12 Years In the Wellness Industry and I‘m Still Learning

In the ever evolving world of fitness and wellness, professionals must specialize to grow.

Three years ago, I took a full time role in corporate wellness and began serving the LinkedIn employee population. I transitioned away from actively working with clients through personal training and group fitness instruction to a full-time managerial role. While I continue to lead group classes 4–5 hours/week, this was a huge shift for me. Some days I love that I can help to grow and develop the next generation of trainers and lead and inspire a tremendous workforce. While other days, I miss the ability to directly impact an individual’s wellness journey through my coaching programs.

Over the last three years, I have had the opportunity to focus on my own personal and professional development through continuing education. In my twelve years of experience in the fitness industry, I’ve accumulated a number of certifications, including NASM Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Mat Pilates, TRX®, and indoor cycling. All of which have served me in my career. However, with the exception of the Holistic Lifestyle Coach certification, none of the certifications I worked towards taught me how to directly influence behavior and lifestyle change. I’m thankful for my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling for this reason. I have realized more and more over the years that a specialization is so important — not only for setting yourself apart from other professionals, but also in honing your continuing education efforts.

In the past eight months, I’ve studied for and received my ACE Health Coach Certification and my Postnatal Fitness Specialist Certification. Two certifications I’ve deemed extremely helpful and critical as I build out a virtual wellness coaching program for new moms.

The ACE Health Coach certification brought me back to my days in grad school when we learned about theories of change. In particular, the Trans-theoretical Model of Behavior Change really resonated with me. I think so many fitness professionals miss the mark when they solely focus on physical activity as the solution to wellness. It is vital that coaches take the time to understand what the client is doing the other 23 hours of their day.

As I studied for the postnatal fitness specialist certification with JMG Fitness Consulting, I quickly learned that my previous education severely lacked training in women’s fitness and in particular, how to train the postpartum client. We cannot treat postpartum clients the same as the general population. We must consider postpartum stage, what their delivery was like, how their internal organs are holding up, and their lifestyle and mindset. On my business blog for Honing Wellness, I wrote a post about How New Moms Can Return To Exercise Postpartum.

As I take on this new specialty in postpartum wellness, I coincidentally will be able to experiment with my own postpartum experience as my husband and I are expecting in December of this year! The experience of a new mom is so unique and the best that can be offered to them is support and guidance. This is what I do with my clients through my virtual coaching program, Honing Wellness. We focus on three pillars of wellness: Movement, Healthy Eating and Mindset. Given the growth I’ve experienced in the last 12 years, I know that I will continue to be in awe of the strength of my clients and learn from them every day.

CALL TO ACTION! Please visit www.honingwellness.com and subscribe to our newsletter to start a FREE 10-day Wellness Challenge! As a new mom, you can jump start your Wellness journey by building simple healthy habits.