You are walking through possibly the most stressful couple of years that our generation will face. Coping mechanisms were created for times like these. But they aren’t meant to become habits. When they do, I find one area that suffers is our physical health—diet and exercise. These tips for coaching for physical health may be helpful to your clients… and maybe even yourself.
It may be a stretch to connect our physical health to scripture. However, I would gently suggest that as followers of Jesus it just makes good, common sense to be in the best physical, mental, and spiritual shape as we possibly can. Not solely for our benefit or the benefit of our loved ones, but as an act of worship and service to the Master. Doesn’t it make sense to prioritize your physical self care as much as your spiritual soul care? I am not suggesting that we all need to be svelte–not at all. But I am suggesting that we strive to be the very best version of ourselves for the glory of God.
It’s no secret that your physical health impacts your mental, emotional, and spiritual development. All areas of our health are important, but as a society we’ve relegated our physical health further and further down the list of personal disciplines. And so goes our spiritual and emotional health with it! Here are some important statistics that Health and Wellness Coach, Gina Reinecke, shares with her clients:
Obesity is one of the most pressing health issues of our time
- Over 70% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, with nearly 40% of our population obese.
- Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing many related, often serious conditions (e.g. heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer) and has a substantial economic impact.
- The U.S. spends an estimated $190 billion on obesity-related medical conditions, and the average annual medical costs for those with obesity are over $1,400 higher compared to people in a normal weight range.
- Other countries are also experiencing growing rates of obesity and, worldwide, obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
- Weight loss can help to reduce both the medical and economic impact of obesity by decreasing the risk of developing associated chronic diseases.
©2019 Medifast Clinical Studies Overview
Reasons we struggle to make physical health a priority
Some people are really good at keeping commitments to themselves in this arena. Others struggle. Here are some reasons people struggle to prioritize their physical health:
- Negative experiences
This is a very simple tool that was introduced by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, Co-Founder of OptaVia. I have modified Dr. Andersen’s tool for our purposes here, and it’s a valuable resource to apply to your physical well-being:
STOP: What do you need to stop doing?
CHALLENGE: What specific actions can you take to achieve different results?
CHOOSE: What new behavior, technique, or mindset changes will you adopt immediately?
Used with permission from Dr. A’s Habits of Health (pgs.133-137) by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen
5 ways to break the cycle and make health a priority
I’ve always been a believer in starting wherever you are on your health journey. It’s not uncommon that I hear from friends who have maintained a rather sedentary lifestyle for a decade or more and, after seeing a YouTube video of an Adventure Race, get the idea that they should begin training for a marathon! That is not a good idea. Most likely, that person is going to get injured. Assess where you are now and start there!
- Find activities you enjoy
- Take baby steps–like walking your block–and then increase gradually over time
- Take a health assessment with a health coach
- Find a buddy to do activities you both love to do together
- Remove one thing in your diet you are confident is causing you trouble
7 coaching questions to help guide a physical health journey:
It’s one thing to tell a person what they need to do–it’s quite another to help them discover it for themselves. Here are some coaching questions that can help:
- Can you describe “why” it is important for you to focus on your physical health? Your answer(s) might be:
- play with your grandchildren
- go on a hike
- outlive a parent that died prematurely
- In what ways does your “why” compel you?
- What does success in your health look like?
- Identify your greatest challenges?
- What changes do you need to reach your goal?
- Who do you know can help you on your journey?
- What is one simple thing you can do that will help you get started?
It’s time to focus on your health!
Introducing a FREE six week series (Wednesdays at 8am PST starting January 12, 2022) specifically designed for ministry leaders!
You are invited to the Healthy Habits Workshop Series to set the tone for 2022. I will be partnering with my colleague Micah Dodson (Thrive Church Planting), along with Gina Reinecke (OptaVia Health Coach) to help you create a plan to help you thrive in 2022.