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Activity & Exercise Articles Cardiovascular Disease Lifestyle Prevention

The Value of a Personal Trainer

For years, I went to the gym without anyone telling me when to go and what exercises to do. But back then, my motivation and ability to recover were at a different level. In my 40s, I see the value of a personal trainer because they can guide me in ways I can’t.

The Value of Exercise

Exercise doesn’t have to be draining, exhausting, or hard on the body. In fact, it should be restorative and invigorating. A good personal trainer can help you achieve that by asking you how you feel during the exercise and how well you recovered from the last session.

I look at exercise in 3 categories:

  • Activity
  • Resistance
  • Aerobic

The goal is to break up the sedentary lives our economy demands. Understandably, we are in the information and tech age when thinking and typing are prioritized.

Activity can be anything that breaks up a sedentary day. I encourage my patients to cook their own meals, clean their own homes, and take their phone calls while going for a walk.

Resistance training is meant to make the muscles we have more effective. This organ is an integral part of the endocrine system and gets little love in our sedentary, stress-filled society. Muscles don’t need to be big, but they should be strong.

Aerobic training involves the ability of the entire system to work in unison to propel the body. The heart, lungs, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems must cooperate to achieve this training.

A Good Personal Trainer

Resistance training makes your body feel lighter when you are navigating the world, while cardio helps you feel less fatigued. Both are incredibly tough to start with but rather easy to maintain.

A personal trainer will add little value to those who are self-motivated. For the rest of us, those busy with work and other responsibilities or those who simply aren’t in tune with their physical body’s performance, a good personal trainer can help you develop your body in the right ways.

A bad personal trainer will push you until you’re sick to your stomach. They won’t educate, but they’ll mostly bark out orders. A good personal trainer will tell you why they are having you do a particular exercise. They’ll also ramp you up gradually, showing you how your performance has improved over time.

Ricardo at FIT in Long Beach, CA, has been my personal trainer for some time. I didn’t think I needed one until I injured myself rock climbing and couldn’t go back to that sport. I needed someone who would get me back into resistance training. Fortunately, he turned out to be a great personal trainer.

Criteria For a Personal Trainer

  • Experience
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Professional
  • Expertise

The experience of a good personal trainer will translate to how well that coach will help you get past your personal hurdles. Some hurdles might include feeling exhausted, joint pain, injuries, or feeling like you want to give up.

A personal trainer who communicates well will help you understand why and how certain exercises are effective for your particular body. As in medicine, good communication is much more likely to keep you engaged.

A great personal trainer can adapt their arsenal of exercises to your capabilities. If every client is forced to do the same thing, then you can just rely on an app like RP, which is still pretty good.

A professional personal trainer is someone who is reliable and takes their profession seriously. They are regularly reading up on their craft and improving their ability to be an effective trainer.

Finally, you want someone who is great at what they do. A personal trainer’s expertise comes from years of training themselves and others. If they cannot work with movement limitations or injuries, they may not be the right trainer for you. Their expertise also helps them recognize if you’re burning out or giving up and how to motivate you.

Preventing Joint Degeneration

Exercise adds stability and muscle strength to a joint, protecting it from early wear and tear. Aerobic and resistance exercises don’t destroy your joints, though, as with anything, you can overdo them. Listen to your body.

Preventing Heart Disease

Lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and exercise can prevent heart disease. Resistance training helps decrease inflammation, and aerobic training is effective at improving cardiovascular performance.

Preventing Diabetes

A good personal trainer is someone who can keep you motivated to continue with training even if you want to give up. You may not be hitting your personal goals or have to contend with a few injuries, but you are still getting massive cardiometabolic effects from resistance and aerobic training.

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