BY: HFPN Editorial Team
Coaching makes a difference in gaining results.
Whether online or face-to-face, individuals benefit from the motivation, expertise and guidance a professional health, fitness and lifestyle coach provides a client.
Coaching has become a new buzzword throughout the fitness industry and for good reason. Beyond fitness programming, assessments and accountability, fitness professionals must assume the role of a coach- motivating, inspiring, communicating and developing rapport to initiate change within their clients.
Coaching is termed a “helping relationship” in which the coach acts as a helper who organizes thoughts and actions directed to enable clients to reach their end objectives. In doing so the coach can help facilitate change through bringing awareness of options, encouragement to carry the onus of responsibility for their position, and support through listening and providing positive, safe environments that enable the client to gravitate toward changes.
Research has shown that coaches, whether online, by phone or face-to-face, have short-term efficacy for improving motivational readiness – targeting and working to change behavioral processes. Research in the American Journal of Health Promotion [2008 Nov-Dec;23(2):121-9] showed that individuals who received 11 -30 minute telephone coaching sessions lost more weight and body fat than their counterparts in the study who did not receive any coaching. In addition, research published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health [2008 Nov;5(6):830-43] found that a coaching intervention (whether in person or by phone) “proved to be effective in increasing the physical activity level and mental health of university employees.”
Coaching is by far the most important component of successful exercise intervention for clients. After all, without changing the mind, the body will not follow.
(1) Tucker LA, Cook AJ, Nokes NR, Adams TB. Telephone-based diet and exercise coaching and a weight-loss supplement result in weight and fat loss in 120 men and women. Am J Health Promot. 2008 Nov-Dec;23(2):121-9.
(2) Opdenacker J, Boen F. Effectiveness of face-to-face versus telephone support in increasing physical activity and mental health among university employees. J Phys Act Health. 2008 Nov;5(6):830-43.