AUSTIN, Texas., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The key to any successful exercise program is sticking with it, but work, family obligations, stress, school holidays and sick kids can thwart the most devoted exercisers and disrupt the most entrenched exercise routines. On-line video-calling and conferencing technology can solve that problem.
"I got the idea from television," Margo Kamin, an Austin, TX-based personal trainer, explains. "I noticed that news shows would use computer live streaming instead of flying people in for interviews, and I thought I could adapt that strategy to offer on-line training to clients when they can't easily leave their homes or prefer not to."
Certified in both individual and group training, Kamin has been offering "one-on-one fitness training" (her company's name) and nutrition counseling for more than 20 years, working with clients in her private studio and in their homes. But on-line training provides added flexibility for her and her clients.
"Parents can train from home when a sitter cancels or the car won't start, and business executives can train from their hotel rooms when they're on the road," explains Kamin, who also uses the on-line training option when she's away. "I don't have to cancel sessions when I'm traveling. I can conduct them from wherever I am."
Desktops, laptops, notebooks, notepads and iPads all work fine, she says. "All you need is an Internet connection, FaceTime (a video conferencing application for iPad and iPhone devices) or Skype (a free, Internet based video-calling program), a built-in or exterior webcam on your device of choice, and enough space to exercise. It doesn't take much," she notes.
Clients tell her that Web-based training for them is almost like being in the studio. "They can see me demonstrate the exercises; I can see them, instruct them, encourage them, and growl at them, if necessary," she laughs. "You lose a little bit of the edge that comes from being in the same room," Kamin adds. "But it is close – very close – to being there." (Several clients describe their experiences with on-line training in this article, published recently in the Austin American Statesman).
No More Excuses
Some of her Austin clients are now using Skype or FaceTime regularly, when they can't make it to her studio, and some are using the on-line option exclusively, because they prefer the convenience or the privacy of training from their homes.
Kamin is using web-based training to continue working with clients who have moved away from Austin and to reach new clients in other markets. She is now working with clients in North Kingstown (RI), Albuquerque, Seattle, Hilton Head, Portland (OR), Long Beach, San Jose, Detroit and Minneapolis, among other locations. And she expects her list of far-flung clients will grow as more people discover how convenient and accessible web-based training can be. She also expects more trainers to begin offering the on-line option, as they recognize its benefits for them and their clients.
Some Web-based platforms (PowHow is one example) allow trainers to offer on-line group classes — another option that Kamin thinks will grow in popularity with trainers looking for efficient ways to market and manage these Web-based classes and with consumers looking for more ways to fit regular exercise into busy schedules.
"I don't think on-line training will replace in-person sessions for people who have that option," Kamin says. "But it gives trainers another way to reach clients and to keep them motivated and on track." Equally important, she suggests, the ability to train on-line "makes it easier for clients to maintain their exercise routine — and a lot harder for them to find excuses not to."
For more information about Kamin and her company, visit http://www.1-on-1fitnesstraining.com.