Health & Wellness

Finding the Right Fitness Trainer

With the rise of Instagram and other social media platforms, we see more and more
images of impossibly beautiful and impeccably skinny or toned youthful bodies posing on yoga
mats or in majestic places of nature. They gain hundreds of followers and preach fitness and
wellness advice viewable in the “comments” section and request you direct message them for
product information or services. Since when did everyone on Instagram suddenly become a
fitness expert? They’re not. The fitness industry is not well-regulated and includes a vast scale
of educational backgrounds where anyone can claim to be a fitness expert. Unlike medical
physicians or chiropractors, personal trainers and fitness instructors are not required to have a
state-regulated license in order to work with people. Typically, a fitness trainer has gone through
at least one nationally recognized certification course in order to gain the education needed to
work one-on-one with individuals, but not all certifications are created equal, and it is up to them
and/or the company they work for to keep the certification(s) current.

Before you start following someone’s workout routine posted online or buying into a
service or product, make sure that person has your best interests in mind. My advice is to keep
asking questions. Don’t blindly take advice. Most of us need modifications for knee conditions,
joint injuries, spine issues, etc. It’s up to you to make sure that the “fitness professional” is
qualified to work with chronic conditions and special populations. If you are looking to employ
the assistance of a fitness trainer to help you reach your goals, do your research. For example, if
you are a member of a gym, ask the manager what are the requirements for the personal trainers
they hire? Do they hire trainers with only a high school degree or a Bachelor of Science in the
field? What certifications do they require their trainers to have? Is there a system in place for
keeping them up-to-date, or are most of the trainer’s certifications expire? You should know
who you’re working with.

There are many excellent fitness trainers out there, but there are also equally inadequate
ones. Just because someone has been working out or practicing yoga for years, does not qualify
them to instruct other people. An experienced fitness trainer with credentials can be an extremely
valuable resource, but be prepared to weed through a few faulty ones on your search. Remember
to look with a critical eye, and knowing your budget and knowing your goals will help you find
the right fitness trainer for you.

Stephanie Bogdan provides private fitness and yoga sessions throughout Palm Beach County. For more information, visit

Stephanie Bogdan

Director Business Development & Founder, Caribbean Karma, LLC
(646) 592-0782

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist,
Author, & Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher

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