As summer finally begins to kick in and the shorts and T-shirts come out; there are many people looking at themselves in the mirror and deciding

to get into shape but who don't have the necessary willpower to get going.

Siobhan Ryan looks at one option that is growing increasingly popular a personal fitness trainer At first, it seems like a really good idea to make a promise to yourself to get fit and healthy. Regular training sessions are planned, a year's membership booked at the gym and all the fattening food thrown out of the fridge. It works well for a week or two but then, one morning, it's raining and cold and the thought of getting up and going for a run or a workout at the gym is not a pretty one.

For many people, it is at this point they turn around and go to sleep again, promising themselves they'll do extra work tomorrow and then the whole thing falls by the wayside.

And it is at this point where someone like Nick Gray comes on to the scene. Mr Gray, from Hove, is a personal fitness trainer and helps dozens of people in the Brighton and Hove area to get fit.

Rather than be based at a gym where people come to him, Mr Gray goes to his client 's houses instead.

He says:"It makes all the difference because it makes people more motivated.

"When they are on their own there is a good chance they will lapse but if they know I am coming around then they'll make an effort."

Using a trainer is not exclusively linked to serious runners or sportsmen and women. It can often be a way for someone to do something positive about their health and lifestyle.

Mr Gray says:"A lot of people get a trainer to either lose a few pounds or get themselves feeling relaxed and healthy. It doesn't mean they are suddenly going to want to go out on a road race it 's more that it makes people feel good about themselves."

Before taking the personal trainer route, people are often advised to get a check up at their doctor to make sure there are no medical reasons why they shouldn't take up exercise.

Advice is also given on diet such as what carbohydrates to take and what fats to avoid so the best possible results can be achieved.

Mr Gray mainly uses jogging and running to help get people fit but says there's more to it than putting on running shoes and heading for the park.

He says:"The first thing I do with a new client is ask about their health and advise them to see their GP.

"I then work out what their goals are and between us we come up with a long-term plan that involves stretching and stamina exercises as well as warming up and cooling down ones.

"We also look at their lifestyle to see where things could be improved such as walking to places instead of using a car."

The advantage of training with a qualified trainer is that he or she will assess your current level of fitness, consider your goals and then devise an individually tailored regime to help you achieve those goals safely.

The usual age range for taking up extra training is in the 30s but Mr Gray says he is dealing with people from in their 20s up to their 50s.

He says: "It all depends on what people want out of it. Younger people generally want to get fit while older ones want to loosen their muscles to make things easier for themselves."

Horsham GP Michael Phillips says using trainers to improve your lifestyle is welcome but warns people should not overdo it. He says:"A carefully-

worked out fitness rgime can be excellent for general fitness but it is vital that people are checked out thoroughly by their GP before taking anything on in case there are potential problems."

For more details about personal trainers, call Total Health on 01784 469996 or Mr Gray on 07951 292844