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Mental Health Tips for Teenage Athletes

30 January

Adolescence is a time for young people to get a healthy start to life, but the number of teens reporting poor mental health is increasing. Depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents with alarming rates affecting teens across the country.

Youths with poor mental health may struggle with school, grades, decision making, and their overall physical health, and it can affect them well into their adult years. Teen athletes are especially susceptible to mental health challenges due to the pressure being an athlete puts on their time, bodies, and minds.

Here are some mental health tips for teenage athletes, as well as ways to help young athletes focus on mental health and reasons mental health is critical for teens.

Top 7 Tips for Teenage Athlete Mental Health

1. Get Enough Sleep

Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep to function at their best. It’s important to make sleep a priority because lack of good sleep can increase your risk of depression, reduce immune system function, cause mood swings, hormonal imbalances, cognitive issues, and daytime impairment (like inability concentrate) and affect your mental health.

Sleep is also important for recovery from workouts, practices, and games.

Some tips for getting better sleep include:

  • Create and stick to a bedtime routine.
  • Put your devices away 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
  • Silence phone notifications or keep your phone charging in a different room.
  • Create a relaxing atmosphere to sleep in that’s dark, quiet, and a comfortable temperature.

2. Engage In Healthy Exercise and Eating Habits

It can be easy for teen athletes to overwork and fuel their bodies inappropriately. To keep your body healthy, try to:

  • Avoid strict workout regimens and dieting.
  • Incorporate rest breaks each day.
  • Eat a healthy balance of vegetables, fruit, dairy, and carbs.
  • Avoid soda and other unhealthy beverages.

3. Prioritize Down Time

Between school, sports, homework, friends, and maybe even a part-time job, having down time may seem impossible. However, it’s critical to have time to recharge where you’re not focused on being productive, and instead doing things like hanging out with friends, watching TV, reading, or another hobby.

4. Avoid Obsessing About Poor Performance

Losing a big game, missing a key play, or making an important mistake can sometimes feel like the end of the world. But everyone makes mistakes, and those mistakes don’t define who you are as a person or an athlete.

Coping with failure is an important part of being an athlete, and even the pros must do it sometimes. Give yourself an emotional break – let yourself feel what you feel, but then move on instead of dwelling on it. Later, go back and analyze what happened and make a plan for how to do it differently/avoid it next time.

5. Create A Game Plan

Teen athletes are especially susceptible to anxiety, which often happens when people feel like they are out of control. When it comes to your sport, always have a game plan with different scenarios and options. Think through the worst-case scenarios and how would you handle them. Acknowledging these scenarios and knowing you’ve made a plan allows for some control and decreased anxiety.

Examples of this can include if you forget your equipment, make a mistake or miss a big play, or get injured and can’t participate in a game.

6. Have A Routine

Routines are great for young athletes. They promote discipline, help them feel safe, secure, and stable, and can reduce anxiety and uncertainty.

Start by deciding what needs to be in your routine (school, work, sports, play, etc.). Then create a plan that works for you. This could be including general time blocks in your day where you can accomplish your tasks, making a daily to-do list, or using a planner mobile app or website. Set small goals for yourself, be consistent, and don’t forget to track your progress and celebrate your wins.

7. Ask For Help

If you’re struggling in any way, reach out to a trusted adult. This can be a parent, coach, teacher, guidance counselor, or others. They can help you understand your feelings and come up with a plan to reduce the pressure and get the help and/or support you need.

How To Help Young Athletes Focus on Mental Health

  • Remove the pressure. It’s normal for you to want your kid to always be at their best, but it’s not realistic. Continuous pressure on young athletes can lead to unsustainable stress and negative mental health. They should know you love and support them no matter what.
  • Be proactive. Talk to your athlete about ways to manage stress and pressure, overcome challenges, and be their best when it matters.
  • Watch your words. Things you say that are meant to be encouraging can actually do more harm than good, sending message if they don’t succeed, they’re not good enough. It’s important to send messages about giving the best effort in the moment. Also, try to speak positively when speaking to, with, or about others.
  • Encourage other activities. Athletes should have hobbies, activities, and friends outside of sports to give themselves mental breaks and engage in other enjoyable activities.
  • Notice and shut down signs of performance anxiety. If you’re noticing small changes in personality or behavior, anxiety starts to come up in different areas of life, or they are engaging in a lot of negative self-talk, step in.
  • Talk to your teen. Provide them love and support. Sometimes this can be uncomfortable, but having open lines of communication can help you be there for your child in the most effective way. It can also help you know when something is off or when they may need help. They will also feel more comfortable coming to you for help.

Why Mental Health Is Important for Teenage Athletes

Adolescence is a critical period for developing social and emotional habits that are important for long-term mental well-being. Things they learn and develop now can help them:

  • Cope better with stresses of life.
  • Be physically healthy.
  • Create and maintain healthy relationships.
  • Work productively.
  • Realize and reach their full potential.
  • Develop resilience.
  • Establish sense of self and place in the world.

Contact NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa)

Hiring a personal trainer will help your teenage athlete get the physical exercise and stimulation they need to compete and be their best on the court or field. If you’re looking for a qualified, educated fitness professional to assist your child with their physical and mental health and wellness goals, contact NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa).

Or, if you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, visit https://nptiflorida.edu or text an advisor at 407-772-0057.

National Personal Training Institute of Florida is a Best of Florida® Regional Winner

12 January

January 12, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information: https://nptiflorida.edu/

National Personal Training Institute of Florida is a Best of Florida® Regional Winner

The votes have been counted and the results are in! National Personal Training Institute of Florida is a 2022 Best of Florida® Regional winner in Guide to Florida’s annual readers’ poll.

Guide to Florida readers and editors have weighed in on the best of everything in Florida, honoring thousands of businesses and organizations in more than 25 broad business and community sectors.

The process starts with a nomination on the Guide to Florida website. Voting remains open throughout the year, with tens of thousands of votes ultimately received. The process culminates with the publishing of the Best of Florida Keepsake Annual along with a statewide publicity campaign.

Best of Florida winners and nominees are chosen by a combination of readers’ votes and editors’ input, and are vetted through several ranking sites, Better Business Bureau complaint reports, and voting pattern analysis reports.

Winners are named in hundreds of individual categories, providing Guide to Florida readers with a go-to-guide for the best of everything in Florida. Guide to Florida recognizes three levels of winners: The Best of Florida, Best of Florida Regional Winners and Honorable Mentions. Within each category, there are multiple honorees named in each tier, depending on the size of the market sector.

You can view the full list of Best of Florida winners at https://guidetoflorida.com/best-of/.

New Year’s Health and Wellness Resolutions

06 January

While many of us choose “losing weight” or “getting in shape” as our new year resolutions, focusing on weight loss isn’t the only way to improve your health and wellness. In fact, there are hundreds of goals you can set to improve your mind and body over the next year and beyond.

When creating your resolutions this year, focus on ones that will improve your general wellness and help you take steps to an overall healthier you. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T., meaning they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. You should also plan to track your progress and celebrate your milestones.

When it comes to accomplishing your resolutions over the next year, you don’t have to be perfect. Focus on making one or two small changes at a time and improving your health gradually, which will increase the likelihood of you sticking to your resolutions.

Here are our top 10 recommended new year health and wellness resolutions, as well as tips for reaching them.

1. Commit To a Healthy Eating Plan

This year, try to rethink dieting, which can be harmful to both your physical and mental health. In fact, those who lose weight through restrictive dieting typically regain up to two-thirds of the weight back within one year. It can also make it harder to lose weight in the future.

Avoid using restrictive measures and fad diets. Instead, try a healthier, more sustainable way to lose weight. For example:

  • Rely less on convenience and fast foods.
  • Cook more meals at home.
  • Eat more whole foods and produce, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and poultry.
  • Shop more at the grocery store or farmer’s markets.

Start slow and stay consistent, which can help make this resolution more sustainable. Focus on a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods and low in heavily processed, sugary products.

Not only can this help you get to and maintain a healthier weight, but it can also help reduce your risk of heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, some cancers, and other chronic conditions.

2. Sit Less, Move More

Sitting too much can have negative effects on your overall health, including increasing your risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Whether you’re sitting too much because you have a sedentary job or you’re simply not as active as you should be, make a commitment this year to sit less and, therefore, move more.

Your resolution can be small, such as walking for five minutes every hour during the workday or taking a short walk during lunch, parking further away from the store, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

The key is to find a physical activity that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a gym membership or workout studio classes, but can be walking, biking, yoga in your living room, or something else. Whatever you choose should also fit easily into your schedule to prevent “I don’t have time” excuses.

You may want to consider hiring a personal trainer who can help you create a fun, sustainable fitness plan that you’ll stick to over time.

3. Schedule An Annual Visit with Your Primary Care Provider

Even if you’re feeling healthy, you should schedule an annual physical appointment with your primary care provider (PCP) each year. They can help check your physical and mental health, order regular blood work, and ensure you’re up to date on all necessary screenings based on your age, medical history, and current conditions. This can help keep you healthier longer, as well as help catch any conditions or problems before they become serious.

4. Take Steps to Reduce Stress

Stress can cause a variety of physical and mental symptoms, such as:

  • Aches and pains, including chest pain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach or digestive problems
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling more irritable/angry
  • Social withdrawal

These are just a few symptoms, but by taking steps to reduce stress, you can help prevent some of these problems. A healthy diet, exercise, and quality sleep can help reduce stress, but there are other things you can do, like:

  • Meditation or yoga
  • Mindfulness/breathing exercises
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Spending more time outside, such as walking, hiking, camping, or simply enjoying the sun in your backyard
  • Practicing self-care or “me time,” including doing a hobby, taking an exercise class, preparing a healthy meal, going for a walk, or getting extra sleep. This doesn’t have to be something elaborate, but simply something you enjoy

5. Get More Quality Sleep

Quality sleep is essential for overall health. Lack of sleep can lead to serious health consequences, including increased risk of weight gain, heart disease, and depression. Examples of resolutions you can make to commit to better sleep can be to put your phone down or avoid blue light for at least an hour before bed, create a regular bedtime routine, avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime, or getting regular exercise during the day.

6. Cut Back on Unhealthy Habits

There are many unhealthy habits we can partake in such as drinking alcohol or soda, smoking or doing drugs, eating too much junk food or maintaining an unhealthy diet, watching too much TV, and others. Many unhealthy habits contribute to both physical and mental health conditions and problems, but they can be difficult to eliminate.

If your resolution is to decrease unhealthy habits, take it slow and one step at a time. Create small goals for yourself to meet over the year to avoid feeling overwhelmed or having to quit something cold turkey. This should help make your resolution more sustainable.

7. Boost Your Brain

Regardless of your age, you can commit to learning this year. Perhaps it’s going back to the classroom (physically or online) to ramp up your career or learn something new. There are dozens of mobile apps and online games you can play for a brain or knowledge boost each day. Even committing to reading more books can help keep your brain working.

Continuing to learn helps give a sense of accomplishment while you’re also gaining knowledge, meeting people, and creating possibilities for yourself; therefore, improving cognitive functioning and lowering the risk of developing dementia.

8. Save Money

Not only can saving money help ensure you’re prepared for the unexpected and are more financially secure for the future, but it can also help relieve stress. Some examples of resolutions you can work on include:

  • Creating a budget.
  • Cutting back on things you don’t “need,” such as subscriptions, memberships, eating out, or entertainment costs.
  • Contributing to a 401(k) or other retirement plan.
  • Learning about investing opportunities and how you can make your savings work for you.
  • Developing an emergency fund.

9. Try Something New

The new year is the best time to start a new hobby, practice, or even career. Making healthy changes and bringing more positivity into your life can have a major impact on your day-to-day happiness. Consider taking a class, trying out a new job, reconnecting with old friends, or anything else you’ve been thinking about doing but perhaps haven’t had the time or motivation.

For example, if you’re unhappy with your job, consider signing up for a personal trainer program to start building a wellness-centered career for yourself.

10. Commit to Your Resolutions & Contact NPTIFL

If you’re looking for a qualified, educated fitness professional to assist you with your health and wellness goals and resolutions heading into the new year, contact the National Personal Training Institute of Florida.

Or, if you would like to become a personal trainer, visit https://nptiflorida.edu or text an advisor at 407-772-0057.

Things to Avoid When Looking for a Personal Trainer

16 December

Deciding to hire a personal trainer (PT) is a big decision, especially when trainers have different training methods, practical expertise, tactics and methods, and package pricing. Plus, not all exercise is created equal, and a lot depends on factors like your age, body type, fitness goals, and motivations. With so many trainers out there and more even more entering the workforce (employment expected to grow 19% over the next few years), how do you know who to choose?

To help, we’ve compiled a list of red flags and things to avoid while doing your research, including questions to ask to ensure you choose the best personal trainer for your goals.

Top 8 Personal Trainer Red Flags

You may notice some of these concerns when you go to hire a PT. Others you may not recognize until you’ve had a few sessions. It’s never too late to change trainers if you don’t feel comfortable or like your needs are being met. However, you may be able to avoid the hassle of having to start the search all over again if you pay particular attention to these red flags.

1. Lacking Certifications/Education

While a college degree isn’t necessary to be a personal trainer, an industry license or certification is important. Without education or certifications from reputable sources, like the National Personal Training Institute of Florida, the PT may not be the expert they claim to be. Your PT should also have some nutritional knowledge to help you meet your goals, including the ability to assess your diet and do nutrition consulting. Before hiring, make sure the PT is certified and qualified to train.

2. Lacking Empathy

Trainers to avoid are ones who don’t listen to your questions or concerns. They may not seem to care when you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, or they don’t ask how you’re feeling, check in with you, or coach you when you need help. Your PT should be your partner, willing to answer your questions, address concerns, pivot your training so that the program works best for you, and be understanding of how you feel throughout the process.

3. Poor Motivation Techniques

PTs should never use body shaming as a way to motivate you to work harder. It’s also a problem if they don’t have any motivational techniques at all, or if they don’t make the workouts fun or engaging enough to hold your interest. It may also be a concern if they don’t push you hard enough since that won’t get you the results you’re paying them to help you achieve. They should be able to motivate you in a positive, healthy way that works for you.

4. Too Focused on Cardio

Muscle, cardio, and flexibility workouts are important for a healthy body and mind. However, having you do cardio on a treadmill or other cardio machine during your sessions is a waste of money. Time with your PT should be spent doing exercises you need them for, such as strength or weight training, as well as learning methods to build strength and be healthy.

5. Distracted

If the PT is on their phone, eating or drinking coffee, or being distracted in another way, they aren’t monitoring your form and ensuring you’re doing the right things. It’s a red flag if they are tuned out during your session, and this can even lead to injuries. Additionally, it should be a concern if they aren’t balancing their time or if they are working with multiple clients at once, like in a group setting. They should be able to give each individual client the proper amount of attention.

6. Doesn’t Have a Vested Interest in Your Success

Does your PT seem to avoid planning your sessions? Do they forget what you did last week or how you did in previous sessions? Perhaps they don’t ask about your goals, correct your form, or even take time to explain how each workout will help you reach your goal and how to do the exercise appropriately. Maybe they don’t know (or take time to understand) any of your specific injuries or chronic conditions and how that may affect your sessions.

Your PT should always show genuine interest in your fitness goals and in helping you achieve them with a catered approach built for you. They should be excited to work with you, build off each session, and ensure you know how to do each exercise correctly.

7. Poor Communication Skills

A PT must be able to demonstrate how to properly do an exercise in a clear way. They should constantly check in on how you’re feeling and your goal progression, let you know of any changes to sessions in advance, accept feedback after sessions, and adjust for you in the future. If your PT doesn’t have strong communication skills, this should be a concern.

You should also question the PT if they give inflated promises, like you’ll be able to lose a drastic amount of weight in a short period of time, because it often leads to unsustainable fitness plans.

8. You Don’t Click

Your relationship with a PT is a personal one. You need to be working with someone you can trust, easily talk to, and confide in. Their coaching style should be a good fit for you, whether you prefer someone softer and more nurturing, or someone with a drill sergeant-like approach. If you don’t connect with your PT or if you feel uncomfortable with or around them, it’s time to find someone else.

Questions To Ask a Personal Trainer

When interviewing personal trainers and deciding who to choose, some questions you may want to ask include:

  • What certifications/education/practical experience do you have?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • Do you have references?
  • Have you worked with others who have goals similar to mine?
  • How will we track my progress?
  • What is your approach to nutrition coaching?
  • How do you hold clients accountable?
  • What are your favorite motivation techniques?
  • What do your programs look like?
  • How will it be customized for me?
  • What is your training style?
  • What equipment do I need?
  • How do you communicate with clients?

Look for any red flags in these answers. You should feel comfortable and confident with how they respond; otherwise, consider other options.

Become a Personal Trainer in Florida

NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) provides a college diploma in Personal Training. Our 600-hour ACCSC Accredited personal fitness training program will guarantee our graduated trainers are prepared to help their clients be successful and reach their fitness and nutrition goals. Contact us to enroll in a personal training program and get started on your rewarding new career today.

Health and Safety Considerations for Youth Athletes

19 November

Playing sports is great for the physical and psychological benefits doing so can generate for youth athletes, such as physical coordination, fitness, self-esteem, teamwork, and self-discipline. However, youth athletes are at a higher risk for developing sports injuries due to their bodies still growing and developing. There are also significant differences in coordination, strength, and stamina between children and ages, which can make managing some teams more challenging.

Most sports injuries in young athletes happen due to lack of education and awareness of safety, inappropriate equipment or lack of proper gear, or poor conditioning. Their growing bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments make them more susceptible to injury. However, there are several things you can do as a parent and/or coach to help young athletes be successful and stay safe.

Our physical therapy experts at the NPTIFL put together a list of considerations to keep in mind. Read on to learn our top eight recommendations for ensuring the health and safety of youth athletes.

1. Ensure Youth Athlete Is Physically and Psychologically Ready For Sports

Knowing whether a child is ready to play sports depends on the individual child, not just their size or age. While you should take into consideration their age, weight, and build, you should also weigh their physical and emotional development. For example, they should be able to understand the rules of the game, the importance of teamwork, and the commitment playing a sport requires.

Commitment is also a reason you may want to wait for your child to express interest in the sport prior to helping them join a team. You’ll want to prepare the child for the demands of playing a sport, such as the importance of practicing, wearing equipment properly, and following the rules.

Finally, take caution with contact sports until the athlete’s body has developmentally caught up to their peers to help avoid injury.

2. Get A Sports Physical Each Year

An annual sports physical is actually required by many schools in order for an athlete to participate in sports. Regardless, important to get to ensure your child is physically fit enough to play in a certain sport. This exam can reveal physical strengths and weaknesses that can help determine which sports (if any) are appropriate for their age. It also gives both parents and children the opportunity to touch base with the doctor on their overall health and wellness.

3. Have The Right Safety Gear and Equipment

This is critical to ensure the health and safety of youth athletes. Gear and equipment will be sport-specific, like pads, mouth guards, shin guards, helmets, goggles, or others. It’s important that each athlete has the gear required and that it fits properly.

It’s also important that other sports equipment like nets, baskets, balls, etc. are in good working condition, or are replaced if not. Playing areas should be free of debris, standing water, or other dangers, and regularly maintained as appropriate for the sport.

4. Always Warm Up and Cool Down

Youth athletes should get at least 15-20 minutes of time before and after every practice and game to warm up and cool down properly. This should include both dynamic and static stretching and light activity, like jogging. Warming up and cooling down properly can help release muscle tension and prevent injury.

5. Teach Importance of Nutrition and Hydration

Staying hydrated ensures the athlete is replacing water lost through sweat. This is essential for thermoregulation and preventing cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Have the athletes drink fluids before, during and after each practice or game – about eight ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. Also try to discourage caffeine and carbonated beverage consumption.

Be aware of symptoms of dehydration, including extreme thirst, weakness, headache or dizziness, dark-colored urine, or slight weight loss.

Additionally, a balanced nutritional diet is important to have energy needed for playing sports. The youth athletes are more likely to be tired or perform poorly when they don’t get proper nutrition. Plus, a balanced diet can:

  • Help with injury prevention
  • Decrease muscle tiredness and soreness
  • Promote healing and recovery
  • Support a healthy immune system

Be sure to help them maximize healthy carbohydrate and protein intake.

6. Encourage Proper Conditioning

Conditioning should be age-appropriate and doesn’t have to mean running mile after mile. However, being in proper shape and conditioned can help reduce the risk of injury and keep the athletes healthy. Conditioning can be (but is not limited to):

  • Weight training
  • Strength training
  • Plyometric exercise
  • Sprinting intervals
  • Compound movements

The primary purpose is to improve strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, speed, agility, and endurance, but all of this will help prevent injury in youth athletes. Be sure to condition during the off-season to avoid getting too much out of shape.

7. Know Common Injuries and How To Treat Them

The most common sports injuries in youth athletes include:

  • Acute injuries, like:
    • Broken bones
    • Sprains
    • Strains
    • Cuts or bruises
  • Overuse injuries, such as:
    • Achilles tendinitis
    • Knee pain
    • Shin splits
    • Stress fractures
    • Throwing injuries in shoulder or elbow
  • Concussions

Most injuries, especially concussions, should be evaluated by a doctor. For most acute injuries, treatment provided right when the injury occurs includes:

  • Rest
  • Ice (20 minutes at a time)
  • Compression (lightly)
  • Elevation (higher than the heart)

8. Make Rest A Priority

This can be difficult, but it’s important. Proper rest can help avoid overuse injuries as well as burnout, which is common as youth athletes age. It’s especially important for any pain, injury, or illness the athlete is experiencing. Aim for at least one to two days off each week.

Contact the National Personal Training Institute of Florida

If you would like to become a personal trainer in Orlando, Tampa, or the surrounding areas, contact the National Personal Training Institute of Florida. We can help you accomplish your goals and embark on a rewarding new career. Call (813) 374-2017.

7 Tips for Increasing Flexibility

01 November

Flexibility is an important part of physical fitness. Being flexible has a number of positive effects on the body, including improving mobility, posture, and muscle coordination, reducing risk of injury and muscle soreness, and less pain. Flexibility can also improve your overall physical performance since flexible muscles and joints can more easily achieve their full range of motion, helping you to perform at your best. Increasing flexibility doesn’t happen overnight, but there are several things you can do to increase your flexibility over time. Here are our top seven tips.

1. Perform Dynamic Rather Than Static Stretching Prior To Exercise

We know it’s important to stretch prior to any physical activity to help warm up the body and reduce injury, but there are different types of stretching and some – like dynamic stretching – are more beneficial than others. Dynamic stretching involves moving back and forth through your joint’s full range of motion without holding or restraining. There’s no “hold” in dynamic stretching, and as you go through a movement, you’ll gradually increase your range of motion. This makes stretching more effective. Examples of dynamic stretching include leg swings, hip openers, and butt kicks.

2. Target Tight Areas

If you have areas on your body that feel particularly tight, or if you struggle more with certain stretches, those are likely the areas that need the most focus and attention. Pay attention to how your body feels when you stretch and perform physical activity and if you’re having tightness or pain in one area or another, you’ll want to target those with stretches to improve their strength and flexibility.

Additionally, your lifestyle can highlight parts of the body that need focus. For example, if you sit at a desk all day, you may need to stretch your chest and the front of your hips more than other areas.

3. Stretch Often

Stretching can be done more than just before and after a workout. Stretching throughout the day, or at least every day, can help improve your flexibility over time. If you don’t work the muscles and joints, they won’t improve. However, just be sure you’re being safe – avoid straining, pressure, or pain in a joint.

4. Maintain Good Posture

Improving your posture while sitting and standing can help improve flexibility. When sitting, driving, texting, working on a computer, or similar activities, your head is in front of your body and your shoulders are rounded, which is an unnatural position that can cause tightness. Sitting up straighter can help ease tightness in your upper back, shoulders, and neck, which can in turn help those muscles maintain strength and flexibility.

5. Try Yoga

Yoga is one of the best forms of physical activity for those looking to increase flexibility and improve core strength. Slow, deliberate, and targeted stretching and flow of the body can help your muscles get stronger and joints more flexible.

6. Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy

Water is a critical nutrient for your body. Lack of water causes tissues to “dry up” and there isn’t enough fluid to filter waste from your body. Dehydration can therefore lead to stiff, tight muscles and joints. Eating a healthy diet with enough protein, fruits and veggies is also important to ensure your body if fueled and functioning properly.

7. Work With a Personal Trainer

Personal trainers are trained on how to help you reach your physical fitness goals in a safe and effective way. They can:

  • Teach you stretching exercises that can improve your flexibility.
  • Ensure you’re stretching safely and avoiding injury.
  • Pair the stretches with other physical activity and training that supports your goals.

Contact the National Personal Training Institute of Florida

If you are interested in increasing flexibility and overall fitness, contact us. We can help you achieve your specific goals at your own pace. Call (844) 678-4348 for personal trainers in Orlando and Tampa.

How Becoming a Personal Trainer Can Improve Your Mental Wellbeing

13 October

A personal trainer (PT) helps create and deliver safe and effective exercise programs for individuals looking to get stronger and healthier. They help their clients with their cardiovascular health, muscle strength and endurance, and flexibility. As fitness professionals, they understand how important physical health is.

However, personal trainers also help their clients improve their mental wellbeing as they support them getting healthier. And, while doing all of this for their clients, PTs can also improve their own mental health and wellbeing – here’s how.

What Is Mental Wellbeing?

“Mental wellbeing” has several definitions and can mean different things to each person. Overall, it means feeling good and positive about yourself and world around you. Mental wellbeing is more than just mental health – it’s the physical and mental connection within the body. It’s also about relationships and interactions with others, contentment, confidence, self-esteem, and enjoying life.

As a PT, you must recognize that your clients will aspire to have this and will likely have goals related to improving their mental wellbeing even if they don’t realize it.

Mental health can also have a massive impact on physical health. For example, someone who is stressed may not be sleeping well, and chronic sleep deprivation is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and obesity. As a PT, your work will likely focus on a client’s physical health, but you’ll also be playing a significant role in improving their mental health as well. 

Impacts Of Exercise on Mental Health

Exercise increases dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin levels in the brain, which are responsible for feeling pleasure, the ability to plan, think, and function normally. Harmful, stress-related chemicals are reduced as we exercise, so physical activity can have a strong and positive effect on mental wellbeing, increasing self-esteem and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Exercise helps alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal while also improving cognitive function, sharpening memory, increasing creativity, and reducing addiction tendencies. It can also lead to greater satisfaction with oneself and improved body image. Overall, exercise has a major impact on metal wellness. It is important to understand this as a personal trainer and understand that this is an important priority for all clients. It is also important to remember your own mental wellbeing and create boundaries for yourself. Make sure you are getting enough rest and achieving a good work-life balance.

How Helping Others Improves Your Mental Wellbeing

Your job as a personal trainer is to help your clients reach their physical health goals and improve their mental wellbeing, allowing them to feel more content, happy, and confident. When they reach their goals, you’re reaching your own goals as a PT.

Additionally, as a PT, exercise is part of your daily routine. This releases those positive chemicals in your own brain to improve your mood, reduce stress, and all the other positive outcomes while also decreasing those harmful chemicals that can have negative effects.

Setting healthy goals and ambitions, like becoming a personal trainer and helping your clients reach their goals, can help you appreciate your growth at every turn and remain motivated to aim higher. Consistent progress with yourself and your clients helps build a system for yourself that brings sense of achievement every time you reach a goal or milestone, helping you to feel more confident in your abilities.

Plus, you’re helping people in need; those struggling with their physical or mental health may find it challenging to exercise on their own, so working with a PT can help them work toward their goals and ensure better mental health in the long run.

How To Become a Personal Trainer

National Personal Training Institute (NPTI) Florida’s curriculum gives students the best knowledge from experts in the fitness industry, offering accredited diploma programs and innovative continuing education programs to help you enter the fitness industry immediately after graduation. We offer comprehensive personal training courses in Orlando and Tampa designed to further knowledge in bodybuilding, exercise physiology, weight management, weight training, and personal training.

Contact the National Personal Training Institute of Florida

Contact us to learn more or start your application today if you’re ready to become a PT in Tampa or Orlando and the surrounding regions and change your and your clients’ lives.

Top 10 Reasons to Work With a Personal Trainer

15 September

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow nearly 40% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all other occupations.  America currently has more than 70 million fitness consumers, an increase of 57% since 2015, and this number is expected to grow as more consumers than ever put a larger focus on their health and wellness.

Hiring a personal trainer (PT) is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially because it can be costly and a time commitment. However, there are many reasons hiring a PT is essential to achieving your health and fitness goals, regardless of what those goals are.

To help make your decision, we’ve put together a guide on the top 10 reasons to hire and work with a personal trainer.

1. They Help Educate You on Health, Fitness, And Exercise

A PT is more than someone who helps you work out. They can also offer advice and education on all aspects of your health and wellbeing, including fitness, exercise, and even nutrition. For example, they can help you understand how nutrition plays a role in your fitness journey and what you should focus on in your diet, what exercises can target your muscles and areas of improvement, correct form, and more. This means you can turn to a professional with questions for personalized answers that will help you be successful in the short- and long-term.

2. They Can Perfect Your Form

Good form when exercising, especially while strength training, is critical to reducing injury. A good PT knows and can demonstrate the correct posture and technique, ensuring you’re doing the exercises properly and effectively. They can also help significantly reduce your risk of injury and increase the effectiveness of your workouts, getting you to your goals faster.

Whether you’re starting as a beginner or could just use some minor tweaks, your trainer will help identify your needs and get you in the right direction.

3. They Help You Set Goals

When most people start an exercise regimen, they expect to see results and achieve goals quickly. However, losing weight, improving strength, and other similar goals take time. It’s important to set realistic goals that are achievable, and your PT can help you choose goals that are right for you. They can also help you stay on track to meet those goals.

4. They Will Tailor Your Programs

PTs create programs for you based on where you’re at when you start, your goals, your schedule, and other factors. No two programs are the same. This can help ensure you meet your individual goals and continue improving over time. It also means you can share with your trainer what you want to work on and they can customize your exercises to target those key areas.

5. They Keep You Accountable

When you have a PT, you have someone who will force you to show up and put in the work. They can help ensure you commit and stick to your fitness goals through appointments, regular check-ins, and other measures. This will help you avoid the excuses that can sabotage your efforts.

6. They Can Help You Maximize Results

PTs can help you create a plan for each workout session so that you’re not wasting time on equipment or wondering what to do. They can also identify what changes you must make to take your training to the next level and ensure you’re challenging yourself. This helps you make the most out of each session with the right tools and planning which will maximize your results over time.

7. They Are Accommodating and Flexible

It doesn’t matter if you have kids, work from home or in an office, or have other responsibilities that take up your time. A PT can work around your schedule and tailor appointments to suit you. They can also help customize your workouts to fit into your lunch break or 30 minutes before your kids get home from school to help ensure you’re getting the most out of each session, regardless of how long you have.

If you can’t make a gym appointment, most trainers can show you exercises you can do at home or ways you can fit your workouts in your schedule better. Their flexibility is to ensure you’re able to be successful.

8. They Challenge You

Working out and creating consistent healthy habits can be challenging. If you’re not meeting your goals as fast as you’d like, it’s easy to give up. But your PT will challenge you both physically and mentally. They will push you to stick to your regimen, lift one more rep, up your weights, and push harder in your cardio. They create plans and routines that will be difficult, but also help you reach your goals.

9. They Can Help You Beat Boredom

Going to the gym or doing workouts at home can be boring. People often get stuck in the same routine which makes it easier to quit. Or, if you don’t like working out, the idea of using a treadmill for more than a few minutes can seem terrible. PTs can create plans that mix up your workouts on a weekly or even daily basis to keep your muscles working and your body challenged. They can tailor workouts to be something you’re excited about or teach you how to make your routines more interesting.

10. They Can Renew Your Confidence

Not only can reaching your fitness goals help boost your confidence, but working with a PT can help improve your overall wellbeing. Trainers care about your stress levels, how you’re sleeping, your nutrition, and other life factors because that all can affect your workouts and ability to reach your goals. Working with a PT can leave you feeling supported, especially when you’re struggling, and provide you with someone to celebrate with as you reach different milestones, both big and small.

Want To Become a Personal Trainer in Florida?

Visit NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) today and see why we are the largest ACCSC Accredited Personal Training School in the country offering Next Generation Personal Training Education. Visit our website www.nptiflorida.edu to learn more about the requirements to become a personal trainer or call or text 407-772-0057 to schedule a FREE class.

Weightlifting: Tips for Beginners

16 August

As you start out as a personal trainer, remember that many of your clients may also be just starting out too. As your clients explore training options for them, it’s likely that you’ll recommend that weightlifting become a part of their routine. Weight training (or resistance or strength training) involves moving your body against some kind of resistance, like weights, and is a great way to build muscle mass, make your muscles stronger, strengthen bones and joints, help you burn more calories, and keep you healthier. However, it’s important to help your clients ease into weightlifting and strength training to avoid injury. Personal trainers can help their clients with the proper form of specific exercises and set up a strength training program tailored to their needs. Here are eight weightlifting tips you can share to help beginners get into weightlifting.

Gather the Right Equipment

You may be hesitant to start weightlifting because you don’t have the right equipment or access to a gym. While some strength training exercises only need your body weight for resistance, at-home workout options can be expended greatly with a good set of dumbbells. Adjustable weight dumbbells are great options because they can easily be increased as you get stronger. Kettlebells are another option, as are resistance bands, which are typically cheaper and are light and portable.

Ask your personal trainer to show you the different options and explain what each is used for and how they can be beneficial for different workouts. Equipment can be an investment, and you can always join a gym that already has this equipment but remember that you’re investing in your long-term health and wellbeing, and it will be worth the investment in the end.

Don’t Skip the Warmup

Warming up with some light aerobic activity, such as a walk or jog, jumping rope, or doing jumping jacks can increase blood flow to the muscles and get you ready for a workout. Stretching before and after a workout is also important for increasing strength and improving recovery between sets.

Start With Lighter Weights and Gradually Increase

You won’t be a lifting pro overnight, so it’s important to start light and work your way up. Be sure you know the proper form before you even pick up a weight to avoid injury – your personal trainer can help you master those basic patterns and suggest corrections so you can progress safely.

Start with a weight that can be lifted 10-15 times with proper form and begin with one to two sets of repetitions and slowly progress to three sets. When you can do the recommended number of reps and sets, increase the weight by 5-10%.

Remember that you can decrease the weight if you must, and it’s important not to lift too heavy too fast, or else you risk injuring your muscles.

Work all the Muscle Groups

When just starting out, you can stick to the same basic moves two to three times a week to build a basic level of fitness and strength. Increase the weight as you get stronger but focus on mastering the moves.

Your trainer can help you create a plan to work on all of the muscle groups, alternating focus on legs, back, chest, and arms. Mixing up focus through the week can keep your muscles from overworking, but also helps improve strength across the board.

Don’t Go Overboard

First, be sure to rest between sets to prevent muscle fatigue, especially as a beginner. This can be 15-60 seconds depending on the exercise. Also limit workouts to 30-45 minutes (at most) each session. Longer sessions may not lead to better results and can actually increase the risk of burnout and muscle fatigue.

You also don’t have to weightlift seven days a week and doing so can be more harmful than good. Our NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) certified personal trainers suggest training at least two days per week to maximize muscle growth, but three to five days is ideal.

Proper Recovery is Key

Stretch immediately after your workout to boost flexibility, ease tension, and reduce risk of injury. Then, rest between workouts to give your muscles time to recover and restore your strength. Take rest days when your body tells you to.

You’ll also want to consume enough protein and stick to a healthy diet to maximize recovery and results. Nutrition is key to seeing results in and outside of the gym.

Keep Track of Your Progress

It can be difficult to see your progress, especially in the first few weeks or months. You may not see the scale decreasing and it can be frustrating, but the number on the scale isn’t always the best way to track progress.

For example, bring a notebook and pen or use an app to record the number of sets, reps, and weight you used. Refer back to see what you did and increase it over time. You can really see your progress over a few weeks.

You can also take progress photos and measurements, but don’t forget to focus on non-scale victories like your clothes fitting better or lifting heavier. 

Other Weightlifting Tips for Lifting Safely

When you first start weight training, it’s important to pay attention to your body and keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Wear the right clothing, like closed-toe shoes and weightlifting gloves (if needed).
  • Pay attention to proper form and perform each exercise slowly to maximize effort.
  • Use a spotter if you’re doing heavier lifts.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Never hold your breath – inhale before you lift and exhale during the lift.
  • Stop your workout if you feel a sharp or stabbing pain.
  • Talk to your doctor or trainer before starting a weightlifting program, especially if you have a health condition.

These are just a few weightlifting tips you can give your clients who are just starting out with weightlifting. Visit NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) today and see why we are the largest ACCSC Accredited Personal Training School in the country offering Next Generation Personal Training Education. Visit our website www.nptiflorida.edu to learn more about the requirements to become a personal trainer, or call or text 407-772-0057 to schedule a FREE class.

Business Tips for a Personal Trainer from NPTI Florida

07 July

Whether you just graduated National Personal Training Institutes 600-hour Diploma program or just considering a personal training career, you have already learned the first lesson of this fitness profession is education and practical knowledge and experience.

To find personal training industry success, you must recognize that means attending an accredited educational institute. This will give you the fitness foundation and practical experience required to help your clients live Healthy lifestyles safely and effectively. NPTI Florida will help you understand the fitness industry prior to graduation and will connect you with potential employers and clients. Owner Pat Sherman has put together a few important Tips for success to help take your career to the next level in a brief period.

TIP #1: Never Fail to Purchase Personal Trainer Insurance

Having proper insurance coverage is the first step prior to training clients regardless of how you decide to run your business. This is an investment in your business. NPTI Florida has partnered with Insure Fitness group to assist our graduate trainers with low-cost guaranteed policies. It is simple, affordable, and dependable by offering A plus rated occurrence-form insurance at one low rate. We offer both student and professional policies. Policies can be purchased at www.insurefitness.com

TIP #2: Make Social Media Marketing a Primary Focus

Even if social media is not your thing or may seem foreign to you. Its an extremely important marketing tool. Digital marketing is the future of Fitness and personal training. You must incorporate a social media strategy, and you have to say in the know when it comes to marketing changes and platforms.

Use the social media platform correctly, choose your platforms such as, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube for your fitness business. Develop your brand and messaging, engage with your audience, and make sure you keep up with your on-line presence daily.

TIP #3: Scheduling Software is Necessary

As a personal trainer, keeping up with your appointments is everything. With many different clients on your weekly schedule, the last thing you want to do is confused who you are scheduled to meet with or even worse miss a scheduled client appointment. Finding and using the right software program will keep you on track for success. This will help you organize a calendar of clients to help you manage your week. Software when done correctly is seamless and simple.

TIP #4: Have a Professional Website

Aside from social media marketing digital era rules everything-that means running your fitness business without a website is going to be extremely challenging if not impossible. You need a viable digital footprint so future clients can look you up, get your information, check reviews anytime of the day 7 days a week. Not to mention your website will help link your client scheduling software which helps book future clients automatically. This is necessary for search engine optimization. Its extremely easy to find templates for websites online. This will make creating your site simple and affordable.

TIP #5: Personal Trainers Must Learn How to Sell!

NPTI Florida owner Patrick Sherman states that “Sales tend to be one of the biggest obstacles personal trainers face.” Having and learning a sales process is the hardest part for many in the industry. To learn how to sell personal training, your skills must go beyond exercise science. You also need to have business and communication skills. To obtain more clients, you must convince them you offer the exact services they need for the current problem they have. NPTI Florida offers an 8 hour Continuing education sales program that will guarantee your personal training g sales success. This is taught a few times a year by owner Patrick Sherman. This program is open to all NPTI Nationwide graduates and industry personal trainers. Contact pat directly for information pat@nptifl.com

Looking to Become a Personal Trainer? We can Help You With Everything Needed for Career Success.

Proper fitness education from a Licensed and Accredited personal training school will guarantee you a long successful fitness career: visit www.accsc.org

  • College Diploma in Personal Training
  • Nutrition Consultation Certification
  • CPR/First Aid Certified
  • 218 hours of practical experience
  • Professional Liability insurance
  • Program design
  • Verbal and Physical Communicating skills
  • Transfer of credits to university

While NPTI IS Familiar with on-line PT certifications, doing your own research is always a good thing. You will see plenty of personal training schools and Fitness Colleges that claim to be the best in the industry, which makes choosing the right one overwhelming and confusing.

Here are a few factors that you need to into account when considering a personal training career and to make sure you have Financial Aid benefits to fund your fitness career. www.fafsa.ed.gov

Quality of the Accreditation

Every personal training qualification should be sanctioned by an accredited body to show its legitimacy. These organizations oversee quality control, ensuring that a course delivers the minimum training standards and developing the right talent for the industry.

In our expert opinion, NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) is an Accredited post-secondary career school, approved for International students, approved for VA educational benefits, licensed by the Florida Department of Education #2442 (Orlando) and #3997 (Tampa) www.fldoe.org ,approved for Title IV Federal Financial Aid. This program is designed for full time high income Personal Training Careers.

AED/CPR Component

When selecting the right school for your personal training career, make sure it includes CPR/AED in their curriculum. It teaches you how to deal with people with chronic heart conditions or in case there is a first aid incident.

A CPR/AED certification can make your personal training certification more credible and prepares you for any unforeseen circumstance. CPR/AED courses also enable fitness trainers to push their clients to their limits and help them attain their fitness results.

Industry Recognition

After spending over 21 years in the personal training industry and familiarity with dozens of different accreditations, we can confidently say that NPTI Florida offers high quality fitness education for long term growth in the industry.

Final Thoughts

Getting Educated/certified is the most important aspect of becoming a personal trainer. We highly recommend you obtain your personal training certifications/Diploma from an accredited institution. Attending a personal training school like NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) can teach how to tactfully support and defuse a struggling client who is ready to take his or her frustration on you.

So, the question is, do you have a passion for helping other people attain a healthy lifestyle? Would you like to be a professional personal trainer and have a high-income career? If the answer is yes, you need to attend NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) and receive your Diploma. To have a career in personal training, getting certified from a Licensed personal training school is critical. Remember, education is the foundation of your fitness career. It also proves to your clients that you are a professional and committed to the industry.

Visit our website www.nptiflorida.edu  to know more about us.

Call or text 407-772-0057 to schedule a FREE class.