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Benefits of Small Group Training

Meeting with a personal trainer one-on-one may be intimidating to some people. It can also be intimidating to start a group fitness class that has a lot of participants. If either of these sound like you, you might benefit from small group training. 

There are many benefits to small group training, such as:

  • Exercise programs are designed by a personal trainer to meet your individual needs and goals
  • The small group allows for camaraderie which can also increase motivation, accountability and make it more fun 
  • The personal trainer is able to build a connection with each individual and give proper attention to each participant’s form and other needs which prevents injury, increases safety and effectiveness of exercises
  • Trainer can offer more personalized attention for modifications or progressions of exercises
  • You can meet new people or sign up with a small group of friends 
  • Some group fitness classes may be too easy or too hard but a small group training class will be just the right challenge for you
  • It can be more financially friendly which is always a welcome perk

If you have any questions or would like to know more about small group training offerings contact A to Z Personal Wellness.

Why Posture Matters

Did your mother ever tell you to stand up tall or sit up straight? Well, she was right if she did nag you about your posture. Posture matters!

Poor posture can lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain. Exercising with poor posture can increase risk of injury and cause more harm than good. Poor posture can also decrease your balance and increase risk of falling.

Good posture allows you to stay active longer, have a more youthful appearance, increases your energy level and improves balance. It also decreases risk of falling, strengthens core muscles, improves blood flow, increases confidence and improves your ability to breathe deeply.

If you are unsure of your posture, I would recommend looking in a mirror, both front and sideways, or taking a picture of yourself.

When you are sitting, you want your head, and specifically your ears, over your shoulders and your shoulders stacked over your pelvis. It is also best to sit with feet flat on the floor and hips above your knees.

Our bodies were designed to move, so even if you are sitting, it is important to change positions frequently. Set a timer or reminder on your phone or computer to take movement breaks throughout the day to avoid staying in one position for too long.

With so much time spent sitting at a computer, watching TV or using tablets and phones it is easy to get into a habit of slouching or rounding your shoulders and looking down. Holding your phone at eye level can help improve posture, and making sure to adjust your computer monitor so that you can look at the screen at eye level can also help.

It takes 3 weeks (but usually longer) to change a behavior, so be mindful of your posture and practice the exercises below frequently to make a positive change.

Standing Posture Exercise to try:

  • Stand with your heels approximately 12 inches from the wall and lean back so that your buttock and shoulders touch the wall. 
  • Try to get your head to touch the wall too, but if it doesn’t, make sure to look straight ahead and keep your ears over shoulders. If you are able to do this, try to move your heels closer to the wall.
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat 10 times

Seated Posture Exercise to try:

  • Sit at the edge of a chair and lift your chest up and shoulders back, with your ears being aligned over your shoulders. 
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then relax back down to your resting posture. – – Repeat this 10 times and try to hold this position for longer if you can.

If you have questions about your posture or would like more guidance on postural exercises contact A to Z Personal Wellness.

Get Balanced, Stay Balanced, Be Balanced

Most of the time we don’t think about our balance until we feel unsteady or until we have a fall. However our balance starts to decline as early as our 30’s. The good news is that we can improve it with exercise! There are many factors that contribute to decreased balance as we age such as vision loss, medication side effects, decreased muscle strength, other health conditions, fear of falling, not getting enough sleep and the list goes on. 

Training static and dynamic balance can increase your coordination, better your reaction time, increase you mobility and agility, reduce fitness related or other injuries and allow you to perform better in your daily life. Falling is NOT a normal part of aging! Be proactive and prevent a fall. Even if you don’t feel old or are not concerned about your balance, focusing on these exercises can help you improve your tennis or golf game. 

Personal training is beneficial to determine what area or areas of balance you need to work on. Do you need to train to increase muscle strength, or train one of your sensory systems? A balance assessment can determine what areas need work and what exercises to focus on.

You may have heard about practicing standing on one leg as you brush your teeth or as you are in the kitchen waiting for your coffee and thought why do I need to do that? Well, it is important to practice single leg balance because we are on one leg during walking, climbing stairs, getting in a car, and stepping into a shower or tub. Try to do single leg balance at a counter top 2x/day and hold up to 1 min on each leg with as little or no hand support if possible. 

Another exercise to try at home:

Stand with your feet as close together as possible and hold for 30 seconds if you can, if that is too hard you can separate your feet a bit. If it is too easy try with your eyes closed. Another way to make it more challenging is to try it while standing on a pillow. Do this exercise in a corner and with a chair in front of you for safety.

Contact A to Z Personal Wellness for a balance assessment!