The holiday season is upon us and soon we will be surrounded by all sorts of sweets, fatty foods and high caloric drinks. All which has us running like crazy to the gym on January 2 of each year. We make promises to ourselves that this WILL be the year we lose those 2o pounds and keep it off. Instead of waiting until the new year, why not get a head start and begin now? One of the best ways to get us over that hump, is to get a personal trainer. Not sure how to pick one? My friend Jay, a personal trainer for the last 20 years, has some great tips and recommendations on helping you pick someone who will work for you and your needs.
Determine your fitness goals. Be realistic and ensure goals are reasonably obtainable. Weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is a good rule of thumb. You should also know how often you can honestly get to the gym per week and how much time you have when you are there. Having a clear picture in mind before you talk to the trainer allows you to pay close attention to what the trainer says and helps you choose the correct trainer for you.
Find a trainer that is certified. If you are currently a member of a gym that offers personal training, more than likely their trainers are certified. If you go to a free-lance trainer make sure you know where they were certified. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council of Exercise (ACE), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) are all credible organizations. If your trainer isn’t certified by one of these, you can always look up the certification online. Make sure their certification required prior education in a fitness related industry or a certification that offers a written and practical examination.
Find out about the trainer’s experience & expertise. You want to make sure the trainer fits with your personality and can adjust workouts to meet your fitness goals. You also want to make sure they can do more than just one type of training. While it is very important for everyone to do strength training, everyone should not train like a body builder. Ask the trainer what type of clients they have worked with and for how long. Often trainers have certain areas of expertise, if you are recovering from an injury, recently had a child or have some alignment issues you might look for a trainer who specializes in those areas. Try to find someone who is willing to teach you how to exercise effectively, not just count reps and move the weights.
Understand the costs and liability of trainers. Typically 1 on 1 training goes for anywhere from $60 on the low-end to over $100 on the high-end for hourly sessions. 30-minute sessions are usually a little more than half of the normal hour rate. If you have a friend who can work out with you, you both can often save as much as 40% per session. Some gyms offer training packages that offer discounts when you purchase multiple sessions. You may be required to sign a contract. Any contract you sign should state the number of sessions you will receive, the length of each session, any cancellation requirements and the refund policy. Make sure you are clear on everything before you sign. It is also important to know if the trainer is covered by liability insurance. Many organizations offer insurance for trainers and it can be a further indication of their expertise and professionalism. Typically they will be insured for at least a million dollars.
Hiring a Personal Trainer can be a great investment that will pay off over a lifetime. If you follow these basic guidelines and learn as you go it can be a great way to achieve fitness success.
“Loving you is easy ’cause you’re beautiful . . .” Yes, you! YOU are beautiful!!! As you walk around today wishing everyone Happy Valentine’s Day and expressing love, remember the first person you must express love to is yourself. That’s right YOU! Remember her, the one the stares back in the mirror at you everyday? The one who has always been there no matter what? Yep, she needs your love too, more than anyone else in your life. Because if you don’t love her first and foremost, then you can’t really love anyone else.
YOU are the most important person in your life. I have always preached self-love to my girlfriends, my mother, and basically anyone who would listen. I feel THE most important aspect of a woman’s life is learning how to love herself. As much emphasis as she places on loving others, she must place that ten-fold on herself. When you love yourself, it shows to everyone. Through your walk, your talk and the way you carry yourself. Self love and self-confidence go hand in hand. People see it, sense it and often envy it. Since it is not easy for everyone to love themselves, they often try to bring others down with them. Remember, misery loves company but don’t give in to it.
We are all a work in progress, but the slight imperfections are what make us unique. So I say to those of us (including me) who are perfectionists and often hard on ourselves, relax! Embrace those qualities and learn to love them. If you ever expect someone to love all of you and accept everything about you, YOU have to do it first.
As you look in the mirror today and the next, try a few of these mantras to help you remember how great you really are:
YOU are an amazing woman.
YOU have overcome obstacles and challenges that could have broken you, but didn’t.
YOU are so strong.
YOU are a good person.
YOU are smart.
YOU are important.
YOU are loved.
Use these mantras to embrace the inner you or create your own. Do whatever you need to do to remind you that loving you is easy because YOU are beautiful AND fabulous, vivacious and a force to be reckoned with!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
While I think everyday should be about women’s health, it’s great that the U.S. Office on Women’s Health designates, annually, a week in May to highlight the importance of women’s health. This year National Women’s Health Week begins on May 11 (Mother’s Day) -17th, with National Women’s Check-Up day being on Monday, may 12. This week is about empowering women to take action around their health, taking the steps to a healthier lifestyle and making healthier choices. Monday specifically is about encouraging women around the country to get check-ups, whether it is your annual Pap smear, breast exam, cholesterol, physical exam, oral check-up or eyes. This is the day for you to pay special attention to your body, your health and your wellness.
In addition to the week, the Office on Women’s Health is also launching the WOMAN Challenge which also starts on the 11th but goes through July 5. It is an eight-week physical (exercise) challenge for better health among women and girls. The great thing is it’s free and you can start your own team at work, with friends or family. There are some great tools on the website to get you started on your challenge. All you have to do is register! The website is http://4women.gov/woman/index.cfm
I hope that you will use the next week to pay even more attention to your health. If you have been procrastinating and saying oh this is the month I am going to eat healthier or work-out more, here’s your opportunity and a great time to start. Get some other women involved too, you never know who may be wanting to do the same thing as you, but need a partner or extra push too.
Happy National Women’s Health Week!
Annually the Tom Joyner Morning Show stresses the importance and urges the Black community to go and obtain necessary screenings for chronic disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as screenings for prostate cancer and others. This campaign is called Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day and it’s today. So much fear lies within the community about what the screenings will reveal or what the doctor will say, that individuals would rather just not know. As a result, they allow a lot of unnecesary illnesses or health issues languish or evolve. When in fact, the health issue could have resolved by the screening/test or caught early on to prevent further health complications. This of course, is one reason why the Black community has some of the highest rates in obesity, heart diease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension than any other ethnic group. So often, these health issues go unseen and unknown, when many of them can be prevented.
I urge and encourage you to not only overcome your own fear, if it exists, but help someone you know overcome their fear by going together to get screened. For me the fear is NOT knowing what I can do to prevent an illness or problem, or how I can improve it. I would rather know what I can do now so I can lead a healthier life in the future. Remember, your body is on loan, it is your temple and it must be taken care of better than you would your house, car or business. Without your health, what do you have?
Take a loved one to the doctor today and experience what an impact you can have on someone else’s life and yours.
If you had more than your share of cocktails last night, recovery is always challenging. This is especially true when you are in your 30s and 40s. Recovery takes so much longer than when you were in your 20s. I would like to share a few things that I do to recover the next day:
Drink nothing but water all day. If I feel I over did it on the sugary cocktails, I try to hydrate myself and eliminate as much sugar as I can the next day. No sodas, no juice, no alcohol, no sweets – JUST WATER! (Tip: Drinking lots of water in between cocktails helps too).
Get a workout in. It really does help me feel better to sweat out some of those toxins I put in my body the night before. Plus I just feel less guilty by trying to work off some of the calories I consumed. Top off your workout with a high protein meal to help your body recover from the workout.
Eat lots of good stuff – veggies, protein, and lean meats. This of course is my choice of food and doesn’t have to be yours. Okay, I may sneak in some french fries along with the salad. Some may turn to greasy foods to recover from a night of too much alcohol. There is some scientific evidence that supports this is actually good for you since high fatty foods slow down the absorption of alcohol. So eating the greasy food before you drink may prove to be better than afterwards.
Sleep! I really try to get my full 7-8 hours of sleep if I can, but often alcohol can cause for a restless night. So if are able to, take a quick nap the next day to recharge. This of course only works if you don’t have to work the next day (although I am known to take a quick snooze at my desk) or have children to take care of. As one of my girlfriends says, “There is no such thing as sleeping late after a night with the girls, when you have a 3 – and 7-year old who want breakfast at 6 a.m…on a Saturday!” So mommies, I say try to play the quiet game with your little ones for about 20 minutes and see if you can sneak in an afternoon nap! Popping in the Shrek 3 DVD will probably work too.