The alarm goes off at 5 a.m—on a Sunday, no less. Time to change a fitness client’s life. Never mind your last client was at 8 p.m. last night.
On the way to the gym, you get a call from your client, who now can’t make it and needs to reschedule for later in the day. You had plans, but you also need to make a living. Plans cancelled, client booked, fingers crossed.
This is a scenario many health and fitness professionals often experience. Our profession, which is most often defined by empowerment, transformation and vitality, actually has a “dark side.” Behind the high fives, big smiles and intense positivity is often exhaustion, frustration and financial uncertainty.
A health and fitness professional’s indiscriminant giving of time coupled with intense energy comes at a cost. Without a strategy to refill your tank, the way you make a living can suck the life right out of you.
It's time to expand your capacity to help others by taking better care of your life and career as a health and fitness professional. You can’t help others change their lives if you don’t aim to make yours extraordinary as well.
Refueling Your Tanks
Consider the personal energy tanks health and fitness professionals generously siphon from every day to provide clients with exceptional experiences. Your physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual energy tanks need to be strategically replenished on a regular basis so you can avoid being one of the many health and fitness professionals who leave the industry after only a few years.
Regularly refueling your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy works much the way human muscle tissue does. When we apply the right amount of training paired with the right amount of recovery, growth happens.
Too much training leads to injury, burnout and loss of performance, while too much recovery often means little or no growth or development. And ignoring one area results in unbalanced development.
Let’s look at how you can create a better balance of training and recovery for all of your energy tanks so you can live an extraordinary life while you help others do the same.
Your Physical Energy Tank
Physical energy is often what defines a health and fitness professional. This can be viewed as the amount of energy you have.
The dogmas of eating well and exercising are well established among health and fitness pros, and are critical elements for creating the energy needed to meet the demands of your day.
Between regular, intense daily exercise and moving with clients all day long, health and fitness pros often push this tank to “redline” all day, every day. While many clients need to apply more training and focus in this area, most health and fitness professionals would benefit from more recovery.
Assuming regular exercise and nutrition are a given for most health and fitness professionals, here are some strategies to recover the physical energy tank.
- Limit caffeine to less than 300 mg (about 1 cup coffee per day).
- Sleep eight hours per night.
- Cycle intense training to allow for “de-load” or “recovery” weeks.
- Get regular massage.
- Practice belly breathing.
- Pursue a hobby outside of exercise (reading, writing, drawing, music, etc.).
Your Mental Energy Tank
While today’s health and fitness professionals are more educated and experienced than ever, this is often an area of personal energy that deserves more attention.
Directing your mental energy allows you to plan and be proactive about your daily activities, as well as your career. It keeps you innovating and looking for new and improved ways to help others while you build an extraordinary life for yourself.
Most of all, it helps develop a long-term, enjoyable career with many rewards, as opposed to a daily job that can take more than it provides.
Here are some strategies to refuel your mental energy tank:
- Read books/listen to podcasts about training methods that could benefit your clients.
- Attend workshops on various aspects of training.
- Read/listen to books about marketing and business growth.
- Join a mastermind group.
- Create a daily/monthly/weekly schedule based on the “Big Picture” things you want to accomplish—and stick to it.
- Regularly write/blog to share your knowledge and experiences.
Your Emotional Energy Tank
Much like physical energy, emotional energy often defines a health and fitness professional. Intense positivity, motivation and clients crying on your shoulder require liberal use of this energy tank.
When this emotional “redline” is sustained for too long, positivity often turns to frustration, hopelessness and even anger. Most health and fitness professionals would benefit from more emotional recovery.
Here are some ways to recover this essential energy tank:
- Find a purpose to laugh every day.
- Keep a journal.
- Practice belly breathing or meditation.
- Maintain perspective on our expectations vs. client performance.
- Don’t gossip.
- Write down and define the specific activities (both super-short and longer term) activities or habits that help you stay emotionally proactive.
Your Spiritual Energy Tank
When you’re working hard around the clock, it’s easy to go into survival mode. You can lose track of a greater purpose, direction or plan.
Refueling your spiritual tank means taking the time to consider the “WHY” behind what you do or what you aspire to do. As humans, we are naturally purpose-driven beings. To feel fulfilled, we need to feel like we working toward a vision that is in line with our values and beliefs.
Here are some questions to answer on a regular basis to help refuel your spiritual tank.
- As a health and fitness professional, why do you do what you do?
- What is your ultimate goal?
- Why is that your ultimate goal?
- How does that ultimate goal align with your core values and beliefs?
- If you achieve that goal, what would it mean for your life and the lives of others?
- If you don’t achieve that goal, what does it mean for your life and the lives of others? As a health and fitness professional your clients need you. More importantly YOU need YOU. Create a daily, weekly and monthly plan to refuel your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual tanks so you can live an extraordinary life, and help other do the same.