By NASM

Fatigue might feel as if it begins in the body, but the mind plays a key role. Though we tend to blame our bodies for fatigue, the brain actually sets the pace of energy use and holds a little energy in reserve. Here are a few ways to help clients tap that supply.

  • Try personal high fives. Ask your client what phrase might make him feel confident to repeat throughout a workout—maybe “I can do this” or “I’m strong.” Greek researchers found that affirmations can boost performance.
    How it works: Positive self-talk reinforces your confidence and boosts your energy so you won’t quit when you feel tired or challenged. Is mental fatigue holding your clients back? Simple strategies can provide a boost.
  • Picture it. Have your client picture conquering a heavier lift or a faster run—whatever new goal she is trying to achieve. Visualizing fitness success can boost mental energy and ultimately performance, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.
    How it works: Imagining a situation reinforces the same neural pathways as performing the behavior. So when you attempt the task, your body feels as if you’ve already done it.
  • Clear the mind. Stress can hamper a good workout, according to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. Include some breathing exercises before the workout.
    How it works: Stress commandeers the areas of the mind in charge of attention—areas that would otherwise be focused on supporting your muscles. So remove the worry barrier.
  • Praise form. In a study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, runners praised for their form moved more efficiently and felt less fatigued than those who were given no feedback.
    How it works: The runners required less oxygen to maintain their speed, possibly because the muscles that weren’t required for running relaxed, which helped them conserve energy.

Looking for more tips on how to affect change with and retain your clients? Our Behavior Change Specialization will teach you how to identify your clients’ motivational triggers, which can lead to sustainable results for them and improved client retention for you.