Ask the Coach

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What info should I share with my personal trainer to get the most out of our workout time? 

Your personal trainer should be certified and insured. You will be spending time together, so you must click. Do a consultation up-front where the trainer evaluates you and learn your medical history. This should include BMI (Body Mass Index) or bodyfat percentage, measurements, flexibility and recovery heart rate, etc. If you have chronic health conditions or have soft tissue injuries, a clearance from your physician is always a good idea. You should share any medications that you take, prescribed and over-the-counter. This would include all supplements. Your trainer should ask about your medical history and any injuries or surgeries you have had in the past. Tell them about your level of physical activity and how long it has been since you were consistent. Be honest with your trainer so they can keep you safe while helping you achieve your goals.

Tracking your food and other physical activities, aside from your sessions with your trainer, will assist your progress. If you experience any level of discomfort, or feel light headed, tell your trainer right away. Other tips: show up on time or early, warm up, clean up your eating and drinking, don’t fib, remain open to new things, trust your trainer, get adequate rest and stick with it.

I prefer outdoor exercise, but it’s so hot that I feel like I’m getting dehydrated. What are your tips on staying hydrated in this heat?

Exercising in our hot climate is much different then exercising in a nice climate-controlled gym, everything from air born pollutants, mosquitos, to UV radiation. Staying hydrated is very important. A little dehydration can raise your heart rate. Prime your pump by drinking at least 16-32 ounces before exercise and continue to drink throughout and more after you stop. Don’t rely on your thirst mechanism. Consider wearing a camelback to insure you have water with you on activities longer than 60-90 minutes. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages because they accelerate dehydration. Some medications also contribute to water loss.

Sweat is supposed to help you cool off by evaporating, but in humid climates like ours, it does not work as well. Acclimate yourself to outdoor exercise by taking it slow. Consider training early or late in the day. Drinking water is fine, but if you are exercising more than 60 minutes, you might consider a sports drink. A lot of sports drinks have added sugar which means calories. If weight or fat loss is a goal, drink the sugar free sports drinks. They have all the electrolytes without the added calories. Eat complex carbohydrates the night before a long workout outside, which will help you stay hydrated. Remember to wear sunscreen, breathable clothing, hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Have fun!

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Carla Gray, BSES, HFS, CPT is a persoal trainer and can be reached at
info@fitnessconnection.net or (504) 885-7855.

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