Fitness boot camps are a heart-pounding way to boost your fitness level. Boot camps are led by a fitness instructor and are based on the concept of military boot camps — intensive workout programs to get new recruits into shape, quickly. Fitness boot camps encourage camaraderie, and the group momentum helps participants get through fast-paced intervals of cardio, isometric training, strength training and endurance drills. Classes may range anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and usually meet multiple days per week. Boot camps often run a specific duration of time, say four to six weeks, which creates a team-like environment for class members. Other boot camps run year-round and students purchase package pricing for classes, similar to subscriptions that allow them a set amount of classes per week or per month.
Boot camps can be held indoors at a gym, outdoors in a park or on a beach, in a backyard — anywhere there’s room for running, jumping and sweating. Some instructors also provide DVD and online boot camps. You can also find boot camps tailored to your heart’s desire, such as bikini boot camp, or boot camps for new mothers. Boot camps offer an intense workout and are usually led by energetic instructors pushing you to do your best, but unlike military boot camp drill sergeants, fitness boot camp instructors typically don’t use intimidation or punishment to spur you on. Check with your doctor before starting a boot camp if you have health concerns, and always let your instructor know ahead of time if you have injuries.
A nutritionist provides expertise and guidance to help clients with all diet-related health matters, including losing weight, gaining muscle, improving their sports performance, and managing diabetes or high cholesterol. Nutritionists can help people learn to follow special diets in a healthy way, such as becoming vegetarian or vegan or developing a low-sodium or gluten-free eating plan. The average national cost of a nutritionist is $60 to $100. Nutritionists often require an initial consultation with a new client, during which they’ll take a medical history, assess the client’s nutritional needs, and determine the best course of action; this first meeting usually averages $100-$120 for a 45-minute to 90-minute consultation. Subsequent nutritional counseling sessions generally cost less, ranging from an average of $45 for a half-hour session to $60-$90 for a one-hour session. Like many professional service providers, nutritionists may offer discounts through package pricing. For instance, a one-month package with two sessions and email support costs an average of $190; a three-month package with three sessions and email support costs an average of $360; and a six-month package with six sessions and email support costs an average of $540.
Nutrition counseling can be a critical component of good health care, especially for people recently diagnosed with diabetes or high cholesterol who need to adhere to a specific diet. People also meet with nutritionists for help developing a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet, developing an eating plan to lose weight or gain muscle, or improving their sports performance by changing their diet. Nutritionists may be covered by health insurance depending on your reason for meeting with them. Nutrition counseling is more likely to be covered if it is part of a doctor-prescribed treatment for a particular medical condition, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or coronary heart disease. For example, Medicare covers medical nutrition therapy services only for people diagnosed with diabetes or kidney disease, as long as they get a referral from their doctor. Also, insurance providers more often cover nutrition visits if the patient has been referred to a registered dietitian within the carrier’s network of providers. Insurance plans vary greatly, so research your benefits before visiting a nutritionist.
The cost of fitness boot camps depends on how often you go, the package you are purchasing (or if you are paying a drop-in fee), the location of the bootcamp, the equipment the instructors provide, and the background and reputation of the instructor. Smaller towns and areas with a lower cost of living typically have lower rates for boot camp services than big cities and regions with a higher cost of living. If you’re paying per class on a drop-in basis, expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $25 or more, depending on the region and the instructor. When you purchase a package of classes, typically the more you buy at one time, the cheaper each class is. The same boot camp class might be $20 for a drop-in student, $15 for a student who pays for 10 classes per month, and $10 for a student who pays for 30 classes a month. Studio space can also affect costs, so if your boot camp takes place in a high-end gym with top-of-the-line equipment, the prices will likely be higher than a class that meets in an outdoor space with limited or no equipment. Shop around to find the right type of boot camp class and the right instructor for you.