Category Archives: TWSM Health and Fitness Tips

Why You Need A Health Coach

Perhaps you’ve heard of a ‘health coach’ but are still not quite sure what that means. There are coaches for virtually everything nowadays. So, what makes a health coach unique and different from the rest? Today I hope to answer all of your questions regarding health coaching and hopefully inspire you to work with one. There are SO many benefits! Even as a health coach myself, I’d love to work with one because we can all use the accountability and insight from another trained health expert. 

What is a health coach?

A health coach is a trained professional who has received a certification and education to help clients set and achieve health goals through personalized guidance. Health coaches may have expertise in physiological sciences, psychology, and some even have a nutrition background too. A health coach coaches and provides guidance, mentorship, and accountability so that you are more likely to achieve your goals and stick to them. Working with a health coach can help you identify the areas that are holding you back, tackle barriers to success, and make changes so that you can succeed. While a health coach can help design and implement health and wellness programs, there are also legal/ethical and professional responsibilities and scope of practices that fall outside of a health coach and will need to be referred to the correct professional. 

What is the goal of health coaching?

The goal of health coaching is to come alongside individuals and help them plan and execute their health and wellness goals. An individual’s health/wellness goals can and should be unique to them and their circumstances. For example, it may focus more on cultivating healthy relationships through boundaries, working through attitudes around food, developing healthier mindsets, or building a plan to make healthier eating and exercise more manageable with your schedule. Health and wellness coaching goes far beyond examining someone’s diet and exercise. Oftentimes as the coaching relationship develops, people’s goals transform into managing stress, healthy sleep, and navigating relationships. The main goal is to help each person identify their unique values and priorities that will encourage them to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle through behavior modification. 

Does it work? What can I gain by working with a health coach?

Yes! I believe health coaching absolutely works and is the missing piece to so many people’s health journeys. The accountability in and of itself can make a drastic difference in helping someone succeed and stick to their goals.  

It works because the partnership and support of a health coach empowers individuals to know and understand their health status and how to practice effective self-management and how to make lasting behavior change.

What does a typical health coaching session look like?

First – I always like to get to know my clients and find out about their overall lifestyle. This is just a conversation to get to know one another and find out about their likes, dislikes, work, family/home life, current and past health concerns, etc. This is our initial opportunity to connect and for the health coach to build trust and rapport with the client. After getting to know one another, we then delve into your health and wellness goals and what you would like to work towards and achieve. 

Knowing more about the client (i.e. past successes/failures, attitudes and beliefs about health and fitness, readiness for change, personal interests, etc.), we will work together to establish SMART Goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Creating SMART goals is an effective method for cultivating both short and long term goals and turning your ideas and aspirations into reality.

During each session, your health coach will also be able to filter down and explain all of the information overload that is out there in regards to health and wellness. Your health coach is your expert sounding board that you can ask your questions and find out what you really need to focus on instead of following all of the information and tips you find online. A health coach will help you take that information overload and figure out what is best and most important for you; we bridge the gap between basic information that can be found virtually anywhere and knowledge and science-based implementation. 

After our initial session, follow-up sessions entail checking in on your SMART Goals and actions steps we discussed previously as well as discussing barriers, set-backs, successes, and potentially new goals once other goals have been set in place and achieved.

I hope you have a clear understanding of the role of a health coach now and how working with one can be beneficial to your health journey. If you are interested in working with me, you can email me at hello@homebodysoul.com to schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation. 

Note: Be sure that your health coach is nationally accredited by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches. If they aren’t nationally certified yet (like myself), you can also look here to see if their program is listed as an accredited, reputable program.

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Personal Trainer

How To Stay Healthy On Vacation

Summer is the vacation season. Whether you are traveling to the beach, the mountains, to visit friends and family, or abroad, the summertime is the time when most people pack up their bags and head for adventure. I love traveling and experiencing new places and cultures. While traveling and vacationing are very fun activities to break up the year and get us out of our normal routine rut, it can also pose challenges when it comes to maintaining our health and wellness. 

Vacation brings with it delicious food, alcoholic drinks, fancy desserts, snacks galore, and lots of R&R, none of which are BAD things. In fact, all of these things can be very good and fun and enjoyable….but within reason of course. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that vacation where we overdid it and came home several pounds heavier and feeling a little sluggish. And then we feel discouraged and beat ourselves up because we worked SO hard to lose the weight, or make the strength gains, or increase our fitness, or cut out that irritating food and now it seems we’ve just undid all of that work on a week long vacay. 

So, how do we maintain our healthy choices and lifestyle while still enjoying our vacation? Here are 3 tips to help you enjoy all the fun that vacation brings AND return home feeling healthy and like you didn’t sabotage all of your goals and hard work.

*Plan A Little- All it takes is a little bit of forethought to help you maintain your health goals when you are away. Perhaps before going out to dinner you take a look at the menu online and decide what you will order ahead of time. This will help you make an informed decision versus being swayed by the atmosphere or what others are ordering at the restaurant. You are more likely to stick to your goals when you know your game plan ahead of time. Likewise, think about your daily meals and activities. If you know you are going out to dinner and will want to have a glass of wine and dessert, then try to eat lighter and healthier earlier in the day. Or perhaps you decide you will have a few drinks poolside but then forfeit dessert that night. Your plan could also include deciding before you leave for vacation what some parameters will look like (i.e. only drinking 1 drink a day, eating a salad at one meal a day, doing 25 burpees a day or going on a walk, etc.). Make a plan and you’ll be way more likely to stick to it! 

*Keep 1-3 Habits/Routines– Try to keep one to three of your normal routines going while you are away. It can be as simple as drinking 16 oz of water first thing in the morning before your coffee. Or remembering to take your supplements. Perhaps you carve out 20-30 minutes to exercise if you decide you’d like to maintain that on vacation so you can more freely eat and drink. Decide what routines/habits mean the most to you and are the most reasonable to sustain during vacation. Setting ourselves up for success on vacation means having clear expectations and setting realistic goals that are attainable. 

*Be Mindful– This is key! You don’t have to be a slave to your health and wellness goals because that is no fun and also not healthy long-term. But simply being more mindful goes a long way. Having a plan, thinking through your day and what you plan to eat/drink, asking yourself if you are really hungry for that snack or perhaps just thirsty…all of these little mindset shifts impact our decision making process. Take a moment before mindlessly eating the snacks everyone else is eating and exercise a moment of mindfulness and ask yourself if you really want that and if it is worth it. And if it is to you in that moment, that is fine, but at least give yourself a few moments to think before mindlessly eating or drinking. It’s so easy to get swept away in the sea of vacation mode that we lose all sense of control because we simply aren’t being mindful and thinking through the little things and little decisions. 

Maybe instead of sitting on the beach all afternoon you talk a walk along the water to get in some movement. Or you do ten pushups first thing in the morning to get the blood flowing and to inspire you to make healthy decisions the rest of the day. You don’t have to do it perfectly on vacation but practicing mindfulness will have a huge impact on the decisions you make and whether or not you come home from vacation feeling like you enjoyed yourself but didn’t sabotage or feeling crummy because you gained several pounds and went backwards on your goals. 

You will likely lose the few pounds and get back on track but it will be harder. So, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it to you to have a week-long vacation that’s a ‘free for all’ or exercise some semblance of self-control and be able to easily fall back into your routines when you return home.  You don’t have to say to heck with all of your progress, hard work, and routines when on vacation. By using these 3 tips you can maintain your health and wellness goals, enjoy yourself, and come home feeling GOOD- inside and out! Don’t sabotage months worth of work for a few days of indulgence. You’ve worked too hard. It is possible to exercise balance and self-control on vacation while still FULLY enjoying yourself.

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Personal Trainer

TWSM Fitness Tips For Beginners

Fitness Tips For Beginners

It’s a new day and you’ve decided it’s time to take back your life starting with your health. You are determined to exercise and get back into shape. You signed up for that online fitness program that you heard about on Instagram, got yourself a new pair of sneakers dropped off at your door from Prime, and you’re ready and raring to go! You’re super motivated day 1, 2, and even day 3 but then you begin to lose momentum and your body is tired! What do you do? How do you maintain the momentum and motivation to stick with your fitness and health goals? Here are 5 fitness tips for beginners to help you stay motivated. The goal is to keep you in the game for not just the first few days, but for the long haul. Because it’s about creating a lifestyle after all, right?!

Tip 1: Plan ahead! When we are beginning to implement new habits and routines whether fitness related or not, it’s important to minimise the excuses that could arise and derail us from our well intentioned goals. When it comes to exercise, I’ve found the best success for myself and my clients is to plan it. Literally schedule your workout. Put it on your calendar at work, your personal planner, whatever you need to do but SCHEDULE and PLAN it or else it won’t happen. And speaking of planning ahead- go ahead and set out your workout clothes the night before or pack your gym bag and put it in your car so you are ready to go and the excuse of not having your things together isn’t even an option.

Tip 2: Set realistic goals and start slow. Slow and steady wins the race. And this is precisely the approach and attitude you should have when it comes to your fitness regiment. There is nothing wrong with easing into your program and taking it slow or taking rest breaks as needed. Here’s the thing- if you go all out in your workouts and aren’t realistic about where your fitness level is at, you are setting yourself up to potentially burn out or injure yourself, setting you further back. Pushing too hard too fast isn’t going to get you to your goals faster, in fact it could actually do more harm than good. Remember- slow, steady, and CONSISTENCY is key! Set a goal that you can gradually work towards and track your progress such as running a 5K in a certain amount of time or doing a certain number of push-ups on your toes. Start with small, attainable goals and once you achieve those and feel stronger and more confident, you can add on to those goals.

Tip 3: Listen to your body. If you are new to working out or jumping back in after several months off, be mindful of your limitations. Experiencing some level of soreness is to be expected but don’t overdo it so much that you cannot walk the next day. Harder and faster is not necessarily better and won’t get you to your goals faster as mentioned in tip #2 above. Be sure to stay hydrated, cool down, stretch, and have an active recovery day to keep your muscles from getting too sore and fatigued. You have to be feeling good in order to stay consistent so listen to your body and take care so you can continue your program.

Tip 4: Find a buddy. Accountability is HUGE when it comes to maintaining consistency and motivation and truly making fitness and health a lifestyle. There is nothing like going through the suck with someone else right by your side. Find a group exercise class to attend or ask a co-worker or friend if they want to exercise together and be your workout buddy.

Tip 5: Know your ‘why’. Knowing why you are doing what you are doing is quite possibly THE most important component to making sustainable, lasting change. Take some time to sit down and write out or think about why you want to incorporate fitness into your life? Ask yourself these questions before embarking on your fitness and health journey.

  • Why is my health important to me?
  • Why do I want to be healthy and how do I want to feel?
  • How will my life be different with fitness and health incorporated?
  • How will I maintain this lifestyle and why do I want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Once you’ve thought through those questions, it will be so much easier to re-ignite yourself and get back on track if you fall off. Knowing our greater WHY and our purpose is key to maintaining and sustaining healthy lifestyle goals.

With these 5 tips in your back pocket along with your new sneakers and online program, you are primed for success- long-term success! Now, like the popular Nike motto says, ‘Just Do It’!

Meghan Meredith

HomeBodySoul, Founder

Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Certified Personal Trainer
Connect with us @homebodysoul