Fall into Fitness!
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Fall into Fitness!

Did you pull your sweaters and other cold weather clothing just to discover they are too tight? Fall into fitness! Fall is a fantastic time to get into an exercise routine. The kids are back to school and all of the summer activities are finished. The air is cool and refreshing. An invigorating crispness to the air. So, there’s no better time to get in shape.Why not get some help to jump start your workout?

New to Exercise

If you are new to exercise, get your doctor’s approval before you begin. Should you have special concerns, you need to share them with an exercise professional. Have your doctor write out any limitations  or modifications that may be needed. Always hire a personal trainer at the beginning. Even if you only meet for six sessions, you want to get the right start. A personal trainer can put this information to good use for the best results with your goals in mind.

Your personal trainer should get background information from you.Such information as vitals, health, exercise, and lifestyle history provide valuable insights for your program design. This fitness professional will get your blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight, body fat percentage and talk to you about your goals. Don’t worry about being judged for where you are currently with your fitness level or your weight and body fat. His or her job is to see where you are in relationship to where you want to go with your goals.

Your health history will help him or her develop an appropriate exercise program for you. You may have a fitness evaluation to find out what your cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility levels are. This helps them tailor your exercise program for you. You will receive instructions to help you get the most of your appointments.

What will you need?

  • Comfortable, supportive exercise shoes such as cross trainers, unless you are a runner. Walking shoes are only valuable if you aren’t able to handle agility exercise or running. Cross trainers are the most versatile footwear for exercise.

  • Athletic socks.

  • Comfortable exercise clothing. The old sweats are “yesterday”! Well fitting stretchy clothes that wick away moisture from sweat work best.

  • A light windbreaker jacket because gyms can be chilly.

I recommend a heart rate monitor or a fitness tracker like a FitBit or the Jawbone UpBand that keeps track of your heart rate. Pick what is best for you and your budget. If you aren’t sure, ask your trainer.

What to Expect

At your first appointment, your trainer will have a proposed exercise plan for you. He or she will modify and make adjustments as you go. Just because they write it out, doesn’t mean it will work as well for you as planned. Don’t worry, they expect it. They make these adjustments for your best benefit.

You will have a cardio segment, a strength segment, and a flexibility segment. Cardio for the average healthy sedentary individual is usually 20-30 minutes total 3-5 days a week. How it flows could be different depending on your health, preferences, and physical abilities. For people who are considerably overweight or for people with diabetes, these may be shorter segments at a low to moderate intensity divided into segments.

Strength training varies based on your health, goals, and your trainer’s preferences. It should not begin focusing only on your problem areas. It should be a whole body workout. Expect functional training like balance and core conditioning exercises to be included in your routine. Fine tuning for troublesome areas come in time. It usually takes 3-4 weeks for you to see a difference. Be patient. Finally, you will cool down with light endurance exercise for 5-10 minutes, then stretch. You will need this so the muscles aren’t as tight and sore later.

Special tips:

  1. Be open and honest with your trainer so he or she can help you. Be courteous with your trainer. This is an educated, trained professional who has your best interest in mind.
  2. When your session ends, it will be a few minutes before the end of the hour. You aren’t being shorted your workout time. This time is for questions, instructions, finishing notes, and to set your next appointment.
  3. Oftentimes, personal trainers have clients scheduled back to back. Please, let them be timely with the next person like you would want them to be for you.
  4. When you are in the gym exercising on your own, please don’t expect free training sessions disguised as asking a question. Personal trainer’s pay isn’t what you pay the gym for your training session. They only receive a small portion of that money. They also spend one to two hours doing background work for you for every hour they spend with you. You are paying for the education and experience they bring to the table.
  5.  If you can’t afford the training sessions, let him or her know. They may be able to make adjustments for you to help you workout on your own.Your training expenses should be set into your budget.
  6. Schedule regular check-ups. For your first year, I recommend setting at least 3 sessions for a new program. How frequent depends on your ability to work on your own, progress, and any difficulties you encounter. Every 6 months is a good rule of thumb.
  7. When you see your trainer working out on his or her own, please, respect that time. Save your questions and scheduling needs when they are finished. Personal trainers have to wedge their workouts into their schedules, too.
  8.   Before taking classes, ask your trainer for help deciding what’s right for you. You may need help setting up your workout schedule to include classes. He or she will help you avoid over-training, while maximizing your exercise time.

MIA Exercisers, Etc.

Have you been out for a while, missing in action?  Hit a plateau? Stuck in a rut? Set up a check-up with a personal trainer. A 3 session package is a good way to get back on track. Be careful what classes you pick. Hitting a boot camp class right away after being out for the summer probably isn’t a good idea. Start back in an easier class for the first week or two to find out what you can handle and what you need to build up. By changing what you do and how you do it, you kick up a new calorie burn, begin building strength, and refresh your brain.

Happy workout time! May God bless you.

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