As we head into the new year, maybe you’d like some help with your get-fit or get-slim goals. One way to boost both your resolve and your results is to hire a trainer. Alexis Peraino, M.D., who has a degree in exercise physiology and selects the personal trainers referred by the Cedars-Sinai Center for Weight Loss in Los Angeles, offers her tips for finding one who can get you there. She says to ask about:
Credentials: The most respected come from the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise.
References: Follow through and speak with past clients.
Scheduling: Is she available when you need her? What’s her cancellation policy?
Your profile: A good trainer should be interested in your current fitness level, plus medical conditions, medications, previous injuries and surgeries.
The Training Arc: Warm up, cool down, cardio, resistance and exercises to build flexibility should all be part of your program.
Homework: Ideally, you’ll work out more often than your trainer’s schedule allows, so find someone who can suggests workouts you can do on your own – exercises that will eventually become healthy habits.
Variety: If your trainer can bring in activities from a variety of discliplines, such as weight training, yoga, or martial arts, you’re less likely to get bored.
Diet: Proper diet and exercise should go hand in hand. A trainer who can give sound nutrition advice is a gem, but beware those determined to sell you supplements, protein drinks or fat burners.
Also keep in mind that your relationship with your trainer should last long enough for you to change your habits, but doesn’t need to continue forever. Think you can’t afford the investment? Consider finding a friend with similar goals and splitting the cost of semi-private sessions.