Q: I’m ready to hire a personal trainer, but how do I find the right one for me?
A: A personal trainer should hold a current NCCA-accredited certification. This gives you the assurance that you are working with a professional who has current knowledge and skills to provide you with a safe and effective workout from an organization that is highly recognized. A personal trainer should stay current with continuing education as the fitness industry evolves constantly.
Of course, you’ll also want to look beyond the certification to get a complete picture of the trainer’s personality, training experience and philosophy on his or her approach to fitness, as this will affect how you connect with a trainer. Asking questions about experience, past clients’ successes (and failures), their approach and promise to you will help you choose a trainer that best fits your needs.
Q: I’ve been walking on the treadmill for several months and feel that I am ready to challenge myself by adding the incline feature to my current program. How much incline should I start off with?
A: The incline feature on a treadmill is intended to mimic uphill climbing. The best news is that you do not have to walk quickly to reap the benefits of walking on an incline. Maintaining a slow to moderate steady pace, over time, will allow you to maintain the incline level for longer periods of time. Begin walking at your normal pace and start increasing the incline from .5 percent to 3 percent for one or two minutes, then decrease the incline back to 0 percent. Alternating incline and flat surface walking every couple of minutes is a great way to slowly introduce uphill climbing to your workout. Start off slowly, as walking on inclines does shift your gait and requires the front part of the lower leg to take on some extra work while stretching the back side of the lower leg. You’ll need to work up to longer or steeper inclines just like with any other workout you do.
About the author: Shannon Jungman is the club manager and personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Johnston. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.