We have all heard the warnings about buying a pet as a holiday gift; they often end up unloved and neglected. This year I am asking you to save a personal trainer from that fate and refrain from buying training sessions as a holiday gift. Every year I talk someone out of purchasing such a gift. It may seem like a great present, but if the giftee is not inspired to change, those sessions will go unused. Even if your loved one says she wants to get into shape, or that he would love a personal trainer, there is a good chance he or she is only in the “contemplative” stage, and is not ready to change. I have had many people purchase sessions for a loved one in the hopes of improving his or her health, and then had to give the money back when the loved one was reluctant to even meet with me. Those of us who love to exercise often find it hard to understand those who do not. Buying sessions for someone who really does not want them (despite what is verbalized) will waste your money.
If you are sure your loved one wants a personal trainer I recommend logging on to http://www.ideafit.com/home and clicking on “find a trainer”. This site checks education, certifications, experience and has client reviews. Purchase just one session, and arrange with the trainer to purchase a set amount after this session if your giftee really wants to continue.
Even better than trying to purchase health, how about gifting yourself? Pledge to meet for a walk instead of lunch, commit to training for a 5K together, join a tennis clinic, or invite your friend to your gym or favorite class. For a low cost motivator try a pedometer. This inexpensive gadget can be clipped on, or worn as a bracelet. It measures how many steps a day you take (10,000 is the current recommendation for health) and is a great feedback tool for how much (or how little) activity you are doing.
Giving a gift of fitness is great, but choose wisely to rescue a trainer from feeling neglected, and to save yourself some money.