I employ a hybrid of both Iola and Catherine’s suggestions. For my clients who have been sedentary for a great length of time. We discuss their goals and expectations when beginning a program. I also take some time to establish small goals for them to work toward. Moving around every 30 min after sitting, getting in and out of chairs properly, keeping an activity and positive thought journal daily and also paying a visit to their physician to receive an activity release. I also have made myself available in a few instances to discuss the concerns the physicians had regarding my clients. Very rewarding experience working hand in hand with their doctor, it’s always nice to have reinforcement when helping clients make lifestyle changes.
Definitely start with simple things like walking, biking or a fun low impact class. But be sure that it as an activity that gives you time to encourage them or allows them to see fitness as being fun. Build their belief in themselves to continue their journey to healthier life. Don’t be afraid to probe deeper into their ‘reason’ for choosing now to improve their health, connect them to their ‘why’ and they’ll stick with the program and you for taking a true interest in them as a person, not just a client.