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4 reasons you should hire a personal trainer

Find out if it's worth the cost and how to find one.

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A personal trainer can be great if you need extra support and accountability in your workouts

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There's no shortage of free fitness guides and tips on the internet and social media, which is great -- but sometimes it's more overwhelming than helpful. Figuring out which workout plans to follow, what actually works for your goals, what kind of exercise equipment you need, and if you can even stick to the workout plan is a daunting task. If you can relate to this last point, hiring a personal trainer may be a great solution to get more personalized plans that work for you.

Hiring a personal trainer is a big decision (and often a big financial commitment), but it can be well worth your time, even if you are only able to work with one on a short-term basis. A personal trainer can help tailor a custom plan just for you, and provide invaluable support and accountability in your fitness journey. No matter if you're just starting out, or maybe you took a break from working out and want to get back into it, a trainer is the perfect person to make sure you are doing exercises correctly and making the most of your time at the gym.

Read more: 7 best yoga mats for 2020  

Working with a trainer these days looks pretty different than 10 years ago -- you can hire a trainer to work out with you at a gym. But you can also save money -- and get an experience that's just as useful -- by connecting with a trainer via video chat or in an app. Hiring a virtual trainer also gives you access to people you may not be able to work with otherwise due to location.

Whether you're interested in hiring a trainer because you need more accountability, a personalized program tailored to you or maybe because you don't have time to leave your house to work out, keep reading to find out more about how to hire a personal trainer and if you could use one.

Read more: Best running shoes for 2020  

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If you are new to exercising, a personal trainer will help you learn proper form.

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1. You're just getting started with a workout routine

If you're new to working out -- or maybe you're coming back after a long hiatus -- a personal trainer can help you learn the basics. If you haven't worked out before, it can feel pretty overwhelming to walk into a gym or a workout class. It's important to have a professional coach you on proper form and technique, especially when you're new to a workout. You'll want to make sure you're getting the foundations down early on, setting you up for success and making it more likely that you'll reach your fitness goals.

When you first start working with a personal trainer, they'll often begin your session with a fitness assessment. This tells the trainer what you can improve on, where your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to fitness, and you'll discuss your goals. You can then work with a trainer for a short time to get you started, or sustain a longer-term relationship if you need more accountability and support.

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If you are recovering for an injury, a personal trainer can help make sure you stay safe.

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2. You've been injured, had surgery or given birth 

If you've been active in the past, or maybe you had to take a break to recover from an illness, injury or other life event like having a baby, sometimes you need more support to start exercising again. 

When you are coming back to exercise after a break, it can feel like you're starting over. Say for example, you had knee surgery, and now you need to learn how to get back to your favorite workout without risking hurting your knee again. The right trainer will have the knowledge to help you balance your workouts and address the areas in your body that could help support your knee. And they can also guide you on what types of exercise or movements you may need to avoid to be safe. 

Many trainers specialize in certain areas, like post-rehab or pre- and post-natal, so you can work to find a trainer specialized in an area that best suits your needs.

3. You need accountability 

If you struggle with accountability when it comes to working out, there's nothing like paying someone by the hour (who probably still charges if you don't show up) to make you stick to a commitment. Sometimes you really need that external layer of accountability to help you get to the gym, which is why finding a personal trainer can be really helpful.

A trainer not only will coach you through the workout itself but can help motivate you when you are feeling discouraged or have other concerns. If you can't work with a trainer, or maybe you can only afford a few sessions, you can keep the accountability going by working out with a friend, co-worker or family member.

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Personal trainers can come to you and help you work out at home.

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4. Your schedule is so crazy, you don't know when you can go to the gym

If you have a really demanding schedule, whether that's at work or at home (or a mix of both) a personal trainer can be a great solution. Oftentimes, they can travel to you and train you at your home. A huge time suck with workouts is often the commute back and forth -- so having a trainer come to you can save a lot of time. And even if you don't have a gym at home, you can often train outside, in a spare room or in the garage with little equipment or equipment that they bring. 

Working out with a trainer at home is also possible with virtual training, which you can do with trainers who will FaceTime or Skype you in real time, or via personal training apps like Fitplan and Centr. The smart fitness device Mirror also offers a new feature that lets you work out with trainers in real time. The per-session cost is less than what you would pay with an in-person trainer ($40 for a 30-minute session), but you still have to invest in the Mirror up front for $1,495, plus a $39 monthly fee.

How to find a personal trainer 

If you want to find a personal trainer, you can start by calling local gyms and fitness studios to inquire about trainers and rates. The average cost for a personal trainer is $40 to $70 an hour, but this can vary greatly depending on where you live and how experienced the trainer is. You can search for certified trainers in your area through websites like ACE and FitnessTrainer.com.

Finally, if you're worried about the expense of hiring a trainer, you may be able to discount your sessions by doing small group personal training sessions or asking if your trainer will let you split the hourly fee if you bring a friend. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.