The Weight Loss Dilemma
Rates of obesity in Australia have been steadily increasing over the past 30 years. Around 63% of Australians are now classified as overweight (BMI > 25) with 27.5% of these classified as obese (BMI > 30).
Research has found that obesity has serious implications for health and is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders and some cancers.
While these conditions make it increasingly important for obese individuals to engage in exercise, carrying large amounts of excess weight also means having to deal with stigma and discrimination, which in a fitness setting creates a huge barrier to participation.
In addition to physical health problems, obesity also has psychological and social impacts, further exacerbating the cycle of disengagement. According to Clinical & Health Psychologist, Associate Professor Leah Brennan from the Australian Catholic University, stigma and discrimination are the most common barriers to exercise that heavier people face.
Breaking Down the Barriers
As exercise professionals we are in a unique and powerful position to redress the balance. If personal trainers can understand the barriers they face and really connect with them rather than making generalised assumptions about their lack of participation, it is possible for individuals to feel comfortable enough to engage in a physical activity program.
From my little garage studio, I have developed a safe haven for people to exercise and in particular those who are overweight and may not feel comfortable to exercising in a gym. As a Life Coach, my holistic Weight Loss Program is based on nurturing and supporting the individual to meet their goals. Weight Loss Coaching includes mind tools to help clients identify barriers that have been preventing them from losing weight, information on healthy nutritious eating and how to include exercise as part of your daily routine.