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Behavior Change Strategies for Fitness Professionals


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Behavior Change Strategies for Fitness Professionals

We’ve talked about the subject of behavior change on the Wellness Paradox many times before, but this time of year it is particularly important given the New Year’s resolution crowd rushing to find fitness professionals to help them achieve their goals.

Our guest in episode 88, Natalie Grinvalds, knows this topic well as her area of both research and practice focuses on physical activity and health behavior. In this episode we’ll dive into a discussion around how to collaborate with clients to ensure the behavior changes they’re looking to make are sustainable in the long-term.

Natalie does a great job of providing practical, evidence-based, suggestions that you can implement with your clients today to ensure those behaviors they’re so motivated to implement now, stick for longer than just the next couple of weeks. Have your notebook handy for this conversation, as Natalie provides a master class on behavior change for fitness professionals.

Our Guest: Dr. Natalie Grinvalds, Ph.D.

Natalie Grinvalds is currently a health behaviour change scientist and physical activity researcher. She is working in a knowledge transfer partnership with University of Exeter Medical School and Health and Care Innovations to embed behaviour science into their app designed to help people manage living with multiple long-term conditions.

Alongside this she is a fitness professional, freelance assessor (for personal training, gym instruction and exercise referral qualifications) and visiting lecturer.

She is passionate about applying behaviour science, sport psychology, sport science and love for music in her indoor cycling classes and fitness instruction and loves helping people to reframe their mindset about exercise, nutrition and what it means to live a healthy life. She currently teaches fitness classes at Exeter Leisure, including the UK’s first Passivhaus Leisure Centre and University of Exeter Sport and previously at University of Sheffield’s, Sport Sheffield.

She has worked as an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University for BSc Sport and Physical Activity and MSc Public Health Nutrition, teaching and assessing on topics such as Behaviour Change, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Motivational Interviewing and Gym Instruction.

She also has experience in workplace wellness in the UK and US, most recently for Sheffield Hallam University where worked as a Workplace Wellbeing Consultant at Sheffield Hallam University Staff Wellbeing where she used Motivational Interviewing alongside physiological testing to help motivate university staff to change health behaviours.

Her PhD research was funded by UKactive and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM). The work consisted of a realist evaluation of the co-location of healthcare and leisure to promote physical activity. She developed theories to explain how co-locating NHS clinics such as podiatry, pain management, diabetes and physiotherapy with community leisure centres works to promote physical activity. These centres were formed in Sheffield as part of the 2012 London Olympic Legacy in order to carry on the legacy of physical activity to promote health in the UK. Co-location, under the right conditions has the potential to result in promotion of physical activity through healthcare and more individuals with long term conditions becoming physically active.

Links from this Episode:

Natalie's Thesis: 

What works to facilitate the promotion of physical activity in co-located healthcare and leisure settings: a realist review

Future of public leisure report