With all the talk about the links between obesity and your risk factors if you contract covid-19, it appears the government are going to have to take action to address this issue in the UK. The irony is that all the government talk is about taxing junk food or removing the VAT for leisure industry. Much as these measures will have a little impact it won’t be sufficient to truly alter the current population figures.
The sugar tax has shown that this makes little impact both in the UK and other countries that have tried this. It is well documented in behavioural science that these types of financial barriers and/or incentives (if we’re looking at the cost of gym memberships) don’t have a huge effect. However, there is a silver lining for those Fitpros that want to work with this demographic.
Most Fitpros have the required skills as regards exercise programming and getting people active. That said, there are some important considerations with this population that all Fitpros need to be aware of. Next up will be nutrition, for this, some Fitpros don’t have the required skill set (not all I may add) and maybe collaboration with a registered nutritionist or dietitian might be required. The final piece of the puzzle is going to be psychology and I have left this until last because ironically this is the one piece that has to be in place.
If clients are not psychologically ready to lose weight they will fail. All research supports this view. What is more, research shows that clients will enter a programme even if they are not psychologically ready to change. This means that Fitpros must be able to assess this aspect of psychology. If you can you are starting from a position of strength. What is more you can now monitor this aspect of your clients behaviour to gauge whether your programme is working and so avoid relapses.
You shouldn’t be afraid of recruiting clients who are not psychologically ready to change either. With the correct skill set you can help a client progress to a point where they are ready to change. I would actively pursue this demographic and offer some initial psychological screening as an incentive to sign-up to the programme. This would be a fairly unique approach.
As the problem of obesity and health gains more publicity, which it inevitably will in the coming months; there has never been a better time to position yourself as an expert in helping this demographic.