Health Coach Training Was Reinvigorating

Last week, I went down to Durham for my second onsite health coach training module. This module was much more enjoyable and productive than the first module for a variety of reasons. Instead of trying to please and accommodate others, I decided to focus on self-care and personal growth this time around. I’m glad I did…

I ended up staying in a hotel just north of the Duke campus so that I could walk to and from class at Integrative Medicine. I am proud to say that I walked every day. Monday through Thursday, I explored various routes through and around the Duke campus, which is gorgeous yet a tad hilly (“Climb Every Mountain” was in my head the whole week). Friday, I tackled the Al Buehler Cross Country Trail, which is essentially a woodsy three-mile loop around the perimeter of the Duke University Golf Course. By the end of the week, I became acutely aware that outdoor walking is by far my favorite form of cardiovascular exercise. I just don’t enjoy the treadmill or the elliptical as much as walking in nature. Now that I’m back in the City, I plan to walk along the water and/or around Central Park at least once a week and speed walk to and from yoga, since I won’t have the adorable yet plodding pups with me.

In addition to bolstering my walking routine, I set the following health goals for myself:

Some of my goals are not obviously health related, but they all fit within various elements of Duke’s Wheel of Health (pictured above).

Through my integrative health coach training, I learned a number of life lessons:

  1. Health is not limited to physical fitness and dietary choices. Every decision has health implications.
  2. It is impossible to know what other people are thinking or what they need unless you give them the opportunity to fully express themselves.
  3. Exercise is wonderful when the mode is enjoyable not obligatory, and enjoyment is not static. At various points in my life I have enjoyed long distance running, group fitness strength training, hot yoga, gym cardio, and swimming. However, none of those activities currently appeal to me. Sweating profusely no longer feels detoxifying, and I’m definitely not into feeling the Bern (I mean burn).
  4. I need sunshine. During the winter, I feel lethargic, like a hibernating bear; all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch TV. While I was in Durham, the weather was gorgeous. I quickly broke out of my winter funk and embraced the increase in physical activity and social engagement. Hubble and I might need to replace our annual ski trip with a beach vacation.

I decided to share all of this with you for accountability purposes. What kind of health coach/blogger would I be if I didn’t practice what I preach? I’ll keep you posted about my progress. In the meantime, I would like to suggest that you set some reasonable health goals for yourself and create an action plan with small steps for each goal. Then track your progress as you accomplish each step toward your goal.

Throughout our training at Duke Integrative Medicine, my classmates and I practiced by coaching each other, which means we each got to be the client as well as the coach. As the client, I realized that the Duke method really works (see progress above). The method was developed in light of cutting edge behavioral neuroscience and seeks to help clients make lasting lifestyle changes. If you find it hard to stick to your goal implementation plans, reach out to me. I would love to put my coaching skills to work for you. 

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