April 26, 2010

From Ideal to Real

Too often in the fitness industry, trainers and health professionals assume they "know" their target client.  This hypothetical client is typically young, fit, non-injured, and in a healthy weight category.  This client might also be completely prepared to begin an aggressive exercise program and give up all sugars and carbohydrates in the name of renewed health.

You've probably guessed by now that this client rarely - if ever! - actually exists.

Here at bene-fit, we view our role not simply as trainers or coaches but as fitness leaders, ready to help anyone who is genuinely ready to make positive change find the tools and motivation to make that change.  We don't assume anything about who you are, what you've done in the past, or where you're headed.  We want to empower you to find purpose in what you are doing and support the healthy choices you make along the way.

That said, the most overlooked populations in the personal training and wellness industry typically fall into one of three categories: over-55 adults, the obese, and post-natal women.  Older adults might not have grown up doing regular exercise and may be fearful or intimidated by the way fitness is perceived in our pop culture.  The obese might feel excluded from venues and activities that make them more conscious of their bodies and size.  Post-natal women are undergoing significant life and physical changes that may make their old routines ineffective and any new time commitments prohibitive.  These groups are being overlooked by the "mainstream" fitness industry, which is why bene-fit strives to welcome these groups as our primary clients.

For older adults, try wearing a pedometer and setting "step" goals each day - start at 5,000, then move to 7,000 and eventually the optimal 10,000 steps per day.  For obese persons, invite a personal trainer into your home to show you how to get fit in the privacy of your own personal space, or outdoors in a park if you aren't ready to commit to a gym membership.  For new moms, hop on the computer as your baby naps or feeds and chart out a workable plan to keep both you - and baby - fit and healthy.  The first step can be the hardest for anyone new or returning to fitness - the key is simply to get out of your comfort zone and take it.

Remember, you're never too old - or big - or busy - to commit to your best self.  Go find your bene-fit!

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