We all know the deal – watch what you eat, follow a fitness routine, and, if it is within your budget, join a gym or hire a personal trainer and you will lose weight, look good, and feel great. Often this will work, at first. The problem is, most of us have a hard time sticking to this ideal. Busy lifestyles, lack of sleep or energy, or loss of motivation usually kick in at some point to throw us off our accomplished health routines. What does it take, most of us wonder, to achieve results that can last, and not break our budget?
Welcome to the world of virtual training. With today’s ease of technology and mass of social networking sites, in addition to the need for budget-friendly options, the next step in fitness is virtual training. What is virtual training? Virtual training is doing a fitness routine with your fitness coach from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere you have a computer, without the burden of paying high fees for your trainer to come to you. One of the top fitness trends for 2010 is cost-conscious workouts using limited equipment. How is that accomplished? Directly through your computer and Internet service! Simply set up convenient times to meet with your fitness coach, set up the free computer program Skype™, make sure you have a video camera and microphone with your computer (most new computers come already equipped with these features), grab your workout sneakers and you are ready to go! A full workout routine can be accomplished in a small space using your own body weight, or a set of dumbbells, for equipment.
Virtual training has all the benefits of in-person fitness training without the drawbacks of having to physically leave your home or office. Accountability is the most critical factor for maintaining an exercise routine and continually making progress towards your goals. Regular virtual appointments with your fitness coach keep you on track, pushing you with ongoing support and encouragement to achieve desired results, without ever having to leave your home! Safety is another key factor in exercise, and your credentialed fitness coach will ensure that you make safe exercise progressions based on your health and level of ability and that you use good form for each exercise. Motivation is yet another essential element to fitness success. A fitness coach trained in behavior change techniques will ensure you overcome your personal hurdles and set-backs along the way with strategies that work specifically for you.
Hiring a high quality fitness coach is essential. Before making a commitment to working with a particular fitness coach, review his/her credentials. Look for a fitness certification from a respectable organization in the fitness industry that has received accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) are a few that are accredited by the NCCA. Also look for a college degree in an exercise or health related field and for experience. Many experienced fitness coaches will provide references or testimonials. And, finally, many fitness coaches go through additional training in behavior change principles, which helps clients like you to move past personal barriers that may have been delaying progress. Wellcoaches® is a corporation, endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine, that trains health and fitness professionals in coaching competencies. Ask your potential fitness coach what training he/she has had in behavior change or coaching.
As you work on your New Year’s Resolutions this year, remember to use all available resources to help you achieve desired results. Virtual fitness training is one convenient and affordable resource that can bring you to real success.