Thursday, June 23, 2011

Training update

It's been a couple of weeks now since I have been working with my trainer, Caroline of and I have to admit, I'm sort of enjoying it! We've trained in the park, at the gym, at the beach and in the woods, each of the locations offering something different to our training sessions. Here is one from a morning training on the hike up to Quarry Rock in Deep Cove. It can't be that bad cause I'm still smiling!

As I said in my last blog, we think we all know exactly what to do and why do we need a trainer. While most of us like to think we can do it on our own, we sometimes forget little things like warming up beforehand or stretching long enough afterwards. I've been really good about exercising myself on my days without my trainer, but I am guilty of not warming up or cooling down. A perfect example was the other day when I proudly finished 30 minutes on the treadmill (no easy task for me!) and then followed up with the various squats, lunges and other exercises that Caroline has shown me. I felt great afterwards - no aches, no pains - but then had difficulty falling asleep that night as I had achy legs and I knew it was because I hadn't stretched afterwards. Because stretching doesn't feel like you are working out the same way a lunge or lifting weights does, we tend to forget about it. A trainer reminds you the importance of it and will even help you with your stretching to ensure you are getting the deep stretch you need for your muscles after whichever exercise you've been doing.

When I was on the dreaded treadmill and thinking I can't do 30 minutes - not so much because I couldn't do it but because I didn't want to do it - I kept hearing Caroline's voice in my head, encouraging me and telling me just two more minutes. After those two minutes she'd say the same thing over again until finally all those little two minutes added up to 30. Without her encouragement and support the past couple of weeks, I wouldn't have had that little voice in my head and I know I would have stepped off the treadmill cause I was bored.

To me that's the sign of a good trainer - someone that can train you when they aren't even working with you that day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Personal Trainer

Well, I finally did it. I decided to hire a personal trainer. I don't think there is anyone in the Universe that dislikes exercises as much as I do. There isn't anything I like about it at all. I know everyone says, "oh but you feel so good afterwards" - not me. I just feel sweaty and tired. The extent of my enjoyment of exercise consists of a nice long walk on the seawall or an easy hike through the rainforest. Nothing that exerts too much energy. But I also know as I get older it is very important to stay fit, keep your bones strong and be flexible. I have tried time and time again to start exercise regimes only to give up after a week or two when I got busy or something came up. It is far easier to stop a routine than it is to start and stick to one!

Another reason I have been reluctant to hire a personal trainer is the cost. I often think I can't afford something that I would like when in reality I can afford it if I make some small changes in my life. Giving up a Starbucks latte every day and bringing my lunch a couple of days a week (which is also much healthier but we'll save that for another blog), and I have my trainer paid for two days a week. Stop and think about how much money you spend on the luxuries in your life, whether it is on a manicure, facial, botox, massage or that nice bottle of wine - it all adds up. A few minor adjustments and a personal trainer fits in my budget no problem.

I did some research on boot camps, gyms and rec centers and decided for my lifestyle and schedule, a personal trainer that could come to me would work best. I opted to try as they are nearby and I knew Caroline personally. I knew that she would push me when I needed to get pushed yet also be understanding to my weaknesses. I was wrong. She doesn't care at all about my weaknesses cause she knows they are only in my head! She pushes me exactly how I need to be pushed - not overdoing it and making me feel like I accomplished something major when all I really did was finish my reps. She's been a great motivator for me as she is a working mom just like me. It makes things a little bit easier when your trainer understands how difficult it is to find the time for yourself.

We are fortunate to live in a beautiful area with parks and outdoor spaces all around us. Some days we do our class outside, other days in the gym. I am starting week two of training with Caroline, just two days a week but I also go for my walks or do some free weights on my days I don't work out with her. I almost look forward to my training days and I always look forward to spending time with Caroline and for the first time I actually feel great afterwards. That's a definite step in the right direction for me!