Over a third of adults in the UK are not getting enough exercise, says a study released by the World Health Organisation.
Startlingly, the percentage of people not exercising in the UK is going up, not down. In the past 15 years, the rate of non-exercisers has climbed by 5%.
If you’re getting your clients on a new exercise routine, good for you! You are doing something great for their health that has long-term benefits.
Here are some tips for preparing your clients for exercise routines so you can kick-start their fitness.
Have a Positive Mindset
The best thing you should ensure your clients have before starting an exercise routine is to have a positive mindset. In the early days, it can be easy to be discouraged by the other, fitter people they see in the gym. Or by how sore they are after using light weights.
Reminding them, fitness is a journey, not a destination. Encourage them to practice positive self-talk and focus on the benefits they are giving their body — especially the ones they can’t see.
For example, get them thinking positive thoughts like ‘Wow, I worked up a great sweat!’ and ‘I am so glad I got my heart pumping today!’
There are hundreds of benefits to exercise besides losing weight or gaining muscle mass. These include sleeping better at night and having less risk of chronic illness.
Make sure they don’t get too caught up in their goal. Make them aware of how good exercise is for their mind, wellness and overall health and leave the guilt at the door.
Set Them Small Goals
This tip goes along with the one above. Setting smart and achievable goals will help keep your clients motivated in their fitness journey.
Anytime they reach a goal they’ll feel like a million quid. But not getting closer to their goal in a short amount of time can make that goal feel impossibly far away.
It’s crucial to set goals that are small so that they can experience many little victories on the road to self-improvement and better health.
Keep in mind that goals are stars we reach for, not sticks we beat ourselves with. A picture of a supermodel is not a goal. Instead, make the goals you set them measurable and specific.
For example, let’s say they can only do two full push-ups today. Make their goal to be able to do five push-ups by the end of the month. If they reach that goal, amazing!
The next goal could be 10 push-ups. But what happens if by the end of the month they can only do four push-ups?
Congratulate them! They’ve doubled their push-ups in just a couple of weeks. Set another due date for eight push-ups and keep working hard.
Remember, every major goal is made of lots of smaller goals! Adding on a few extra push-ups of adding an extra 2 kg to their bicep curls may not seem like much. But over time, they will make huge progress and physically start to see the work pay off.
Get them to Sign Up for a Class
When just starting out it’s normal to not have any idea what you’re doing. Encouraging them to take part in the various classes at the gym is a great way to get a great and effective workout.
Not only will they work up a sweat, but they’ll also do it to great music, a roomful of people to motivate them and keep them going in between sessions with you. And they’ll have access to a trained instructor that can correct form and give useful tips.
Most gyms offer a wide variety of options from Zumba and step classes to kickboxing and weightlifting ones. So consider suggesting ones that will work towards the goals you set them.
Encourage them to Find a Workout Buddy
One of the best things you can do when you’re starting an exercise routine is to find an exercise partner. This can be a friend or family member that you convince to join you on your fitness challenge. Or it can be someone you meet at the gym.
Encouraging your client into having a partner keeps them accountable. They can help keep each other motivated and increase the chances of them staying with you like a long term client.
Plus, they will have someone to talk to as they huff and puff on the stationary bike. Having a spotter when lifting weights is very useful. And they can have friendly bets on who can get the best score on fitness gadgets.
Most of all, a fitness friend can be there to support when they have bad days or are feeling discouraged about fitness or nutrition.
Just Keep Going
When people are new to a routine, the best thing you can do is encourage them to keep going. Remind them that one slice of chocolate cake didn’t make them overweight. And one workout won’t get them trim and fit.
So if they have a calorie-rich meal, tell them to enjoy it and move on, get back to the gym and keep moving forward.
And if they miss a workout or a week’s worth of workouts, same thing. Go the next day and give it their best effort.
Also, remind them that it may take more than one routine or one nutrition plan to get them closer to their goals. Be flexible to change or update their routine as necessary. If something is not working, change it up.
Bottom Line on Beginning Exercise Routine
We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to motivate your clients, especially whilst they are starting out.
Remember, their fitness will not change in a day or even a month. Prepare their mind for the long haul and learn to enjoy the process.
Next, check out these tips for ensuring you stay on track with your workouts.