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Personal training is a great way to reach your fitness goals no matter how large or small they are. Whether you are trying to shed a few extra pounds or gain strength and muscle, a personal trainer can help you.

Here are five ways personal training can help you achieve your health and fitness goals:

Accountability- Part of a personal trainer's job is to help keep you accountable. How you exercise when you are not with your trainer is very important. When you have someone to answer to, you are more likely to stick to the plan your trainer has laid out for you.

Motivation- Many of us have a difficult time with fitness because our desire to exercise is very low. Part of a personal trainer's job is to help get you excited about working out. ...

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We all know about the physical benefits of exercise — heart health, weight loss, muscle development, cancer prevention, to name a few — but did you know that exercise has been scientifically proven to offer several mental health benefits as well?

Exercise releases endorphins, a group of hormones that cause that feeling of accomplishment when we complete a tough workout and the upbeat attitude that we carry for the rest of our day as a result. These experiences are often referred to as “runner’s high,” but you can experience that same euphoric sensation from any type of vigorous, cardiovascular activity like cycling and aerobics.

Here’s a look at five key psychological benefits of regular exercise:

Reli...

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Fitness training balances five elements of good health. Make sure your routine includes aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, flexibility and stretching. Whether you're a novice taking the first steps toward fitness or an exercise fanatic hoping to optimize your results, a well-rounded fitness training program is essential. Include these five elements to create a balanced routine.

Aerobic fitness

Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio or endurance activity, is the cornerstone of most fitness training programs. Aerobic exercise causes you to breathe faster and more deeply, which maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood. The better your aerobic fitness, the more efficiently your heart, lungs and blood vessels transport oxygen throughout your body — and the easier it is to complete routine physical tasks and rise to unexpected challenges, such as running to your car in the pouring rain.

Aerobic exercise includes any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate. Try walking, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, water aerobics — even leaf raking, snow shoveling and vacuuming.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. You also can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week.

Strength training

Muscular fitness is another key component of a fitness training program. Strength training at least twice a week can help you increase bone strength and muscular fitness. It can also help you maintain muscle mass during a weight-loss program.

Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines, free weights and other tools for strength training. But you don't need to invest in a gym membership or expensive equipment to reap the benefits of strength training.

Your own body weight counts, too. Try pushups, abdominal crunches and leg squats. Using a TRX suspension trainer is a great tool in accommodating body weight exercises and working your core.

Core exercises

The muscles in your abdomen, lower back and pelvis — known as your core muscles — help protect your back and connect upper and lower body movements. Core strength is a key element of a well-rounded fitness training program.

Core exercises help train your muscles to brace the spine and enable you to use your upper and lower body muscles more effectively. So what counts as a core exercise? A core exercise is any exercise that uses the trunk of your body without support, such as abdominal crunches. You can also try various core exercises with a fitness ball. Planks are great, if they are too hard for you at first then you can modify them to fit your fitness level.

Balance training

This is important because balance tends to deteriorate with age, which can lead to falls and fractures. However, anyone can benefit from balance training, as it can help stabilize your core muscles. Try standing on one leg for increasing periods of time to improve your overall stability.

Flexibility and stretching

Flexibility is an important part of physical fitness. Some types of physical activity, such as dancing, require more flexibility than others. Stretching exercises are effective in increasing flexibility, and thereby can allow people to more easily do activities that require greater flexibility. Stretching also improves the range of motion of your joints and promotes better posture. Regular stretching can even help relieve stress. For this reason, stretching and flexibility activities are an appropriate part of a physical activity program.

Before you stretch, warm up by walking or doing a favorite exercise at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Better yet, stretch after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and receptive to stretching. Ideally, you'll stretch whenever you exercise. If you don't exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least three times a week after warming up to maintain flexibility. Activities such as yoga promote flexibility, too.

Cover all the bases

Your overall exercise plan should include several elements. Aim to incorporate aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching into your exercise plan. It isn't necessary to fit each of these elements into every fitness session, but factoring them into your regular routine can help you promote fitness for life.

Mayo Clinic and some input from Phiit Training Studio ...

The recreational fitness enthusiast would do well to regulate macronutrient intake to quantities that support their activity levels. They should consume lower quantities of processed carbohydrates and create meals in a mixture and manner that best serves recovery needs while supporting daily energy demands. Small mixed meals (carbohydrate-protein-fat) throughout the day generally provide nutritional adequacy for this group. For those who engage in high-intensity exercise or compete in athletic events, particularly where the training is continuous in nature, there exists a different challenge as it relates to macronutrient management. Recovery from intense exercise must account for higher levels of muscle tension, greater glycogen depl...

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5 Ways to Improve your Cardiovascular Training

Cardiovascular training is essential for reducing the risk of a variety of western diseases, losing weight and generally improving one’s quality of life. The direct benefits of cardiovascular training on the heart include improvements in stroke volume and a lowered resting heart rate. While significant improvements can be made in 3 months of training, a high volume of aerobic conditioning is required for optimized results. According to the literature, aerobic training should be performed most days of the week and total of 14-20 calories per kilogram of body weight burned. Due to the high frequency of training needed for cardiovascular improvements, it is easy for training to become stale, leading towards incomplete adherence or ev...

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Fat loss is one of the most common goals among individuals seeking personal training services. Most trainers know that a multifactorial approach is best when attempting to help a client lose fat in a safe and expedient fashion. The training program itself must focus on maximal caloric expenditure. Concurrent nutritional modifications must promote a negative caloric balance while still preserving macro/micronutrient adequacy for health and lean mass conservation. Fat loss is obtainable for all clients, albeit at varying rates depending on their physical condition or any limitations/special needs; but proper protocol must be followed to facilitate ideal results. The first step in this process is to filter through the various misconceptions...

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Understanding Memorial Day

Memorial Day is often designated as the unofficial first day of summer in the United States. Across America, youth baseball and soccer tournaments are occurring alongside family get-togethers and mini-vacations. While Memorial Day provides for a wonderful long weekend to enjoy outdoor activities, it is important to not forget the origins of the holiday.

Memorial Day originated in the mid-nineteenth century following the Surrender at Appomattox and the conclusion of the Civil War – known as “Decoration Day” – a day to honor the U.S. soldiers of both the Union and the Confederacy that had fallen during the Civil War. Until the start of The Great War, Decoration Day was a state affair (regulated by each individual s...

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Walk into any fitness facility in the early morning hours and interview exercising individuals about their pre-workout eating habits and you will most likely receive a large variety of responses. It is a common belief that if one works out early in the morning, it is imperative to consume a small meal prior to commencing exercise. The belief stems from the notion that the working muscles will be devoid of energy if one has not eaten since the night before. While there is a benefit of a pre-workout meal as discussed in this article, the prior concept of “muscle energy” is completely false.

Muscle glycogen = workout fuel

During most resistance training the muscles will primarily run off glucose, which is stored in the mus...

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