Do You REALLY Need a Personal Trainer?

Things are so complicated  these days.  You hear it all the time.  Why can’t things be simple?  …like they “used to be”.

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The world is connected, automated and integrated.  Life just isn’t simple anymore.  If someone could come to 2013 from 1913, they would barely recognize the place.  Is it better?  … or is it worse?  I would venture that it’s neither.  It’s just different, that’s all.

The thing is, that while technology has changed tremendously, human beings and their physiology have not.  We are still made up of the same flesh and bones.  We have the same muscle, blood, amino acids etc… as we did in 1913.  So, while we sometimes yearn for simpler times, we still need to navigate within our new reality.

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As the world has changed technologically, so have everyday things; like how we live, how we work and how we feed ourselves.  The overwhelming majority of people are no longer physical during their days.  Forget about hunting and gathering, we can’t even be bothered to walk across the room to turn the TV on or change channels!  Our populations have exploded, increasing the need for more food at lower prices.  For the most part, while we have more and more food available, the quality has gone down and our consumption has gone up.  Commerce, along with mass media and advertising, has become the driver as to what most people consume and what they buy.

When you think about it, it’s a pretty lethal combination.  Less movement, more low quality, cheap food.  Add to this mix, the fact that we now sleep less because of all of the options available to us for entertainment 24 hours a day and we’re all “connected” all the time… to everyone!  Including our office and boss!

Remember, when cartoons ONLY came on Saturday mornings, hockey ONLY came on Saturday nights and grocery stores closed on Sundays?  Seems quaint.  Was that “better”?  Who knows?  It sure was different.

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As a personal trainer, I see clients all the time that exhibit the symptoms of this modern lifestyle.  They usually have bad backs and necks from sitting all day in front of a computer.  They’ve usually got extra fat around their middle from lack of exercise and over-consuming high calorie, low nutrient food.  They drink too much coffee, sleep too little, work too much, stress too much about work and don’t drink enough water.  You’d think we’d know better with all of the information about food and exercise available to us everywhere we turn.

The Personal Training Professional of today is perfectly positioned to help everyday people navigate through this new reality.  Forget about simply counting repetitions, a trainer will teach you how to strengthen your core, sit up straighter, hit a ball farther and feel less stressed.  Today’s fitness professional will also teach you how to spot the marketing “double talk” that you’ll find on food labels and will show you how to skyrocket your energy levels by stabilizing your blood sugar levels.  Along with this, a personal trainer will guide you to develop a plan that fits your lifestyle, that is sustainable AND that will let you experience real world “peaking moments” throughout the entire year.

Most of all, today’s Certified Personal Trainer will help you to meet the challenges of today’s world.  We don’t live in 1913.  The reality of 2103 is that the world is not a simple place.

Here is a list of things that I came up with that pose unique challenges to us human beings living, on earth, in 2013.

1-  Our lives are run by computers.  We sit (or stand) in un-natural positions for hours and hours every day, ruining our posture.  This affects pain levels, breathing and even energy levels.

2- Because of the above, everything we have is automated.  We can navigate our lives and do lots of stuff without actually doing anything!  We hardly burn any calories going through our daily lives.

3- The way that we buy and consume food is different.  Below are 4 major differences in our food reality vs. the year 1913.

a- High Fructose Corn Syrup.  It’s sweet and it’s cheap.  It’s also in everything.  We don’t need it and it’s making us fat and diabetic.

b- Drive- Thrus.  When did we get so busy that we couldn’t stop to eat?  Drive- Thrus, for the most part, didn’t exist a generation ago.  Now you don’t even have to walk into the restaurant to get your order of fat, salt and grease.

c- Packaged foods.  It was UNTHINKABLE that my mother (let alone my grandmother) would have bought and served canned soup or prepared mac and cheese.  Today, it’s the norm.  And we’ve got the hypertension levels that go along with it.  Package foods are absolutely loaded with sodium.

d- Supersized or “value” meals.  Does anyone really need to eat that many deep fried potatoes with their lunch while they drink their 20 teaspoons of sugar in their “biggie” drink?

4- Techno stress.  Being connected was supposed to make life easier and give us more leisure time.  Wow… that didn’t happen!  Your job is now literally in the palm of your hand (along with your customers, co-workers and even your boss).  It’s as if we decided to all get paid the same as before while agreeing to work 24 hours a day.  Just because we CAN do it, doesn’t mean we should.

5- We’re living longer and doing more.  The crazy thing is that, while we are getting less and less healthy, we’re managing to live longer and we’re doing more with our time.  A whole new term called “boomeritis” has cropped up.  Adults are wearing out their bodies by snowboarding, mountain biking and doing marathons instead of fading away.  Our arthritic joints are the price we pay.

6- Finally… we want it all.  And we want it now!  When our email slows down, we get PISSED.  It’s hard to really appreciate anything if everything is available to us.  All the time.  This keeps us in a stressed out state of feeling that it is our right to have it all.

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At this point, you may be wondering what exactly all this has to do with personal training!  Well, life is pretty complicated these days.  Humans are having a hard time keeping up.  As a result, we’re stressed, fat, in pain and “managing” some kind of condition with medication.  The value of a personal trainer is to bring things back to simple.  It isn’t enough to simply “move more”.  That’s just not reality.  More isn’t what we need.  We need to understand specific needs and make small, manageable changes day to day, week to week to bring us back to health.

We also need to  understand just what eating “better” means.  The reality is that our food source has changed and is driven by marketing as much as anything.  Again… we don’t need “more”, we need to make things simple.

So, do you REALLY need a personal trainer?  If you’ve got a body and a mind and you’re confused….

….you just might.

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