Brought to you by the Department
of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia
Getting Started With An Exercise Program
are the Benefits of Exercise?
Is it Safe to
Exercise? Do I Need to See My Doctor First?
a Personal Trainer
to Increase the Amount of Physical Activity in Your Life
Overcoming Obstacles to Exercise:
do I wear?
Do I need
to see my doctor before I start?
In order to begin your exercise program safely and effectively,
answer the following questions to the best of your knowledge, and follow
the directions at the end of this section. If you are unsure of any answer,
it is recommended that you see a doctor to accurately determine the safety
of beginning an exercise program. If have been told by a physician that
you have any cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, or metabolic disease
such as diabetes, obtain permission from your doctor before beginning or
changing your exercise program.
If you answered "yes" to more
than one of these questions it is recommended that you see a doctor
before pursuing a vigorous exercise program. Guidelines for Exercise
Testing and Prescription, American College
of Sports Medicine, 5th Edition, 1995.
Are you a man over 45 years old?
Are you a women over the age of 55? Or, are you less than 55 years old
and past menopause, but not taking estrogen?
Has any male family member died of a heart attack before age 55? Or, has
any female family member died of a heart attack before age 65?
Do you smoke cigarettes?
Has a doctor ever told you have high blood pressure? Or, has your blood
pressure been measured more than once at greater than 140 over 90? Or,
do you take high blood pressure medicine?
Has your doctor ever told you that you have high cholesterol? Or, do you
know if your total cholesterol is greater than 200? Or, is your HDL cholesterol
less than 35?
Do you consider yourself physically inactive at work and during your leisure
Choosing a Personal Trainer:
Choosing the perfect personal trainer could be the difference between a
successful exercise program and an unsuccessful program. Be very selective
when choosing your personal trainer. Below are frequently asked questions
that people looking for personal trainers often ask. Ask yourself these
questions to determine if your personal trainer is the best for you.
Is the trainer within your budget?
You can expect to pay between $20 and $100 an hour for your trainer. Some
trainers will offer reduced package rates if you buy more than one session.
Is your trainer available when you want to work
Make sure that the trainer can accommodate your schedule.
Does the trainer have a certification, degree,
or background in a related medical or exercise science field?
A certification or degree will assure that your personal trainer has the
ability to construct a program that will fit your needs. Make sure the
certification is a national recognized organization (ACSM, NSCA, ACE, AFAA,
IDEA, etc.). Every person's program should be different to accommodate
Does your trainer have a current certification in
CPR and First Aid?
Safety during your exercise program is very important. The trainer needs
to have the knowledge to assist in an emergency.
Does your trainer or facility require a health screening
or release from your doctor before beginning your program?
If you have special needs during your program that are results of a past
injury or medical problem, a professional trainer will discuss any exercise
considerations with the doctor.
How does the personal trainer interact with his/her
clients during the exercise session?
An interested personal trainer will use hands on help, such as touching
the bicep during a bicep curl as you concentrate on that muscle during
the exercise. If you are uncomfortable with hands on help, they need to
provide encouragement and motivation. You probably will not want to pay
$100 an hour for your personal trainer to only count your repetitions during
the session. Demand more for your money.
Are you comfortable with you trainer's gender?
Some people like working with a trainer of the same sex, and others prefer
the opposite sex.
Do you feel that you will get along with the trainer?
In order to have the best working relationship, you should make sure that
you lie your trainers personality. The two personalities should click.
Carefully interview the trainer to see what approach he or she would have
Is your personal trainer willing to design a program
that you understand?
You should always know why you are doing a certain exercise. Your program
should be developed so that you can participate in the program without
your trainer at all times.
Does your trainer exhibit good listening skills
and communicate well?
You want your personal trainer to be able to address your need. If the
trainer does not communicate effectively, you will not know what to do
during the session. A professional trainer will never make you feel uncomfortable
to ask questions.
Does your trainer address your goals or expectations?
In the beginning of your program, he/she should sit down with you to address
why you want to begin a program, what you expect to get out of the program,
and your goals that you want to achieve during the program.
Does your trainer provide you with clear cancellation
policies and billing procedures?
Before beginning, make sure you understand all policies attached to your
Academy of Family Physicians
and Fitness Association of America
American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Diabetes Association
Institutes of Health