Actually, they have more than one secret, but the most important is “adherence.” If it were easy to stick to a fitness regimen—more people would do it without help. Half of all those who start an exercise program drop out in six months. Hiring a trainer is the first step, but it doesn’t guarantee that the “client” is ready or willing to change his or her behaviors to achieve fitness goals—such as weight loss, improved muscle tone and strength and cardiovascular health.
The best trainers spend time understanding an individual’s motivation and ability, then they set small achievable goals that counteract the “I can’t do it,” excuse. They record workouts and progress so the client can see and feel change. And they encourage clients to replace negative self talk with positive thinking. In the beginning of the relationship with a trainer, the most critical factor is “adherence” to the fitness regimen.
If a personal trainer isn’t in your budget, check your phone. An estimated 100,000 smart phone apps are available to help people stay true to a healthier life. Some of the most effective apps are designed to log activity and food intake and calculate food exchanges to account for physical activity. Food and exercise diaries are not a new phenomenon. But doing it digitally rather than manually has been shown to enhance outcomes: A study by Northwestern University published in December 2012 by the Archives of Internal Medicine showed those who used apps lost up to 15 pounds more than those who kept a log by hand.