What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Personal Trainer

What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Personal Trainer

Summer is here and you are probably thinking that it’s time to get in shape. Working with a fitness professional / certified personal trainer is a great way to get started, maybe!

The human body is very efficient at adapting to stimulus (in the case of exercise we need to think in terms of force and time) in many ways. When speaking about exercise, our body will either “wear in” and adapt with positive results, or “wear out” by evidence of disinterest, excessive fatigue, joint and or muscular pain.

Exercise challenges a person’s central nervous, cardiovascular, pulmonary and musculoskeletal system and can present more risk then benefit if not initiated and progressed appropriately. Therefore exercise should be based your current level of, health, ability, and directed toward meeting your needs and goals.

“Safe, effective, efficient, exercise recommendations should be based on scientific fact, not public opinion or historical continuity of information!”

When choosing a personal trainer, here are some important factors to consider:

  • There are many types of personal training certifications currently available, and they vary greatly—from home study, online courses to University-accredited courses and nationally accredited certifications. In some cases, a certified personal trainer may have only studied textbook content, took an online course, or sat for a multiple choice exam. So be sure to ask your personal trainer if his/her education included practical, hands-on training inclusive of health assessments and exercise biomechanics.
  • Ask if the personal trainer is certified by a nationally recognized and accredited educational program. One way to make sure you receive the benefits of exercise while lowering risk is to work with a personal trainer who is knowledgeable about the musculoskeletal system and its physiological, neurological and mechanical properties. Certified personal trainers should also have the skills necessary to measure blood pressure and resting heart rate and understand the fundamental principles of exercise biomechanics, medical terminology, medical conditions and concerns, exercise program design, nutrition, and psychology.
  • Be sure your personal trainer logs exercise sessions and is able to modify and direct your program toward achieving your goals accordingly.
  • Your initial impression of the trainer is important: Is he/she neat, courteous, a good listener, and does he/she answer all of your questions and concerns?
  • Your personal trainer should be insured and have current CPR and Automated External Defibrillator certification.

It’s your body; the choices you make today are important for YOUR health.

Revving Up Your Metabolism Safely in the Summer Heat

Revving Up Your Metabolism Safely in the Summer Heat

The summer is upon us and for many fitness enthusiasts the idea of training indoors is painful!

Summer is the perfect time to go outside to rev up your metabolism and challenge your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. Whether you’re swimming, running or cycling; the sun, heat, humidity, and thermal regulation play a big role in how we respond.

The following are some tips for training outdoors:

  • Start and stay hydrated. When we sweat, we lose not only water, but electrolytes and sodium as well. These are critical elements to keeping our bodies ability to function optimally. Carry a bottle of water or a hydration solution of your choice. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty.
  • Be Aware of the Symptoms of Dehydration. Dehydration can lead to light-headedness and nauseousness. Dehydration can potentially lead to kidney failure and or, in extreme cases, death. If experiencing dehydration symptoms be sure to rehydrate slowly and over time. Too much to soon can lead to Hyponatremia (lower-than-normal level of sodium).
  • Know the Symptoms of Hyponatremia – sometimes referred to as “water intoxication,“especially when it is due to the consumption of excess water, for example during strenuous exercise, without adequate replacement of sodium. This can lead to confusion, nausea, muscle cramps, seizures or even death in extreme cases (1).
  • Consider the time of day. Unless you are training for an event that takes place in the heat of day, avoid exercising during the common peak heat times 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For heat and humidity intolerant people early and late evening may be a better option. Wear loose, light colors. Light colors help deflect heat.  Some companies offer specific running shirts and shorts made from materials meant to keep you cool.
  • Wear Sunblock /Sunscreen– People with sensitive skin who burn quickly and must spend a lot of time outdoors should always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. The U.S. FDA is also considering a ruling that would limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to “50 +” because many scientists believe that there is insufficient evidence to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50 (2).
  • Check the weather forecast before you start your workout. If there’s a heat advisory, meaning high ozone and air pollution, you might want to take your workout indoors. These pollutants can damage your lungs. Consider this when walking a beach path near a parkway.

Most importantly, pay attention to and respect to your body. It will let you know when it is feeling up to the challenge or may want to take it a bit easier then you initially had planned.

Remember health and fitness aren’t gained in one workout, its a cumulative process over time.

(1) http://www.medicinenet.com/hyponatremia/article.htm

(2) http://www.medicinenet.com/sun_protection_and_sunscreens/article.htm