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How can using a personal trainer help a walker get fit?

A professional personal trainer will assess for muscle imbalances prior to designing and recommending an individualized walking regimen. Muscle and strength imbalances involving the hip, knee or ankle, as well as range of motion, can affect a walker’s ability to make strides effectively, and eventually can lead to injuries that may require surgery or physical therapy.

If there are muscle imbalances, the walker would benefit from the strengthening of weak muscles and stretching of tight muscles prior to engaging in the activity. The trainer can assist the client in correcting these imbalances while gradually incorporating walking into the training session.

If it has been determined that there are no muscle imbalances, the trainer may design a walking program to fit the client’s needs. Working heart rate zones should be determined according to the client’s age, and the client should be taken through a short walking session to determine if the activity is tolerable.

The program should be progressive and always interesting, challenging and fun for the client. A walking program may be intensified by using the upper arms with each stride or by holding light-weight hand held weights. Individuals with some instability in their gait but able to bear weight may increase their stability through the use of walking sticks or poles (such as the ones used by hikers).

It is important to make sure that your trainer assesses your physical strength, range of motion and tolerance for activity. Something as simple as walking is not always so simple. Safety is always a priority! Good luck!!

Sarah Johnson
Fitness

A personal trainer or health coach can help anyone reach their goals - including a walker! As Clyde and the NASM have said, one of the best things a trainer can provide is motivation. Many of my clients have said that the biggest reason they hired me was to have someone to hold them accountable: when I show up for the session, they know I'm not only expecting them to show up, but to also give 100% of what they can give that day. They may not have the motivation to work that hard on their own if I hadn't been there to hold them accountable to that workout.

As a walker, there may be those days when you just don't feel like hitting the pavement or you're tempted to cut your walk short: that's when your health coach or trainer can give you the extra push to help you reach your full potential! Your goal of being more fit can be achieved with the help of a coach who can provide motivation and keep you accountable to staying on track with your workouts and diet.

Walking is great exercise and can help you burn lots of calories, but you'll have to add other elements if you want to be fit. It sounds like you like to take your time. We'll first of all I would spice up your walks with some walking lunges, high knee crunches, going backwards up and/or down hills, side shuffling, etc. Also, I would get you into the gym for some slow resistance training. It all depends on what you’re willing and interested in doing. Hope this helps. Give me a buzz if you want to learn more.

Assuming that you walk at a moderate or fast pace on different types of terrain at least 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes, you already have cardio endurance. If all you do is walk then a trainer can help you with the strength aspect of your fitness program. Every fitness program should have two parts to it:  cardio and strength.

A trainer can help you with a regiment that would best suit your abilities and fitness level as well as your goals. You can start with something simple such as bodyweight movements and then progress into more complex movements using weights. The program will be specifically designed to fit you.

A personal trainer can create a program that is going to address flexibility, strength and cardio. Flexibility is really important to have normal gait, also it would be necessary to evaluate posture to determine if corrective exercise is needed, depending on the posture and gait analysis results. After that if there are weak muscles, there is when strength training plays an important roll to balance weak muscles and overactive muscles. Cardio is important for walkers, and depending on the needs of the client an interval program could be design to improve walking speed and burn more calories. At the end it all depends on the clients goals, and needs.


 

Great question! Think of a personal trainer as a valued member of your support network. Your trainer can provide motivation, accountability, and expertise in program design. In some cases, I tag along with client(s) on a walk or run for added support. I hope this helps and have fun!

Walking is great! I love to walk and often go with my dogs. I find I walk at a different pace if I have a goal in mind. 3 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles, a target heart rate or to beat my last time it took to go the distance. One of the things runners and walkers don’t often consider is strength and flexibility and the role they play in our movement capacity. By performing a postural assessment, a personal trainer will help you identify your strengths and weakness then design a walking program that challenges and motivates you. My brother-law is a runner and came to me with an issue he’s been experiencing with his right calf muscle. After an assessment and conversation we were able to identify a compensation that was causing a problem and design a flexibility program with specific stretches to perform before and after each run. Now he stretches before he runs; something he never did before.

Incorporating a warm up and stretching routine before your walk and then a cool down and stretch routine after will decrease your risk of injury. Connecting with a trainer can help you identify a routine that fits your needs.

Personal trainers can help provide you with the motivation and encouragement you need to get fit for your charity walk. In addition, certified personal trainers are skilled in exercise instruction. A personalized exercise program will improve your fitness level and reduces your chance of unwanted nagging injuries.

A NASM personal trainer can design for you a walking fitness program, and perform a dynamic postural assessment to help you get fit. A dynamic postural assessment observes your basic body movements, how you muscles and joints work together, and to look for any imbalances in your posture alignment that may need to be corrected. Walking with an optimal posture and proper gait muscles activation will help ensure your success and enjoyment.

Also a NASM personal trainer will prepare you for the effort necessary to achieve your goals, and influence your commitment to continuing your walking fitness program.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.