6 Self-Care Tips for Personal Trainers to Use Between Sessions

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“Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transferred.”  

This is one part of physics class that sticks with me to this day.  I can’t help but apply it to my career.  There is only so much time in a day and it seems energy is in short supply also.

Dogs spend plenty of time resting, after playing.  Of course, they don’t have to earn money, but they do set a good example for managing energy.  When there is an opportunity to have fun and play, they take advantage of it and then they rest.  After a weekend of camping, my dogs sleep for two days, to recover from all the stimulation.

Perhaps this isn’t as practical for us humans, because we have to earn a living.  It doesn’t mean we can’t take better care of ourselves when we’re not asleep.

When you help people work toward health and fitness goals all day, you spend energy – plain and simple.  The amount is different for everyone.  Are you taking time to re-charge?  Sleep is a necessity, but what else are you doing to take care of yourself?

Here are six activities to help you re-charge your energy batteries:

1. Close your eyes.  You can’t always sneak a nap in at work (although I used to nap in my car when I had an hour free), but you can find a quiet place and close your eyes.  There is constant input all day through our five senses.  Touch, smell, sight, sound and taste bombard our brains with information to process.

Turn off the input from sight temporarily, even if it’s during the few minutes you spend in the bathroom between clients.  This quiet time can also give you a break from sound.  Bring headphones to work and listen to soothing music on your break.

2. Nourish.  Stay hydrated.  By now you probably know that many drinks de-hydrate you, especially those with caffeine.  Stick with water or my favorite – coconut water.

Are you practicing what you preach with regards to eating?  In general, eat fresh food and avoid anything that’s been processed.  Get a balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein.  Limit sugar.  If you have special dietary needs, follow the advice of your nutritionist.

Do you enjoy cooking?  Try new recipes.  Trade recipes with your clients.  Get together with someone else who loves food and cook together.  Pack your leftovers for work.  Your body needs rich nutrients to thrive.

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3. Get outside.  If you work in a gym, sunlight can brighten your day, literally.  Spend time caring for your yard after work or visit a park to unwind your mind after a long day.  Try to get outside every day for at least 15 minutes, even in the winter, even if it’s cloudy.  Natural light has benefits, even if the sun isn’t shining.

4. Treat yourself to a massage.  Find someone to trade services with, or set aside a budget to get a monthly massage therapy session.  Your body will benefit from the relaxation.  Try acupuncture, a meditation class or a yoga class as other alternatives.  Let your muscles relax outside of your normal time spent sleeping each night.

5. Play.  Do you have a hobby?  Pets?  Children?  A romantic partner?  Get out and do something fun in between sessions or after work.  It’s tempting to fall back on exercise when you have down time, since it’s your world.  Try something new on your own, with a friend, family member or your furry companion.  Take a dance class, visit a new park, eat out or put a blanket down in the grass and take in the scenery somewhere.

6. Journal.  No matter how much you love your job as a personal trainer, it’s bound to have its frustrations.  Spend time writing about what nags you and then what you’re grateful for.  The power of writing has been proven time and time again throughout history.

Take care of yourself, so you can keep caring for others.

Check our our Facebook Live Show for more on this topic.

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About

Beverly Hosford, MA teaches anatomy and body awareness using a skeleton named Andy, balloons, play-doh, ribbons, guided visualizations, and corrective exercises. She is an instructor, author, and a business coach for fitness professionals. Learn how to help your clients sleep better with in Bev's NFPT Sleep Coach Program and dive deeper into anatomy in her NFPT Fundamentals of Anatomy Course.