People are becoming more health conscious these days and they are spending more time and money on health and fitness. If you think you are not meeting the specific fitness goals you have set for yourself, it is best to hire your own coach.

You need professionals to render certain services for you like repairing your car, handling legal matters or giving you medical care. In the same manner, you need someone to coach and guide you to instill discipline and help you achieve what you are aiming for, a healthy body and mind.

What is the first step you need to do to find a qualified fitness coach? Get referrals by asking people around, checking the yellow pages, going over fitness magazine listings or inquiring from friends at the gym. Fitness coaches don’t come cheap and you need to make sure you are getting your money’s worth by hiring someone who can provide excellent training and advice.

What should you look for in a fitness coach?

Credentials. You want proof that your coach has been properly trained for the job of making you healthy and fit. A coach with a degree in exercise physiology, health, nutrition, biomechanics or kinesiology is what you are looking for. He must also be able to show verifiable training certifications issued by recognized medical and sports agencies.

Knowledge of nutrition, sleep and first aid. The fitness coach that you are trying to find must have some knowledge about current trends in nutrition, health and fitness. Good diet and sleep are important partners of exercise without which any gains from exercise can be lost. The prospective coach must also be familiar with CPR and other first aid methods in case some accident happens in the course of your exercises.

Professionalism. Your coach much act professionally at all times. He must always be on time, alert and give you his full attention during scheduled workout sessions. A session usually runs between 30 minutes and 1 hour. He must maximize the allotted time coaching you by avoiding too many phone calls or chats with friends in the gym. At the same time, he must be able to make you accountable for your own time, imposing rigid timeframes and setting guidelines on your own tardiness, absences and cancellations.

Your health as the focus of attention. You are looking for someone to make you healthy and fit, thus your health must be your coach’s priority. He must be able to give you a fitness regimen that is suited to your health condition and physique. He must take it upon himself to know your actual medical condition and any medications you are taking before he starts any program for you.

Practicing what he preaches. The best test for a coach’s effectiveness to train is a good physique. A good physique proves that he himself is practicing what he preaches and that what he preaches are effective. He must always be in good form with a high level of energy and pep.

When looking for a health and fitness coach, try talking to as many prospects as possible so that you can compare and contrast. Choose a healthy partner whose only aim is to make you healthy, fit and happy.