While many of us are more than comfortable diving into a new exercise, sport, or physical activity, this is not always the best course of action for everyone. Engaging in physical activity should be under a fitness professional’s attentive and educated supervision in many circumstances.
If you have mainly been sedentary for most of your life or have not engaged in physical activity of any kind for quite some time, your first stop is your health care professional. Take the time to make an appointment with your MD to discuss your fitness goals with them thoroughly and mindfully. Failing to do so may place you at significant risk for a health emergency.
Before you meet with your doc, take some time to write down your goals. Your goals may include such elements as having more energy during your day, shifting your body composition away from fat tissue to lean tissue, or preparing yourself for a new sport. In addition, make notes about your daily habits, including nutrition, alcohol use, drug use (prescription and other), how well you sleep, and your mood.
Your doctor will assess your current health and measure key health indicators such as your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, BMI or Body Mass Index, waist to hip ratio, blood sugar levels, and more. In addition, this doctor appointment will be an opportunity for you to share your concerns, such as feeling short of breath when climbing stairs, insomnia, or low mood.
This is the time to be brutally honest with your doctor and yourself. By presenting the facts and your intentions in a completely straightforward way, your doctor can best assess your health and best recommend how you can begin to be more active.
Once you have the all-clear message from your health care team, you can begin to consider the many different ways to become healthier through physical activity. Of course, it’s easy to start by simply going for a walk! However, if your goals are a bit more complicated, or if your interests lie in a particular sport, the weight room, or an exercise class, it may be time to engage the services of an exercise professional.
One cost-effective way to ‘hire’ a pro is to join a class led by a fitness leader. Most group classes are quite affordable as the total cost of the fitness pro is shared amongst all participants. The fitness leader will begin each class with a health screening and reminders about self-pacing and how to monitor your exercise intensity.
Perhaps most importantly, a fitness leader will correct you if your movements are dangerous or ineffective. They are also trained to respond to any medical emergency you may have during the class; quality fitness centers are also equipped with first aid equipment and emergency procedures.
Another sound option is to hire a personal trainer. A registered personal trainer will meet with you to discuss your interests and fitness goals and then create a tailor-made fitness routine to meet these goals. A bespoke fitness program is the best way to meet your unique needs, health concerns, and short-term and long-term goals.
These experts are highly trained and educated, and prepared to respond to any emergency you may have. In addition, many personal trainers are specialized in various fitness modes, including exercise for older adults, activity for those with special needs, and those recovering from injury or disease.
Suppose you have the all-clear from your doctor to begin an exercise program but are concerned about a health condition such as arthritis, shoulder impingement, obesity, or poor endurance; it’s time to hire a fitness professional. These are tricky conditions to manage if you do not have any fitness experience or education. However, your time is valuable, so in order to meet your goals while also experiencing some health concerns is best left to the pros.
Pregnancy is no reason to abandon your physical activities, as long as your health care team has not advised otherwise. However, you may be a bit anxious about babe and unsure how to meet your rapidly changing body’s needs in a healthy, effective manner. Ease your mind by engaging a fitness pro to see you through your pregnancy and beyond!
Perhaps you have been regularly physically active for some time and have unfortunately suffered an injury. If your doctor has assessed your damage and recommends that it is acceptable to return to your activity, it’s a great time to engage the services of a fitness professional. These professionals include personal trainers, kinesiologists, physical therapists, and massage therapists.
When recovering from an injury, their guidance will help you prevent reinjuring the area and provide you with expert correction and education on your technique. When you exercise, the method is everything; proper technique will get you to your goals faster and help you avoid injury!