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creating healthy habits

In Training, Consistency Is the Key to Your Fitness Goals



Consistency is arguably the most important component when working to accomplish goals, in or out of the gym. Without consistency, programs are unorganized, the body has a harder time adapting, and forming habits may be more challenging.

Build and Follow Workout Programming

Whatever your goals may be, they require a consistent level of training for you to reach them. One way to ensure consistency within the scope of your goals is to build a program. Programs make it much easier to stay on track because you won’t have to think about what you’re going to do at the gym today—it’s already written out. Most programs are designed to be followed for a set amount of time, typically about 4 weeks. Depending on the desired goal, the program will have a different focus—hypertrophy, endurance, strength, and so on. Each day is designed with the goal in mind, while ensuring that you are training in a way that minimizes imbalances within the body. If you aren’t following the program consistently, the chance of it working is reduced.

Theoretically, if you have a program and you don’t follow it, the body is not going to be able to adapt to the program because there isn’t an opportunity for progressive overload, which is when the amount of stress on the body is gradually increased over time, leading to increased strength and performance.

Work Toward Adaptations

Biologically, a lot of things happen in the body during exercise. Over time these reactions change the body to become stronger, grow, or run more efficiently. Different factors affect adaptations in everyone, so it’s impossible to predict when these changes will occur. But being consistent with training will increase the likelihood of seeing adaptations sooner.

Different modes of exercise elicit different adaptations. Endurance training will produce different changes than resistance training. While there are far too many adaptations to discuss in this blog, a few examples reported by the CDC include the following:

Improved ability of muscles to use fat as energy Stronger ligaments and tendons Increased VO2 max and lactate threshold Increased number of capillaries in muscles Cardiac muscle hypertrophy Increased force production

Each of these changes is beneficial for different scenarios. The body is either becoming more efficient or stronger, or performance is enhanced. However, these long-term benefits are seen only after consistent training over a period of time.

Create Habits

We are creatures of habit. The more we practice something, the more natural it becomes. We experience this when we learn to walk as babies, when we learn to drive, and when we exercise. It’s normal to feel out of your element when you try something new, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel.

Current research suggests that to make a habit stick it must be performed for 68 consecutive days. The idea of sticking with something brand new for 68 days may feel overwhelming for some people. When taking on a new challenge, focusing on taking it day by day might be a helpful mindset. Yes, we might be aiming to create a lifelong habit; however, thinking about just starting a habit to last for years could seem daunting. Start by doing it for one day, and then two, and then three, and so on.

Once you feel comfortable with one small change, add another small change, and so on. Small changes are more sustainable over the long term and add up to form new habits. There will likely be days that your plan doesn’t work out how it was supposed to, but that doesn’t mean all progress is lost.

The Takeaway

Our bodies adapt gradually to exercise. In the end, consistency will help you reach your goals. Without it, you might not have enough structure to allow for growth. Work first on figuring out your goals, determine the best route to achieve them, and get started with one step. If you’re not sure how to get started, the trainers at NIFS can help you set goals and develop programs tailored to those goals.

This blog was written by Hannah Peters, BS, CPT, Health Fitness Instructor. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

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Personal Trainers for Diabetics



Get the Basics…

As a diabetic, controlling your blood sugar can prevent diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy. Regular exercise can lower blood glucose levels. A personal trainer can help you find the right balance between aerobic exercise and strength training workouts.

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in three American adults could have diabetes by 2050. Exercise, whether cardiovascular or strength training, is considered one of the most effective lifestyle changes someone can make to ward off diabetes.

It’s also been shown that regular exercise has a profound effect for those who are at highest risk. In many cases, exercise can be more beneficial than dietary changes or even weight loss.

If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important that you remain physically active. If you stay active and maintain a healthy weight, you’ll have better control over your blood sugar.

Having adequate control over your glucose levels can prevent long-term complications, such as kidney failure, diabetic neuropathy, and heart disease. People with diabetes are also more likely to develop blocked arteries, which can lead to a heart attack. Exercise keeps your heart healthy and strong. Regular exercise also helps you maintain good cholesterol.

Furthermore, there are other traditional benefits of exercise:

Lower blood pressure Better weight control Increased good cholesterol Strong bones Better sleep habits Improved mood Lower stress levels Before You Begin Exercising

Unfortunately, many people diagnosed with diabetes are overweight, so the idea of starting an exercise program can be daunting. Before starting any type of exercise program, you must have clearance from your family physician.

Your physician will examine your cardiovascular function, which is especially important if you already have high blood pressure or signs of heart disease. You also need to take into consideration any other diabetes-related complications, such as diabetic retinopathy or neuropathy.

When you begin a fitness program, your doctor can refer you to a dietician and personal trainer to help create an exercise program that is best for you. In addition to obtaining medical clearance, you also need to set realistic goals.

Benefits of a Personal Trainer

If you’re new to exercise or haven’t exercised for a long time, you need to start slowly and gradually increase the frequency and intensity. If unsure of how to proceed, meeting with a personal trainer may be beneficial.

A personal trainer can pave the way to fitness success. Choose one that has experience working with diabetic clients. You can find certified personal trainers through the American College of Sports Medicine or the American Council on Exercise.

You should think of your personal trainer as an educator and a friend. Not only will he or she walk you through different exercise sequences, but they will also show you how to lift weights safely and effectively. Depending on your fitness goals, you’ll probably meet with your trainer two to three times a week. Based on your fitness capacity, your trainer will create a workout plan that’s specifically for you.

Making the Most of Your Training Sessions
Set up a plan – Before you start, have an action plan in place in case your blood sugar drops. If you find that your blood sugar is too low when working out, let your doctor know. Be present – Give your training sessions 100 percent of your attention. Leave your phone in the locker room and focus on your workout. Be consistent – A training session here and there won’t deliver the results you want. Consistency is key. Create a training schedule that fits into your weekly routine. Be open – If something doesn’t feel right or is too difficult, tell your trainer immediately. Never push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Be aware of your physical limits – Always keep an eye on your blood sugar while working out. You may have to avoid intense workouts or even stop and eat a snack to keep your glucose levels in check. Exercising with Diabetes

Going to the gym is only part of the equation. Even under the supervision of a personal trainer, you need to make sure you are prepared in case your blood sugar drops.

It’s important to check your blood sugar before, during, and after you finish your training session. You may see a drop in your blood sugar while working out or immediately after a workout. Your glucose levels may also spike during an intense workout session.

Make a point of testing your blood sugar to learn how your body reacts to different types of exercise. Know where to draw the line. Even if you’re intent on finishing your workout, pushing yourself too hard can have serious repercussions. If your blood sugar is high before you start exercising, stop halfway through and check for ketones. If still present, it’s a good idea to stick to lower-intensity activities.

Types of Exercises

Whether you’re working out with your trainer or on your own, there are three specific types of exercises you need to do, which includes cardiovascular exercise, flexibility exercises, and strength training. Your goal should be to have an equal balance of all three.

– Aerobic Exercise

There are many different exercises you can choose from. Shoot for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to boost your metabolism.

Find an activity that you enjoy, such as:

Brisk walking Jogging Spinning classes Zumba Using the elliptical Swimming Biking

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t go for the entire 30 minutes at first. Your personal trainer can help you build your endurance gradually over time. And remember, exercise is cumulative, so making small changes in your daily routine will carry over even when you’re not working out. For instance, you can park your car farther away when you go to the market, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Make sure you enjoy the exercise you’re doing. If it’s not fun, you probably won’t stick with it.

In between sessions with your personal trainer, why not take a group class with friends? Exercising with friends is a great source of motivation!

– Strength Training

Once you’ve built up your endurance, your trainer will probably get you started with strength training. You’ll develop lean muscles and also maintain strong, healthy bones. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, strength training is a must. Since muscles need glucose to function properly, strengthen training will give you control of your blood sugar.

Fitness Goals

Make a commitment to get in shape. Your future health depends on it, so as difficult as it may seem, motivate yourself to go to the gym. It will help you lose excess weight and help your body use its insulin and glucose more efficiently.


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Exercise Programs

6 Tips for Finding a Personal Trainer on a Budget



Get the Basics…

Personal training is much more accessible to the masses than you think. Off-peak hours and virtual training can all help to reduce per-session costs. Affordable payment plans can also reduce how much you have to pay at once for personal training.

So many people are under the impression that working with a personal trainer is strictly for those with endless amounts of disposable income. That could not be farther from the truth! There are plenty of ways for anyone to find a personal trainer for less money than they may expect.

Affordable options exist and are being made available by more personal trainers than ever before.

As a potential client, it is up to you to put in the work to track down the best trainers for the dollar and seek value, as well as affordability options. There is no denying the benefits of a personal trainer. When you work with one, they will assist you with customized work-out plans.

6 Tips for Finding a Trainer on a Budget

The trainer is going to be there to motivate you and also help you prevent injuries with improved form. Holding you accountable is another sound benefit of a trainer, among just the generalization that they will get you to try new things. Seeking the options that are available via the internet (and more) can prove fruitful for your training hopes!

#6 – Understand Your Budget

The first tip to finding a personal trainer on the cheap is to know what your budget is. What can you safely spend on a personal trainer — an amount that you can afford and also justify?

Do you want to pay per session, or month to month? How frequent would you like the sessions to be? Get a firm grasp of where you stand budget-wise before you start your hunt, so that you have realistic expectations.

#5 – How Much Does a Personal Trainer Cost?

What can you expect to pay if you seek out a personal trainer? The average cost of a personal trainer is going to range from $30 to $100 per session, with $50 being the average.

The price per session is going to vary based on a few different factors. If you take a group session, expect the price point to skew toward the lower amount. A full private session in a gym will be more in the $100-range, due to the overhead costs of the gym.

#4 – The Internet is Powerful

Before the internet, the best way to get a personal trainer was to see who was available in a gym, which was also limiting to you as a consumer. Personal trainers work everywhere!

Many of them have yoga studios right inside of their homes or full gyms to give you a unique workout and stretching experiences. Many trainers even use outdoor spaces like parks to work in runs, kickboxing, and so much more. 

Use the power of the internet to seek out personal trainers that are going to meet your needs. When you search online, you can find gyms with trainers, as well as trainers who work independently. The internet is also a great resource that allows you to compare gym membership fees, personal trainer profiles, and costs right from the comfort of your own home.

#3 – Ask About Payment Plans

You may be able to get set up with an affordable payment plan with the trainer you want to work with. It all comes down to asking questions about what they plan to offer you as a consumer. Will they give you a discount if you sign on for six personal training sessions at once?

If you want to do three or four each month, can you pay monthly instead of per session? Typically, clients are not asked to pay a bill for many personal training sessions up front, and flexible payment plans can be offered. You merely have to ask and know what you can afford.

#2 – Train Virtually

This option may sound crazy, but technology has now allowed for personal training to be done virtually. Picture a trainer working with you over FaceTime on your iPad.

A video screen can connect you with them, allowing them the freedom to coach you from anywhere, and you will not have to pay for a gym, equipment, etc. This option can lead to less expensive training sessions for you as a client.

#1 – Seek Off-Peak Hours

Some personal trainers may also offer you discounts if you can work out with them during off-peak hours. We’re talking mid-morning hours, like 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you are fortunate enough not to be confined to a cubicle during those hours, you may be able to benefit from a discounted personal training session.

Early morning, lunch hour, and evening times are typically the busiest. If you have a flexible schedule though, the discounts you can take advantage of really add up!

Let Us Be in Your Corner

Now, you may realize that a personal trainer is far more within reach than you probably think. You just need to get creative and put in the work to seek out the right one for you.

Know what your budget is and seek affordable options that allow you to get the workouts you need — without breaking the bank. Personal training has so many benefits, and everyone can enjoy them after a successful search!

We may be biased, but we can’t leave you with recommending you check out our Pro plan. You’ll get access to a personal trainer as well as workout plans, dietary suggestions, and advanced workout stats.

If you’re the kind of person who thrives with someone in your corner and you have a smartphone, sign up for Pro today!


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