Fitting in Fitness With Fatherhood in NYC

by glenn on March 4, 2012

As parents, and for the purposes of this article, fathers, we spend a lot of our time doing things for others.  Whether it be pickups, drop offs, playdates, music classes, sports classes, diaper changes, shopping, cooking or something else on the never-ending to do list, there are few things that we do each day for ourselves.  But are you being fair to yourself?  Sounds selfish, but what if that something could make us better at all of those daily tasks’  That something is exercise.

 

No else can exercise for you.  No one else can lift a weight.  No one else can get on the treadmill.  No one else can attend a group fitness class for you.  Exercise is something that only you can do for you.  You can’t ask someone to do you a favor and workout for you.  You can’t delegate exercise to someone else.  The benefits of exercise have been well documented.  Most studies I have read, relate to on the job performance, but it isn’t hard to transfer that over to parenting.  And for those of us for whom daddy duty is a full time job, our daily performance is all the more important.  People who exercise are more productive each day.  They accomplish more, more efficiently. They are more alert and able to make better, clearer decisions, with improved multi-tasking skills.  Show me a dad who doesn’t try to multi-task to get everything done.

 

Then when the work is “done”, you will have more energy for the fun stuff, like playing games and rolling on the floor with your kids.  The bonus is you get sick less. Making it easier to sail through the day with an on time arrival record rivaling the best airlines.  This means extra days with your kids and being able to give them 100% at every moment.  Healthy check ups beat out sick visits any day.  This all rounds out to say that by exercising, you will be setting a healthy example for your kids.  Our kids see my wife and I coming back from the gym several days a week.  They see the extra energy and smiles it brings out when we come through the door.  Does that mean that they are asking to join the gym?  No.  But they know, from that and our conversations, that its good to run around and be active.  They look forward to getting outside and getting their own exercise.  As we all know they will have plenty of time to sit when they are older.  For now they can enjoy all the playgrounds, fields, and gymnastics studios that New York City provides.

 

The biggest excuse I hear about not exercising is, I don’t have time.  My advice is think small at first.  You can get a great workout done in 20 minutes.   For some reason, people have this idea that if you don’t have one-hour everyday to workout, then why bother.  Yes, fitness classes and personal training sessions can last up to an hour, but that doesn’t mean that every workout has to last one hour.  Set aside 20 minutes a few days a week for fitness.  Exercise is contagious.  Some days you may have the opportunity and motivation to stay an extra 20-30 minutes.  Other days you might dread the entire 20 minutes. (But you’ll feel better when you’re done.)  More importantly, if you can go on a consistent basis, you will see change.  If you need help figuring out what to do for 20 minutes, there are people who can create a program for you.  Just be consistent.

 

“Parenting can be frustrating at times,” says Lance Somerfeld.  I believe that exercise makes me a better father.  That may not be true for everyone, but it is for me.  Some days I can get in 45 minutes, and on others only 15-20, but I am in a better frame of mind having done some exercise instead of nothing.  It is the one thing I enjoy doing for myself each day that has so many benefits for my family.  I gotta run.  Literally.  Enjoy your workout!

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The Effect of Poor Nutrition on New Dads

by glenn on February 24, 2012

Mazel Tov to the new father! Your new bundle of love is sure to bring many moments of joy to your life, along with many stressful and sleepless nights. At this time, now more than ever, giving your body the proper nutrients is so important.   Even at full strength, keeping up with the needs of a newborn is taxing on a physically fit new parent. Add in the stress of a job and commuting in New York City along with poor nutrition and you have written a recipe for a rough patch! Before your baby comes it may be best to focus on what you need to do to eat right the first few weeks after bringing your child home, because it is in your best interest, and your child’s, to do so for many reasons. Here are a few highlights.

 

Proper nutrition can help you keep up your energy levels throughout the day.  Healthy snacks in between meals, like fruit, nuts, or yogurt, can help keep blood sugar levels from whipsawing and creating energy lulls. Newborns require a ton of energy. All of those late night feedings and diaper changes take a toll on your body. By eating right, you ensure your body is getting all the proper nutrition it needs to keep up with your newborn’s demands. It is in your best interest to seek out the help of a professional Nutritionist NYC. These professionals have the credentials to properly assess your individual needs based on your lifestyle, and will develop a custom eating plan to keep you on top of your game.

 

A New York City nutritionist will also strive to create a customized eating plan that will help lower your risk of future health problems. Should you be struggling with any health issues, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or pre-diabetes, a customized healthy eating plan created by a certified nutritionist NYC can help get these issues under control. By properly managing your health through diet, you ensure that you will be around for your child for many years to come.   If your situation does involve any of these issues or another, it may be important to consider a fitness component to your new lifestyle.  For a proper exercise program design, ask your nutritionist to recommend a good NYC personal trainer for your situation.  You may even be able to involve your family in your fitness activities.

 

Many people don’t necessarily associate eating habits with sleep, but the two are very connected.  Whether it be the types of foods you eat or the time you eat them, this can have a serious effect on how soundly you sleep through the night.  The New York City lifestyle is one of the nation’s most fast-paced and stressful. This makes it especially hard on new fathers who also work long hours. Eating healthy will ensure your brain gets the nutrients it needs to keep you on your toes at work and play.  When you combine poor nutrition with sleep deprivation, it will result in forgetfulness and your productivity will decrease.

 

Give your child the gift of a father who will be there for them for many years to come.  Feed your body the fuel it needs to push through the hard times.  Good food at the table sets a good example for your children.  When you fuel your body right, you can better handle the stress of events like being a new parent or the parent of a newborn.  Your children will learn to eat from your eating patterns.  Proper nutrition will help you keep up your energy level, reduce your risk of future health problems, and keep you focused.  Contact a Nutritionist NYC today.

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Living in New York City means tolerating the busy and chaotic daily grind. With all of the frenetic activity, staying healthy is not an easy task. Establishing and maintaining good lifestyle habits is essential to having a healthy life. However there are many people who are stuck in their busy life and have trouble maintaining the healthy habits needed for optimal health. Sometimes it makes better sense to seek the assistance of health professionals. More and more, people are seeking guidance from health coaches and nutritionists.

 

Nutritionists and health coaches assist individuals in very important and specific ways. The nutritionist is primarily focused on a person’s food choices and habits. This tends to spill over into other aspects of lifestyle, however their primary concern is what you are eating on a daily basis. NYC Nutritionists are experienced in creating a palatable, nutritious daily diet that fits within the busy lifestyle most of us lead. Nutritionists strive to help their clients develop strong healthy habits. Once these habits are established, then it becomes easier to make the smart choices that lead to optimal health.

 

A health coach is another type of wellness professional an individual may enlist to help identify and correct some unhealthy habits. A health coach looks at a person’s life through a panoramic-like lens. A health coach wants to help you identify triggers that cause you to stray off the wellness path and make poor choices.  Whereas a nutritionist looks specifically at a person’s diet, a health coach looks at every aspect of a person’s life to help their health. Health coaches may help analyze living arrangements, sleep habits and a person’s daily schedule.  The health coach will help make suggestions on how to improve on a day to day and week by week basis. Dietary and nutritional habits are also explored as part of this. However the health coach is not looking specifically at the diet as a nutritionist would. In some cases, the health coach wants to get the individual to realize on their own that changes need to be made in there life in order to achieve the goal of a healthy lifestyle. Living healthy needs to exist outside the conversation you have with your doctor. Living healthy involves making the right choices everyday.

 

Is it necessary to use the services of both a nutritionist and a health coach?  Probably not.  If you can take the time to ask yourself a few questions and identify what your needs are, you may come to your own conclusion on who to choose.  Another option is to seek out some initial consultations with some nutritionists and health coaches in your neighborhood.  The conversations will help you get a better idea of your needs, while at the same time getting to know your potential guide on your journey to better health.  What you will find is that many health coaching certification programs have a nutrition component.  Additionally, many certified NYC health coaches either start with a nutritionist certification or get one after they are certified as a NYC personal trainer.

 

If you feel that your life in general is a bit out of control and you need to get many things under control which in turn can help with your nutritional issues, than start with a health coach.  If you are looking for a more specific food plan and not to concerned with other lifestyle habits, then start with a nutritionist NYC.  If you really want to incorporate a fitness aspect into your program, you may even find a personal trainer with additional certifications in nutrition or health coaching.

 

 

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Food is fuel in the most basic sense of the word. People who live and work in a place as dynamic as New York City need to give their bodies the best fuel in just the right amount in order to get ahead. That’s not easy for the active professional who’s on the run from early in the morning until late at night. They know that granola bar and a can of Red Bull is not a healthy meal, but often it’s what’s most convenient. If this sounds familiar then it’s time to speak with a Nutritionist NYC.

 

Busy people face many challenges to keeping their energy up.  Everyday they are faced with the demands of a hectic schedule.  A nutritionist understands that.  Nutritionists are experts in the nutritional science. At a minimum, a nutritionist should be certified by an independent fitness agency.  However, you will find many holding a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a related subject.  Almost all of them have taken courses in biology, mathematics, statistics, psychology and sociology.  Nutritionists are trained to know which foods or groups of foods/ingredients are healthy and which are not. They can create a healthy eating plan for various fitness and wellness goals.  They can range from helping people lose weight, train for grueling sports competitions or help in the fight against diseases like cancer.  They can even help design a diet for those who need to eat a nut-free or gluten-free diet.

 

A proper diet is a key factor in preventing many diseases and other health problems. A nutritionist can help the busy professional tailor an eating plan that’s the first step in taking charge of his or her own well-being.  Whether the goal is to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol, a nutritionist will help educate their client on making healthy and safe food choices when sticking to the prescribed menu just isn’t possible.  This can often happen when traveling or at a business dinner.

 

Nutritionists should be advocating good health through healthy eating of whole foods.  If the nutritionist emphasizes vitamin pills and other supplements over diets rich in fruits, vegetables, or lean cuts of meat and fish, that should be a good indicator that alternative motives may be in place.  A committed nutritionist knows that good health comes from good food choices.

 

There are a few great ways to find a Nutritionist NYC.  Many people enjoy success through a referral from a friend or colleague who has used nutritional services successfully in the past. Often, fitness professionals network business with each other, so your NYC personal trainer could be a great resource, as they should know you and what your body needs pretty well. In special circumstances, it may be necessary to go through a physician or medical professional.  If you are starting at square one, you may find success by searching an online fitness directory for your New York City neighborhood.

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The Benefits of Stretching

by glenn on February 1, 2012

If you’ve ever been desperately searching for a rubber band in your desk drawer, exalted when you found one, but feel deflated the next moment when you begin to stretch it and the rubber band begins to crack and rip in an unnatural way for one you at not alone.  This should be easy to visualize and serve as an example of what happens to muscles that go unused, unstretched, and then are suddenly called into action.  The sudden call of duty can have painful results, that could have been avoided with a regular stretching routine.

 

The first positive you will derive from beginning a stretching routine is an improvement in flexibility and movement.  Nobody enjoys those first few steps when they get out of bed and everything feels stiff.  The last thing you would want is for that feeling to stick around all day.  Like a Weeping Willow tree, your posture is terrible.  If you have been stretching regularly, this type of early morning stiffness will dissipate shortly and you’ll be standing up erect quickly.  equally as important, improved flexibility allows you to reach more easily for things.  Your range of motion is better and your reach may even be extended by an inch or two.  For some who have taken pilates, they have even reported getting taller after a few months of performing the exercises.

 

A direct benefit of the elasticity that your muscles develop through stretching and the one I most closely associate with is injury prevention.  Reaching for and pulling on everyday items is when most people get in trouble from not stretching.  Simple gestures like reaching to open a door for someone or trying to get a box on a high shelf are typical beginnings for the story of the injured.  For me, it was in the middle of the night when I had to change bed sheets, that I overextended and hurt my back.  I do stretch regularly, but this moreover exemplifies what can happen when your stiff.  Out of a still sleep, I was performing reaches and pulling the mattress when my body was just jostled from sleep.  My back hurt the next day.  After a few days of stretching (ironically), heat, and ice I was back to feeling 100% again.  On a regular day, changing a bed sheet is not a problem at all, because I stretch regularly.  As an avid runner, I do not experience muscle pulls as a result of regular stretching.

 

Increased circulation can provide a number of benefits, including oxygen flow to the muscles.  The increased flow of oxygen can improve muscular endurance, because it provides more of the things your muscles need.  On the other end, the increased flow allows for the removal of lactic acid, other toxins, and waste to be done more rapidly preventing any buildup, thus carrying away carbon dioxide and other waste that can slow your muscle’s recovery.

 

We can’t all be like the cartoon character Plastic Man, nor are we expected to be contortionists. Whether you choose to work with a personal trainer NYC, or with an instructor who teaches yoga NYC, or pilates NYC, you can create and perform a great stretching routine to increase your flexibility and enjoy the benefits.

 

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It’s like deja vu all over again.  The familiar crowd of New Year’s resolutionists hit the gym this week.  So much optimism and renewed energy on the gym floor.  It’s exciting for many.  The saddest part is that most people will be gone by mid-February leaving the regular crowd to its familiar surroundings.  I, for one, wish the crowds would stay.

 

Many of the die-hards at the gym selfishly loathe the newbies who descend upon their hallowed fitness grounds like ants on a picnic blanket.  But imagine, for a moment, where there are more people are waiting for a treadmill than are waiting to see a cardiologist.  Imagine more people “working in” and sharing machines and less people stuffed into an overbooked physician’s waiting room for an appointment that was supposed to start 45 minutes ago that they waited 6 weeks to get. (Think of the incredible 45-minute workout you could have done instead of a torturous waiting room episode surrounded by sick people.)

 

I wish those who start the New Year with high hopes for their health could come in with a tried and true plan for success.  Many of these new members would benefit from the help of a personal trainer Manhattan.  Whether it be an ongoing weekly appointment, or a short term limited run of sessions, personal trainers Manhattan can help put you on the path to reaching your fitness goals.

 

For those who are self-motivated and well versed in exercise terminology and have a clear understanding of what it takes, they may find success executing a workout plan from a magazine or book. Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many go this route who either weren’t self motivated enough to stick with it or weren’t focused enough to create their own plan.  If you decide to read about, learn, and execute a plan, it’s best to have a good base of knowledge to build.  Picking up a book about exercise and trying to understand everything, for most people is like trying to learn web design from a book. It’s overwhelming.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if we saw an increase in the percent of people who exercise?  It seems that for all the resolutions that are made, memberships that are sold, and exercise books and DVD’s that are purchased, that number is virtually unchanged. Healthcare is only becoming more expensive.  The government can’t lower healthcare costs.  The laws of supply and demand are being dictated by an overall otherwise, unhealthy society.  Everyone has to realize that true healthcare reform starts with an individual reforming their own health.

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Every January, a large group of mainly sedentary people descend on their local gym to purchase a membership.  Of course, they have the best intentions of sticking with it.  They will tell themselves that this is the year to turn it all around.  This is the year they get in the best shape of their lives.  After all, that is what you are supposed to say in January.  Similarly, come April, everyone is rushing to submit their taxes.  In both cases, people want to get maximum returns.  But for some reason, people are more likely to seek the assistance of an accountant than a personal trainer.  However, personal trainers, like accountants, help improve your returns.

 

Even the simplest tax return can take many hours to complete and be very stressful.  Still, there may be deductions that you are eligible for and it is important to be aware of what they are.  Plus, as is the buzz in Congress, the tax codes are very difficult to decipher.  So, many individuals will walk into the CPA office for help.  In fitness, the simple tax return is the equivalent of an otherwise healthy adult beginning a fitness program. There may not be any glaring health issues, but there are details to pay attention to like form and exercise choice.  Making the right choices can help you refine a workout to be more efficient and effective during your exercise sessions.

 

On the tax front, what happens when your taxes are more involved?  For those with families, joint filers, or small business owners, tax season can keep someone up all night.  For many, using a CPA is an absolute necessity.  However, some still feel they need to do it themselves or they can do just as well on their own.  Ask anyone with a difficult tax return and they will tell you, they got more money back and didn’t have to waste the hours trying to fill out the form properly.  Not only is it necessary to keep up with your expenses all year, but now you need to organize and reconcile everything.  You have to be sure that you separate each line item properly and are taking advantage of every single deduction, whether it is a business deduction or a childcare deduction.  This is the same as a person who needs or wants to start a fitness program and has health problems.  Whether they be illness related or a nagging injury, they need to be addressed when create your exercise program.  If you have high blood pressure, you need to monitor your heart rate and be sure to stay within the recommended range.  Someone with a knee issue may need to stay away from the squat rack.  Ignoring the condition could lead to far worse problems.

 

The biggest challenge with trying to address both of these scenarios on your own is that you need to know everything about tax laws and exercise physiology.   There are very few people who can be experts in both exercise physiology and filing tax returns, while at the same time have a successful, completely unrelated, full time occupation.  If you are reading this article, you are probably not one of those few, but rather struggle with your own fitness and taxes.  It’s best to delegate the task of creating a maximally beneficial exercise program and a maximum tax refund to one of these industry experts.

 

In these instances, it is best to hire an certified public accountant or a personal trainer.  They are professionals of their respective fields.  In both cases, they will move you efficiently and effectively through your task to completion.  From a tax perspective, a certified public accountant will save you countless hours of sorting through tax receipts and tax codes to make sure you maximize your returns.  Similarly, a personal trainer Queens will help design a program for you before even stepping out onto the gym floor.  Then they will execute it with you minimizing useless break times, while alternating exercises to give muscles the appropriate rest time to recover for the next set.

 

 

In March, you will see plenty of advertisements by companies stating that by having their accountants look over your taxes you will receive a higher tax refund.  In December and January, you will see an increase in advertisements by fitness facilities promoting gym memberships with a personal training NYC special.  For those of you who are do-it-yourselfers, take heed.  There is some truth to these advertisements.  Be true to yourself.  Ask for help when you need to find the best and quickest route to your goals.  Enjoy your workout!

 

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Let’s be honest.  Word of mouth referrals is not a marketing plan.  It is a testament to you being a great trainer and helping your clients reach their goals.  Your best clients are the ones who refer you to others.  Having those great long-term relationships with your clients, means working with the type of clients who match up well with your skills and experience.  Those who don’t may not stick with you for the long haul, leaving you with the task of finding another client to fill that session time again.  That takes work.  But what about when a client finds you?  They see your skills match their areas of need.  They see your experience matches their plight.  These are the people who stick with you and call you a “lifesaver” or a “life changer.”  They speak of you often and with great appreciation.

 

Visualize a tree root system and how it fortifies the tree’s foothold in the ground.  As a tree grows, it’s roots grow thicker and deeper into the ground seeking water and nutrients.  The thickest roots are always those that sprout from the tree’s base.  As the thick roots grow, smaller roots sprout from the thick roots so they can absorb more water from the ground.  From those smaller roots, offshoot even thinner roots, but eventually the roots become to thin to split off again.  If the tree is to continue its growth trajectory, it needs additional thick roots to come from its base and produce new roots from it.  Can you see the correlation?  Each root is a client, that can produce additional client.  The thicker the roots, the stronger your client relationship.  These can grow over time.  However, sometimes just like in tough economic times, eventually the soil can dry up and the root begins to shrink.  If the tree roots cannot attract any water they will die.

 

What does a tree root system have to do with your personal training business referrals?  A lot if you can picture it.  No matter how busy you are, ALWAYS be marketing.  “I get a lot of my business through word-of-mouth referrals.,” is what personal trainers often say.  That’s great.  That is the mark of a successful business, but what about when the referrals dry up?  What is your plan B.  Every great plan needs a plan B to sustain success.

 

Why do you always need to be marketing even in the best of times?  Because strong roots can help you set off a growth spurt.  Growing your personal training business is your goal.  Also, because nothing is guaranteed. what if one part of the tree’s root system dies or becomes sick? The recession hurt a lot of fitness businesses.  Lastly, on a more positive note, you are always more in demand when you look like you are in demand.  People want what they can’t have.

 

Someone needs you in 2012.  But will they be able to find you easily online?  Many NYC personal trainers already have a facebook page, twitter account, and a Youtube channel.  However, their existence is separate and fragmented.  Give your clients one source for learning more about you.  Bring them all together, along with all of your skills and experience in one easily accessible online profile.

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The Rise of Denim and Personal Trainers

by glenn on December 26, 2011

Denim wasn’t always so popular.  When I was younger, you went to The Gap and chose between Levi’s and Gap brand jeans. Or you could go to Sears and choose from Lee or Wrangler. Then someone decided they wanted the Jordache look of denim while others went ooh, la, la for Sassoon. Thus the designer denim wars began and now there are so many different companies making pants out of denim it is hard to decide which one to pick. Unless, you know what you need and which body type is best for you. This is no different than selecting a personal trainer. In the 80’s, everyone wanted to workout with Jane Fonda or Jack LaLanne. Then, the personal training industry exploded and with it, many ideas on what characterized the ultimate workout. Their ascendance in prominence has been very similar.

 

In the broadest sense, the denim companies are like the trainers. At first there were just a handful of trainers. However, as their popularity and success grew, more people wanted to turn their passion for fitness into a successful career. Similarly, now you can find denim from large fashion designers to the  “micro-breweries” of jeans.  You can find denim and personal trainers for virtually any body type.

 

 

With this new competition, fitness professionals had to find a way to differentiate themselves from each other. A trainer’s style and philosophy would be the difference maker. This was in the same fashion as denim pant producers began to diversify from a straight leg fit. Eventually you began to see boot leg cut, loose fit, slim fit, just to name a few. For trainers, this amounts to the equivalent of designing different programs for those who want to lose weight, tone up, build muscle, prepare for a competition, combat health problems, or prepare for golf or ski season. There is no all encompassing, one size fits all program for every fitness or wellness goal.

 

Finally, as each pants company developed, for example, a boot cut, they shaped that style with their own vision. To stand out from competitors, they added their own signature designs and tailoring. Some styled their pockets differently or went with acid-washing techniques to produced different looks. No two boot cuts could be created the same. This is also true for personal trainers when designing a program. For instance, one trainer may create a program centering around exercises using cables and bands, while another designs a similar muscle-building program, but uses more weights, tubing, and body weight.

 

From progress comes ingenuity. Most often that ingenuity produces advances in a micro and a macro sense. Whether you are designing with denim or designing fitness programs, the need to differentiate and seemingly personalize the details for different body types is becoming more and more essential. Just like there is a pair of denim jeans out there for everyone, you can certainly find the right personal trainer NYC to fit your needs.

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The fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Therefore, it isn’t fair to pigeonhole the entire idea of fitness into a single visual of a weight room and cardiovascular equipment. Some cannot stand the thought of exercise. However, it is common knowledge that some firm of physical activity should be done everyday for at least 30 minutes. Thus, if the gym is not going to get someone motivated, it is time to think about another form of exercise. For some, they turn to pilates or yoga.

For most people when they think of exercise, they visualize themselves in a gym surrounded by written and machines. They also see themselves doing exercises that they were doing as teenagers when they first started exercising. Maybe they are looking to get back into exercise now after a long layoff. The idea of doing those same exercises does not seem appealing. These people may benefit from the the services of a personal trainer who can show them a few new exercises and design a complete program. For those who can’t stomach the gym monotony, they may decide to try pilates.

Pilates is another great form of exercise that has gained in popularity in recent years. New York City pilates instructors are readily available for in-home sessions or many may have their own studios to meet with clients. If you go to the studio, you will have the benefit of using a reformer machine. At home, a very effective program will take place on a mat. You may also want to explore some of the different variations of Joseph Pilates original vision. NYC pilates instructors may specialize in one variety over another, such as Stott or Power.

Should neither of those interest you and you want something more centering, you may want to look at yoga. NYC yoga instructors will most definitely be versed in the many varieties of yoga. Typically, yoga NYC studios will stick with one genre of yoga over another. There are several diffferent types such as, bikram, baths, and vinyasa, being some of the most popular. It is okay to ask specific questions before deciding on which one is best for you.

If you can’t decide on a form of exercise, simply close your eyes and see what types of visions come to mind. If ypu see yourself on a mat workout your core, pilates may be your thigh. Keep in mind, many trainers have multiple certfications and can incoporate exercises from all three modalities. This helpful from a few standpoints, including the one that you don’t have to make a quick decision. You can feel it out over time and see where your true sense of exercise motivation comes from. Enjoy your workout.

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