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Y Health, Wellness, and Fitness Information: Whom Do You Trust?

Naples YMCAIt seems as though everyone is a self-made expert when it comes to health and wellness.  Walk into any bookstore, look at any super market shelf, or watch any commercial on television and they all seem to correlate back to one’s health.  With all the information readily available, how do you know which source to trust?

When it comes to your overall health, please refer to your physician.  Having a physician who is available and attentive to your needs is important.  The physician can only help you with as much information as you’re willing to share, so find a physician you feel comfortable talking to. Network with friends and family, and also make use of the Internet with websites like www.healthgrades.com.  Healthgrades is a website that allows you to see a snapshot of physicians and a little background on them including patient feedback.  After you’ve seen your physician for an overall view of your health, they should recommend what the Surgeon General asks of every American.  That recommendation includes 150-300 minutes a week of moderate intensity and muscle strengthening activities two times a week.  Now that you have that information, your next question may be “now where do I go?”  With the availability of fitness centers in the area you could start there.  If you were not interested in that route, a certified personal trainer would be worth the time to hire to ensure that you’re embarking on the correct route.  A personal trainer can assess your goals, your exercises, and make sure you’re exercising with the proper form to help avoid injury.

Personal trainers come from all different backgrounds but you should find one that holds a nationally recognized certification. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) are just a few certifications that would be considered nationally recognized.  Your personal trainer should also be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as most certifications will require them to have both.  A personal trainer may hold a degree in Exercise Science, Athletic Training, or a related field adding to their expertise.  Much like your physician, you will need to find a trainer that you feel comfortable with and can help you achieve your goals.  Personal Trainers, much like physicians, may have a specialty and are able to assist in training individuals with a variety of special needs conditions.  The other part of the equation to your health and wellness is your diet.  This seems to be the area where everyone claims to be an expert!  Regardless of where you find your information, you are best suited to consult a Registered Dietitian.  A Registered Dietitian (RD) has gone through much more intensive training and are equipped to use the scientific information of food and translate it into information for our healthy life. The website www.eatright.org is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and provides the user with the ability to search for a registered dietitian within a zip code.  There is also the ability to search by specialty.

With all of these pieces put together you will have the resources needed for professional advice to rely on for your health and wellness journey.  Information provided by these professionals can point you in the right direction; however bring in the resources of family and friends to keep you moving in the right direction.

Greater Naples YMCA  |  5450 YMCA Road, Naples, FL 34109  |  (239) 597-3148

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