If you've been around the fitness world long enough then you've seen a WIDE variety of personal trainers who come in and out of the gyms. Some stay long, some stay not long enough, some you never see and some live at the gym. So you want to hire a personal trainer? Which one do you pick? HOW do you pick? WHAT do you look for? Trainers are NOT created equal. If you have your body's health and safety in mind, then choose a trainer wisely.
Here are 6 top things to look for when choosing a personal trainer:
1) Credentials. PLEASE make sure you choose a CERTIFIED personal trainer. Organizations such as NASM, ACSM, and ACE are well known and trusted in the industry. A degree in a related field such as Kinesiology, is even better.
2) Philosophy. All trainers have their own philosophy and beliefs that they choose to follow. It is important to understand YOUR trainer's beliefs and make sure it's a right fit for you. If you don't agree with them, then it may not be the best fit.
3) Friend's Trainer. Does your friend train with Bob? Then you should too! Not necessarily. Having a good trainer doesn't mean that trainer is meant for everyone. You want to make sure you match well with that trainer: personality, beliefs, accountability etc. Not one trainer is right for everyone. Make sure you find the right one for YOU.
4) Practice what they preach! Your trainer is telling you to hang from the ceiling with 1 hand while curling weight in another and eating egg whites. Well that's good and dandy but you want a trainer who has BEEN there and DONE that. In order to believe the process, they have to know it works... and they better make sure it works on themselves before they test YOU!
5) RESULTS. Sure a trainer can tell you they can get you to fitness model status in no time. But what is their track record? How many success stories do they have? Can you chat with previous clients to hear feedback? Yes, results come from the CLIENT and the work is put in by the CLIENT but without the right tools (insert trainer), you will not get to where you want to be. Make sure you are in the right hands of an experienced expert.
I hope these 5 tips of finding a personal trainer have helped you and that your journey to getting to the best you is on it's way. Having the help and guidance of an experienced expert can always benefit you. I always tell clients and potential clients, the best investment you'll ever make is the investment on yourself. Take of your body and it will take care of you.
In good health,
How often do you workout? Everyday? 5 days a week? How long do you workout for each time? An hour, maybe 2?
It really amazes me that many people think that working out and being in shape means spending hours and hours at the gym! NO WAY. I love the gym and I love working out, but common, don't we all have better things to do?
My motto for training is: train smarter, not harder. And rightfully so. Wouldn't you want the most results from less time? I know I do! So what does this mean?
Our bodies are super smart. They know exactly how to use the energy (aka calories) they are given and in the most efficient way. This means, the body will learn how to work at the least amount of energy expenditure in order to preserve the calories. Why? Because that's how the body operates. In order to not let this happen, you simply have to trick the body. This means DON'T DO THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN! Sorry runners, but your the best example. Ever notice that if you keep running 5 miles a day every day for months that the body stops loosing weight and maybe even starts to gain weight? This is because the body gets comfortable with those 5 miles and realizes it doesn't need as much energy for those runs so it keeps it stored and in turn, you can actually gain weight. So how do we avoid this? Interval training and strength training. Aerobic training (and steady state training where the heart rate remains relatively at the same rate) will be the easiest form of exercise for the body to get used to. I'm not saying its not good for you, but you need to switch it up. Interval training or HIIT (high intensity interval training) is one of the best ways for burning fat and avoiding plateaus. Not to mention, it works your heart even better than steady state cardio. Jump on any cardio machine (really, I'm not picky), and do 20 second intervals for 15 minutes. Try sprinting/going really fast for 20 seconds and then bring the pace back down for 40 seconds. All you need is 15 minutes and you already worked your heart much harder than if you were to run for 5 miles. You'll also be burning more calories longer post workout. Couple the HIIT training with strength training (that is constantly doing different exercises and pushing boundaries with good form) and you're on your way to a new and more fit you.
Let me know how your workouts are going at firstname.lastname@example.org OR ask me questions! We love to hear from you!
In good health,
Are you a mom? If so, you've probably felt lower back pain or hip pain at some point during motherhood. Being a mom is no easy task. It can be rewarding and exhausting. From pregnancy to early years of childhood, our children usually are attached to our hip, literally.
I've had many female clients who are mothers find themselves with muscular imbalances and/or alignment issues that could lead to much bigger things if not taken care of (hence why I feel the need to address it). Why is this you ask? Well, if you're carrying around a child who starts off at 7lb but gradually grows to 15lb then 30lb and so on, it will eventually take a toll on your body. Many of us tend to carry our children on one side of the hip as well (yes, you know you do it). This causes postural issues and will lead to imbalances in the body which will only get worse over time if not corrected.
How do we correct this? We have to pick up our kids and try and multitask at the same time, so what's the solution? Well, there's no easy button for this one, but there are steps you can take to make sure you're taking care of your child AND yourself. If you love carrying your baby on your hip, switch hips. I know it's easier said than done, but DO IT. This will help even out the weight. Also try carrying your baby in front of you (as pictured above). This will keep the weight distribution even and take less pressure off of your hips (be careful not to push hips forward because that will put pressure on low back). And lastly, my favorite: baby wear. I love my Ergobaby. The Ergobaby free's up your hands, keeps your weight centered and has low back support. You can also wear it on your back to help change up weight distribution. The Ergobaby carrier works from newborns up until 45lb! I highly suggest a baby carrier if you do not have one.
Whatever option listed above you find useful, just make sure to do it! I'd hate to see you walk lopsided because you hauled around a kid on your hip for 4 years OR worse, suffer in pain. Be mindful of your posture and enjoy the journey!
For questions or comments, please email us at email@example.com.
In good health,
Ask yourself, why do I workout? Why do I choose to eat healthy? What is the purpose of it all? Do you want to look good in a bathing suit? Are you trying to loose some weight so you can fit into a dress for your friends wedding? Maybe you use exercise as a form of stress relieving. Everyone probably has a different answer, but I encourage you to think a little harder on it.
Looking good is great and feeling good is even better. But WHY is exercise so important? WHY is eating healthy so important?
Exercise and healthy eating has always been a top priority of mine and many have poked fun at it. However, I take it a lot more seriously than just "looking and feeling good." Getting diagnosed with a health problem later on in life that could of been prevented is a huge scare. Much research has suggested that living a healthy life NOW can help prevent illness and poor health later on in life. So why not do everything you can to make sure you stay health now and for the long haul?
I remember going to the grocery store one day and a man was taking blood pressure measurements on customers coming in and out of the store (I'm pretty sure to gain clientele). I told him I wanted to try it. He looked at me and said, you aren't our clientele. You're too healthy. My numbers were the best he had seen but he didn't like that. He wanted someone who was unhealthy because it was the norm and he could gain business. He was shocked to see someone who actually cared about their health (and that shocked me).
I've seen too many family members and close friends with relatives loose their livelihood and reason to live because of bad health choices. We become who we are because of the choices we've made in the past. Ask yourself again, why are you doing this? Are you choosing to eat grilled chicken and veggies because you want to look good AND live a long and for filling life for yourself and your loved ones? Well then good, that's the way it should be. Make good choices because they will directly effect your life now AND for later.
Do you have a story or experience related to the topic that you would like to share? Send us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
in good health,
I was recently at a family/friend party where everyone was catching up and chatting about life. I couldn't help but notice the amazing spread of food my mother had prepared (per usual). I consider her pretty health conscious so I was super surprised when I saw healthy food. I was however caught off guard when EVERYONE else was too! Before we ate I heard a few people say, "the paelo options are over here, and we have vegan here, and gluten free there." Then a huge applause came after everyone noticed they could eat according to their diets! I couldn't help but chuckle. While I was VERY happy that everyone was so aware of what they were eating, I was just very curious as to WHY. Why are you choosing to eat this way? Was it because you read about it online? Did you get a blood test telling you are intolerant to gluten? Are you trying to stop bloating?
While everyone may have a different reason as to why they eat a certain way, I thought I'd give my two sense on eating ORGANIC. I could go into every "diet fad" out there right now, but I'm sure you have better things to do besides read a novel. I'll save it for next time..
Let's talk about eating organic and if it's REALLY that much better for you!?
What does Organic food mean? Do you know? Many don't.. so I'll explain.
While organic foods do not contain more vitamins or minerals than non organic food, it does have it's perks.
-Organic food typically (yes, typically but not always), has less pesticides and hormones than non organic food. They will still contain some pesticides.
- Organic fruits and veggies usually don't last as long because they are more fresh and don't have added preservatives.
-Organic farms are better for the environment because they don't use harmful chemicals that hurt the earth.
-Organic meats and eggs (the one thing I make sure to always buy) are typically raised with no added hormones, animal byproducts and antibiotics. In my eyes, this is a big one! You need to make sure the food your eating was also eating well.
-Organic food does not always mean that is isn't genetically modified. That is another label. Check the packaging to see if a food is NON GMO.
-When a product says "organic" it is usually not 100% organic. A food that is just labeled "organic" may not even be 60% organic. However, if you see the USDA label on a package, the product should be 95% or more organic (still not 100%) and "certified organic" foods are 70% organic. So you never really know just how "organic" your food really is..
While what I'm saying isn't to scare you, it's to get you thinking. Yes, I am a big believer in buying organic BUT do I think what I'm buying is 100% organic. Absolutely not. I do think it can be better than buying certain non organic items. Foods with thicker skins (like bananas, grapefruit, oranges, etc) are fine to buy non organic because it's harder for the pesticdes to seep into the actual fruit. Foods with thinner skins you might want to buy organic such as berries.
While there are many different ways of eating out there right now, one thing is for sure... foods you grow are much better for you than food like products from a box. Which ever "diet" you are thinking of trying, just try eating WHOLE foods and see what happens first. Whole foods are much better for you than fad diets.
In good health,
You've heard that eating 5-6 small meals is good for you, right? But then you hear eating 3 bigger meals a day is better. Which one is right? And WHY? Well, I'm going to explain the benefits of smaller meals verses bigger ones and why they work.
3 meals a day is the old school way of eating. It's great if you're not worried about your metabolism working at it's most optimal level. But what about the people who want to get the MOST out of their metabolism? Small meals for the win.
You see, when you wait too long between breakfast and lunch you probably feel your body crashing. Am I right? That's because your blood sugar isn't stable and all that energy (calories) that you consumed at 7am are now gone leaving your blood sugar to come to a crashing halt. You might feel like you need a cup of Joe right around this time to keep you going. Having caffeine instead of nutrient dense food is just not going to cut it for your metabolism and will throw off your hormones even more. When you go for your lunch, chances are you're having WAY too many carbs and not enough protein which will leave you hungry in a few short hours after eating. Let the cycle repeat. Do you feel fatigued, not fully rested and hungry throughout your day? Chances are you're not using your metabolism to it's fullest potential.
So what's the solution? Small meals throughout the day. You want to aim for 5-6 small meals throughout the day and ones that are protein rich. This will keep your metabolism working at an optimal level AND it will constantly be working. This is a GOOD thing. When your metabolism is working, it's breaking down calories and sending them to where they need to go in the body. It's like going on a long car ride (12 hours or so) and driving with a full tank of gas. When you choose 3 small meals, you're trying to get to your destination with an empty tank. Which one will win? You pick.
Aim for small meals every 3-4 hours throughout your day and see how you feel. Chances are you're going to feel energetic, alert, have mental clarity, and satisfied.
For questions on specific nutrition needs or to try our monthly nutrition plan, email us at email@example.com
In good health,
Do you ever think to yourself, what are the best exercises for your body? Are you working your body in the most effective way? Find out my top 5 exercises that I LOVE and swear by for maximum results.
EXERCISE ONE: Pull ups
Pull ups are great for building TOTAL upper body strength and core. For beginners, try this exercise assisted with a machine or band and work your way up to hanging, unassisted pull ups.
EXERCISE TWO: Deadlifts
Deadlifts are great for building up the lower half of the body and core. If done correctly, they will strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and back. This exercise will also help enforce good posture!
EXERCISE THREE: Push ups
A back to basic exercise that remains one of my favorites. Push ups will help increase lean muscles in the chest, and arms. Not only that, but it is also great for your core. For beginners, try doing this on the incline if a regular push up is too hard. I prefer incline push ups to kneeling push ups.
EXERCISE FOUR: Lunges
Lunges are great for building up lower body and can help increase stability and balance. For beginners, try stationary lunges. If you have mastered stationary lunges, move on to walking lunges and then weighted walking lunges. There are thousands of ways you can execute a lunge. Get creative by using a resistance band or doing wide walking lunges or even jumping lunges. Switch it up!
EXERCISE FIVE: Sumo Squat
This exercise is one of my favorites for building up the inner thigh muscles. When you increase the strength in the inner thigh you'll also decrease your chances for knee injuries. You can do these with a dumbbell, kettle ball, or a barbell.
You might be more familiar with the new saying, "skinny is out, fit is in," but what does that mean? Finally we can rejoice about the skinny image being a thing of the past! Looking and BEING fit is the new thing and it's here to stay!
A common goal of my clients is to "look fit." How does one "look fit?" Well, it's not as easy as you may think. Putting on solid muscle is no easy task and looking lean is just as hard. However, it goes a lot deeper than that. When you start a weight lifting program, not only are working on increasing lean muscle mass but the more muscle mass you have the more it will burn body fat (and keep burning calories throughout the day, unlike our OLD friend, cardio). More muscle mass will also help protect the bones (bye osteoporosis), protect our ligaments (see yah, knee pain), and in general add another shield of armor to our body. Who wouldn't want to have a built in coat of armor? In all seriousness though, weightlifting is one of the BEST things you can do for your body.
Ladies, don't be scared of looking like the hulk... unless you're genetically blessed with as much testosterone as a male, you can't possibly look like the hulk. Sorry. Having some muscle is a GOOD thing and it will make you LOOK good too. I'm not all about looks though, health is first. Whatever your goals are, make sure that lifting is your number one go to- cardio second. Cardio only works muscular endurance, not muscular strength. Start with the weights and finish off with some interval training for an effective and efficient workout.
In good health,
Too often than not, the biggest complaint I get is low back pain. It is extremely common but also preventable. There are many reasons why your back might ache but it can be hard to identify them. Here is a short list of somethings that could be causing your back to hurt and you may not even realize it.
1) BAD MATTRESS: When was the last time you changed your mattress or flipped it? Did you know you're supposed to flip your mattress every 6 months and get a new one every 8-10 years? Having an old mattress could reck havic on your back and cause you to wake up in pain, daily.
2) UNSUPPORTIVE PILLOWS: Maybe your mattress is new but how are your pillows that you sleep on? If they are too soft it could throw your spine out of elignment and same with it being too hard. Your pillow should support your head and neck while keeping the spine neutral.
3) OLD SHOES: First question I always ask, "how old are your shoes?" You should replace your exercise shoes every 6-8 months depending on how often you wear them. Daily walking shoes should also be replaced often. Make sure they are supportive and tie in the front. Slip on shoes, flip flops and poorly supported boots can ruin your posture and cause back pain.
4) OFFICE CHAIRS: Does your back tend to hurt while your working hard on your computer? Your desk chair could be the reason why. Make sure your wrists are below your chest and your feet are both flat on the floor. You also want a small amount of lumbar support without slouching. Keep your neck inline with your spine as well. This is one of the biggest reason why people tend to have back pain. Take note on how you sit at work!
5) CARRYING A BAG: Do you carry a bag to work? Don't we all? Are you carrying it on one shoulder? Make sure you switch it up. Carry your bag on the left in the morning and on the right side on the way home. Better yet, get a backpack so the weight distripution is even. This could throw your spine off. It's an easy fix for stronger back!
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.