Last week we wrote about five ways personal trainers can help to prevent childhood obesity and this week we look at five more! Post your feedback and comments about successes you are having.

1. Do you have a good eating schedule?

Your clients are probably very busy people so encouraging them and their families to engage in a good eating schedule is key to keeping them on track. How many healthy home-cooked family meals can they commit to each week? Subtle changes to portion sizes and the planning of healthy snacks in-between meals can also be a positive step.

2. Education is the key

How much of the information you pass onto your clients is based purely on the exercises you are completing and the muscle groups you are working? Have you explained the health benefits to both them and their family members? Get involved in meal planning, shopping for food and the healthy preparation of meals and make sure the family is involved too. You’ll be amazed how receptive children are to change when they understand how and why it is so important.

3. Bite sized chunks

The expression ‘running before you can walk’ is a very apt way to describe how some people go about getting fit and healthy. Making key lifestyle changes is difficult, so encourage your clients and their families to do little and often to prevent them throwing in the towel. How about trying a new activity each month or adding a new healthy snack or meal every couple of weeks? Breed the culture change slowly and incrementally so your clients will stick with it much longer, especially if the whole family is onboard.

4. Make good shopping choices

Help your clients understand the benefits of healthy eating, not only for themselves, but also for their children. If training with you means they have less time to cook for their children, is this process counter-productive? Children love cooking and if meals are planned they’ll also be really engaged in healthy food shopping. How about completing a weekly food shop with your clients and their children? Hearing about nutrition from someone other than their parents has a massive impact on a child’s behaviour, particularly if the child looks up to you as a great role model!

5. Make it fun!

Fun PT sessions get results and this is no different with children. If it’s fun, they’re engaged and if it’s boring and dictatorial then you’re fighting a losing battle to hold on to these clients! Have you ever done a group PT session with a few of your clients and their children? Simple tag and relay games are great exercise for all the family, not to mention enjoyable!

Now is the time to get your clients’ children set for success. Children are your PT clients of the future, but more importantly, by instilling healthy habits now, you can ensure they are retained into adulthood and see training as a normal part of their day-to-day life.

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October 10 2012

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