This post will look at stress management courses and the benefits of personal trainers completing such a course as part of their CPD.
Why are stress management courses so popular?
There are handfuls of stress management courses available to enrol on. There are generally no prerequisites other than L2 gym and/or L3 personal trainer, meaning that anyone can book onto these courses without any previous knowledge (other than maybe personal experiences) or associated skills. The reason for the popularity of such courses is evident in our everyday lives with issues such as:-
- Time deficiency
- Parents working full time
- Rise in living costs
- Alcohol/drug dependency
Due to the demands placed on society at the moment many people have turned their career direction towards helping others control their stress levels by identifying stressors in people’s lives and helping them manage the sources. In addition such courses can help clients improve their self-esteem, manage their career and perfect relaxation techniques specific to their needs and wants.
Many businesses have realised the impact that stress and other psychological related conditions have on their workforce and due to liability and insurance have started to offer help and support to staff
Who can benefit from stress management?
In a modern world, stress is a part of most people’s everyday lives. What a lot of people don’t know is that stress is a very real medical condition, which as well as emotional and mental disturbances also causes physical and physiological changes such as restriction of blood flow to the digestive and internal organs and high blood pressure to name just a couple.
Research has also shown that an ever increasing number of people (currently estimated at 12 million adults in the UK see their GP with mental health problems each year. This figure is increasing due to acceptance and reduced stigma relating to the condition, therefore more people are asking for help. Most of these suffer from anxiety and depression and much of this is stress-related. It is estimated that around 13.3 million working days are lost per year due to stress, depression and anxiety.
Research in 2012 found that the number of people treated for stress in hospitals in the UK had risen by 7% in the first 6 months of the year. Admission rates were said to be the highest among the working age group between 18 and 60.
Why would a personal trainer decide to a stress management course?
Firstly personal trainers already appreciate the anatomy and physiology of the human body and the importance of its equilibrium and homeostasis. They already understand the mechanism and purpose of the fight or flight response that our hormones provide and therefore appreciate the detrimental effects prolonged stress can have on hormone balance and in the long term the effect this has on weight control.
Secondly, personal trainers already promote the best stress buster there is....exercise! Almost every study consistently shows exercise to be the most effective treatment or outlet for individuals suffering from the physical symptoms of stress.
In many surveys exercise is shown to be our number one successful method of coping with stress. In fact it has been said that if exercise was a pill, it would be the most powerful medication known to humans.
Therefore personal trainers already have the audience’s attention regarding exercise and fitness; all they need to do is add stress management as a benefit and work on reducing it with clients.
To remain REPs registered personal trainers need to continually develop themselves and the key is to do this in the direction that the market is expanding. As mentioned earlier, stress is definitely on the increase and does not seem to be slowing down. Completing a stress management course can help personal trainers open new door and avenues of work such as corporate wellbeing schemes and placements.
What are the benefits of a personal trainer embarking on a stress management course?
Whilst stress relieving exercises may not be every client’s primary reason for choosing a personal trainer, a good personal trainer should be aware of the effects of stress and the impact it has not only psychologically but also physiologically on their clients. Personal trainers should be able to address and reduce symptoms in the short-term through exercise, and in the longer-term work with the client to try to reduce stress load and eliminate the physical effects. Depending on the clients goals stress could be higher or lower in the scale of importance.
Having these additional skills and knowledge in stress management will allow personal trainers to promote their business in a unique way and potentially to an untapped market, offering clients understanding, empathy as well as different methods to deal with stress in their lives. It will add a dimension and potentially new challenge to their skills and knowledge which can target a market not previously focussed on.