Stress can be… well, stressful. 55% of U.S. adults say they experience stress often throughout the day. Sound familiar? Now, with a pandemic raging across the globe, people are feeling even more stressed out than usual and are dealing with fears for their health, safety, job security, and more.
When times are hard, it’s common for personal trainers to see a dip in their clients’ motivation. You might find that clients are turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms—bingeing on junk food, for example. In reality, one of the best things they can do for stress management would be to exercise.
With the right strategies, you can help your clients manage their stress in healthier ways, including by using fitness as therapy. Listed below are some steps trainers can take today to make this happen.
The Link Between Physical and Mental Health
First, it’s important that everyone (both trainers and clients) understand the link between physical and mental health.
When people neglect exercise and don’t prioritize their physical health, their mental well-being tends to suffer. The World Health Organization has even said that “there is no health without mental health.”
Poor mental health increases one’s risk of developing chronic health conditions. The opposite is also true. Those who are in poor physical health are at a greater risk of experiencing poor mental health.
How Fitness Relieves Stress
Physical activity can improve mental health and provide stress relief in several ways, including the following:
- Produces endorphins, chemical messengers that reduce pain, improve mood, and improve sleep quality
- Increases energy, which helps to improve cognitive function and school/work performance
- Improves self-esteem and helps clients to feel more empowered in other areas of their lives
Regular exercise can also help to reduce feelings of tension and minimize anxiety for many individuals.
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How to Encourage Clients to Find Stress Relief Through Fitness
Personal trainers can take several different approaches when it comes to encouraging clients to use fitness to manage their stress, including the following:
Initially, clients might be resistant to the idea of using exercise to manage their stress. It’s your job to change their mind! With education, they’ll be caught up on the mental health benefits of working out. If trainers can explain the potential exercise has to boost clients’ moods and minimize their stress, they’ll be more inclined to make their workouts a priority during difficult periods.
Having a specific goal to work toward can help clients stick to their workout routine and use it to feel like they have some control over their lives during a stressful time. Work with your clients to set realistic goals! It’ll keep them motivated and show them the stress-busting benefits exercise has to offer.
Making exercise convenient can also increase the likelihood that clients will continue to workout and manage their stress through fitness instead of other mechanisms.
By offering online personal training and online resources, you can provide access to essential information. Online resources will also meet them in place and help them overcome potential roadblocks to their fitness goals.
Providing clients with flexible scheduling is helpful, too. If they can work out at a time that best suits them during a stressful season of life, they’ll be more inclined to stick with their commitments. This will also help them learn to view exercise as a stress-reliever and self-care tool, rather than as an added source of stress.
During stressful times, it helps for trainers to dial back the intensity of their clients’ workouts and offer more functional options instead. By using activities like going for walks or cycling to work or to run errands, you’ll help your clients stay active and manage their stress while also making sure they’re not overdoing it.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Trainers should encourage meditation and mindfulness practices, too. There is tons of research detailing the health benefits of meditation, and it’s a great tool for clients to have in their arsenal for when life gets hectic.
Trainers can to incorporate meditation and other practices into their clients’ training programs to ensure they’re making it a priority and have a chance to experience its stress-relieving effects (as well as the other benefits it has to offer). You can also use habit coaching to encourage mindfulness as a regular practice.
Help Clients Relieve Stress Today
There are lots of ways for personal trainers to help their clients manage stress and use exercise as a healthy coping mechanism. By adjusting their approach and showing clients that exercise can be a stress-reliever, rather than a stress-causer, trainers can show up for the people they serve during difficult times and foster a deeper sense of loyalty.
To effectively help your clients manage their stress, try to minimize stress for yourself by using online training software. Trainerize takes all the guesswork out of running a personal training business. It makes communication between trainers and clients a breeze, simplifies scheduling, provides a secure and easy-to-use payment processing function, and more. Sign up for a free trial today.