Ben Sweeney is a man with a lofty goal, he wants to be a fitness trainer on the long-running NBC reality series, The Biggest Loser. As a personal fitness coach in New York City, Ben works with clients every day, motivating and helping them achieve their weight loss goals. However, not long ago there was a time when he was the one who needed coaching.
When Ben started college, he was a busy athlete. He knew what he had to eat to stay energized, particularly for the calorie-burn that comes with playing college baseball. Unfortunately, when his time on the field was over, he continued to eat like he was training for the next game. He also tried to tell himself that he could eat anything he wanted because he was trying to put on muscle, even though he stopped going to the gym and lifting weights.
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Most people would consider losing 70 pounds to be a once in a lifetime accomplishment, but Angela VanBuskirk had to do it twice. After losing 100 pounds with the help of a personal trainer, Angela’s efforts were stymied by an aggressive bone tumor in her leg. Now, she’s 70 pounds lighter and determined to finish her fifth half-marathon in three hours or less.
Angela’s true weight loss story is the result of patience, determination and “admitting the struggle.” For her, the struggle took years to overcome and included heartbreaking setbacks.
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The American Council on Exercise (ACE) conducted a survey and discovered that for most fitness professionals, this career was not their first job. Many had pursued other avenues only to find that the fitness industry was where their true passions lied. It assumed that many find their love for fitness later in life. Many in the business will tell you that since they were devoting the hours of a full time job to their own fitness, they decided they might enjoy getting paid along the way.
“I was in banking for 15 years before making the leap to personal training full time,” said Pamela Hernandeez, a personal trainer at ThriveFit.com. “In 2009, when the financial services industry collapsed, I was fortunate not lose my job but a lot of people I worked with did. It made me step back and realize how much I had come to dislike my job.”
She kept both jobs for a while as she she pursued her ACSM CPT fitness certifications and to ensure her passion and the clients would be there to pay the bills. As a banker, she says she hated what she was doing and how it didn’t offer any real value for people’s lives. With a full-time fitness career, she gets to make a huge impact on the lives of others. “I knew I had found my calling. I was able to quit my banking career in June 2011. I have never looked back!”
Sound like you?
Some of the most popular careers in the fitness industry include health coach, personal trainer, dietitian, spin instructor, and Zumba instructor. Before you consider taking one of these paths this year, learn more about what each profession entails.
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It’s Christmas time, when we think of others and how we can show our love through tokens of appreciation. Before going broke buying presents, however, save a little bit for yourself to spend on something that could do a world of good in your life by providing a bevy of health benefits. From getting off medications to finding a surefire way to cope with stress, these gifts promise more than momentary satisfaction, they may just inspire a completely new lifestyle.
1. Hire a Personal Trainer
Sometimes, the choice to workout comes down to accountability. When exercising with a friend isn’t cutting it, hiring a trainer can be a great choice. They know what moves to do, how many need to be done to be effective, and how to do them so you don’t get hurt. They also take care of formulating a fitness plan with your goals in mind. Missing a 6 a.m. workout is a lot less likely if you know there’s someone waiting for you at the gym ready to charge your credit card whether you show up or not. Just be sure to make sure they’re accredited and look into what kind – not all certifications are created equal. Can’t make it to the gym? Sites like Wello will do video-chat training sessions to serve clients anywhere, anytime.
2. Get a Nutritionist
Do you have fitness down, but need help with the food part of being healthy? A consult with a nutritionist may be your answer. A diet book has no concern for what foods you like and dislike, certain allergies, and current fitness levels. A dietitian will. They’ll give you a proper eating plan to follow and do all the math and science stuff, like calorie counting, for you. Before picking one, make sure you have a certain rapport with them so that you’ll feel at ease, know they give clear directions that you can easily understand, and explain why certain foods are and aren’t necessary. They don’t even have to be local. Dietitians like Mary Hartley, RD do Skype consults.
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There seems to be a great chasm between those who workout and those who do not. But does anyone really know why that is?
Often surrounded by people who don’t love working out as much as I do (admittedly, I’m an enthusiast), I’ve asked myself this question many times but to no avail. It seems that the path to fitness is narrow and few find it, but I wish that wasn’t so as exercise is such an essential part of a long, healthy life. Not to mention it can be a blast once you find your groove!
Perhaps there are some insider secrets that ‘insiders’ wrongly assume ‘outsiders’ already know. This slideshow is my humble attempt to “crack the code” and unveil those tips, tricks and secrets so that everyone can find their way to fitness and establish a routine that truly sticks.