Tough clients. Every fitness professional’s got them. You know, the ones who make you gnash your teeth, bite your tongue and think, “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you follow simple instructions or do what’s good for you?” Don’t take it personally. Pharmaceutical companies and physicians are gnashing their teeth as well. Too many medical patients are not taking their pills.
Issues such as the poor economy and smaller work forces are leading more people to work longer hours. Many exercise professionals train clients who work in the fields of health, technology, security, medicine, computer programming, food services and transportation, which often require working evenings and/or night shifts. These professions, and many others, may disturb sleep patterns, compromising cognitive performance and leading to serious health consequences.
You know them well—your obese clients who have tried everything: weight-loss meal programs, fat-burner pills, crash diets, gym memberships. Nothing worked for very long. When they turned up at your door, low self-efficacy was all they had to show for their sincere efforts to change.
More than anything, you want to help them turn the corner and adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors they can maintain. But how do you do it?
Can your mind fool your physiology into believing you’ve either eaten something very healthy—or done the opposite? A study from Columbia Business School postdoctoral research scholar Alia Crum says yes.
People often know what they should eat to fuel their workouts, support good health, and manage conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, but they don’t always make the best decisions about food. Here’s why it’s so difficult for people to make healthier choices and how you can help them develop lasting, beneficial behaviors.
It’s Not That Easy to “Just Do It”
Many athletes like to “psyche up” as part of their precompetition ritual, but does this really make a difference? And is one psyching-up method more effective than another? According to new research, imagery—visualizing oneself performing a task to the best of one’s ability—seems to be the most effective approach, at least for running sports.
Significant research [that has been reported in this column] supports the role of moderate exercise as an adjunctive ther- apy for adults with depression. New research shows that these same benefits may be available for teens who suffer from this condition.
What can video games teach us about training clients? Video games are designed to keep users intensely focused, highly motivated, creatively engaged and working at high limits of their abilities—immersed in the activity to the point where it is almost impossible to stop playing. Game play engages users through motivating experiences that trigger the release of neurochemicals in the brain, making the experience so pleasurable that it becomes addictive.newsletter_teaser: Both fitness professionals and game designers strive to keep people intensely focused, highly motivated, creatively engaged and working at high limits of their abilities! What can video games teach us about training clients?
Kara A. Witzke, PhD, leads the exercise and sport science program at Oregon State University-Cascades. Her work in the health and fitness industry spans more than 20 years and has included positions in personal training, cardiac rehabilitation, workplace wellness, fit- ness certification, weight management, education and research. Most recently, her research has focused on the effects of exercise on musculoskeletal and metabolic systems through funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Millions of Americans ring in the New Year with lofty intentions to lose weight and exercise more, so why is it that by March, most New Year’s resolutions have fizzled like stale champagne? Typically it’s because people start out with unrealistic goals, misjudging the difficulty of breaking deeply ingrained habits. Impractical goals lead to disappointments that undermine the willpower people need to keep their New Year’s resolutions.newsletter_teaser: Millions of Americans ring in the New Year with lofty intentions to lose weight and exercise more, so why is it that by March, most New Year’s resolutions have fizzled like stale champagne? Typically it’s because people start out with unrealistic goals, misjudging the difficulty of breaking deeply ingrained habits.