As a certified health and wellness coach, you know that physical fitness and mental wellbeing are intrinsically linked. By incorporating whole body wellness into your personal training practice you can increase your clients’ chances of success and add value to your relationship with them.
Here are four easy ways to add mental training to physical training to improve ability, consistency and confidence.
#1 HIT THE SACK
Life can be so full and busy that sleeping almost feels like a guilty pleasure, let alone going to bed early! Sleep is not just a way to feel less tired – it’s essential to our overall health and wellbeing.
As a health and wellness coach, you can help your clients achieve the best fitness results by educating them on the importance of quality sleep, and the risks of sleep deprivation. You know that every client is different, and so too are their sleep needs. Age, gender, hormones and stressors all need to be taken into account when creating a sleep management plan.
Your recommendation that adults get seven to nine hours sleep (at least!) may be met with incredulous or blank stares – but just hit them with these positives:
- more energy for exercise and life in general
- better muscle strength and tissue recovery time (read: fewer injuries)
- acceleration of fitness goals
- the pure bliss of a deep, restorative sleep session
By making sleep management a priority, your clients can say goodbye to low energy, low motivation and unstable hunger hormones – and good riddance.
#2 MIX IT UP
Every certified health coach knows that any physical activity is key to the fitness journey.
That’s right – any activity. If the heart rate and breathing are increased for a sustained period of time your clients will experience physical health benefits, but encouraging them to incorporate a variety of activities into their usual gym, weight or cardio routines will also provide mental health benefits.
Here are just a few ideas to shake things up:
- Feed the body, mind and soul with a yoga session. In addition to the many physical benefits, this ancient practice is known to reduce anxiety and depression while improving cognitive abilities, mood and decision-making. Classes are even offered with puppies. Puppies!
- Hit the pavement (or trail) with a simple walk around the block or perhaps a hike in nature. Even a 20-minute lunchtime walk is proven is help reduce the risk of depression.
- Dance like no one is watching – there’s nothing quite like shaking your booty around the house or joining a class to learn some new moves. Dancing is the all-time mood booster.
- Work up a sweat while getting the chores done. A productive gardening session gets the body working hard and being close to nature is both grounding and healing.
- Box, play basketball, learn a martial art, climb a rock, swim, walk the dog – the options are endless and fun.
#3 NURTURE THE NOGGIN
The brain has a starring role in any fitness journey. Understanding and developing the mental state of each client is a crucial and ongoing part of your role as a personal trainer and metal health coach.
The decision to invest in their health and wellbeing is a fantastic first step. But for many people, stress, anxiety and depression can make it difficult to stay motivated and committed to their fitness goals.
In addition to physical activity, suggest these strategies to support a healthy mental state:
- Be in the moment with mindfulness. This form of meditation brings intense awareness to senses and feelings and can reduce stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation and high blood pressure.
- Take a break from the socials. It’s easy to get lost in the online world, but reducing social media time down to 30 minutes per day can increase mental health and wellbeing and reduce depression and loneliness.
- Be more social. Speaking of reducing loneliness, catching up with friends in the real world is a fun and important way to boost happiness and brain power and reduce stress. Walk or work out together for a fitness bonus.
- Train your brain. Mental training, such as the Restoic videos in the TrueCoach library, can improve performance and decrease anxiety by employing performance psychology.
- Ask a pro. Sometimes a mental health professional is needed to help clients overcome issues and hurdles in their health and wellness journey.
#4 TAKE A BREATH
While our stress responses are useful in some situations, the need for fight or flight shouldn’t occur during the course of a normal day. Stress caused by everyday issues like work, money or traffic can often lead to health issues such as increased blood pressure, a weak immune system and anxiety or depression. All of which can impact your client’s fitness journey.
Suggest they benefit from a state of profound rest known as the Relaxation Response using breathwork – its benefits have been proven. They can try:
- Breathwork classes (the methods learned can be used anywhere, anytime)
- Yoga (remember all the great benefits we mentioned earlier)
- Meditation (incorporating mindfulness)
- Progressive muscle relaxation
By attaining a state of relaxation and focus, your clients have a better chance of reaching their fitness goals.
Find out more, including practical holistic health coach tips, by downloading the TrueCoach eBook: How Improving the Mind Unlocks Your Clients Potential.
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Article by TrueCoach
First published: March 16 2023
Last updated: January 11 2024