As exercise professionals and health coaches you are already on a mission to help others create more active lifestyles. But what if you want to further that mission and do more to get people moving? One effective catalyst for creating change is advocacy, which involves proactively supporting a cause like healthy living. Whether you know it or not, you are already an advocate.
Here’s a look at how you can use advocacy to make a greater impact in your community and stand out in the fitness and wellness industry:
Work for Policy Change
Our communities have progressively designed themselves to make sitting the easy option and movement a challenge. You can use your voice and expertise to influence laws, policies and systems that create a community environment that supports and encourages people to be active. Talk to your local and state representatives to find out what policies are in place or being proposed that support activity. Find a cause that speaks to you and share your knowledge of physical activity with government officials to spark a change.
ACE and countless organizations across the country are dedicated to building a stronger, healthier and more fit nation. Most of these organizations also have a plethora of free resources that are intended to help professionals like you make a change in your community. Take advantage of these resources, and research and reach out to organizations you are passionate about. To ignite a change in your community today, check out ACE’s free walking toolkit to get people up and moving.
A coalition is a group of like-minded individuals working toward similar goals. Many states, counties, cities and even neighborhoods have coalitions that meet to brainstorm ways to improve their community’s health and well-being. Research your community’s coalitions and find out how you can get involved.
People are attracted to individuals who are passionate about standing up for what they believe in. Advocating for change can demonstrate to clients and your community that you are invested in their journey to health and that you “walk the talk.” Taking a stance on causes that allow more opportunities to get active can help boost your clientele by creating more ways and places for you to work with clients.
Take a look at ACE’s key issues and understand the public policies we advocate for at www.acefitness.org/advocacy. To learn more about how you can become a movement advocate email advocacy@ACEfitness.org.