Having a team of people who support your health and fitness efforts is an integral part of goal achievement and lifestyle change.
Each team member has a role to play, helping guide you in the right direction within their scope of knowledge or practice. Professionals, friends, family or anyone who assists in guiding you toward your goals is a valued team member. Sometimes you are, in turn, are a valued member of theirs.
Below, I’ve identified 8 individuals who are commonly invested in the health and well-being of others. Some of these individuals might ultimately comprise your team.
For many people, the health and wellness journey begins with a candid conversation with their doctor. Your doctor is often your first line of defense when illness or injury strikes. Whether it’s information related to cholesterol and blood pressure or instruction about how to treat an injury, your doctor is an essential part of your team.
I know plenty of people who will avoid going to the doctor at all costs, but if you have questions or believe something isn’t quite right, be sure to involve them at the first opportunity.
If you suffer an injury you’ll most likely be referred to a physical therapist for rehab. While there are no absolutes about injury recovery, generally speaking, patients who steadfastly adhere to the rehab protocol implemented by their therapist have excellent recoveries.
The therapist is often in close contact with the doctor, providing updates about progress and when certain milestones are achieved. If you’re working through an injury with a PT, mind the process and do the work!
Some people hire a coach to help keep them accountable. Others seek guidance because there’s a specific event that they would like to compete in or goal they would like to accomplish.
For example, a friend of mine receives programs from a running coach because he wants to optimize his marathon training. Another very knowledgeable friend works with a power lifting coach to prepare for power lifting meets. From time to time, I’ll work out with other coaches because it’s a great way to learn and grow within my field.
If you’ve suffered an injury, a strength coach is often the third member of the recovery team. Once you’re cleared to resume strength training, they should be in touch with your physical therapist or doctor to learn your history and receive input on next steps. They will then craft a program that carries you through the next phase of rehab. The likelihood for a great outcome increases dramatically when these team members are communicating about your health and well-being.
Regardless of the reason, coaches develop a client-centric process that guides their client toward their individual goals. They anticipate the challenges and pitfalls that might occur and plan for them. Perhaps most importantly, they empower the client and help them to take ownership of the process.
Sometimes your body needs a little care. There are many different types of chiropractors out there, but I recommend one who is sports-based. Typically, they have a great feel for “tuning-up” the body. They’re also more likely to prescribe homework and less likely to recommend that you see them 3 times per week for the rest of your life.
If you’re taking care of yourself, an infrequent adjustment to realign the body should be all you need.
A massage therapist pairs well with a chiropractor because the soft tissues create stress on the structures. Should you ignore the soft tissue, you’ll constantly struggle with structural alignment.
I recommend a therapist who specializes in deep tissue or sports massage. While not always “enjoyable”, these massages directly address trigger points and other muscular issues that threaten to derail your progress.
Understanding how food impacts our health and fitness goals is critical. After all, you cannot outrun a poor diet. A dietician or nutritionist can assess your current food intake and help you to make adjustments based upon your goals. These professionals can also help you to employ habits that last for a lifetime, rather than serving as a one-time fix. They are instrumental in steering people away from fad diets that do more harm than good.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the support of a spouse or partner can often make or break goal achievement. In fact, I’ve personally seen people derailed by a spouse who didn’t “buy in” to their adoption of healthy habits. Conversely, I’ve watched a husband and wife team show up at 6 am to complete their workout without fail. They hold each other accountable, are invested in each other’s success and celebrate their accomplishments.
If you’d like to adopt healthier habits, talk with your spouse about it and bring them on board. If your spouse is making the effort to be healthier, support them. There’s no downside to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Another great way to create accountability is to work out with a friend or group of friends. I first learned the value of having a workout partner during my freshman year of college. My friend and I were both novices who didn’t know a thing. We committed to regular workouts and, as the year passed, our confidence grew. We expanded our repertoire of exercises, moving away from selectorized machines and toward barbells and dumbbells. Without question, this experience paved the way for a budding strength training passion.
Whether it’s for the camaraderie, the shared experience or the pursuit of specific goals, working out with your friends is extremely motivating. You’ll develop discipline and become accountable, while helping each other along the way.
We can all use a little support from time to time. Whether you have a large team or small team, take the time to develop relationships with the people and professionals who will support your health and fitness goals. Doing so will only serve to enhance your ability to reach those goals. At the same time, you might provide the impetus and direction for someone else as they pursue their own health and fitness journey.
At Vitalifit, our job is to be that unflappable team member who helps you to achieve your goals. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re interested in tackling some new challenges, contact us today to join the Vitalifit Coaching Program that’s right for you.