How to encourage others to fall in love with fitness

The world has gone crazy for health and fitness. This is a great thing, and has led to a sharp incline in the amount of people buying healthy-eating cookbooks and gym memberships. If you are reading this, then we can assume you are also excited about the health and fitness industry and consider it an important factor in your life.

If you have taken the first few steps in your journey to becoming a personal trainer, then you have probably come up against a few people that question your lifestyle. While we would like to assume that most people understand the benefits of waking up obscenely early to workout, or cooking meals a week in advance, unfortunately not everyone sees eye-to-eye. Occasionally you might even find yourself with a client who has signed up for a few sessions before dropping out, muttering about how being sweaty and out-of-breath just isn’t worth it.

If you want to hang onto those clients that have a particular gruelling hate for some of the tougher aspects of a healthy lifestyle, then you will need to know how to convince others that it’s worth it. Having the ability to convert even the biggest burpee-hater into a fitness-lover is a real skill, so here are some tips:

1. Don’t patronise

The number one reason why most people lose motivation and fall out-of-love with exercise is that it takes a long time to see results. Whenever you are discussing fitness goals you should be realistic about time-frames and emphasise that nothing will happen over-night. Manging expectations early-on is a great way to ensure that nobody disappears when they can’t feel any changes in the first week.

2. Encourage persistence

Just because you are on the path towards shredded abs, doesn’t give you the right to look down on anyone that isn’t. The world of health and fitness can be intimidating to those that barely managed P.E. in school, so always be mindful that talking down to someone about your specialism is just a fast-track way to lose friends, rather than gain clients.

3. Make it fun

There is a lot to be said for a personal trainer that ensures their sessions always have an element of fun to them. The easy option is drilling repetitive exercises into clients and droning on about the research behind a particular training exercise that means it is good for the metabolism, but that won’t make anyone excited to come back the following week. Spend a few extra hours planning training sessions that are that bit more inventive and unusual, or have a great playlist, or even take place somewhere new – anything to switch it up and make it fun!

4. Encourage routine

Once you have explained that health and fitness is a long-term game, you should work on encouraging your client to establish a routine. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so why not suggest that they commit to at least 21 days in order to establish a foundation. Writing it into a diary, like a meeting or lunch-date, will make it seem concrete and they will be less likely to ignore it.

5. Be sympathetic

Although you are enthusiastic and want everyone around you to fall in love with health and fitness, you should take a step back and see things from their point of view. Take the time to talk to your clients about why they feel demotivated and unsure about exercise. Once you have found reasons for their dislike of the gym, then you can work together to find solutions. Above all, be sympathetic and don’t brush off their concerns lightly.

6. Rest is important

You probably already know that rest is just as important as exercise, but often people forget. The worst thing that someone can do when they are new to an exercise routine is to overdo it and burn out. At that point they might injure themselves and be setback a few weeks, before deciding to pack it in altogether. Make ‘rest days’ your personal mantra and tell all of your clients that rest is compulsory regardless of how energetic they feel.

7. Try everything

Sometimes, those that say they dislike exercise, just haven’t found their sport yet. If your client isn’t enjoying your sessions, then try something new. There are so many different types of training sessions out there, and someone who hates circuits might love boxing. Never give up on someone if they are lagging – just go with the flow and work with them to find something they like!

Above all, simply be an ambassador for the lifestyle. Be enthusiastic and positive about the benefits of health and fitness, and be prepared to talk about it with anyone that has questions or is unsure where to start.

About the Author Kitty Harris

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