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Living Well : Physical Activity

Personal Trainers

Choosing a personal trainer is no different than hiring any other professional. Make sure the person you select meets the qualifications that matter most to you

A good option for some people

You may choose to work with a personal trainer, though not everyone needs one. If you’re making good progress and you like your physical activity routine, you may not need help. But, if you choose to, working with a trainer can have some advantages.

A personal trainer can’t do your work for you, but a good one can help you develop a routine to suit your needs and your fitness goals, and help you stay motivated. A good trainer can help keep you on track. And if you’ve paid for the session up front, that gives you one more reason to show up.

Choosing the right personal trainer

If you choose to go to a personal trainer, the next step is to find the one who’s best for you. Some gyms will just pair you up with the next trainer in line, no matter who that is or what you need, but you need to seek out the trainer who can help you achieve the goals you’ve set with your healthcare provider.

What to look for

The first thing to look for is certification. A certificate alone, however, does not guarantee that they know what they're doing. There is no national standard for trainers. The programs that certify trainers can set their own standards and some are very lax. Look for a trainer whose certificate comes from a respected organization with high standards. These include the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Council on Strength and Fitness.

Before you start with a personal trainer, set up an interview, as if you were going to hire someone for a job. In a way, you are.

Expect to do most of the talking. Some trainers will try to reel you in with tales of how they’ve reached their fitness goals. That’s not what matters. Good trainers are not just in good shape; good trainers can help you adhere to a plan that works for you.

Take control of the interview

You will want to have some of your questions prepared in advance. This is a good time to ask about referrals from past clients. If you want an at-home trainer, ask if they have insurance and whether they’re certified in CPR. It’s not out of line to ask where they studied.

You should also ask about how they work. How do they develop their programs? How can they help you reach your goals? And how do they watch for risks that might arise? This doesn’t just help you gauge their skill set, it also gives you a sense of who they are. Make sure that the trainer is a match for you. Ask if they have experience with individuals at your fitness level. You want to make sure the trainer has experience working with larger people or people who are new to exercise.

How you get along with your trainer is vital. You must be able to talk candidly with your trainer, even when you slip up. And you have to like working together, so you will want to keep coming back. If you want to work with a personal trainer, take the time to choose a good one.

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Do not take Qsymia if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or become pregnant during Qsymia treatment; have glaucoma; have thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism); are taking certain medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or have taken MAOIs in the past 14 days; are allergic to topiramate, sympathomimetic amines such as phentermine, or any of the ingredients in Qsymia. See the end of the Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Qsymia.