The perks exercise can offer a person could fill a book, and they have. Physical activity can improve balance, help prevent chronic disease, aid in arthritis pain, and even improve our mood. According to the Centers for Disease Control, as an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. However, it can be tricky figuring out which exercises are best and how you can accomplish workout goals on your own. This is when a personal trainer can be helpful in showing you the ropes.
So, you’re ready to try a new workout routine, but don’t know what a recumbent bike is or if a resistance band is an actual rock band or workout tool. This is where having a personal trainer takes the guesswork and stress out of your workout routine. “Personal trainers are here to provide structure, support, accountability, and help you bring your best self forward,” says Carrie S. Armacost, CPT, ACE, TPI F2 and the owner of CareFit Personal Training Studio. Personal trainers are certified health and fitness professionals who use their knowledge of exercise and behavioral science to design a program that helps clients meet their workout goals.
Certified personal trainer with the YMCA of Greater Louisville, MeMe Ratliff, says, “Before we ever start you on a workout plan, we talk to you first.” It’s during this conversation that you and your trainer will discuss your medical history, if you have any predisposed conditions, and what you want to achieve. “We try to get a picture of what a person’s expectations are and what their limitations might be,” MeMe says. Everyone coming into this process is in a different place in their fitness journey, and it’s your personal trainer’s job to make sure you proceed in a safe and healthy way.
When designing your workout plan, Carrie says the goal is to establish a program design that’s high reward with low risk. “Movement is medicine,” Carrie says. So, you’ll work together at a comfortable skill level that gives you the most benefit. You may decide strength training is a workout you love, or exercises geared toward balance and mobility are at the top of your list. In the beginning, you can expect to meet once or twice a week with your trainer, says MeMe. “Eventually the goal would be to come in for maintenance and adjust your workout plan as needed,” she says.
A personal trainer isn’t just there to help you learn the proper technique on the rowing machine, but both Carrie and MeMe emphasize that they’re there to support you emotionally too. “I think a personal trainer adds a layer of accountability,” MeMe says. Accountability builds confidence, which feeds into you feeling more motivated to show up for workouts. Not to mention, there’s value in the social aspect of working out with a trainer. “When you’re working with a trainer or health coach, there are more people to reach out to,” MeMe says. “There’s a huge feeling of family.”
“Everyday movements put a high demand on the body, and we have to train our body to withstand that,” Carrie says. A personal trainer will meet you where you are, whether that looks like training for longer walks, keeping up with the grandkids, or safely maneuvering the basement stairs. And the benefits to your workouts are worth it: Managing chronic diseases, better balance, increased mobility, and better sleep are only some of the rewards. Take it from Carrie: “Working with a personal trainer is the safest and quickest way to enhance the quality of your life.”
By Tonilyn Hornung | Photo by Anastase Marano
P.S. You may also like Fitness Wisdom: “Be Disciplined And The Motivation Will Follow!” (Part 2 of 2).