If your hectic travel schedule makes it hard to commit to twice-weekly, in-person workouts with a fitness professional, you may need to rethink your approach. While you may want someone to hold you accountable and tell you exactly what to do with those dumbbells, do you require the trainer to actually be there with you?

With an online personal trainer, you can get similar structure without being tied to a particular gym or workout time. We do everything from banking to doctor visits online, so why not work with a virtual trainer? An online coach can provide you with a customized exercise and nutrition plan to help you meet your unique fitness goals and work with almost any schedule.

Here are other top reasons to go online with your training professional:

Online = Endless Possibilities
Geography may limit your personal training options, says Tobias Oerum, who runs The Fit Blog with his wife, Christel. With online training, it’s easier to find someone who specializes in your sport or health concern, according to Oerum. For example, Christel Oerum has Type 1 diabetes, and finds that clients who are also diabetics seek her out because she understands first-hand their unique challenges.

Bigger Social Circle
Some online trainers provide programs in groups, as well as one-on-one sessions. Tamara Grand, through her Fitknit Chick, offers monthly group programs for women; the sessions include workouts and social support. Her clients get weekly coaching emails, as well as daily “meetings” in their private Facebook group. “It’s a wonderfully supportive community that provides constant motivation, accountability and support,” Grand says.

Better Connections
Suzanne Digre, owner of Workout Nirvana Fitness, says communication is vital with online training. All of her online clients receive a personal Google spreadsheet to track their progress, email check-ins and Skype chats. According to Digre, an in-person trainer who has a date with you twice a week may not be monitoring you as closely.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of online personal training, be sure to carefully vet any candidates you’re considering. Ask for references, education and certifications, as well as a no-cost consultation to make sure you’re really a good match.

Remember, online training may not be right for everyone. You do still need to have some degree of self-motivation, because you essentially will have to keep a date with yourself.

“Clients need to be able to create a workout schedule and stick with it, as there is not a trainer waiting for them at the gym on a particular day at a particular time,” Grand says. “Exercise independence is one of the skills I attempt to cultivate in my clients.”