I just love campfires. My husband knows that on my birthday, what I really want is a good campfire … and he usually delivers. And now, I can thank a campfire for starting me on this journey of providing my coaching services to private clients.
During a COVID fireside get-together, a friend shared some of the struggles she was experiencing with her health and was explaining the medical journey that she had been on as a result. Honestly, it was nothing out of the ordinary, and a completely typical response and recommendation from her doctor. But I knew I could help if she was up for it.
I explained that I love her and I’d support her either way, but if she was interested in working with me, I was pretty sure she could avoid all of the medical interventions and their possible side effects. She wasn’t convinced because she felt like she had tried everything she could on her own and had failed, but she was willing to give it a shot.
Within three months she had achieved her first set of health goals, had established renewed hope in her own capabilities, and was encouraging me to offer my services to others like her!
That was the beginning and we have yet to see where this will take me, but so far I am enjoying the ride!
What about you? I would love to hear about a turn-around moment in your life!
The topic of strength training seems to have come up a lot recently in my coaching calls. So, let’s talk about strength training for a few minutes, shall we?
I have to start with a bit of a disclaimer. My husband is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at West Virginia University. In May of 2021, he was named a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC) by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa). The honor is the highest given in the strength and conditioning coaching profession. My father-in-law was a Strength Coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for many years and was widely known as one of the strongest players in the NFL. My knowledge pales in comparison to theirs … but I also have learned quite a lot from them both over the years. I know who to ask when I do have questions!
Most of the clients I work with aren’t concerned about winning Division I Wrestling Tournaments or NFL games … but that doesn’t mean that strength training isn’t important for them. Check out this infographic from the American College of Sports Medicine that lists some of the conditions that research has shown will benefit from a strength training program.
Most people that I work with are concerned that gaining muscle will slow their weight loss. Honestly, this could be true, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good thing. Even if the weight loss slows, it is actually an indication that the body composition is changing … and that is a really good thing for overall health. More of your body weight being composed of muscle means you burn more calories even at rest. Muscle cells just need more energy. This means that being stronger will help with overall weight loss over time and is incredibly important for weight maintenance once a healthy weight has been achieved.
Let’s talk about life in general. My heart hearts for people I see as they age struggling to get out of a chair or out of a car. That motion that they are struggling with is essentially a squat … one of the most basic lower body strength training moves.
And if you are a woman, I get even more passionate about increasing muscle strength, because increased muscle strength increases both bone strength and balance. Fall prevention at its core!
The fun thing is how much variety there is in strength training programs. With a little bit of trial and error, you are sure to find something that you at least won’t dread. And I’m willing to be over time you will be so proud of the results, you will almost look forward to your workouts.
What are you willing to do today?
Disclaimer: Please discuss any blood pressure concerns with your physician.
So, you find yourself with high blood pressure? You are not alone. According to the CDC, nearly half of Americans have hypertension … and of interest to me was the map on their website that shows West Virginia is one of the states with the most dense population of individuals with high blood pressure.
Also, congratulations just for being on top of your health metrics enough to even know that you have high blood pressure. The CDC reports that 1 in 5 people are not even aware that they have this problem.
But is it really a problem? According to a database collected in 2019, more than half a million deaths that year reported hypertension as a primary or contributing factor. Half a million. Yikes.
What is so heartbreaking to me, is that I’m willing to bet that a large majority of those could have been prevented. First of all, if you have high blood pressure, you should be under a doctor’s care to control your hypertension with medication … but my goal as a health coach would be that through lifestyle interventions, you would be able to drop your blood pressure low enough that your doctor would be convinced to take you off of those medications.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lifestyle interventions that work include:
My favorite thing about lifestyle interventions like these is that they not only help to lower blood pressure, but also help lower cholesterol, help with better weight management, help lower blood sugars ... they are just overall good for your health!
What are you doing to support a healthy blood pressure?
Katie Kolb - Health Coach