• Here’s Why You Should Hire a Personal Trainer

    If you’re trying to get in better shape, you might be considering hiring a personal trainer to help you achieve your goals.  Hiring a trainer can be costly, though, and maybe you’re wondering if it’s actually worth the expense.  Can a trainer really tell you anything you don’t already know?  In a nutshell–probably so.  There’s a ton of information available to us today that can certainly help us reach our fitness goals.  There’s also a ton of misinformation.  A certified personal trainer can help you separate fitness fact from fiction and fads and help tailor a routine that best suits you.  Also, a trainer can be a great cheerleader in your corner.  Below, we’ll discuss a few reasons that make hiring a personal trainer a good idea if you can afford it.



    A trainer can work with you and develop a program based on your age, gender, current weight and fitness level (or lack thereof), and any health concerns you might be facing.  There is no true one-size-fits-all way to get in shape.  A qualified trainer understands this and will know what exercises or regimens best fit your needs.  Many trainers can also share great nutrition information that can further help you on your journey while taking any current health issues into consideration.

    Since part of a personal trainer’s job is to monitor your progress, he or she will also be able to modify your program if it doesn’t seem to be working as well as you’d both like.  Since different bodies respond to different workout programs in different ways, having a trainer to guide you can save you the aggravation of trying to stick with something that “everybody” is raving about by knowing when it’s time to try something else.


    Another part of a personal trainer’s job is to share with you some of their knowledge.  Trainers understand how muscles work together and why one exercise might be better than another.  They also have the knowledge to help you sort through some of the fitness hype that’s so prevalent today.  They can give you true pros and cons of different trending workouts and programs, some of which might be phenomenal for some, but awful for you.


    Many people sustain exercise-related injuries because they aren’t doing the exercises properly.  Improper use of free weights or weight machines is not going to get you the results you want, and could cause minor to very serious injuries.  A trainer can teach you proper technique and form, which lessens risk of injury and increases chances of success.  If you have ongoing health issues, a trainer can steer you away from exercises that could do more harm than good and explain why other exercises are more beneficial to you.



    Having a trainer is like having your own coach and cheerleader in one.  His or her reputation and livelihood rest on clients being satisfied, so your trainer could actually be even more motivated for you to succeed than you are! It can be hard to stick with a routine on our own.  Making a commitment to a trainer makes us more likely to show up and stick with it.

    In addition to being there to offer guidance, education, and motivation, personal trainers are also there to help us celebrate our victories, both great and small.  This can be critical in raising and maintaining our level of confidence in ourselves and our goals.

    In short, the expense of a personal trainer is well justified if you want truly informed guidance to help you reach your goals, the support to help you see it through and celebrate milestones, and knowledge that you can take with you and use long after your contract has ended.

The Best Treadmills and Elliptical Machines Danie Recommends

If you’ve decided that it’s time to get in better shape, and you’re looking for the best at-home cardio workout that will also work your muscles, you might be in the market for one of the treadmills or elliptical trainers you’ve seen advertised.  Maybe you have a favorite machine at the gym and want something similar for home.  With so many models of treadmills, ellipticals, and machines that seem to be a combination of both, it can be hard to decide which one’s right for you.  Before spending the money on any machine, it’s important to understand what qualities to look for to help ensure that you’ll stay motivated to use your treadmill as a treadmill and not as a coat rack.  Below, we’ll take a look at the differences and potential pros and cons of treadmills and ellipticals.



Treadmills rely on a belt that moves around a conveyor.  Typically, you set the speed at which the belt moves and have to walk, jog, or run in place at a speed that keeps up with the belt; move too slowly, and you’ll fall off of the back of the machine.  Ellipticals rely on raised pedals or footplates that are powered by the machine’s motor combined (to varying degrees) with your own momentum.  “So, which one’s better?” you might ask.  There really is no one-size-fits-all answer, since the better option for you depends on a number of factors.  

Treadmills allow you to use your natural walking, jogging, or running gait and motion, whereas ellipticals more closely resemble the pedaling motion of a bicycle (only you’re standing instead of sitting, of course).  As a result, treadmills offer more of the weightbearing benefits that doctors promote for healthier bones and joints.  On the flip side, ellipticals offer a lower impact, less jarring workout, which is ideal for those who already have foot or knee concerns.  Most ellipticals also make it possible for you to reverse direction, which engages even more muscle groups in different ways.



If you’re looking for a machine that also allows you to work your upper body, an elliptical may be your best bet, since many of them are equipped with moveable handles designed for upper body work whereas treadmills are not.

Many of today’s treadmills and ellipticals offer variable speeds, resistance levels, and inclines, so you should be able to find this feature with no problem.  Taking advantage of the ability to change any or all of these different settings is the best way to get the most out of your workout by working more muscles from different angles and by making it less likely that you’ll get bored.  For optimum variety, look for a machine that has pre-programmed workouts.  Models of both also offer you the ability to monitor your heart rate during your workout, but many users find that treadmill monitors can be more awkward to reach than those on an elliptical.

Whichever type of machine you choose, make sure to look for one that can easily match your stride.  While treadmills are more likely to work for people with varying stride lengths, some taller users might need to look for longer models.  Ellipticals can pose this same problem for the tallest users, but shorter users will want to make sure that the natural stride of the elliptical isn’t too wide.

In addition to heart rate monitors, both treadmills and ellipticals usually offer tracking of stats like distance traveled and calories burned.  While most will give you accurate calculations of distance, the calorie tracker is usually less reliable.  Given that we all burn calories at different rates based on gender, age, height, weight, and personal metabolic rate (which will be higher for those already in pretty good shape, lower for those who are less fit), the calorie tracker should not be seen as carved-in-stone accurate.

If you’re more interested in a stationary bike, check out best recumbent exercise bike, which compares both upright and recumbent models, including pros and cons of each.

Visit best home elliptical machine for reviews of some of the top-rated machines.  This site includes highlights as well as potential concerns that should guide your decision-making process.

Top Reasons to Exercise

Whether we do it as often as we should or not, we all know that regular exercise is second only to a healthy, well-balanced diet when it comes to achieving and maintaining good health.  Below, we look at a few of the top benefits of regular exercise, including some that go beyond the obvious physical fitness side of things.  One of the best things about regular exercise is that its benefits are available to all of us, regardless of gender, age, or current health status.

The physical benefits


In a time when so many of us are overweight, one of the main benefits of regular exercise remains weight management.  When combined with a healthy diet, exercise is the best way to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.

If you have been diagnosed with diseases or conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, regular exercise can be one of the keys to managing your condition.  Those with joint and muscle issues can also benefit from regular exercise.  Regular exercise, especially cardiovascular exercises (like walking or swimming), can be great at improving circulation, which helps manage a number of different conditions.  Of course, never engage in any exercise regimen that your doctor has advised you to avoid.

Regular exercise can definitely increase your energy levels, which can make it easier to get through a long, busy day.  Also, as long as you don’t exercise too soon before going to bed, you are very likely to find that you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly if you exercise regularly.

The psychological benefits

Young beautiful woman resting after the jogging in the city.She is listening to the music.

Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and may even help fight depression.  A little brisk cardio releases chemicals and hormones that have been proven to boost your mood and energy levels.

Engaging in regular exercise is good for you.  Knowing that you’re doing something good for your health can make you feel better about yourself.  Additionally, once you start seeing the benefits of your hard work, you might even see your self confidence begin to grow.  Also, as friends, family members, and coworkers see the change in you, they might be inspired to follow your lead, something else you can feel great about!

Other benefits


If your lack of energy and lowered self esteem resulting from “letting yourself go” have had a negative impact on your sex life, re-igniting that spark can be another benefit of regular exercise.  If you’re single and looking, increased self confidence in addition to looking your best can also make you more likely to be noticed by others, giving you a better chance of meeting someone new.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for more adult conversation or a busy professional looking to extend your personal or business network, exercising in a gym or other group setting (or even connecting with like-minded exercisers through an online group) can be a great way to make new friends.  If you share exercise as a common interest, you’re also more likely to help each other stay motivated.

To achieve the most benefits possible, try to include both cardiovascular exercise (like walking, jogging, dancing, or swimming) and weight training exercises.  You should aim for at least two hours of moderately-intense or at least one hour of vigorous exercise per week.  Again, if you have any underlying health conditions, make sure you follow your doctor’s advice on recommended exercises or regimens.