Last week and this week I’m breaking down the 10 Principles of Health as we have defined them at RxFIT.
- Health is synonymous with fitness.
- Optimal health is achieved by athletes who prioritize sleep, nutrition, exercise, mindset, and connection with others.
- Go to bed early.
- Strive for more plants, not supplements.
- Eat less to lose weight. Eat more to gain weight.
- Train to improve performance, not aesthetics.
- Constantly vary workouts with functional movements and high intensity.
- Dedicate time to think, read, write, and plan without distractions.
- Loving relationships improve longevity.
- Doctors are experts in medicine. Coaches are experts in health.
This last principle isn’t a slam on doctors. In fact, my family is made up of doctors and nurses that would agree with this statement. They went to school and became experts in medicine. They learned both what to prescribe and how to prescribe based on a patient’s symptoms.
When I spoke with my brother about this (an emergency doctor based in Texas), he laughed saying he didn’t take one class on nutrition or exercise in eight years of school. Everything revolved around medicine.
He (and all other doctors) are experts in treating symptoms, not preventing them.
Coaches Are Experts in Health?
The second piece of this statement needs a little bit of clarification, however. In this case, I’m not referring to a coach as a fitness trainer. Clearly I don’t believe a weekend certification or a couple of clients make you an expert in health. So, we first need to define what a coach is.
Coaches know your name and story. They know that your hip causes you pain when you squat, that your daughter just made the varsity swim team, and that you’re addicted to Diet Coke. They know that your nutrition suffers on the weekend because you love going out to eat and that you can’t sleep well at night because of stress at work. They know that you and your spouse are having a hard time balancing the new quarantine reality with your kids at home.
In addition to your name and story, they know your health ecosystem.
Coaches are connected with the other health professionals in your area. They know personally your family doctor, your chiropractor, and your uncle’s physical therapist. They have relationships with orthopedic surgeons, fitness trainers, and dentists in the area. They read and attend lectures from PhD’s of nutrition, exercise science, and sports performance at the local university.
So what is a coach?
Coaches are connected with you and your city’s health ecosystem.
They could be doctors. They also could be physical therapists, fitness trainers, or professors.
They just need to care about you and understand the scope of practice of the other professionals in your area.
In other words, coaches are professional friends.
Professional because you pay them to work with you.
Friend because you trust them.
I will admit that I’ve been over confident at times with my coaching staff. But their limitations are my own.
I haven’t looked at the expertise of doctors, nurses, University PhD’s, P.T.’s, surgeons, chiropractors, dentists, orthodontists, yoga and fitness instructors, or even massage therapists as experts in certain health modalities.
But I do now.
I’ve created The Health Professionals of Utah County private Facebook group that bridges the gap between these specialties.
Right now, a doctor might recommend exercising and eating healthier. But she won’t tell you what to do or how to do it.
A physical therapist might recommend doing cardio three times a week after your 12-week treatment. But he won’t tell you what to do or how to do it.
A fitness trainer might recommend taking care of your shoulder after experiencing a reoccurring injury. But she won’t tell you what to do or how to do it.
My vision is to create a world where individuals reach their health goals because they know exactly what to do and how to do it.
Doctors can’t solve that problem alone. Neither can P.T.’s or trainers.
But coaches can.
Because coaches are connected with an entire health ecosystem. And they’re connected with you.