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Integrated thoughts from the American Council on Exercise and myself.


1. Obesity Awareness

Losing weight will continue to be the primary reason consumers seek personal training support as the public responds to the expanded messaging concerning the dangers of physical inactivity and obesity. The recently released Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index report that showed a modest improvement in the nation’s obesity rates for the first time in more than three years is a very encouraging sign. However, the fact remains that three out of five Americans are still overweight or obese requiring more work to be done.

2. Whole-life Training

Lifestyle coaching will become a bigger trend, with more personal trainers expanding their education and training to enable them to holistically improve their clients’ lifestyles. Additionally, fitness facilities will hire nutritionists and other allied healthcare professionals,such as physical therapists and psychologists, to serve the expanding needs o ftheir health-conscious members by offering wellness, nutrition and stress-management programs.

3. Behavior Modification

While great strides have been made in health education,too many still believe the best way to lose weight is by following a restrictive or current fad diet. The recently introduced ACE Integrated Fitness Training® (ACEIFT®) Model incorporates tools personal trainers can use to help identify appropriate strategies for working with each client to enhance goal setting, motivation, adherence and rapport. Educational campaigns and programs such as the ACE IFT Model, “PersonalTraining, Reinvented™”, and the ACE Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach certification will prepare fitness professionals to help clients better understand that there are no shortcuts to lasting results.

My Thoughts

1. Obesity Awareness

The primary reason clients retain the services of personal trainers and health coaches are often more layered than simply losing weight. Although most people begin training/coaching because they want to lose weight and look better, their motivation for continuing is reinforced when they see that exercise offers much more than just weight loss.

They realize exercise makes them feel better, gives them more energy, and makes them feel more alive. Often they site evidence of the power of weight training and cardiovascular training when after years of being in pain they recognize their knees feel better, their back feels better, and their muscular strength and endurance is enhanced resulting in more daily energy. Often their doctors tell them they no longer have osteopenia,high blood pressure, pre – diabetes and other lifestyle diseases.

One client who recently engaged my services asked if I could help him lose weight so he could pass a life insurance policy’s wellness test. He was only 48 years old, but 27 pounds overweight. With slightly high blood pressure, and increased total cholesterol of 227 he was rightful concerned .With only three months of progressive training, logging an average of 10 miles a week on the elliptical trainer, weight training 30 minutes twice a week, and making two dietary changes, he passed his insurance policy’s health test.

His 3 month BP was 110 systolic and 77 diastolic! Well within a healthy blood pressure range. His total cholesterol went from 227to 178 and his weight, which was the main reason he foresaw as hindering his ability to get life insurance went from 192 to 175 in the 3 months. Still training today, and motivated by the added benefits that exercise brings, he cites he will never go back to his previous lifestyle habits. I’d add, it is this type of awareness and intuitiveness that ultimately keeps weight off for a lifetime!

Losing weight is the most often stated reason for beginning an exercise plan, however my experience is that clients continue to train because of the multitude of benefits that exercise and being physically fit brings.

2. Whole Life Training

Lifestyle coaching will become a big trend. In my work at Serenata Beach Club in Ponte Vedra, there has been an increasing awareness of the necessity to change lifestyle habits. There is a positive trend in smarter thinking that says, “I am tired of all the dieting plans, and pseudo-health information snippets that simply don’t work!

These more savvy people understand the need to get rid of the gimmicks and start changing their habits. They are more than receptive, infact, they demand holistic coaching to help then break habits developed over a lifetime. These are the people who invariably do well as clients because they have made an attitude shift in thinking that it’s their own eating behaviors that need to be changed, rather than actual dieting plans.

Effective health coaches are not interested in coaching clients who are looking for a quick way to lose weight. It goes against the grain of the holistic approach.

With clients who have not arrived at this state of understanding, I usually suggest establishing an exercise routine. Exercise is often easier to adhere to than is modifying their diets. The thinking is that with exercise comes a clearer state of mind. Once an exercise routine is implemented and practiced, the wheels start turning in their own minds. Withina period of planned exercise progressions, I will often see a newfound initiative in clients to take further responsibility with other lifestyle changes, specifically eating behavior modifications. When this occurs, they become terrific coaching clients!

People who have been there, and done that, and are tired of playing the losing weight then gaining weight game are the self-motivated consumers. These consumers do well, lose weight, get leaner, get fit, look great, and enjoy their new lifestyle changes. No cookie cutter diet prescription can have you loving your new lifestyle and keep you from gaining the weight back like the holistic coach approach can.

The holistic coaching trend is exciting. As more trainers become certified coaches and practice their coaching profession, I am confident BMI’s will decline. We will become an increasingly more robust community, one that thrives on healthy living, developing habits that make a real difference in our own lives as well as in the lives of our loved ones who want to ensure weare around for a long time to come.

3. Behavior Modification

Ten years ago, the term behavior modification was rarely used to describe how one might approach losing weight and getting fit. We heard dieting advertisers use language such as, “it’s not your fault you can’tlose weight”, “take the mystery out of counting calories by using our prepackaged foods”, or “no need to exercise to lose weight.” Not anymore.Consumers got smart. Tired of feeling like pawns at the mercy of lose weight promoters, they now are realizing in great numbers that absolutely it is their responsibility to change their lives by changing their behaviors.

It may sound daunting to put the responsibility on one’s self,but the sooner this is realized the better and healthier our lives will be.This is not to suggest that we have no need for people to support us and coach us into a better lifestyle because that’s exactly what is needed. But the only one that can do the work in changing unhealthy behaviors is the individual himself. As a coach, I can help fill the gaps of information and provide a needed structure and outlet for people to plan and strategize what they need to be doing to change, but it’s clear that change only happens when the client himself is doing the necessary behavior modification work.

Health consumers are savvier than in years past. We are placing the responsibility of healthy living and weight loss on ourselves through thoughtful behavior modifications. This is a trend, I am happy to report, that is here to stay, and will continue to grow in this coming new year in our local communities!

My last coaching/training program sold out in 2 days.
If you didn’t get on board in time, I’ll be offering it again in June. I’ll take reservations for only 10 people, but payment confirmation will be necessary by March 1, 2012. Call 904 501 6002 to reserve for June 2012.

Wishing you a healthy and happy 2012!