HEALTH

When to Ask for Help

Is it time to ask for help on your fitness or health goals?

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By Aimée Suen, NTP

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With so much information at your fingertips these days, it’s easy to find tips and tricks on how to dial in your health and fitness. You can figure out how to adjust your form, your routine, how you eat, and so much more.

There can also be times when, no matter how much you find, try, adjust and do, you just can’t figure it out. It could be time to consider getting help from a movement, medical or nutrition specialist to see the full picture and give you advice tailored to you and your situation. Here are a few scenarios where asking for help from one of those specialists could be helpful:

You keep getting injured.

Constant injuries could be a sign your form could need some adjustment, you’re not giving your body enough time to recover, or you could be doing an activity that’s not best for your body.

Working with a trainer or coach in the sport or in the specialized movement you’re working on can help you get an idea of how to adjust your movement and recovery, as well as make any adjustments for how you’re built.

You could also consider working with a physical therapist if any additional movement corrections need to be made.

You’re not getting the results you want with the movement routine you have.

Working with a coach or trainer can help you figure out what movements you can add or adjust to work towards your goals. It could also mean trying new ways of movement, or dialing in other factors that a coach or trainer can help you figure out, like sleep, recovery or nutrition.

You have really specific fitness goals and you’re not sure how to get there in a way that works for you.

We all have unique bodies and goals. One size doesn’t fit all in fitness, so working with a coach that help gear your program around what could work for you. That could include things you haven’t tried before and would benefit from someone teaching you proper cues, technique and form.

Your body’s been feeling different and you’re not sure why.

Something could just feel off in your body. From your body not moving the way you’re used to, or your body is hurting in ways you’ve never felt before. Or you can’t seem to figure out why your mood has changed or where that bump, bruise or rash is. Depending on exactly this is showing up for you, it can be more difficult to get to the root of the issue on your own.

Start to take notes around what you’re feeling so you can start to see any patterns. It can be very helpful to share with the partner you choose to work with, depending on how your body is reacting and feeling different.

If your reactions happen around movement, consider talking with a coach or physical therapist. If your reactions are around food or just in your body, consider a nutrition or medical professional.

You’ve got nagging health issues you haven’t been able to Dr. Google away.

While Dr. Google can shed some lights on things, there’s often too much information you can find that isn’t relevant to you and what you’re working through. Looking for answers on the internet can also be confusing, overwhelming, or make you feel more panicked then you were before searching.

Working with a medical or nutrition professional can help get to the root cause of your issues and give you a clear direction (or diagnosis, if relevant) on how to resolve them.

Finding the Right Person to Help You

When you’ve decided you’re ready to work with someone, there are some things to consider that can make finding the right person easier.

Get Clear on What You Need Help On: The more clear you are on why you need this person and what you’re looking for guidance on, the easier it can be to find the best person for you to work with. Write this down so, as you’re searching, you can focus on the right partner for your goals.

Do Your Research: As you find professionals to work with, either in person or online, look into them. Read their websites, blog posts, and look into what they’re talking about and advertising on their social media. If they share a mission statement or way of approaching their work, read that and consider if that aligns with you and the goals you’re looking for help on.

If you’re looking into a medical professional that may not as much of a presence online, look into their provider listings and see if they’re ranked on any doctor review websites.

Interview Them Beforehand, if possible: If you’re narrowed down a list of people and they offer initial consultations, take advantage of them. Ask them questions about how they work with clients, if they’ve worked with clients on the goals you have and how they approach that. You can also ask them about how they’re overall approach and any other questions you had while looking on their website.

It can be harder to interview medical professionals, depending on what your healthcare coverage is and what kind of medical professional you’re looking for. If, in the first few appointments with them, you’re not feeling a connection, see if you can switch or find another professional to work with.

Ask for Referrals: If the people you’ve interviewed don’t feel quite like the right fit for you, ask them if they know of anyone that would. Most movement, medical and nutrition professionals have colleagues they could refer you to.

Know it could take a few interviews and searching to find the right person to work with you and your goals. It can feel a little bit like dating, and when you find the right professional to work with, it will make a world of difference.

There’s also no shame in working with a professional to get help in your health and/or fitness goals. Knowing that you need help is a big and positive step towards something better. Be open and kind to yourself in the process and you can figure out who to work with, and together you can figure out more about how to get your movement and health to a place you feel good about.

Aimée Suen is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who shares nourishing, gluten-free recipes and nutrition wisdom at Small Eats. She is driven to help others enjoy whole foods and empower them to find their own healthy in all aspects of life, one small step at a time. When she’s not in the kitchen, she’s practicing yoga, in the gym, or learning something new. You can find Aimée on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Main Photo Credit: Bojan Milinkov/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Albina Glisic/shutterstock.com; Fourth Photo Credit: ESB Professional/shutterstock.com; Fifth Photo Credit: thirawatana phaisalratana/shutterstock.com