Training Clients with Metabolic Abnormalities
The causes and origins of metabolic abnormalities are not always known and cannot always be identified with a beginning point or distinguishing moment. Steps can only be taken to maintain immune system health through proper exercise and nutritional programming. The other 165 or so hours a week (there are 168 hours in a week) are left to the individual.
The question is… How can one avoid the pitfalls of metabolic abnormalities and utilize every precaution to ensure the LEAST likely probability (some things are just out of the control of either the individual or personal fitness trainer) that disease or Illness will occur?
Eat a healthy diet: This cannot be overlooked once a metabolic disease is present. Nutritional habits can make or break the progress and stability of health for an individual. For this reason, an individual with metabolic abnormalities must seek the advice of a registered dietitian and not just their doctor or trainer.
Allow for the proper rest: If the body is tired or worn down, no nutrition, exercise or medication will be able to make significant gains or progress. Sleep preferences will vary, but research shows that 7 1⁄2 to 9 1⁄2 hours is ideal. With illness or disease, this may increase.
Exercise: The proper exercise program design helps to regulate blood sugar levels and strengthens the immune system. Just like any special population, particular care must be taken to observe responses via RPE and HR tracking, using a heart rate monitor and checking on the perception of client effort frequently. When the body is weak, it does not take a great deal of effort to raise the heart rate or tax the musculoskeletal or immune systems due to bodily energy shifting focus upon fighting the disease or condition. An experienced and knowledgeable personal fitness trainer is needed in these situations.
Effective Treatment for Metabolic Abnormalities
If anyone shows the signs and symptoms of a metabolic abnormality, make sure they are already under the treatment of a doctor. If the symptoms are new and they increase during activity, activity should be discontinued until the client has seen a doctor. Remember, you cannot diagnose medical conditions, but you can help recognize them.
If an individual loses consciousness at any time, it is the responsibility of the personal fitness trainer to stay with them until help arrives and call 911 regardless of whether or not the individual has regained consciousness and “seems ok.” Judgment upon the ability to resume normal activity without going to the hospital must be reserved for emergency professionals. Otherwise, the personal fitness trainer must make certain that the individual continues to lie down if possible and continues to sip water to avoid further dehydration.
If an individual experiences a hypoglycemic reaction, the personal fitness trainer must ensure that the individual receives juice, candy or some other sugar source to supply quick energy to the system, currently de- prived of carbohydrate. It is most advisable to end the workout until another day once a hypo- glycemic reaction has occurred.
If an individual experiences a hyperglycemic reaction (diabetics could experience either high or low blood sugar reactions), the sugar content of the blood is too high and plenty of water should be ingested to balance the excess sugar. Fluid replacement via an IV (as used in hospital settings) may be necessary, as well as insulin. If the body is not producing enough insulin (the client will likely be aware of this), injections or medications might be used. This is best when left for qualified professional medical personnel if the client is unable to manage the condition in the acute sense.
Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia
If an individual experiences a severe episode of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia due to overstressing the system through exercise or some other medium that induces a heightened state of fatigue, then immediate rest, fluid and the ingestion of non-allergy producing foods will give the highest metabolic response but will take time to show benefits. Neither the symptoms nor the treatments for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia produce immediate or quick results; they all re- quire time to take effect.
It is the duty of the personal fitness trainer to become educated in the areas of training safety and preservation of health, just as it is the duty of any at-risk individual or individual in need of greater health to allow themselves to be educated by a professional personal fitness trainer and medical professional either if or when necessary. Whenever a situation has escalated beyond the control of both the individual and personal fitness trainer, the aid of a doctor or emergency professional must be sought after immediately.
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There is always something exciting about earning a new training or coaching certification and applying that new knowledge of how you train your clients. This also helps you hit the reset button.
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