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Get a Health Screening Before You Start Training

So, you have decided to hire a personal trainer to help you with your workouts. If your trainer is reputable and following proper certified techniques he/she will probably ask that you go through a Health Screening exam before begging your program. Many people resist this essential part of their training program because they feel it is unnecessary or that it will be embarrassing for them, however, these worries are untrue and skipping your health screening can result in a lower quality program design or even an increased likelihood for injury on your part.

There are many reasons to perform a health screening, both for you and your trainer.

  • To identify possible health conditions and risk factors that could place you at risk for certain activities
  • A thorough health screening can help a trainer to decide what activities and exercises should be included in your workout. Often they can provide modifications to those exercises which may have caused you trouble in the past.
  • It is often required by many clubs for legal reasons
  • It helps you and your trainer to communicate your needs and concerns

An analysis of your health history is often the primary tool for developing a safe exercise program. Generally a health history form will be filled out and will cover information such as your demographic (age, sex, occupation, etc.), exercise history, health risk factors, medications, recent illnesses and injuries,surgery history, and family medical history. Once your trainer has examined the results of your questionnaires it is possible that he/she will find a potential or underlying problem which can be a significant risk factor when starting an exercise program. In these cases they may recommend that you get a referral or clearance from your physician. This is for your safety and in many cases is required by the health club or the trainer's insurance, so don't blame the trainer.

Participating in a health screening with your personal trainer is very important and if he/she does not ask you to take one, you may want to consider the qualifications of your trainer. For more information on what to look for in your personal trainerplease review the following article "Choosing a Personal Trainer".

Gene Tewksbury - owner of The FitnessAlmanac and The FitnessSuper Store



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