour
  • Workout in your hotel room using what they provide (chairs, tables, beds, etc.) for pushups, dips, sit ups, lunges. Check out this workout and burn between 500-600 calories per hour!
  • Take your workout to a park or beach and burn 600 calories per hour. Check out this outdoor workout circuit.
  • Sign up for a fun run or race to compete in your vacation city

Happy vacationing!