Fitness is an exact science, so for maximum benefit it is advisable to hire an expert to work out the perfect exercise programme for your needs Physical fitness training is a science but there is no fixed equation for everyone, so getting a personal trainer can help in many ways. Some people use a personal trainer because they have a goal, such as finishing a marathon, participating in the Oxfam Trailwalker or losing fat. Freelance personal fitness trainer Alex Hose said a personal trainer could help assess people's body condition and design special courses for them to reach their goals with their professional knowledge. 'You can go into a gym and pick up a weight, but if you don't know how to use it properly, you might hurt yourself. A lot of people don't understand that when they are walking or running, their feet go out, or their knees come in, they don't realise it needs correction. 'Everyone in the gym has their own opinions. You can easily get lost in 100 different suggestions from 100 people. Which one should you follow?' Mr Hose said it was a good idea to talk to a professional with a good understanding of the industry. Mr Hose's routine is to listen to people who do not have a particular goal, get an idea of their personality, decide what training they need and then set up goals with them. 'If you don't have a goal you'll just be wasting your time doing this and that. Some people come to me because they need some motivation. They know they are not going to do it by themselves. They want a person to push them a bit.' Personal trainers help people become physically healthy and can change their lives. Mr Hose said he had one client who was overweight and had diabetes because of her obesity. She was depressed at first, but after a few sessions with him her mentality changed. She reached her goals and gained a lot of confidence through the exercises. Her attitude changed and she started to make decisions on what was best for her health. According to Mr Hose, the most common goal among his clients is to lose fat. But people often mistake weight with fat. 'If you say 'I want to lose five pounds', I'm not going to let you put on loads of muscle, because that's not what you want. You sometimes get heavier through exercise because your muscles get stronger. Bigger muscles weigh a lot more. It is healthier but it weighs more.' Mr Hose said that losing weight was easy if a person stopped eating junk food and exercised regularly. 'Food is one of the biggest parts of any exercise programme. If you do one to two hours of exercise a day but you eat junk food you can still get fat. You don't have to stop junk food completely because it might have a reverse effect: the more you want to stop eating it, the more you want it. You can treat yourself once a week. If you treat yourself a little bit it's easier to cut down,' he said. Starting to exercise takes courage. Mr Hose suggested setting a reasonable target and being determined to reach it. 'When you succeed you will be more confident in yourself and set higher goals. Going to a gym might not be best for everyone. Some people might start with the best intention to get fit. But when they go to a gym, they soon get bored and quit exercising altogether. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing. Or start with little things in your daily life that relate to getting healthy.' Mr Hose suggested that beginners start with some brisk walking. 'Get off [the bus] one or two stops early then walk 10 minutes to work. All it takes is 10 to 20 minutes a day.' Tips for getting the best out of the gym Choose compound exercises rather than isolation exercises, such as lunges, squats and chest presses. Use multidirectional movements when training, because even when moving the same joints different muscles are trained by moving in different directions. Mix up routines; add some balance and stability exercises. The body needs carbohydrates, proteins and fats after a workout, but take smaller portions. Always exercise in the correct position to avoid injury. When starting with free weights, start light to build up the stabilising muscles, then go heavier. Work the muscles you do not see in the mirror, or imbalances will occur. Rest is just as important as exercise, so find a good balance. Shake things up now and then with circuit classes. Eight-week training plan for a novice to complete a 10km run: Week 1 - Tuesday 3km, Thursday 3km, Sunday 4km Week 2 - Tuesday 3km, Thursday 3km, Sunday 4.5km Week 3 - Tuesday 3km, Thursday 3km, Sunday 5km Week 4 - Tuesday 3km, Thursday 3km, Sunday 6km Week 5 - Tuesday 3 or 4km, Thursday 3km, Sunday 7km Week 6 - Tuesday 3 or 4km, Thursday 3km, Sunday 8km Week 7 - Tuesday 3 or 4km, Thursday 3km, Sunday 8km Week 8 - Tuesday 3 or 4km, Thursday 3km, Sunday 10km Tips: Have no major health problems and be in reasonably good shape before you start. Always stretch before and after physical activity. A good judge of pace is if you can still hold a conversation. If runs are too difficult, try walking. or a combination of walking and running. People who do weight exercises should keep the weights light but do many repetitions.