The first time New Year was celebrated on January 1st was way back in 153 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February to the calendar. Julius Cesar made it the official start of the new year in 46 B.C. Now, the real question is, what were resolutions like back then?
In the health and fitness industry New Year's Day is the start of the “New You” year for so many with their resolutions. Resolutions are good, like some intentions. But, that is all they are. They are not actions yet. And for many people the stumbling block can be how and where to start, proceed, adjust, modify, increase, pull back, change it up, etc. Are YOU still at it after the first month of the year has gone by?
Oh, you though just walking into the gym and getting that membership was enough? What do you do first? How does that machine work? What is the right weight to use on that exercise? Which exercises are best for losing body fat? Toning those arms? Do you just do a little bit of everything? How many sets of that? Repetitions? Tempo? Or are you just a group exercise junkie?
Don't get frustrated or overwhelmed with it! Just do your homework and understand that there are options for you. In sports the idea of working with a coach is common and a must if you want to be the best at that sport. Yet, when it comes to fitness, not so much. However, this can be the key to it all. The key to unlock the new you! In fitness your ideal coach is an Exercise Physiologist. Someone who studies and knows how exercise and nutrition effects the various systems of the human body and understands prevention. Physical Therapists specialize in rehabilitation and may also have an undergraduate degree in exercise physiology, too. A more common option is a certified Personal Trainer. Don't just guess and think you know what you need to do.
Much like coaches, trainers should have credentials. All certified personal trainers need to have a high school diploma, CPR and 1st Aid certification and pass a test to prove minimum competencies. These days there are quite a few certifications out there, much like the influx of online colleges and universities. In my opinion, if you are not working with a professional who has graduated with a degree in Exercise Physiology from an accredited university, you should at least have a trainer who is certified by an accredited nationally recognized organization. At the top of the food chain are the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Both of these organizations certify some of the heaviest hitters in the industry. There are also diploma based programs, which are hybrids between a degree and certification, requiring completion of curriculum over a 300 to 500 hour program. Locally there are NPTI and AAPT. Many more on-line, but I recommend programs where trainers are tested on their knowledge of form and execution of exercises. After all, real life is lived in three dimensions, not on the internet or in a book.