Once the month of March rolls around, the first signs of New Year’s resolutions fall away for over 25% of new exercisers. That is often because people fail to form SMART goals: goals that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. You can help your clients work toward clear, precise goals that identify potential obstacles, create strategies to sidestep barriers, are real and relevant, and commit to a time frame that works with the rest of their busy lives. But there’s one more item that personal trainers and health coaches know is tantamount to successfully sustaining a workout regimen—they need a tracking system for their participation and progress.
Tracking involves any number of monitoring systems—online graphs and charts, mobile device reminders, high-tech pedometers, or even the simple write-it-down log posted near workstations, bathroom mirrors or refrigerator doors. Research indicates that when we don’t monitor and write down actual hours of experience, we tend to overestimate time spent exercising and underestimate calories ingested (wouldn’t you know it…).
The switch to intense workouts is a trend that has had steady momentum in the past few years. The fitness industry seems to be moving in the direction of ever-more intensity these days. AFAA always recommends that fitness trainers advices their clients to begin slowly, modify movements to match their physical capacity, muscular strength and endurance levels, and to be respectful of their bodies’ limits. AFAA educational programs teach how to monitor and track progress, so that advanced workouts can be achieved, if so desired by clients.
Two sports medicine chiropractic offices in California noted that they are seeing more sprains and injuries from some uber-intense workouts, especially when people do too much too soon. According to Dr. Ricky Fishman, DC, the ruptured spinal disc is among the worst injuries he sees in his integrative medicine clinic. Another concern from the Center for Sports Medicine is the taking of painkiller medications (NSAIDS) in order to work out.
Still, when done properly, exercise remains the best medicine with scores of benefits for every system in the body, even for those managing chronic disease. Read about the effects of a moderate exercise plan for individuals with multiple sclerosis by Elizabeth Kovar. You’ll gain confidence about how to specifically tailor workouts to match the vicissitudes of energy and neuromuscular strength typically endured by people with MS.
Finally, the CEU in this issue gives you another perspective on exercising individuals with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Known as “movie goer’s knee,” the ache behind the kneecap is usually toughest for female cyclists or runners who experience a pull of the lateral quads along with chronic subluxation of the patellofemoral joint. You know you’ve got a minor case when you just sat through an extra long movie and are forced to massage your knees when you stand up and try to walk out of the theater. Ah, the joys of living with too many years of repetitive compression and shearing forces.
Will it do any good to warn the 20-somethings about doing too much too soon? There is something universal about the infallibility of youth! But we remain firm believers at AFAA that you don’t have to learn things the hard way, and that AFAA trainers and certified instructors will always do their best to make exercise a pleasurable and sustainable endeavor.