Ten Tips for Maintaining Balance as a Fitness Instructor

As a personal trainer, you probably think you’re the pinnacle of health, right? 

You’re constantly working out, eating right, and putting in a ton of time toward bettering your physical health.

That’s great and all, in fact, you should definitely be commended for these accomplishments, but we’ve got a little secret for you —if you’re not taking time to balance out your life, you’re probably going to run yourself ragged.

That’s right, we said it, you need a little balance in your life, and if you take a good, hard look at your daily routines, you probably would (hesitantly) agree with us. Balance matters for everyone, especially for personal trainers —AKA, people who spend their lives trying their best to eat accordingly, exercise daily, and follow stringent plans.

We know, we know —you have clients that you need to be an example for, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to leave a little room for balance in your life. In fact, having super healthy habits won’t get you anywhere unless you’re flexible enough to mix in a little balance.

Check out ten tips we have for fitness instructors to employ a little relaxation and balance into their stringent routines. 

You Have to Take a Rest Day – Seriously, You Have To  

Even if you plan to work with clients for most of the days of the week, you need to acknowledge the importance of a rest day —from working with clients and from working out.

As a personal trainer, it can be hard to have a rest day.

Often, you want to do parts of the workout with your client for motivation or need to demonstrate the proper way to do an exercise, but it’s important that you’re fitting in the time to give your body a break. If you find it tough to remember rest days, try to create a hard schedule for yourself that includes rest days as well as your fitness plans.

Further, you need to make sure you’re taking days off from work. 

It’s okay to have a week or two or work straight (for some people), but we promise you, you’re going to feel better and more balanced if you’re giving yourself at least a day’s break from clients. Often, you’ll also better be able to help your clients achieve their goals because you won’t be so burnt out.

Hire a Coach For You

Being the coach is rewarding, but exhausting. 

Spending too much time giving direction and leadership without having anyone direct some leadership and advice your way can sap you of your energy —that’s why hiring on a coach of your own can be awesome. This can give you a renewed spirit, teach you new things to take back to your clients, and inspire you to become an even greater coach.

Granted, this coach doesn’t have to be a fitness coach — maybe you want to hire a speaking coach, a leadership coach, a group fitness coach.

There are all kinds of options.

The point is, if you’re spending all your time teaching and not enough of your time learning and growing — as a coach and an individual —eventually you’re going to get burned out. Take the time to invest in yourself.

Cheat Meals Can Give You a New Lease on Life

For the love of all that is holy, have a cheat meal.

No, we don’t mean that you should go on a week-long bender of fried foods, fatty cheeses, and dessert-filled gluttony, but you know better than anyone that only eating the healthiest of foods at all times is going to eventually become monotonous and boring (chicken and rice can really only go so far).

Granted, we know that there are hundreds of ways that you can make healthy food exciting, and that’s something you should definitely have a conversation with your clients about, but sometimes, you just want to bite into a juicy, cheesy burrito, and we get that. Break into a little excitement in your dietary life —have a Snickers bar once in a while, eat a burger if you’re into it, go for the gold with some cheese fries.

As a trainer, you know one meal won’t kill you, and if you genuinely want to take a break to indulge for a meal, your clients aren’t going to fault you for that.

Sometimes No is the Magic Word

We’ll keep this one short —just say no.

Are you totally overbooked but you have a client who wants in?

Say no (politely). 

Are your fitness friends going to add another class into their weekly schedule and want you to join in but you’re totally exhausted?

Say no.

Are you in desperate need of a good night’s rest but your family wants you to join them for dinner at your favorite restaurant?

Say no.

Saying no is okay, we promise. Especially if it means looking out for something you need to help better balance your life.

Give Yourself a Mental Check-Up

If you’re not checking in with yourself mentally, you’re setting yourself up for a disaster — and you might not even know it. Sure, you can dedicate all your time to bettering your clients, working for them, and encouraging them to do what it takes to take care of their overall wellness—but are you taking time to make sure your wellness is in check.

Try to give yourself a mental check-up every few days — acknowledge your stress, what you think you’re missing in your weekly routine, and how you’re feeling, overall.

Fitness can’t exist in a healthy way unless you’re keeping your mental health in check. Challenge yourself mentally – revisit why you got into this career, how you’re feeling about it now, and what you want for your future. If you think it’ll benefit you, try to find a professional to help you keep your mental wellness in check, too.

Take a Vacation — You Deserve It

That’s it — seriously.

​Take a vacation. 

Stop putting off that trip you’ve been dying to take just because you think one week away from your clients will destroy your business (spoiler alert: it won’t). Making time for things you enjoy and things you want to do are going to help keep you fresh and keep your work-life ratios better balanced. Seriously, a vacation is going to do wonders for you.

Make Yourself a Priority

Are you sleeping enough? Are you getting in your workouts that you enjoy? Are you leaving time to have fun, explore new places, meet new people?

Listen to What Your Body Needs

Are you always tired? Maybe you need more sleep.

Are you consistently sore? More rest days might be the key.

Do you feel like you’re not getting enough you time to provide yourself with proper care?

Start saying no to additional clients. There are tons of small, but instrumentally helpful, things that you can do to change your work-life balance, and it all starts with paying attention to your body. As a trainer, you probably advise clients to take note of what their bodies are telling them all the time.

Take your own advice!

Don’t Scoff at Passive Income Sources —They Can Be Helpful When You Need a Longer Break

Maybe in the past, you’ve laughed at trainers who write up e-books or have passive incomes from offering their fitness advice online. Honestly, if you’re looking for a little more balance in your life without giving up your paycheck, this can be a helpful way to ensure the big bucks are still rolling in and you’re working a little less.

Besides, things like e-books and fitness guides are incredibly helpful for a lot of people —you could change someone’s life with your knowledge and make a passive income while doing it.

Be Honest With Yourself

This is the part that a lot of trainers miss out the most on —be truthful about how you feel.

Are you actually checking in with what your body needs?

Are you taking mental health days if you need it?

​Are you curbing the influx of clients to make sure you have a little time every week for yourself? 

Just like you need to be transparent with your clients to help them accomplish their goals, you need to be transparent with yourself —it’s the only way you’ll ever know how to truly care for your needs and properly provide yourself with a healthy work-life balance.

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