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How to Focus on Your Own Physical Health as a Personal Trainer

A personal trainer lifts and works out at the gym, holding a barbell.

Being a personal trainer is an incredibly rewarding but demanding line of work. You’re expected to show up each day with enough drive, motivation, and discipline to keep multiple clients in check, follow certain protocols, and stick to your own health routine on top of it all.

Anyone who’s worked as a certified fitness trainer can vouch for the fact that when push comes to shove, and you’re dealing with multiple responsibilities, personal commitments, and demanding clients, the first thing to go on the backburner is your own health.

So how do you avoid falling into that trap and focus on your own physical health and wellness in the process? Here are some key tips and advice:

Focus on invisible training and movement

Many of us forget to factor in our routines because there is a fair amount of invisible training and movement happening as we go about our day. Many certified group fitness instructors and personal trainers are involved in several types of physical activity during their workday, whether via demonstrations, training, teaching, or practicing their own moves.

You can maximize your invisible training and movement quota, increasing your energy expenditure throughout the day by making smarter choices such as squeezing in a few reps during each demonstration, opting for more walking over driving, taking the elevator, and so on.

There are plenty of activities that you can do all day long that will increase your energy expenditure, even if you can’t hit the gym.

A personal trainer meditates while sitting on a balcony.

Stick to an easy but holistic nutrition plan

Nutrition is key to maintaining your physical health; you will need to pay more attention to it for long-term health and well-being. Stick to a simple, nutritious diet that nurtures your body, gives you that much-needed energy to get through the day and take care of your clients, and keeps you functioning optimally.

The less complicated your diet, the easier it is for your overall health and wellness and keeps you on track for your personal goals too. You can follow this simple nutrition guide for an idea of what to do when you want to eat well and be mindful of your consumption without all that added effort.

Don’t forget to load up on protein, energize with healthy snacks and enjoy balanced meals, including treats! It may seem repetitive, but sometimes we must follow our advice as fitness professionals.

Make hydration a deliberate part of your day

Alongside eating, you should also make hydration an essential and deliberate part of your day. Being dehydrated can lead to you feeling sluggish, tired, angsty, and suffering from bloating, water retention, muscle cramps, and low energy. Invest in a water bottle that you can carry around with you, eat water-rich and hydrating foods, and make sure to replenish your electrolytes throughout the day.

A fitness professional works out at the gym, squatting with a barbell.

Enjoy and make the most of your own training

Ironically, it can be tough for personal trainers to enjoy working out. Several factors could contribute to this, including fatigue, boredom, information overload, and lack of time. This is why it’s important to find ways that you can make working out more enjoyable and pleasurable for yourself.

If you’re used to strength training, join a pilates or yoga class, if you train others in HIIT, try Zumba or running, and find ways to give your body a break, movement, and serotonin boosts. However, when you train at the gym, make sure to savor it. Enjoy each movement and think about how much your body does to support you, how it protects you, and keeps you safe, alive, and functioning.

Many trainers work with other instructors for their workouts for this very reason, it takes away the stress of planning your fitness routine and just following along.

Take care of your mental and emotional health

However, alongside diet, exercise, movement, and more, you must also find ways to take care of your mental and emotional health. You can’t expect to suppress your emotions, experience stress, feel angry, hurt and upset, and still do your job and live your life normally. Emotions and poor mental health take a major toll on your physical health, too, resulting in pain, injuries, stiffness, fatigue, stomach problems, and more, which will disrupt your life in more ways than one.

Until you make the active and deliberate decision to process your emotions and improve your mental health, there’s only so much that working out and eating right can do for you. The brain-gut connection is a lot stronger than you realize and needs to be taken more seriously.

A flat lay of a healthy meal with oatmeal, assorted fruit, and avocados.

Don’t neglect recovery and rest for your body

Last but not at all least, focus on proper rest and recovery. Your muscles need recovery periods to repair themselves, and overexertion can be quite counterproductive to your health. Instead of forcing yourself to go for a 4 a.m. run alongside your daily workout and demanding job, focus on getting adequate sleep, taking time off from exercise, and giving your muscles rest.

Direct time and effort toward recovery via massages, stretching, gentle movement, and even regular breaks from your job. If you don’t, you will end up with injuries, pains, and aches that are difficult to deal with.

You can become a certified exercise instructor by registering for our fitness training and certification programs, where you will also learn how to develop healthy habits that complement your work. Our comprehensive personal trainer certifications are important for future fitness professionals who would like to invest in their careers and work in this industry.

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