Every year at this time, we take account of our lives—assessing the good and the bad—and resolve to make positive lifestyle changes. Of course, high on the list of healthy resolutions for many of us is starting an exercise regimen that will help us build strength and endurance, shed a few extra pounds, and hopefully increase our longevity.
Unfortunately, most of us are destined to drift away from our newly adopted fitness program before it ever really gets off the ground, whether because we push too hard and injure ourselves, fail to achieve the desired results, or simply falter in our motivation.
But this outcome isn’t preordained. Following through on those fitness goals may be a simple matter of working one-on-one with a qualified personal trainer. Here are six ways working with a fitness pro will help keep your new exercise program on track:
1. Guiding your goal-setting
You may have a general idea of what you’d like to achieve through your fitness program, for example losing extra pounds, looking great in a bikini, or having more strength and energy to keep up with your kids or grandkids. But a good personal trainer can help you break down that primary goal into smaller, manageable, measurable goals so you can see that you’re making continuous progress.
2. Promoting proper technique
Injury is one of the primary reasons people abandon an exercise regimen—and one of the easiest ways to get injured while exercising is to perform strenuous movements incorrectly. Not only will a good trainer teach and demonstrate the right exercises to reach your fitness goals, but he or she will also monitor you closely as you perform each movement to ensure you’re using safe and proper technique.
3. Keeping you accountable
If the only one holding you accountable for showing up at the gym and putting in a good workout is you, it will be all too easy to put your program on the back burner because “something else came up” or you simply don’t feel particularly motivated to exercise that day. On the other hand, if you know a trainer is anticipating your arrival and ready to motivate you through your workout routine, follow-through on that fitness commitment becomes a whole lot easier.
4. Maximizing your motivation
Having just enough incentive to get to the gym won’t do you much good if you lack the motivation to reach for that next fitness level once you arrive. Good trainers are motivators by nature and will push their clients to achieve their goals within safe parameters as well as celebrate their successes.
5. Preventing plateaus
When a faithfully followed exercise regimen begins to yield diminishing fitness returns, oftentimes the problem is a lack of variety in the program. In essence, the body adapts to the demands placed on it by the “same-old-same-old” workout routine and no longer makes progress. A qualified personal trainer can help you make timely, appropriate alterations to your routine in order to prevent those frustrating plateaus so you continue to make strides in strength, endurance, flexibility, etc.
6. Making the most of your workout time
Nowadays, when schedules are already overfilled with work, family, and social commitments, very few people have time to waste on workouts that really don’t work. A good personal trainer can help you develop an individualized exercise program that will help you maximize your results with a minimal time commitment.