Health Behavior Change & Motivation

Helping individuals adopt and maintain healthy behaviors is an essential skill for health fitness practitioners. Proposals should focus on strategies and techniques based on the latest research in psychology and behavior change. Topics include adoption and maintenance of health behaviors, motivation, communication and goal setting.

Exercise and Mental Health: Are Activity Trackers Helpful or Harmful?

Live Q&A:
April 8
11:30 AM-12:00 PM EDT


 Stephanie Cooper

This session will provide an overview of the mental health benefits of exercise, as well as the impact of activity trackers on psychological well-being and exercise adherence. Participate in this thought-provoking discussion and contemplate ways in which activity trackers may facilitate and/or hinder the psychological benefits of exercise.

Meditation Techniques for Optimal Athletic Performance

Live Q&A:
April 8
4:30-5:00 PM EDT


Sally Sherman

Regardless of the physical capabilities of an athlete, psychological barriers can be a roadblock to their success. Fear, anxiety, negativity and perfectionism are among common themes that interfere with athletic performance. The science on mediation shows the practice offers many benefits, including decreased anxiety, reduced stress, better emotional health, improved sleep, controlled pain and increased happiness. Whether your client is a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, mediation can be used anywhere to help overcome mental barriers to success. Attendees will participate in multiple strategies including breathing techniques, visualization and progressive relaxation designed for athlete success.

The Value of Targeting Motivation and Relevance to Break Barriers

Live Q&A:
April 9
11:30 AM-12:00 PM EDT


Renee Rogers

As exercise professionals, we have vast knowledge in physiology, biomechanics, training styles and principles. To truly help participants get past barriers and engage in a physically active lifestyle, we need to move beyond what we know and connect better with our participants. The presentation aims to help attendees tap into the value of understanding their clients’ individual motivation and what is relevant before and along their fitness and healthy lifestyle journeys. We’ll break the session into three parts: 1) Tapping into motivation and relevance to move more and sit less; 2) techniques for positive interactions around motivation and relevance; and 3) getting clients in the door and coming back using motivation and relevance.  

How Technology Can Make the Physical Activity Guidelines More Accessible

Live Q&A:
April 9
1:30-2:00 PM EDT



Kapil Parakh

This presentation will take participants through the ways in which technology can promote the public health guidelines for physical activity. It will also provide an overview of design thinking – a key underlying principle in creating technology solutions.

Exercise Resisters, Barriers and Solutions

Live Q&A:
April 9
3:15-3:45 PM EDT


Mary Yoke

More than 80% of the population does not meet the ACSM guidelines for aerobic and muscle strengthening activities. What do we do when some people resist the idea of exercise and others find little benefit when they exercise? In this session we’ll explore the idea of exercise resistance and discuss the reasons why people say they can’t or won’t exercise. Then we’ll take a look at potential solutions to the increasing problem of physical inactivity.

Breaking Barriers: Evolving Field of Health & Wellness Coaching

Live Q&A:
April 10
11:30 AM-12:00 PM EDT


Gary Sforzo


Margaret Moore

Health and wellness coaches play an important role in helping clients overcoming barriers to healthy living. Coaches promote lifestyle medicine through behavior change while providing an up-to-date overview of HWC research, healthcare reimbursement, national standards and certification supported by the National Board of Medical Examiners. Citing the evolving evidence base, Gary will present the latest research supporting HWC in a variety of client/patient populations. Then Margaret will address how HWC can help overcome health-fitness barriers that reduce self-efficacy and readiness to change, such as time and social pressures, lack of resources or knowledge, physical difficulties, and motivation while also discussing the state of the HWC field.



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