Author Archive

The Importance of Personal Training Education: How to Choose the Right Program

22 April

The fitness industry continues to grow as more and more people understand and embrace the importance of and desire to keep their bodies and minds fit and healthy. In fact, the employment of fitness trainers and instructors projected to grow 19% before 2031, faster than the average for all other occupations.

Personal training career education can certify you to safely and effectively design fitness programs and work with clients to help them achieve their goals. And in today’s gyms and homes, it’s critical for personal trainers to have the proper education and certification.

However, it can be difficult to choose the right program. Here are some tips on finding the right program for you:

Benefits Of Personal Training Education and Practical Lab Experience

Not only is it an expectation of clients that their personal trainer has the necessary education and practical lab experience, but there are several additional benefits such as:

  • Increased knowledge of exercise science and human anatomy. Understanding exercise physiology can boost fitness results, and the better their results, the more people will want you as their trainer. Having this knowledge can help you create effective, personalized programs while also preventing injury.
  • Enhanced ability to create personalized health and wellness programs. Education gives you the information and skills you need to create personalized training programs for your clients regardless of their conditions, injuries, needs, or goals. You easily can tailor those programs to ensure your client has safe, effective workouts.
  • Improved understanding of nutrition consultation and its role in fitness. Regardless of if your client’s goal is to get stronger, lose weight, or train for a specific event, they can’t meet those goals with exercise alone. Nutrition plays a huge role in health and fitness, and education and experience will give you the knowledge you need to provide recommendations and information to your clients.
  • Better communication, increased accountability, and motivational skills. Hiring a personal trainer isn’t a task taken lightly by clients, and they are looking for a trainer who can communicate with them well, hold them accountable to their program, and motivate them to meet their goals. Learn and improve these skills during your education program.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Personal Training Education Program

When choosing a PT education program, you should do your research and compare several options to find the best one for you. Some factors to consider include:

  • Accreditation and Department of Education licensure: With an accredited institution, a student has assurance of receiving quality education and recognition by other colleges and employers of the course credits and diploma earned. Students from accredited institutes also gain greater access to federal loans, scholarships, postsecondary education, and military programs that require students to have attended an accredited institute.
  • Classroom live learning and ACCSC Accreditation standards: This provides you the education and support you need to be a successful trainer.
  • Availability of hands-on experience in a real fitness center: You’ll be working with clients every day, so getting hands-on experience will allow you to learn by doing as well as solve problems for yourself, constructing your own knowledge and perfecting your technique through your experiences.
  • Science based curriculum and degreed instructors: A degreed instructor will provide a structured path to learning and make sure there aren’t gaps in your learning.
  • Tuition and financial aid options including FAFSA, Military educational benefits: If necessary for your own situation, be sure to choose a program that provides the financial aid options and benefits you may need.

How To Choose the Right Personal Training Career Program

When choosing a program:

  • Verify licensure and accreditation. Do your own additional research into the licenses and accreditation the program claims to have to verify the program is legitimate and has a high-quality program.
  • Visit and tour the campus. You’ll be spending many hours in the school’s classrooms, lecture halls, labs, and other areas, so go to the campus and take a tour, ask questions, and make sure it feels like a place you could see yourself attending.
  • Speak with current students attending the program. Talking to current students is one of the best ways to learn about the program, including the positives and negatives, and to get answers to questions you may have. They will be honest with you, and it can make a huge difference in your choices.
  • Review graduation and employment rates. How many students attend the program each year? Of those, how many graduate? How many are employed post-graduation? What’s the average time between graduation and employment? You’ll want to ensure the program is built to support students throughout their entire education journey, and that you’ll be able to get hired quickly afterwards.

Now is the Time to Become a Personal Trainer

Looking for a rewarding, high income fitness career as a personal trainer? Call or text the National Personal Training Institute of Florida at 407-772-0057 to become a qualified educated personal trainer in Orlando or Tampa. Or, sign up online to learn more about the training programs we offer.

Weight Training Tips for Women

12 March

Many women choose cardio over weight and strength training for reasons like feeling intimidated by the gym, fear of bulking up, not having enough time, or others, but there are several benefits that come from incorporating weight training into your regular routine. And, it doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating – two to three weight or strength-based workouts each week can result in significant health benefits.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of weightlifting for women, as well as 10 weight training tips to help you with your routine.

Benefits of Strength Training for Women

We all know exercise is important for our physical and mental health, but weight and strength training have a number of additional benefits, especially for women, such as:

  • You’ll experience increased muscle mass, stronger bones, a boosted metabolism, better posture and balance, and increased joint flexibility.
  • It burns body fat.
  • You’ll be (and feel) stronger.
  • You’ll be at less risk for injury doing other things you love, and it can also help reduce pain.
  • It can combat age-related muscle and bone loss, helping to prevent chronic conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • It improves overall body composition.
  • It can help ward off chronic diseases and illness, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and others.
  • You’ll feel improved mood and mental health.

Top 10 Weight Training Tips

1. Never skip the warm-up.

Lifting with cold muscles can quickly lead to injury. It’s important to increase blood flow and heart rate to improve your muscles’ ability to respond to resistance. Warming up properly can also increase circulation and improve range of motion, bettering the impact of your workout.

Try a dynamic warm up, such as squats, pushups, lunges, and jumping jacks.

2. Know proper form and technique.

Sloppy or incorrect form is a sure way to injury, but in the heat of exercising, it isn’t given a lot of thought. And, because women have naturally wider hips than men, they are more at risk for form-related injuries so it’s especially important for women who weight train.

Before you begin any exercise, make sure your head is over your shoulders, shoulders over hips, and hips over feet. Keep your eyes straight ahead, abs tight, and knees over your second toe. If you don’t know how to do an exercise correctly, ask a fitness professional.

Proper form will allow you to get best results and stay injury-free.

3. Stick to the basics.

Especially if you’re just getting into strength training, it’s better to stick with a few exercises for the first few weeks (or even months) instead of jumping into heavy weights or complex moves. Your body will remember and memorize a few movements and forms more quickly, so mastering the technique and improving strength on basic exercises can help you build the foundation you need for more advanced lifting.  

Some of the best weightlifting moves to begin with include:

  • Weighted squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Reverse lunge (with light weight)
  • Glute bridge
  • Inverted row
  • Overhead press

4. Don’t be afraid of alternatives.

Many women think that by doing a modified or alternative move, it means they are “weak” or “giving up.” However, in some cases, you may have to use appropriate substitutions, especially if you have mobility issues that don’t allow you to perform exercise safely and properly.

Pushing yourself too hard or too fast will likely lead to injury, so take time to master the basics, add weight slowly over time, and if you need to modify until you’re stronger or more comfortable, do so.

5. Don’t neglect the upper body.

We often hear women say they shy away from working the upper body for fear of “bulking up,” but there are many upper body exercises that are extremely beneficial to improving posture and preventing injury. Weight bearing exercises and resistance training have also been proven to prevent osteoporosis.

Proper weight training the upper body, including biceps, triceps, chest, back, and abs, should not be ignored. Plus, it’s very unlikely that doing so will cause “bulking up” based on female body and muscle composition.

6. Work opposing muscle groups.

Oftentimes, women find they have strength imbalances, which can make them more prone to injury. This is typically a result of lifestyle (such as sitting at a desk for work) or by not working all sides of the body equally.

For every exercise that works the front of the body, try to also do something that targets the back. Mixing up upper and lower body lifts, as well as alternating moves throughout each day and week, can help you avoid muscle fatigue or muscle memory while balancing your strength.

However, note you don’t always have to work every muscle individually with isolation exercises. Compound exercises (especially with weight machines or dumbbells) help you master your form and get stronger all around.

7. Focus on getting stronger.

You may have a variety of goals and reasons for starting weightlifting, and one of them should be to get stronger. This is especially important for beginners because they need to develop a base level of strength before lifting more or heavier.

Focusing on building strength is the best way to get results and is a motivating way to keep going and not dread your workouts. Beginners make fast initial strength improvements, and getting stronger week over week allows you to experience positive progress over time.

Beginners also are better off keeping reps low for more effective and impactful exercise.

8. Be consistent.

The key to weight training is to not give up. You won’t see results right away, but many women who begin weight training do start seeing results within the first few weeks. Try to remember the importance of building a healthy lifetime habit, and that lifting for one or two months and then stopping won’t give you the strength or results you want.

Work your way up to training 3-4 days a week but remember you don’t have to be working out for hours each day. Repetition is key, as is consistency.

9. Listen to your body.

Doing too much too soon (such as more reps, more sets, more weight, or too much out of the gate) can actually hurt your body, often leading to torn ligaments, tendinitis, and muscle strains and tears. Start by learning a move using only your body weight, then slowly add light weights for a few days or weeks (or until you feel comfortable). Then, add another set or more weight, and work your way up over time.

Also note the difference between muscle fatigue from a good workout and actual pain. You should feel some muscle fatigue in the muscles you’re targeting, but:

  • Feeling nothing at all likely indicates you’re taking it too easy.
  • Feeling pain, especially in an area other than the muscles you’re working, could mean you’re using incorrect form or you’re near injury.

Also, if your body needs a day to rest and recover, that’s ok. Overworking muscles and furthering injury can hurt you must more in the long run than taking an additional recovery day.

10. Work with a qualified, educated fitness professional.

A fitness professional can help you understand the proper form and technique of each exercise. They can also work with you to design a personalized health and wellness program to help you reach your goals and avoid injury, including offering tips for modifying your current lifestyle. They are also here to motivate and educate you, build your confidence, and help you get the results you’re looking for while building lifelong healthy habits.

Start Today

Consider hiring a fitness professional who has received their Personal Training Diploma from NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa). With hundreds of hours of live college curriculum and 218-hours of hands-on training experience in a fitness center, these professionals are well equipped to help you reach your goals safely and effectively. Additionally, all NPTI Florida fitness professionals have liability insurance.

Or, if you’re interested in becoming fitness professional, contact us today to learn more about our Accredited Personal Training Diploma programs.

Considerations for Choosing a Personal Trainer

16 February

A personal trainer can play a key role in helping you meet your health and fitness goals. When working with one, you’ll likely get a personalized exercise (and in some cases, nutrition) program that fits around your goals, interests, and any injuries or medical conditions you may have. Working with a personal trainer can also help keep you motivated and offer accountability. You should be selective when choosing a personal trainer. Ask questions, do research, and ensure the trainer checks all your boxes before signing up for sessions. Here are some questions and considerations when choosing a personal trainer.

Where Are They Located?

Where do you want to perform workouts? A gym close to work or home? At home? Virtually? Another location? Ask the trainer what gym(s) they work out of and make sure it’s convenient for you. If not, it can become an excuse to not work out, so location is important.

What Is Their Availability?

Are they accepting new clients? What hours are they available? Does it fit your schedule? For example, if their availability is in the morning but your schedule needs it to be afternoon, that won’t work. Find a trainer who is available at the time when you’re most likely to exercise and also be available; time when you’ll still have energy and motivation to work out.

What Is Their Education/Qualifications?

Most personal trainers have extensive knowledge of safe and effective practices. They should have received both educational and practical fitness training and you can ask about nationally accredited certifications.

Also ensure your trainer has professional liability insurance if they operate as an independent contractor.

Do They Have References?

Don’t be afraid to ask for names, phone numbers, and even testimonials of other clients they have worked with, especially if those clients share goals that are similar to yours. It’s important that a trainer has worked with clients similar to you so that they can empathize with and understand your challenges and needs.

You’ll also want to get an idea if clients were satisfied with their workouts, results, and experiences.

What Is the Cost?

Trainers have different costs, so review costs associated with different trainers and sessions. This often depends on your location, the trainer’s experience and qualifications, the type of package you choose, and other factors.

Make sure you have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend before starting your search. The trainer’s rates should fit your budget.

Some trainers offer discounted prices if you book more sessions, require you to pay for a certain amount of sessions/week or weeks/months, or have other financial-related policies you should be aware of. Also ask about cancellation policies or other fees you may encounter.

Finally, consider any additional expenses you’ll have, such as separate gym membership rates or purchasing your own equipment.

Does Their Personality Fit with Yours?

Personality is important. Your personal trainer should push you out of your comfort zone, but not in a coaching style that isn’t motivating for you. Ask your trainer: What is the attitude you have during workouts? Are you more positive or tough love? What is your overall motivation style and demeanor?

Then, consider what works best for you. You should feel comfortable and confident with your trainer. If you have a session or two and find your trainer’s personality doesn’t mesh with yours, let them know you need to make a change.

What Is Their Expertise and Exercise Philosophy?

Consider your own fitness goals and preferences. Do you have a very specific plan or are you more flexible? Do you want a cardio-heavy routine or larger focus on weightlifting? Are you trying to lose weight and put on muscle, or train for a specific event?

Most personal trainers have a general knowledge of all things fitness-related, but they also likely have specific areas of expertise informed by their training and experience. Ask your trainer about their preferences and expertise to see if it aligns with your needs.

Also ask about their exercise philosophy: Do they prefer you to focus on mastering one thing? Change things up throughout the month? What are they teaching their clients?

Read online reviews and ask questions before signing up for sessions.

Do They Cater Workouts for Each Client?

Every client is different, so it’s important your trainer takes time to understand your health history, potential risk factors, and physical needs. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works and can often lead to injury. If this is their philosophy, you may want to consider a different trainer.

Choose a personal trainer that takes risk assessment into consideration. Ask how you will be assessed and how often. Consider what equipment and facilities they use and whether those fit your needs. Additionally, your trainer should be willing to talk to your doctor about exercise and concerns if you’re under a doctor’s care.

Choosing a Personal Trainer for You

Start by considering fitness professionals who have their personal training certification from NPTI Florida. Our trainers have hundreds of hours of education and hands on training to meet the needs and goals of their clients.

If you’re interested in becoming a fitness professional yourself, contact us today to learn more about our Accredited Personal Training Diploma programs.

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 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 more information:

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

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 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.