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Health and Wellbeing - April 2018

28 Mar 2018

What makes a great personal trainer?

Personal training is just that. It’s personal and your experience with a trainer should and must be personalised.

Many gyms and body corporate facilities offer inductions where you are shown the basics and most of the time after that initial session you are left to your own devices.

In a commercial gym setting, about 10-15 per cent of the clientele take up personal training for all sorts of reasons: a new fitness goal, a special event like a wedding, rehabilitation of an injury, general fitness, increased personal accountability or elite level training just to name few.

Whatever the reason, the selection of and ongoing relationship of your trainer should consider some or all the following criteria:

  • Qualifications and registration – A great trainer will be a professional. Fitness gurus on social media are a dime a dozen. The minimum expectation is that anyone who you trust your health and fitness to must know their stuff. Enquire about this before selecting a trainer;
  • Insured – Your trainer must be individually insured of covered under the broad policy of a business or organisation. This is especially important for any outdoor boot camp style workouts where there maybe a greater risk due to environmental factors;
  • Focused – Your personal training session is about you, not about the trainer. Do not accept any trainer who becomes distracted during a session that you pay for. Common trainer distractions are their phone, TV screens, other members or trainers, members of the public walking by your session. Hold you trainer accountable to this. If your trainer is waffling on about themselves or their weekend in your session and are not focused on you it’s time for a discussion or change;
  • Organised – You can bet your bottom dollar that if a trainer can’t organise their own administration and sessions with you, that the session they deliver will be a last-minute workout they slap together for you. A great trainer will not just create today’s session for you but should also have a road map for you that helps you achieve your goals and get results. If they are not connecting your goals with each exercise, each session, and each week of training that you do with them, then find a new trainer; and
  • Creative but safe – One of the benefits in having a trainer is supervision. If you yourself are not qualified or lack experience, there is a greater chance of suffering an injury. You trainer should have lots of knowledge, ideas and variations of exercises and routines that should make your sessions fun, challenging and enjoyable. One thing that should not be acceptable though is being injured under the supervision of a trainer. A trainer should be removing as much risk as possible from your workouts and if you end up with an injury that you should question the trainer and their professionalism. (Unless it was you who dropped the kettlebell on your big toe!).

You should have high expectations of your personal trainer. If you ever feel like you are not that trainer’s highest priority during your time with them, then find a new one.

Heathy mind and body

We all know that a regular exercise routine can have great benefits for our health and well-being. The National Guidelines for Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour recommends:

  • Adults (aged 18-64) should exercise with moderate intensity for at least 300 min/week; and
  • Children and young people (aged 5-17) need at least 60 minutes of vigorous activity EVERY day.

Please take a minute to check where you, your family and friends are in this regard. Do they need your help to live a healthier life? Working out or exercising with family and friends is a great way to build healthier and happier families and communities – why don’t you take the lead?

Have you heard about the brain chemical serotonin? Exercise helps stimulate the synthesis of serotonin and maintain healthy levels within the brain and body. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, whereas higher levels are associated with feeling great!

Aerobic activities like walking, running, riding a bike and swimming are noted as better forms of exercise for serotonin production, but of course any form of activity is better than none at all.

So if you notice any of your friends are going through a tough time, one of the best things you could do is to get them exercising!

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