Athletic Trainer vs. Personal Trainer

When most people hear the term “Athletic Trainer” they think “Personal Trainer.” This is a very common and easily understandable mix-up, however these are two very different professions. Below are a few of the differences to help you understand each profession and who you should consult.

1. Education: Athletic Trainers require at least a 4-year degree at an accredited college. This requirement is in the process of changing to requiring a Master’s degree. Personal trainers do not require a degree of any kind.

2. Certification: Athletic Trainers are required to take a national certification exam. There is only one exam option and without acquiring this certification, athletic trainers are not allowed to practice and cannot use the term “Certified Athletic Trainer.” Personal Trainers have a variety of certification exams available to choose from. There is no regulation on the term “Personal Trainer” therefore anyone can refer to themselves as a Personal Trainer.

3. Training/Abilities: Athletic Trainers are allied healthcare providers required to be certified in CPR, First Aid, and AED use. They are often the first on scene and deal mostly with sports injuries. They specialize in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. Athletic Trainers are also well-versed in strength & conditioning programs for athletes. Personal Trainers work with individuals to improve their overall fitness and body composition, and do NOT deal with injuries as they are not healthcare providers.

4. Job Settings: Athletic Trainers are able to work in a variety of job settings such as: youth sports programs, high schools, colleges & universities, professional sports teams, military, and more! Personal Trainers typically work in fitness centers or gyms as well as travel to clients’ homes in some cases.

Hopefully this helps you to understand what Certified Athletic Trainers do and what Personal Trainers do. For more information click here! If your child plays a sport at any of our affiliated high school programs, we have a Certified Athletic Trainer to help prevent and manage injuries!

7 Things You Should Know About Physical Therapy

We know many people don’t love coming to their physical therapy appointment. It’s work, it can make your muscles sore, and let’s face it, it’s one more thing to add to your already busy schedule. What most people may not know though is how much it can help with so many various physical ailments. Here are 7 things you should know.

  1. Physical therapists are specialists in musculoskeletal injuries and issues. Through manual testing and a complete history provided by you, we can figure out the best course of treatment for your specific ailment, whether that’s with us, or referring you to another specialist.
  2. Physical therapists don’t just work with injuries, stretching, and strengthening muscles though. We diagnose and treat other problems like chronic headaches, vertigo, carpal tunnel, and more! The sooner we can evaluate you, the better as this will help remedy an issue before it becomes a more serious health problem. Not sure what’s going on? Schedule an appointment with a physical therapist!
  3. You don’t always need a script before you make an appointment. Most insurance companies do not require you to see your physician before you come to us, so now you can skip a step and come right in to get to work on feeling better! Don’t forget that YOU get to choose where you go for your physical therapy needs! If you do get a script or a physician instructs you to go to a specific location, you aren’t forced to go to that one facility. You can do your own research and choose your own physical therapy facility!
  4. Contrary to popular belief, physical therapy is not painful, but actually helps chronic pain patients! The opioid epidemic in this country has skyrocketed and believe it or not, that’s mostly due to prescribed drugs after surgery and for chronic pain. Physical therapy is a safe and effective way to manage your pain without the risk of highly addictive drugs.
  5. Did you know that lower back pain plagues nearly 80% of Americans at some point during their lifetime? Almost everyone who experiences an episode of low back pain will suffer another occurrence, and lower back pain is one of the costliest medical problems in America. Physical therapy treatments are designed to ease pain, improve mobility, strength, posture, and function. We also teach our patients how to control their symptoms and protect their spine for years to come.
  6. Most older adults report having problems with walking and standing. About one in three older adults (65 or older) in the U.S. falls every year! Physical therapists are trained to help improve movement and balance so we can help prevent falls and reduce the risk of hip fracture!. Talk to a physical therapist if you or someone you know is at risk for falls. (Get more information here.)
  7. Not all physical therapists are the same! Many PT’s specialize in different areas. For example, some are in pediatrics, some with geriatrics, and others with much more specialized areas like pelvic floor rehab. If you have had a bad experience with one, don’t think everyone else will be the same!

We hope that this blog has helped you understand the role that physical therapists can play in your life. Hopefully you stay healthy, but if you run into issues, stop in and see us. We would love to help!

5 Tips to Start a Fitness Routine You’ll Actually Stick With

We all know that working out usually isn’t the first thing you want to do when you wake up. Nor is it the first thing that comes to mind when it’s time to go home after work. We get it. That’s why we’re here to help you be successful on your journey to health and well-being. Here are 5 tips to help you start a routine and stick with it.

  1. Get help from a professional. This may seem scary or expensive, but it doesn’t have to be either of those things! Think about it. This is your health we’re talking about and that’s not something you should mess with. Be cautious about searching for fitness programs on the internet. You may have restrictions that those online programs don’t address and that could end up hurting you in the long run. Click here to check out personal training prices & packages. Don’t forget, new members get 2 complimentary sessions to use just for this reason!
  2. Pick a time and block it off. Seriously, schedule your workouts! Put them in your planner, your phone, on your family calendar on your fridge…anywhere and everywhere. Seeing it written down and having that time set aside means that you will have fewer scheduling issues and interruptions. Writing it down on family or work calendars also means that others will know you’re not available. Make yourself a priority!
  3. Find a Friend. Get a friend to workout with you and you’ll be more likely to stick with it and you’ll be more successful (honestly, we aren’t making this up, there’s research to back it up)! You won’t be able to come up with a lame excuse to not go, you can help push each other, plus it’s just more fun with a friend!
  4. Choose exercises you like. This may seem silly, but if you HATE the exercises you’re doing, how long do you really think you’ll stick with it? Not long. You can still get a good workout in AND enjoy it. Burpees not your thing? No worries, there’s lots of other exercises to choose from! This is where the professional help comes in handy too!
  5. Be Realistic. Set your goals, but be real about it. You’re not going to lose 30 pounds in a week, and that’s good because that wouldn’t be healthy! Set short-term and long-term goals that you can actually achieve. Your personal trainer can help with this too. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach one of your goals. Now, when you lose 10 pounds, don’t go get a dozen donuts or cupcakes, because that would be counterintuitive. Instead, maybe take yourself to get a new workout outfit. Then you won’t be able to wait until your next workout to wear it!

Good luck on your fitness journey! We would love to hear from you and if these tips help you! Come back here next month to check out a new post with more helpful information!