The Traits of a Good Personal Trainer, Part II

10431670_755150081200338_3174578138695952538_nOn Tuesday I wrote about the important qualities you want to look for in a personal trainer. Some are obvious traits you want to keep your eyes open for, but other traits seem to slip under the radar, especially if you’re just entering the world of fitness for the first time.

Boomer Fitness does training a little differently than larger corporate gyms. To me, personal training is not just a side benefit of signing up for a gym membership. Instead, I find personal training to be one of the most important tools you can utilize at the gym. Of course, learning from a trainer is only worthwhile if we, the personal trainers, know what we’re talking about.

Here are four more traits you should look for in a personal trainer, and traits that you will find here at Boomer Fitness:

Multiple Certifications – When done correctly, becoming a Personal Trainer takes a lot of training. It requires hard work, reviews, tests, and experience. And after enduring this work, we get certifications proving that we know our stuff.

But it doesn’t stop there. Just like the physical side of fitness, education is an ongoing experience that requires constant upkeep. Nothing replaces lifelong experience, but multiple certifications go a long way in showing a Trainer has the experience and the knowledge.

Boomer Fitness puts a lot of value in the certifications our Trainers carry with them. To me, Personal Training is the perfect combination of physical and mental knowledge. You cannot have one at the gym without having the other.

Healthy Lifestyle – It might sound vain to say your personal trainer should look good. But if someone can’t walk the walk, why should you listen to them when they talk the talk? Trainers that take their work seriously live and breath personal fitness. It’s an all encompassing goal we want to achieve and help you achieve.

It’s not just about looking good, either. Having a healthy lifestyle goes much deeper, spanning to a healthy diet, healthy habits, and even a healthy outlook on life. These traits can be found here at Boomer Fitness, and we love to share this lifestyle with you!

Different Plans for Different People – Every single person is different. It’s not just a phrase we learn in elementary school, but rather a truth a good Personal Trainer should take to heart. So why do some corporate gyms allow for for simple, generic plans to be used for multiple clients? It’s like they expect a cookie-cutter fitness plan to work for anyone.

A good Personal Trainer will recognize that every fitness plan needs to be tailored to each individual. A plan that is set up for Carol isn’t going to meet the needs of Susan, who might have much different goals in her future. At Boomer Fitness, we recognize different people have different goals. That’s why the trainers here go to lengths to make sure we get a fitness program dedicated to your specific needs.

Personal Connection – Let’s be honest. If you’re going to be working with someone, especially when it comes to something as important to your fitness, you want to make sure you work well with that individual. You don’t want to dread coming into the gym because you don’t like the trainer you’re working with. But you also want someone who can help push you, to help you reach your goals.

You will recognize that the atmosphere at Boomer Fitness is a lot friendlier than anything you’re going to find at a corporate gym. Members of Boomer Fitness recognize each other from past seminars, or from past group training sessions. Trainers reach out to all members of the gym to catch up. We aren’t just any gym; we’re your gym.

Good personal trainers can be hard to come by at times, and I know how lucky I am to have such a great team here at Boomer Fitness. Give me a call today to get yourself a tour of the gym, and we’ll get you started toward fitness today!

The Relationship Between the Gym and Your Health

Progress in Action - Road Barricade Improvement and Change for FLast week I wrote about the dangers of not working out. It might have sounded a little harsh, but I meant every word. Too few people know the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, especially when paired with the unhealthy foods so many of us find on grocery shelves.

With an unhealthy lifestyle comes heart disease, plaque in the arteries, a proneness to diabetes… the list can go on and on. It’s scary to think about what can happen if we choose to do nothing. But like I wrote last Tuesday, I would much rather you hear the truth than hiding behind a set of lies.

Sometimes, we all need a kick in the pants to get started on our long journey. But on the other hand, we always hear about the doom and gloom surrounding an unhealthy lifestyle. What about the positive effects of a mobile lifestyle? And not just the long term effects, either.

Believe it or not, your body starts changing the exact moment you start working out at the gym. Big results take a long time, but that doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing nothing when you start doing lunges for the first time. Take a look at what’s happening to your body when you first start working out:

Metabolism Boost – Minutes after you start working your body, your metabolism is going to get a huge boost in energy. As your body starts to recognize that it’s using more energy than normal, it’s going to start producing neurochemicals responsible for metabolism to compensate for this new motion. This boost can last anywhere between a few hours and a few days. To get the best results, you will have to continue exercise so your body continues to boost.

Improvement in Mood -After a workout, you might notice that you’re having a better day now compared to when you walked in. It’s not just in your head; those same neurochemicals I talked about boosting your metabolism are also responsible for boosting your mood. Working out at the gym will produce these neurochemicals, and you will feel more relaxed, more confident, and have more energy to hit the day.

Regulate Blood Sugar – Blood sugar, or glucose, is used as an energy source throughout our body, but we can’t have too much of it floating around in us. Your body produces insulin to control the amount of glucose found in our blood stream, but having too much glucose can lead to Type II diabetes. So how do we balance it? Exercising goes a long way to combating excessive blood sugar, burning it as you move more. As your body burns more energy, it will compensate less.

Lowering Blood Pressure – You might be thinking “how does making my heart work more cause blood pressure to drop?” As we get older, our blood vessels start to get stiff, causing more pressure throughout our system. While it’s true that your heart might be beating more frequently during your time in the gym, you’re also flexing and moving your blood vessels, which loosens them up and allows blood to move freely. You might not notice a difference in how you feel, but your blood pressure monitor sure will.

These improvements don’t take months to acquire. Your body is designed to move, and doing so means it will react positively! The first day at the gym is always tough, but just showing up and doing something is better than sitting in front of the TV. I like to think that no matter how slow you’re moving, you’re still lapping the version of yourself on the couch!

But don’t think you can get away with minimal time at the gym. While small improvements are a good stepping stone, ramping up your effort at the gym is an important aspect of winning back your health. As we like to say at Boomer Fitness, you only have your health once!

Email me when you’re ready to start getting your body in motion! We will start getting you on track to a healthier tomorrow.

Fitness – Do it for your Health

Bored, overweight man sits on the sofaTo some, fitness might be seen a hobby, or something to pass the time. It might be something a family member does, or even something you’re planning on doing in the future.

Have you ever noticed that the future always seems to be a week away? It’s always something that will get done eventually, when you have more time. When it’s more convenient. But we always seem to find time to catch up on that show we’re watching.

If you know me, you know I don’t like to sugar coat things. To me, the truth is always more important than lies meant to make us feel better, no matter how hard it is to hear.

So let me put it bluntly. Personal fitness is not something you can afford to delay for the future. Personal fitness is the first step of combatting an early death.

I do not say this lightly. The world we live in today is extremely tough for our body. We eat processed foods full of sugar and unnecessary carbohydrates. We lounge on our day off, and pour ourselves an extra drink after working in the yard.

If you’re not getting yourself to the gym, you’re putting yourself in danger many issues surrounding a stagnant lifestyle. Dangers that are much more inconvenient than a trip to the gym, I might add. Most of those who choose not to exercise are at a high risk without even knowing it.  Here are just a few of the big name issues you’re going to be facing:

Prone to Type II Diabetes – The more sugar in your diet, the more insulin your body has to produce. The more insulin your pancreas produces, the harder it works, which can lead to a shut-down and lead to Type II Diabetes. Sugar is found in many processed foods, in places you might least expect. Check out this trailer for Fed Up, a movie which documents how prevalent sugar is in our food.

Higher Risk of Heart Disease – Build-up of body fat means a build-up of plaque in your arteries, which means your heart is going to be working on overtime to get blood to your extremities. This means you’re going to have a higher risk of heart attacks, higher blood pressure, and discomfort with minor exertion.

Higher Risk of Stroke – Your heart isn’t the only victim of plaque in the arteries. Blood clots can form, which means your going to be at a much higher risk of stroke.

Sleep Apnea – When your body becomes overweight, you will begin to struggle for breath as you sleep. To breath properly as you sleep, doctors will sometimes prescribe a mask to wear at night which assists in breathing.

Prone to Gallstones – Your body is working at full capacity just to keep you functioning while you’re overweight. This means some parts of your body, like your gall bladder, are going to be working on overtime. Gallstones are made of cholesterol, and can cause some severe stomach and back pain.

There’s no way to pretend these issues don’t take their toll on your body. But it’s never hopeless. Even if you already have some of these issues, it is never too late to start making progress. At Boomer Fitness, we’re dedicated to making sure you have the knowledge and foresight to turn your life around and start making the healthy choices.

Give me a call when you’re ready to make the change, and we’ll set you up with a tour of the gym!

Routine, and Why We Break it Up.

iStock_000004151784XSmallRoutine is something we all have. We all get up in the morning, shower, brush our teeth, grab some breakfast, and proceed to our daily lives. It’s the easy path. It keeps us on track through our busy schedules.

So as you head to the gym, you might have your own routine you go through. You spend 20 minutes doing cardio, work the same three or four exercises at the free weights, maybe 10 minutes on the row machine, and then stretch out and cool down. Day in and day out.

Let me share something that might change your perspective on personal fitness. The more you do something over and over again, such as riding that bike machine during spin class, the more efficient your body becomes in performing the activity. In other words, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Sounds good, right?

Well, not exactly. The more efficient your body gets at doing the same activity over and over again, the less energy you’re going to be expending while doing it. You’re going to be getting faster and faster the more times you hop on the bike machine, but your body is going to be doing less and less work.

To use an analogy, think of your body as a river. When you’re working out, your body, like a river, wants to take the path of least resistance. Your body will try to go around excessive burning of energy like a river flows around a rock. Your body isn’t trying to sabotage your fitness; it’s just trained to do things the easiest way possible.

Think about what that means for your body. When you’re expending less energy, you’re getting less out of your workout. Your body is going to be able to store more energy because you’re expending less. And even more importantly, you’re only going to be working out a few different sets of muscles if you only do the same six exercises. What about the other 650 muscles we neglect?

If you want a routine, there are several corporate gyms in the area that can set you up with their one-size-fits-all classes. You will get your spin class, your row of treadmills and ellipticals, and a generalized fitness plan that can be applied whether you’re 16 or 60. But we both know a one-size-fits-all plan is not the way to get results.

So why don’t I have spin class? Because I’m here to help you reach your fitness goals, not to train you in becoming a master cycle-machine user! Routine isn’t what we do at Boomer Fitness because routine doesn’t work.

This Thursday, check in with my blog, where I’ll tell you about how we escape routine, force the river to change its direction, and how we do fitness the right way.

Mental Fortitude: The Other Side of Personal Fitness.

DSC_0938Well, it’s coming up to the end of January, the first real road bump of our scheduled resolutions. January 1st, we got to the gym determined to hit the ground running, cycling, lifting, and kettlebelling. We throw out the cookies and bring in the kale, swear off the beer and grab some protein mixture. 2015 is going to be great!

But by week three or four, you get home from work and you’re dead tired. You’ve been on your feet for eight hours, and the last thing you want to do right now is more work. Besides, you’ve been good all week! Right now, a drink would really hit the spot…

Stop! Put the drink down. You’re right, you have been good all week. Now let’s make it another good week.

It’s important to remember that Fitness isn’t just a physical exercise; it’s just as much a mental one! You can go to the gym every single week, but unless you’ve got the Mental Fortitude to keep yourself on track with your fitness goals, you’re just wasting gas.

Mental Fortitude is a common barrier when we’re entering the fitness barrier. We set a goal of looking like Mr. Universe, and expect ourselves to reach that goal by this coming Thursday, 9AM. But come Thursday, we don’t seem to have changed at all. It can get disheartening.

Instead of setting yourself up for disappointment, lets take a step back and take a realistic look at your 2015 resolutions, and the Mental Fortitude that is required:

Set Realistic, Timely Goals. I have some unfortunate news: You’re not going to look like Schwarzenegger this month. Probably not next month, either. And you know what? That’s ok! Instead of holding yourself to these far-flung goals, get yourself up to smaller, more reasonable goals that are attainable. Maybe try jogging a half mile this month. When you hit that goal, lets get to a full mile the month after that. Keep up that pace, and you’re running a 5k in 6 months.

Be Reasonably Diligent. Been hitting the gym hard this week? Lets take it easy and keep it to cardio tonight. Working at 100% capacity every single day can start to wear out your body and mentally burn you out. Push yourself to reach your goals, but make sure you also pace yourself.

Pat Yourself on the Back. Did you spend an extra 20 minutes on the bicycle today? High Five! No matter how fast you were going on that bike, you still lapped the version of you who decided to stop 20 minutes ago. Recognize that what you’re doing is making a difference, no matter how small the increments might be.

Mix it Up. Doing the same three workouts over and over again will really work those 3 sets of muscles. But what about the other 650 muscles in your body? Keep it interesting and mix up your workout routine to get the whole body into it. Besides, doing new things keeps the gym interesting, not monotonous.

Get Some Support. Lets face it, working out alone gets lonely. Getting some outside support not only helps pass the time, but helps you push yourself farther than you might on your own. A supportive network is just as important, if not more so, than the most high-tech workout equipment in the world.

Is it going to take some time? Yes. Is it going to be difficult? Of course. And is it going to be worth the hard work when you hit those goals? Yes.

Want to take another step in the right direction? Talk to us about signing up with a personal trainer.  Not only are we a friendly support network you need, we’ve got the knowledge and foresight to help you reach the physical goals while keeping up the Mental Fortitude. Give me a call, and we’ll set you up with a tour of the gym!

Keeping your job as a Baby Boomer

Our country is facing some particularly hard times in the job market, especially for the Baby Boomer population. With the first of the Boomers turning 65 years old this year, companies are looking at this population to dwindle in the workforce. And, whether it is because of their age or their general health, many may be pushed into early retirement or worse yet, handed severance packages.

You may be one of those Baby Boomers who still needs to work for another five or ten years, depending on your financial situation. You may be afraid that you could lose your job because you think your employer sees you as weakening in strength and not performing with as much energy. Ask yourself: Do I want to be seen this way, or do I want to prove that I can continue in my job? Can I push myself to try harder?

The answer can be yes, as long as your physical fitness allows you to do so. One of the best ways to protect your job as a Baby Boomer and to continue serving your company with your skilled expertise is to keep your body in its best possible health and fitness. Boomers who have integrated a well-balanced approach to life through nutrition and fitness can have a better chance at keeping their jobs because their employers will still see them as viable employees.

Some of the best ways to balance your life include eating right and making time for exercise. By eating right, you will feel better and will most likely decrease your chances of developing life-altering and debilitating diseases like heart disease. Decreasing your fat intake and boosting your palette with fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein can help keep your heart healthy and strong. As the counterpart to good nutrition, proper exercise also helps to lower your chances of diseases as it strengthens your muscles. It also can improve your mood, which as we all know can quickly set the pace at which you approach your daily activities and relationships with family, friends and coworkers. With exercise comes flexibility and balance, which can help you prevent injury at your job, especially if you have to move, lift, push or carry often in your job.

Think about your health and fitness throughout your day today. Do you want to be healthy and strong for the rest of your life? Does staying in your job help to motivate you and keep you going? If so, take charge of your life now so that you can enjoy each and every day to your fullest potential. I’m sure you won’t regret it!