Business & Career Resources

Year in Review: AFPA’s Top 10 Blog Articles of 2022

At the end of each year, cultures have different traditions for reflecting on the year past and welcoming the year to come. Here at AFPA, we spend some time reflecting on one of our favorite ways of communicating with our graduates and followers: our weekly blogs.  

Through our blogs, we tell you about what the health and wellness world is most interested in learning about. We take the time to read the most recent and relevant research, think about it critically, and piece together the information that is most relevant to health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition coaches. 

As AFPA graduates know, learning doesn’t end when you’ve obtained your credential. Research and standards are constantly updated, and it is important to keep your knowledge up-to-date. At AFPA, we aim to provide valuable information that you can read on your commute, in between sessions, or over breakfast. After reading each blog, you feel a bit more equipped to take on that next (or first!) client and provide the best quality of care and training possible.  

In this list, you’ll find a mix of themes, including coaching business building, coaching mindset support, and summaries of the latest health behavior change support techniques.  

Whether you’ve missed a blog, just want the summaries, or want to read your favorite again, here are AFPA’s top ten blog articles of 2022. 

Trauma-Informed Motivational Interviewing: Is It the Best Approach to Behavior Change? 

Here is a fundamental question coaches ask themselves as they apply their knowledge in the field.  How can health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness coaches empower and motivate clients to adopt behaviors that support their long-term health?  

In other words, how can health coaches apply their skills and knowledge so that their clients actually feel healthier as they progress? 

Motivational interviewing, infused with the principles of trauma-informed care, is considered by many as an extremely effective approach to behavior change. Trauma-informed motivational interviewing utilizes the principles of trauma-informed care and applies them to evidence-based motivational interviewing practices to promote self-efficacy while also acknowledging the potential effects of trauma on how a person thinks and acts.   

This article describes trauma-informed motivational interviewing and summarizes the evidence of its potential for making a positive impact on health behavior change approaches.    

Love and Connection: How Intimacy Impacts Our Health 

Intimacy and social life are pillars of health and wellness.  

Intimacy takes many forms and is experienced in any close relationship. The four types of intimacy are experiential intimacy, like what you might share with a friend you met at a book club; emotional intimacy, like what you might experience with someone who you think won’t judge you when you speak about how you feel; intellectual intimacy, like what you might share with a business partner; and sexual intimacy, which is what you share with a sexual partner.   

To have sound social and interpersonal wellness, it is important to cultivate an ability to engage in intimate relationships, meaning being willing to be receptive to what others want to contribute to the relationship while also being willing to reciprocate.   

This article describes the role of intimacy from a health and wellness perspective and summarizes the research on how intimacy, or lack thereof, affects human health. 

Health and Nutrition Coach’s Guide to Referring Clients for Medical Evaluation 

Like any profession, it is important to be aware of what you can and can’t do within your scope of work. While this may feel limiting, it is also an opportunity to build your network and even boost your business. Research shows that multidisciplinary teams of health professionals help improve people’s health outcomes significantly.   

This article provides information on when and how to refer your clients to a physician or other health professional for a medical evaluation.   

Getting Started with Content Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide for Health and Wellness Businesses 

In today’s consumer-driven world, content marketing remains one of the best tools health and fitness professionals could leverage to build trust, develop relationships, improve conversions, and generate leads.  

For many health professionals turned entrepreneurs, however, content marketing can be intimidating to learn, not to mention difficult to find time to do.  

To save you some time, this article tells you what you need to know about content marketing as a health and fitness professional to create high-quality, helpful content that’ll establish your credibility, build trust, and strengthen your reputation. 

The Disordered Eating-Eating Disorder Continuum 

Research estimates that as many as three in four people have disordered eating behaviors. In fact, health, nutrition, and fitness coaches, though well-intended, may be unknowingly promoting problematic eating behaviors.   

For health, nutrition, and fitness coaches, learning about the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and identifying disordered eating behaviors are essential components of their knowledge toolbox. Learning about the disordered eating to eating disorder continuum not only helps coaches identify when a client may be exhibiting some of these behaviors but also helps to identify coaching practices that may be fueling disordered eating.  

This article provides readers with an overview of the differences between eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors and includes a useful graphic that illustrates the disordered eating-eating disorder continuum. 

6 Benefits of Exercise Beyond Weight Loss All Fitness Coaches Should Know 

Thinness equals health and moral virtue. At least, that is what diet culture wants us to think.  

In reality, the relationship between body weight and health is far from straightforward; many people with larger bodies are healthy, and many people with smaller bodies are not.  

Additionally, the correlation between being fat and having certain chronic health conditions is generally mediated by other risk factors, including poverty and the social stigma that keeps obese people from getting the health care they deserve.  

Multiple decades of erroneous health guidance had most of us swallowing the diet culture pill. Now we know that providing our body the nutrients it needs and moving it in ways that feel good are important for our health and wellness, regardless of our weight.  

Have you found that your client started exercising solely to lose weight, believing that only weight loss would improve their health (and, in some sense, their self-perception)? 

What’s one way you could help clients shed this unhelpful and harmful mindset? You can support them by discussing ways in which exercise and physical activity can make them healthier, regardless of weight loss.  

How to Build Trust and Rapport with Your Health Coaching Clients  

What exactly is rapport? While there is no one definition of rapport, in the health field, rapport building is a process by which a health provider, such as a health coach or physician, nurtures an environment in which a relationship of trust, open communication, and empathy is ensured. Rapport is a fundamental element of building an effective coach-client relationship, yet it is not always easy to nurture.     

This article discusses the benefits of building rapport, shares some of the characteristics of effective rapport building, and discusses different ways in which you can build rapport with your clients.   

Freebie Ideas for Coaches: How to Create a Free eBook for Your Audience 

Growing your audience is key to a successful health and wellness coaching business. You need qualified leads who are ready and excited to work with you. 

One of the most effective ways to grow your audience is through a gated freebie. When a piece of content is gated, it means that they provide some information about themselves to you in exchange for the content. At a minimum, they provide you with your email address, but you can also ask for information like their name, phone number, and current role.  

In other words, while they do not pay money for the freebie, they do pay with their contact information. This helps you grow your list of sales leads while they get the content they want.  

How can you create a freebie for your business? This article provides you with the information you need to make your marketing strategy more robust.  

How Health Coaches Are Integral to Excellent Care 

Health, wellness, and fitness coaches know that their work is vital to their clients’ long-term well-being. But until only recently have healthcare organizations begun to hire health coaches, pointing to research that demonstrates their effectiveness in the continuum of care. 

This article summarizes some of the many roles of health coaches in improving client and patient health outcomes, and it points to research to back up those claims.  

How to Deal with Burnout as a Health Coach or Wellness Professional 

By nature, health and wellness professionals spend all of their working hours caring for others. While most health coaches would describe it as a fulfilling profession, like other healthcare professions, health and wellness coaches are highly susceptible to burnout.  

This article helps you identify the symptoms of burnout while also providing you with specific suggestions for managing burnout and preventing it from happening again.  

Main Takeaways 

Over the course of the year, the AFPA team has really enjoyed creating content for health and wellness coaches. With each blog article, our hope is that you are a bit more informed, a bit more inspired, and a bit more equipped to care for yourself and others.  

Happy reading! We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for next year!

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