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  • How many of you have an IRA or 401K? 
  • How many of you have investments or a long term savings account which is earmarked for retirement?
  • How many of you have a long term savings plan on your 2016 To Do list?

The MAJORITY, if not ALL, of us have long term financial plans and goals. CONGRATULATIONS! One last question, how many of you have long-term health and wellness goals?

Just as we have been advised to plan for retirement, you should start investing in your long-term health as soon as you can. I am someone who is committed to mindful wellness, my three duties to others are to educate, enable and encourage.

Educate

Here are a few quick facts from the CDC:

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Each year, 1 in every 4 people die of heart disease in the United States. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, this affects the blood flow to the heart and can cause a heart attack.

Several medical conditions and lifestyle choices can put people at a higher risk for heart disease:

  • High blood pressure (120systolic/80diastolic pressure)
  • High cholesterol (TOTAL: Under 200, HDL: Over 60, LDL: Under 70)
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Physical inactivity

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:

  • Control your weight
    • To maintain your weight: 30 minutes/ 5 days per week
    • To lose weight and keep it off: Regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce your risk for some cancers over 60
    • Colon and breast cancer
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
    • Can slow the loss of bone density
    • Help with arthritis
  • Improve your mental health and mood
    • By keeping your thinking, learning and judgment skills sharp
    • Reduce the risk of depression
    • Help you sleep better
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
    • Maintain functional ability
    • Maintain or improve BALANCE
  • Increase your chances of living longer

Enable

Merriam-Webster has 3 definitions of Enable:

  • to make (someone or something) able to do or to be something
  • to make (something) possible, practical, or easy 
  • to cause (a feature or capability of a computer) to be active or available for use

 As a Personal Trainer, I feel that I best fall into the second definition - to make possible, practical or easy. Here is what you can expect when you work with me:

During the majority of a first meeting with a new client, we talk. My goal is to understand why you’re consulting me to be with you on your wellness journey, what your key drivers are, what obstacles we my face, and who, other than myself, will be a part of your support circle. Part of this discovery process is to see what you need from me as an accountability partner. Next steps are to take you through some fitness testing to get an understanding of where you are in your current physical ability, form to strength to endurance. Fairly easy, no heavy lifting required.

Our second meeting can go one of two ways, the first way- I run you through a program that I’ve developed for you, usually I recommend doing this program 2-3 times a week, for 4-6 weeks.

The other way this second meeting could go- is that I lead you through a workout that will be the first of many routines that I lead you through. This second approach can be more beneficial if you have a short-term goal that you want to work towards, a need for a strong accountability partner or if you just want a 30 or 60-minute mental break!

After our second meeting, we would schedule a third meeting, whether it’s a month out or a few days out. This is to help you stay accountable to me but more importantly, yourself.

Why would you want to meet regularly with a Personal Trainer?

For almost the same reason you would go to an accountant! I consulted my personal accountant as to why people, who know how to do math and follow a form, would use an accountant. Her answers astonished me as they were spot on with why you would have a personal trainer in your life:

Meeting with an accountant...

  • Saves the client from making mistakes (that they would not otherwise realize they would be making)
  • Keeps the client accountable (in terms of bookkeeping and record keeping, expense tracking)
  • Saves a client time that they would have to spend researching (tax code and regulations as opposed to going to see someone who has a professional designation in that field)

Pretty remarkable, right?

Encourage

One of the first videos I watched this year, was a spoof on the fitness industry claiming that we rely on New Year’s Resolutions, wait for efforts to minimize and eventually cease. This video was hysterical at first, but then I was actually saddened by it! I love goal setting; I love supporting others in their goals but I love it the most when you realize that you have made progress.

I’ve been dubbed “The Encourager” by one of my 70-year-old clients. I have educated her on why she needs and should want to come to the gym on a regular basis, I have given her a solid program that is easy and effective, AND I check in with her to support her efforts, answer any questions or tweak her program. She gets it. She understands the VALUE of her health.

I’ve intentionally made the analogy between financial planning and long term health and wellness because I want to encourage YOU to be mindful of your wellness future. We need to try to maintain our bodies for the long haul, to take advantage of our retirement travels, hold our grand or great grandchildren, carry a gallon of milk upstairs, and help our children to take care of us.

As we’ve been advised financially, the sooner you can start saving, the better. Same with your health, the sooner you can start being physically active and working on your fitness, the better.

So, I hope I’ve provided you with some education, enabled you with a 5 day pass (see below!), and encouraged you to start planning. Keep the end in mind!

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Michelle is a Personal Trainer at Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center and a Board Member for the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Alzheimer’s Association. If you need a kick start or want to try Milestone, sign up for a 5-Day Membership that includes a Complimentary Fitness Coaching Session. You can also contact Michelle at michellebriesnichols@gmail.com.