personaltrainerGetting serious about being healthy and fit is a great decision, but it’s not an easy one to execute. There are so many resources out there to facilitate your healthy living plan, but nothing really beats the advantage of having a trainer. If you are sitting and staring at the gym membership card you never use, maybe this will help convince you that a one on one trainer is the way to go.

Accountability: It is so much easier to hit the snooze button if you don’t have someone waiting for you. Believe me, I have been there. I vow to go to the gym or a class and when that alarm goes off, there is always a reason to stay in bed. If you have a trainer, they likely have a cancellation policy. I know I do.  So if you cancel last minute, you will lose the money you paid for that session. That alone is incentive enough for me. And because it would be extremely rude, you probably wouldn’t even entertain the thought of not showing up, right?

Variety: There is truth to the saying that ‘Variety is the spice of life’. If you do the same routine over and over you will probably get bored, slack off and lose interest. You will also plateau and results will diminish. It is the trainer’s job to come up with your exercise plan, guide you through it and make it interesting and challenging.

Encouragement: Everyone loves an ego boost. If you work out on your own, who is going to tell you how great you are? How will you really know when it’s time to kick it up a notch? A trainer is not only there to see that you work out smart and safe, but to also be your own personal cheerleader. Who doesn’t love that?!

Progress Tracking: If you have specific goals in mind, a trainer can help you track those and make the proper adjustments to your plan. This is something that takes time and initially it seems like a fun task to do for yourself, but it can become tedious and discouraging and would probably be one of the firsts things to fall by the wayside.

Form and Safety: An exercise done with incorrect form isn’t worth doing. Unless you are only doing work where you can safely see your form in a mirror there is really no way for you to know if you are making a mistake. Not only will you not see the results you want, there is a greater risk of injury. If you have someone watching and correcting your form, chances are you will also get the results you want in a shorter amount of time.

Even trainers have trainers. We know enough about the body to work out effectively and safely on our own, but another set of eyes and another perspective is always beneficial. So if you are really serious, it may be worth it to cut back on something in order to fit a trainer into your budget. Weigh the pros and cons for yourself. Check out discount sites like Groupon, Gilt City, Living Social and others for deals as they are always out there. While many people see having a trainer as a luxury, it is definitely money well spent. Consider it an investment in the best stock possible: You.

Jessica Kuiken is a Los Angeles based Certified Pilates Instructor. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter

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