Angie's LIST Guide to
Starting fitness training
Getting started on any fitness routine takes personal motivation not only to begin a regimen, but most importantly, to keep with it and not give up. If you need some inspiration to spur you toward meeting your goals, a fitness trainer can help you succeed and stay on track. A fitness trainer will work closely with you to design a training program specifically tailored for your fitness goals. He or she will create a custom routine that incorporates a variety of exercises based upon your interests, current fitness level and health.
A fitness trainer will stick with you from start to finish getting you into tiptop shape. Think of him or her as your own personal sports coach who will push you to your limit and beyond, which is the core of any training program. Before you visit a fitness trainer, sit down with a checklist of what you want to accomplish. Are your goals to lose weight and increase muscle tone? Are you recovering from an illness or injury? Have you been sidelined for a period and are now ready to get back in shape but need some motivation? Know your goals before starting any exercise training program.
Personal fitness trainers
You have several options to design a personalized fitness routine with a trainer. During your first visit, your fitness trainer will discuss the types of services available and ask you what your goals are in starting a custom program. When choosing a fitness trainer, consider his or her education, training and overall experience—so don't be shy about asking.
A professional, well-trained fitness trainer will create a personalized program to incorporate a balanced structure that develops your strength, endurance and flexibility. Aerobic exercise—such as bicycling, swimming, jogging and walking—is one form of physical activity that can increase your endurance levels and boost your overall energy.
A balanced routine should also include strength training to build muscle strength. Once you officially start a fitness program with a trainer by your side, your workout may include using weights and dumbbells. You can also strap weights to your ankles or arms using Velcro strips to keep them secure. Your fitness trainer may suggest using these while you walk as a way to build muscle strength, increase endurance levels and burn calories.
Using a fitness trainer for motivation
I you're just starting a training program, keeping focused and motivated is necessary to reach your goals. If you have never embarked on the path to physical fitness, your trainer will give you the support you need from keep going and not give up. A good fitness trainer will monitor your progress and suggest changes in your exercise routine. If one of your goals is weight loss, expect a weekly weigh-in to monitor your progress. If you are in doubt about a particular fitness program and potential trainers to guide you toward your goals, you may find it helpful to check Angie's List for member feedback and ratings.
Although you may be motivated to jump in and start your training, health professionals often recommend that you start slowly if you're new to any fitness routine. You'll want to work your way up gradually, incorporating additional activities and increasing the time spent on each exercise.
A recommendation before starting a fitness training program is a thorough evaluation of your health and current fitness level. See your physician if you're being treated for any medical conditions, so you can avoid any potential problems beforehand. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to start an exercise program, you are on your way to a healthier body and state of wellness with your fitness trainer by your side to motivate and guide you.