So you want to get healthy in the New Year, and you know that one of the most important things you can do for your health is to exercise. The numerous health benefits of exercise are difficult to ignore, and nearly everyone can improve their health regardless of age, gender, or physical ability.

Why exercise?

If you haven’t voluntarily gotten on the exercise train, let’s take a look at how exercise can benefit your mind, body, and spirit:

Exercise helps to control weight

Engaging in physical activity burns calories….period. Maintaining a healthy weight boils down to numbers. Calories expended must exceed the number of calories you ingest through the food and drink you consume each day. For weight maintenance, aim to break even through physical activity and healthy food choices. If you don’t have time for a lengthy workout each day, consider little changes you can make in your routine. Take the stairs to and from work, do push-ups or sit-ups during commercial breaks in your favorite show, and take the dog for a vigorous walk each day. The more activity you can build into your day, the easier it will be to maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise helps to reduce your risk of developing illness and disease

Regular exercise is now proven to reduce the incidence and development of certain diseases, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Metabolic Syndrome

In addition, exercise is a proven mood booster. When you engage in physical activity, your body produces “feel good” chemicals called endorphins, known mood boosters that keep you feeling balanced and happy all day long. Your self-confidence is going to take a boost as well; doing something good for yourself will start a chain reaction of better choices that will contribute to better health.

Don’t know where to start? Partner with a workout coach!

Many people fail to start successful exercise regimes simply because they don’t know where to begin. The thought of wading through gym memberships, nutrition plans, and online subscriptions is very daunting, causing many to give up before they have a chance to experience exercise success. In these cases, partnering with a workout coach is your best bet for lasting success and a significant improvement in your health. For slightly more than a monthly gym membership would cost, you get personalized tips, motivation, and accountability from someone who is trained to provide you with solutions to your fitness challenges. Still on the fence? Take a look at all the benefits to be had from hiring and training with a fitness coach:

1. You’ll gain exercise education

Becoming educated while you are exercising is critical to maximizing the effectiveness of your exercise plan. You’ll see faster results, reduce your risk of injury, and your trainer can provide you with valuable tips and tricks for getting the most out of their workout. Trust their expertise and experience to help you reach your fitness goals.

2. You’ll craft a personalized plan that fits you

A fitness coach can help you to craft a personal workout that helps you to reach your personal goals. Every “body” is different, and not all bodies will respond the same way to exercise. Working with your trainer to design an individualized set of exercises and a tailored nutrition plan will ensure that you are getting the most out of your sessions.

3. You’ll benefit from accountability

The importance of a personal trainer cannot be emphasized enough when using accountability to stay on track. Your days of hitting the snooze button “one more time” and downing that bag of chips in the car on the way home from work are over, and this is cause for celebration. Your personal trainer will expect you to show up and bring your best game in the gym, as well as to reach out when you are struggling with motivation and nutrition, to see that you make consistent strides toward your fitness goals.

4. You’ll get personalized nutritional advice specific to your dietary needs

As part of a complete personalized package, your trainer will likely offer you advice and tips on healthy eating to keep you on track toward achieving your goals. What you eat and drink significantly impacts how you look and feel; you can’t outrun that piece of cheesecake so easily, so making thoughtful, considerate dietary choices will be an integral and important part of your success.

5. You’ll be able to craft short and long term goals

A personal trainer who is committed to your success will help you to craft your short and long-term fitness goals—and then stick to them. It is unrealistic to expect that you’ll see results right out of the gate; keeping this long-term goal in mind as you work each day will be important to stay motivated and positive about your process. You’ll be given a realistic picture and timeline regarding what is possible, and keeping this in mind will make the daily gains you experience even more exciting.

6. You’ll have greater flexibility to design your program

Don’t have time for the gym each day? Perhaps your trainer is up for a vigorous hike around your local neighborhood. Want your kids to get involved? Gather up everyone and meet your coach at a local playground for some fitness fun. Your trainer is likely trained to provide workout solutions in all kinds of situations; talk to him/her about designing workouts and a schedule that fits into your life and your commitments. A program will only be sustainable to the extent that you can keep it going long-term, and communicating your needs and desires to your coach will be the best way for the two of you to design workouts and a schedule that works for everyone.

7. You’ll have a variety of exercises to choose from

If you are getting bored with squats, bicep curls, and crunches, communicate this to your coach. Your success is directly related to your level of engagement and enjoyment that you derive from exercising and eating healthfully. A personal trainer has a wealth of knowledge and experience related to exercise and nutrition; if you are getting bored with your prescribed routine, ask him/her to shake it up for a bit. Moving from one exercise medium to another doesn’t mean you will abandon that form forever. Who knows? Coming back to those former exercises with a fresh perspective after a shift may give you a greater appreciation for how they serve the body.

8. You’ll be motivated to reach your goals

Despite your most vigorous efforts, you may not have been able to see results from a program you attempted yourself. You were likely not being honest with yourself about food consumption, or perhaps you performed exercises with poor form and effort that did little to change your physique as desired. The great thing about working with a personal trainer is that you begin to see and feel results very soon after you begin your work. These small yet significant changes are often all that you need to continue moving forward toward your goals; your motivation will be through the roof as you become stronger, happier, and healthier than ever before.

9. You’ll be able to leverage your time and efforts

A coach is trained to provide you with solutions and a protocol that yields you maximum results in less time. Seeing that no time is wasted, the two of you will go straight to work during each session, combining a specific set of exercises that are designed to burn fat, amp up your cardio fitness, and shape muscle into the healthy body that you envision. There’ll be no more time for lollygagging in between sets or leaving before you’ve finished. Your trainer is there to ensure that you finish what you started and that your efforts are not wasted.

10. You’ll be able to address specific physical challenges that kept you from meeting your goals

Few people head into a fitness plan without some sort of physical accommodation that needs to be considered when selecting the right type of exercise and nutrition program. Your personal trainer will need to know all about you–your strengths, weaknesses, fears, challenges, and past experience with fitness–in order to craft the perfect plan for you. In addition, he/she should know a bit about your medical history in order to design a safe and effective plan for you. Disclose any medications that you are taking, as well as surgeries that you have undergone, to give your trainer a clear picture as the two of your craft a plan that takes accommodations into account. In doing so, you’ll see safe, efficient, and effective results from your workouts.

11. You’ll improve your mental health and boost self-esteem

The simple act of setting personal goals and achieving them does wonders for your mental health and well-being. Physical activity is known to have a significant impact on conditions like depression and anxiety, and the chemical changes in the brain after a workout are testament to tangible changes in mood and mental health.

Your self-confidence will soar after beholding changes to your physique. Better health, improved self-confidence, and more peace of mind are only a few of the many benefits to be experienced with the use of a personal trainer. Make the investment in yourself and partner with an experienced coach, and the long-term effects will have a positive impact on all areas of your life.