Happy New Year!
What is the best exercise for me? Over the 20 years that I have been a personal trainer, this is by far the most common question I hear, and my answer has radically changed from recommending a specific type of program to answering “the one you’ll do!”
There are countless gyms, studios, fitness classes and programs in Nevada County with plenty of benefits to boast about, and we have seen a lot of fitness fads come and go — some of which have been quite good and others that have made me shudder!
If your goal for this year is to get yourself in a better condition than you were in 2013, then I would like to offer some simple tips and considerations to think about when making choices about exercise.
• Safety first — What is the track record of the program (percent of injuries per 1,000 participants)? Some current offerings are reaching the 20 percent mark! Remember, what may be a safe and appropriate program for a 20-year-old may be disaster for a mature body. Exercise programs are rarely “one type fits all.”
• Don’t be sold — If it sounds like hype, it probably is hype! Beware the facility, trainer, instructor who touts one program as the “best.” There are many ways to achieve fitness. The key is to figure out what will be the best fit for you.
• Loner or with company — Does the program, gym or studio focus on group exercise or the individual or both? Have you been successful in the past in a class or working one on one with a trainer? Do you want a public or private setting? Make sure you think through the options.
• Facility — Do some shopping. Look around the place. Is it clean? Does the equipment look like it has been kept is good condition? Does the staff appear professional? How are they staffed and what are their credentials? Is there staffing expertise and or appropriate equipment to accommodate any special physical needs or conditions you may have?
• Balanced — Consider a fitness program (or a combination) that is going to address all three areas of fitness: cardiovascular, resistance and flexibility. Ignoring any one of these will leave you vulnerable!
• Start slow — Doing too much too soon is a recipe for discouragement. Remember it has taken you a long time to get into the condition you are, be gracious and give your body some time to get into the condition that you want to be. If one program, gym or studio does not suit you, don’t give in and say “I quit” because it didn’t work. Find another that will!
So take my advice and just keep moving! It’s really the only thing that will work. Here’s to much success finding the way on your fitness path!
Scott Jackson, CSCS, MES, B.S. Physical Education, is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Medical Exercise Specialist and an IDEA Master Trainer. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 530-265-4041.