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Personal trainers, fitness coaches and nutritionists are more than individuals creating and delivering safe and effective exercise programs and nutritional protocols. Collectively, we all share a love of health and a deep-rooted passion to help others live their best life. Bringing our A game to our clients day in and day out is exhilarating but exhausting. Overextending yourself physically and emotionally will leave you weary and worn-out weekly. Top-notch trainers do not “burn the candle at both ends”. Building a clientele takes work but recharging leads to higher client retention.  

Start by stopping split shifts. Overbooked and overwhelmed is a recipe for disaster. Decide when you sprinkle the most magic. Are you a sunrise or sunset trainer? Setting limits on your availability is not horrible. It’s next to impossible to continuously cheer clients on if you aren’t taking care of you. Self-love is securing a stable schedule. Client bonds are life-changing on both sides. We all live for the gym grind, love the afterglow of gratitude, but boundaries are paramount. Dedicate a specific time daily to respond to work messages, schedule personal workouts and posting social media. Advertising your go-to brand for BCCA’s or posting an exercise on the Bosu ball is not breaking news. Breathe and stay in balance. Self-preservation is stepping outside the wellness world on your day off. Being a guru is gratifying but finding fun away from fitness can be a breath of fresh air.  

Walk your talk. Meal prep, hydration, consistency, and the importance of rest roll off the tongue repeatedly, but do you take your own advice? Water is wondrous and essential for everything from maintaining body temperature, cushioning organs, lubricating joints to flushing out waste and dissolving minerals and nutrients. This hydrating helper is linked to our life in the fitness field. On high-intensity demo and teaching days, opt for energizing pure coconut water and replenish all-important electrolytes. 

Prep a whole-food plant-based diet daily. Produce in a rainbow of colors provides a myriad of minerals, vitamins, and phyto-nutrients. Fuel fitness with clean, green carbohydrates. Protein shakes and bars have their place but unprocessed food as close to Mother Nature is body building inside and out. Boosting the body is a breeze with an array of antioxidants. Beta carotene is the precursor to vitamin A, available in an abundance in all plant foods but yellow and orange are out of this world. Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and mango are magnificent sources. Vitamin C-rich foods are no stranger to the immune boosting list. Berries and citrus are fabulous finds, but bell peppers and broccoli are hard to beat. Vitamin D is more than a mood lifter and stand-in for sunshine…fatty cold-water fish, egg yolks and beef liver are solid sickness preventers, but the power of soy is super, too. Beef and seafood are zinc stocked superstars. Tofu and legumes are plant power possibilities; pick pumpkin seeds and tahini, too.  

Gut health is more than a trend and the link between a top-notch tummy and overall wellness is mind-blowing. Boost physical and mental health with fermented favorites like kefir, kombucha and kimchi.  

Finally, there is the magnificent macro and personal trainer ‘hall of fame’ favorite, protein. Whether you choose from an animal or plant source, protein is made of essential and non-essential amino acids and awesome for warding off sickness as well as building and maintaining muscle. The array of amino acids is vital for health, from energy producing valine to body detoxifier methionine to growth hormone helper leucine.  

Coffee is a cup of heaven in the morning to many, me included, but if the day is fueled by caffeine craziness, it’s a matter of time before you crash. In the short-term, caffeine can cause insomnia, dizziness, fast heart rate, anxiety, shakiness, and the “I desperately need java before I have a horrible headache today” experience. Caffeine in any form causes blood pressure to spike, increases acid in the stomach and interferes with the absorption of calcium and iron in the body. Instead of requiring daily stimulants, simply sleep. A deep restorative slumber will have you waking up without an alarm and awake with an “I am ready to train insane” attitude. Nothing says set up for stupendous shuteye better than a bedtime routine. Sip a cup of chamomile tea, snuggle under the duvet post Epsom bath soak. Ditch the drama on social media and read or journal. Set the temperature for 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit, don an eye mask, dab a little lavender essential oil on the temples, turn the electronics to airplane mode and sweet dreams! 

Respect yourself, your time, and your health. Remember why you started training and why you chose to help others. Nothing beats strolling into the studio, recharged and ready to share in your clients’ successes!  


Mercedes Kay Gold is a certified canfitpro Personal Trainer (PTS), certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a published writer who loves helping others live their best life when not spending time with her children and grandson, Theodore.