Help your clients embrace fresh air, fresh food and a fresh perspective

Client breakthroughs come when you can help them truly integrate healthy living and fitness seamlessly into their daily lives, writes Nikki Fogden-Moore.

As a fitness professional, the impact you have on your clients goes way beyond the time you spend with them in their sessions. Your advice, support and philosophy can carry through to all areas of their lives. The big change comes when you can help your clients truly integrate healthy living and fitness seamlessly into daily life. Not just helping them ‘at the gym’, but creating a sense of momentum and purpose that will see them making their own great choices at home, at work and during busy times. By coaching clients in a way that’s relevant, engaging and promotes sustainable results, you can help them become their personal best.

Here are my tried and tested three simple pillars of vitality that will have you and your clients feeling connected and consistent in between your PT sessions:

1. Fresh air. Get your clients outside as much as possible. Off screens, out of indoor lighting and into nature. Remind them that they don’t only need to train in a gym, which can be perceived as a chore – they need to practice healthy living every day. Encourage spontaneity, adventure and plenty of fresh air. Motivate your clients with the 15-minute Rule: lace up your  shoes and head out the door of your hotel, home or office for at least 15 minutes. If you’re still not feeling into it after this time, then turn around and come back. 30 minutes of outdoor activity done!

Empowerment comes from small regular steps creating lasting change. Even a 15-minute fresh air session in the morning will help set them up for a great day.

2. Fresh food. As a trainer you know that nutrition is a huge factor in an individual’s fitness, health and wellbeing. The chances are, however, that your clients feel overwhelmed and undernourished by the word ‘diet’ or ‘nutrition plan’. They have a million and one things going on, and healthy eating often takes a back seat when it seems to be just too hard or time-consuming. You may not be qualified to give specific nutrition advice or meal plans, but you can assist them in a way that keeps it real and achievable by espousing the one key philosophy of ‘fresh is best’.

Generally, the closer food is to its natural state, the better it is for you. If you have to get really dialled down then keep it colour coded and tell your clients to opt for a fresh colourful plate. Go green – the darker the natural colour of fresh food, the higher the level of nutritional value. I urge clients to forget calorie counting and denial, and just focus on adding quality food to their daily lives. Pile up on salads and fresh foods when eating out, and limit rich dressings, heavy meals and unnecessary carbs.

No strict diets or fads, just a straightforward approach to fresh healthy ingredients that taste great and nourish the body. Reward clients’ positive choices and lead by example, sharing recipes, ideas and tips for making healthy choices on the go.

3. Fresh perspective. Above all else, when you work with clients you know straight away if their head is in the game or they are just going through the motions. I call this MOJO. The first thing I start with any client is mindset. Understand their work and family life, and build your sessions around their energy and wellbeing so that you can create long term changes – not short term peaks followed by injuries or burnout. Get to know your clients’ roadblocks, encourage them to throw out the old stories of needing an ‘hour every day’ in the gym to work out, and make a new plan that fits the life they have right now. A great trainer can assist clients in setting realistic goals, building fitness around travel, work and family life, and staying motivated.

Educate clients that binge exercising is not sustainable, and won’t create lasting results. Remember to think about training from your client’s perspective and help them find their ‘why’ – their reason for working on their fitness – and adapt your training and program to suit their goals, needs and responsibilities. Engage in follow up with your clients, use SMS and Facebook message to keep them encouraged and show your support.

Nikki Fogden-Moore specialises in private coaching for high achievers to bring business and personal vitality to life. She runs tailored corporate vitality programs, writes regularly for several business magazines, is the head trainer for Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine and has been running leadership and private retreats for over a decade internationally. She is also the author of Vitality.