The importance of your fitness family

When I first came to the gym I was so intimated. I had on my sweats and tight t-shirt and was ready to lurk in the back of class. I didn’t want anyone to see me gasping for air during my workout or see my belly dance from the weird jiggling that came from the workout. I truly wanted to workout and go. I would feel accomplished when I left but it was always overwhelming in the beginning. I started coming to the same class and I am a creature of habit so always stayed in the same spot. I would set up my mat or step and be ready. The weird that happened though instead of people staring in disgust with me struggling through my workout and being dull of sweat, they would be encouraging. The same lady next to me each class started to talk to me and share her story as I shared mine. I started meeting more people and becoming friends with them. I was pretty committed but if I missed they would ask if everything was OK. I felt that I not only wanted to be there but I had people who looked forward to me being there and it helped keep me accountable.

I can not say every gym or class will have this outcome but I want to encourage you to build a fitness family. Say hello to the others around you in class or bring your friends. If we feel alone there is no one there to know when we give up to give us a hand to keep going. We build support systems because we need them.

We naturally look for those with the same interest and struggles to relate to and look for support and encouragement. Trying to get healthy can be one of the most intimidating and personal experiences so we need support to help us stay encouraged.

Remember that person next to you in class also has a story and reason for being there.

Finding friends that are working on health can not only encourage you to keep going but can also help you try new classes together and find new experiences to share.

You will have others to talk to if your having a hard day. The last thing you want to do is give up or feel alone in a situation. Find others to talk to to help lift you up or share their experience with your struggle.

Enjoy your new friendships! Please comment and share your stories of your fitness support system and how they have helped you along your journey.

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In a world full of experts, who do we listen to? 

Being a personal training is a hard job with world wide Internet and information. I feel there are so many people with workout and nutritional questions and so many more people with advice and products to sell them. How can you know who to listen to, what meal plan or what accountability group and shake to get. Well I am not going to knock anyone in this post but I do want to help those out there looking for advice and information. You should be able to make a good decision and feel that you are being guided without being pushed to buy a product. I just wanted to list some red flags along with questions to ask when you hire someone or buy products from them. I hope this helps you make a more informed decision and helps you make steps forward towards a healthy lifestyle you are looking for. 

What should I look for when looking for a trainer, coach or meal plan? 

  • Look for someone who has pursued an education in the field they are giving advice in. Most will either have a certification from a reputable company or a degree in their field. This not only shows they are committed to growing and learning but these people have taken the time to learn, grow and pass a test showing they are an expert in their field. Most programs require continuing education so you know they will also be continuing to have the up to date knowledge to help you. 
  • Make sure they are familiar with the health conditions and ailments you have. Some programs do not go into detail on certain health ailments or aspects so fitness professionals will continue their education in a special field or with a certain skill. As with a doctor you find many focus on one area to work with patients. This can help them be able to help you with that specific need much more and now they have the knowledge to make safe decisions. Trainers can specialize in anything from youth to senior and orthopedic specialities so make sure to ask. 
  • Make sure to see a nutritionist or dietitian for meal plans. You may go online to find a meal plan that looks good to you but be cautious of this. These do not take into account any health issues you may have such as high blood pressure or diabetes. These two conditions alone can mean you will need adjustments to you eating others may not. Dietitians have to go through many many years of school just to being to understand how to make adjustments to your diet for your specific conditions. 
  • Ask questions! There is nothing wrong with being cautious when hiring someone or purchasing from them. You’re not buying a shirt you’re trusting someone with your health and well-being. Some bad advice can have very unfortunate consequences no matter how best intended they are. 
  • Be careful of someone telling you to cut out certain things in your diet or cut calories without knowing your medical history or conditions you may have. Big red flag and not safe. Make your health and safety your priority not dropping weight quickly. If you follow the guidelines of a professional you will see positive changes. 
  • Be leary of products being pushed right away. Make sure if you are buying products from someone you consult a physical first or nutritionist as they will know what is right for you with any conditions you may have. 
  • As I started working out at home and most people do be careful of Bootcamp style home workouts to start. Also accountability groups are amazing to help us but make sure you follow up with a professional trainer before starting an at home workout program if you don’t now all the moves. We can be quick to jump into a program but there can be risk of injuries if we don’t modify properly or do a move incorrectly. 
  • Don’t feel pressured to work with someone. If you didn’t get a good vibe from the trainer or coach you met with move on. This is someone you will share intimate details about your struggles and insecurities you want to feel comfortable that they understand and will guide you the right way. 
  • Look for someone who has cpr/first aid training. You find a group of ladies that work out every Tuesday. One has taken charge making fun workouts for everyone but someone is injuried. You need to make sure you have someone who is prepared for these situations! How many people do you know that have hurt themselves working out…. Go ahead take a Facebook poll. You want to make sure you have someone there that can know what to do in this situation. 
  • Is your professional insured or working at an insured facility? Again what if you get hurt? Who will cover this and will they be able to have you covered if anything happens.  
  • Ask if they have programs for each client specific to their needs. A cookie cutter program will not work the same for a young athlete as someone coming in from knee surgery. 
  • Again if you question the advice it is probably best to get a second opinion. Our friends and family all have the best intentions when telling us what workout to do, what products to buy or what to eat, but we are all different. Some things will work for your friend but may not for you or may even be dangerous for you. 

Always look for someone who is a professional in their field. Your safety matters. If you have any questions you would like me to discuss on my blog please email me at getfitrockford@gmail.com

My name is Krystal and I am an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with an Orthopedic Speciality. I am licensed to teach Zumba and love to help clients move better and feel they can enjoy everyday activities. I live in Rockford, IL with my husband and 3 sons.