Monday, July 02, 2007

We can do this for you...

A hard-copy workout program, with a daily schedule and other physical activity related material, including instructions, photos, motivational techniques and more has been found to be more effective at increasing and maintaining physical activity levels than phone-based methods.

The results of this study are encouraging on several fronts. First, proper instruction is vitally important. I think, at least intuitively, we all know that a large part of a personal trainer's job is instruction. When it's done properly, everyone wins.

When it includes the social/psychological issues associated with starting or maintaining a physical activity program, it's even more successful. For example, developing strategies to overcome barriers, finding social support, dealing with negative thoughts, etc... are important social and psychological issues that can sabotage the best laid plans.

That is the major reason (at least in my eyes) the study found significant differences in print materials versus the phone. When you get off the phone, without something in your hand, sitting on your desk or the counter at home, it's out of sight, out of mind.

The print materials are different. They are sitting there as a constant reminder of what you intend to do. Sort of like Stephen Covey taking on exercise - that plan is your "7 Habits!"

It's also why I think the internet is a valuable resource in your quest to get better. Wheter you want to lose weight, play better golf, improve your health or simply feel better, the internet can help you do this. There are a number of trainers that will train you over the internet and the beauty of it is that you can live anywhere and use a trainer from anywhere.

Don't like the trainers at your local box-store fitness center? No problem. Get on the internet and find someone you do like. Do your homework. Make sure what they offer is what you want.

One aspect of online training that you should address is interaction. There isn't anything quite like a face-to-face meeting between a trainer and a client. For the most part, this can be alleviated with excellent support materials and access to the trainer. That can come through email, individual phone consultations or seminars via the phone or internet.

Another aspect of this is the ability to deliver materials that help you along the way. For example, are there workbooks or handouts that can help you deal with any psychological and/or social issues you may run into?

When you have satisfactory answers to these questions, you will have found a good source for online training.

In conclusion, we are in the process of developing our online training program. It will come complete with all the support you need, in the form of the Achieve! manual, which is based on social cognitive theory and transtheoretical model. It's a step-by-step guide for getting and staying physically active. Additionally, you get workouts with photos, text descriptions, videos (coming soon), monthly teleseminars and more.

For more information, check out our current online offering, if you are already a member, check out the monthly improvement programs we have.

If you'd like to stay abreast of changes, offerings and the like, sign-up for one of our newsletters.


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