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Op-Ed: New Year’s Resolutions & Why Fitness Shouldn’t Be One


As 2015 comes to a close, many will ponder what they’ll resolve to do in 2016. One popular resolution is losing weight and getting fit… but what is a “resolution” exactly? We all know the dictionary definition of a resolution, but what about its alter meaning? I’m referring to procrastination. Resolving applies doing something in the future, not necessarily right now. This is precisely why fitness shouldn’t be a resolution, because time and time again we procrastinate to do the work necessary to be fit.


The US military has a set of standards on fitness that must be met by all who serve, in the US Army, it’s called the Army Physical Fitness Test [APFT], which determines the level of fitness a soldier has based on three categories: push-ups, sit-ups, and two-mile run, which is graded on a scale by age and score in the three events, but what about fitness outside of the US military? There’s a whole new world of fitness that is outside of what the US military requirements are and it should start with a knowledgeable personal trainer.

Having multiple back surgeries had me questioning my ability to maintain my fitness level without the risk of hurting myself and having another back surgery; this is where my trainer comes in. I’ve been attending a civilian gym for a little over two years now and only recently hired a trainer to help me with overcome my fears of injuring my back. Best investment I’ve ever made and I highly recommend hiring a personal trainer regardless of fitness skill level.

Sean is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and when I hired him as my trainer, he sat me down and asked me pointed questions about my overall health, my diet, my sleep patterns, my concerns, and what my fitness goals were.  The answers I gave would help him design a fitness plan that was tailor-made for only me by knowing areas I needed improvement in without the risk of injuring myself.

Sean raises some valid points when selecting a personal trainer:

These health professionals (physicians, dentists, physical therapists etc.) are held to high standards and qualifications. So why wouldn’t you hold a personal trainer—whom will most likely be the health professional you spend time with the most—to those same standards and qualifications? Do they have a certification for personal training through an accredited organization? What level of education had they most recently attained aside from their certification? What has there past experience with clientele looked like? Just like the other health professionals these are a few questions you may want answered justly before you spend any kind of hard earned cash. Be aware of quintessential meathead (men or women) trainers who may like exercise and look physically fit because they found something that worked for them but will try to lure you in with pseudoscience and the all to popular pain is gain routine where they put you through hard workouts only to make you sore with no intention of functionality.

Fitness should never be a resolution, it should be a life long commitment that gets better when you have the right tools in place. One of those tools being a personal trainer who will guide you every step of the way with your overall health in mind.