Are you thinking of hiring a personal trainer, but wonder if it is worth the time and money?

Hiring a personal trainer is a big step. Personal trainers are fitness and lifestyle professionals. Certified personal trainers have extensive training and experience that makes them authorities on diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices. Investing in a personal trainer may be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

Personal trainers can forever change how you view diet, exercise and physical fitness. Whether you are an elite athlete or weekend warrior, a senior or a teen, working with a personal trainer will help you get healthier, stronger, and physically fitter. Your personal trainer will work with you to reach your fitness goals and teach you how to maintain those goals for life. In fact, hiring a personal trainer may be one of the most effective changes you will ever make in your life.

Here are ten reasons why you should hire a personal trainer.

Top 10 Reasons You Need to Hire a Personal Trainer

1. Motivation and results

Do you find it difficult to stick with a program or habit when you work alone?

Nearly everyone works harder when someone else is around – that is just human nature. Scientists call the Köhler effect, which is a theory that says that a person works harder when part of a team because nobody wants to be the weakest link. In fact, healthy competition is the number one source of motivation to exercise more, according to research.

While a personal trainer provides support and information rather than competition, simply having a personal trainer cheering you on can motivate you to press on and push through plateaus. A personal trainer also provides motivation through accountability – nobody wants to face a trainer and confess that he or she did not work out.

Your personal trainer can also motivate you to get results. Personal trainers and physiologists describe the steps people go through when considering exercise as the “five stages of change” that include pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. One study found that weekly sessions with a personal trainer helped clients progress through the stages of change. After 10 weeks of making health behavior changes, 60 percent of those with personal trainers moved up one stage and another 13 percent moved up two stages.

2. Consistency

Consistency is essential when it comes to achieving a workout goal but many people change their workout every few weeks or, worse still, let too much time pass between workout sessions. The health benefits of exercise begin to dissipate after just a few days of inactivity. The positive metabolic effects of exercise are usually the first to go, but motivation, endurance and the risk for injury soon follow. Consistency helps you perform the right exercises in the right way for the right amount of time.

Your trainer creates an effective workout routine then helps you perform that routine consistently enough to see real results.

3. Clarity

Fitness can be confusing. There is a lot of health information on television, the internet and other sources. This information is often complex and sometimes contradictory – you might hear a morning report that apples are the healthiest food on the planet, for example, and then read that evening that you should never eat apples.

Always looking for ways to improve client experience and optimize results, many personal trainers stay up on the latest research on evidence-based exercises, performance drills, and conditioning techniques that really work. Your trainer can help you find credible information and provide direction that can help you achieve your goals.

4. Confidence

The gym or fitness center can be intimidating. Many people, especially newcomers, think that health clubs are filled with models and bodybuilders who are experts in how to use mysterious machines. They are afraid of being ridiculed for having an imperfect body, for example, or demeaned for not knowing how to exercise equipment.

A personal trainer can boost your confidence in the training room. Your personal trainer will design one or more regular training sessions to help you achieve your fitness goals on a schedule that fits your needs. After just a few sessions, you will know how to perform exercises, use machines and navigate nearly any exercise facility.

Your personal trainer can even provide an ego boost during exercise to give you the self-confidence you need to get the most out of your time at the health club.

5. Avoid Injury

A personal trainer can help you avoid sports injuries, which are those injuries that can happen as the result of playing sports or exercising. Some sports injuries are from accidents, but many others are the result of improper equipment or poor training practices. Sports injuries can occur when someone is not in proper condition or attempts a physical feat that is beyond his or her physical abilities. Failing to warm up or stretch before exercising or engaging in a sport can also lead to injuries.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most common sports injuries are:

Sprains, which are the stretching or tearing of the ligament tissue that connect bones to form a joint
Strains, which are the stretching or tearing of muscles or tendons that connects muscles to bones
Achilles tendon injuries that affect the band of tissue connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone
Swollen muscles
Knee injuries
Pain along the shinbone
Broken bones

A personal trainer can help you avoid sports injuries by teaching you proper body mechanics, warm-up exercises and stretches, and exercise techniques. A trainer can evaluate the equipment you use and assess whether you are using it correctly. Your personal trainer can also develop an exercise program that helps you reach your goals and improve your results with less risk for injury.

6. Individual Attention

While there are some general rules when it comes to the physiology of diet and exercise, physical fitness is not a one-size-fits-all venture. Your fitness level, goals, body mechanics, experience, and even your likes and dislikes affect the frequency, intensity and duration of your exercise sessions. Ultimately, these individual differences shape the results of your workout.

Your personal trainer takes every aspect of your individuality into consideration when creating a personalized plan. This individual attention allows you to achieve your goals in the shortest amount of time possible with the lowest risk for injury. Your personal trainer may suggest alternate exercises if you are having trouble performing a certain exercise, for example, or modify your exercise regimen to compensate for a problem.

Personalized attention also helps you maintain your exercise program long enough to see results. Exercise programs for large classes tend to advance quickly to keep them interesting; unfortunately, the fast pace leaves many people behind. Furthermore, many exercise programs are for weight loss only, so the exercises they provide may not lead you towards your goal of running faster, for example, or kicking a soccer ball farther. Your personal trainer can devise an exercise program that advances at just the right pace to fit your personal abilities and goals.

7. Sport-specific Training

Personal trainers provide sport-specific training that can help you perform better at nearly any activity you choose. Do you want to run your first 5K? A sports trainer can help you build speed and endurance. A personal trainer can help you shave strokes off your golf game or improve your backhand on the tennis court.

Your trainer can also help you avoid golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, and other injuries specific to your favorite sport. Want to prepare for a backpacking trip? Your personal trainer can help you build strong core muscles to protect your back from injury and improve your balance so you can safely traverse uneven terrain.

8. Training Safely with Medical Conditions

Exercise helps prevent and manage many common conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and high blood pressure. Exercising with a medical condition, however, requires additional precautions and considerations. A person with a heart condition can benefit from aerobic exercise, for example, but should always start slowly, take plenty of rest periods, and avoid exercising in extremely hot or cold temperatures.

A knowledgeable trainer knows how to put together an exercise program that improves a client’s condition safely.

9. Aging Gracefully

The human body changes as it ages, and its need for exercise changes as well. You may have noticed that the exercises that worked just a few years ago no longer seem effective. Doing just a few sit-ups or crunches may have once given you washboard abs, for example, but now

Your trainer can help you adjust your workout routine and optimize it to the changing needs of your body. The personal trainer may even suggest new exercises to help you avoid some of the chronic conditions associated with aging, such as arthritis, so that you can maintain functionality and strength long into your golden years.

10. FUN

Was recess your favorite subject in school? How about gym? Most young kids enjoy exercise because physical activity is fun. At some point, though, the sheer joy of engaging in a playful workout gives way to serious repetition at the gym. Unfortunately, performing the same boring exercises in the same boring order is excruciatingly dull. The monotony of running on a treadmill by yourself or listening to the regular clanking of gym weights can put your brain to sleep.

Your personal trainer helps make exercise fun again by providing inspiration, support, and interesting new workouts that challenge your mind and your body.

These are just a few of the top reasons to hire a personal trainer. There are many more reasons, including companionship, improved health literacy, and an overall improvement in your quality of life. Once you have hired a personal trainer, you will wonder how you ever survived without one.