Exercise is good for the body and the mind. It may improve psychotherapy sessions, too.
Coaching is a walk in the park for Chris Walker . Instead of seeing friends in a traditional office setting, my Bondi Beach licensed Innerwealth Coaching Practice combines exercise with coaching — mostly in beachside parks and promenade walks.
“It’s very similar to traditional coaching, except you are walking while you are talking about issues. I have found that bringing a little bit of movement enriches the coaching session. My clients are intrigued by the idea and are naturally drawn to being outside.”
I’ve incorporated sports psychology in my life skills practice for more than three decades. Now located in Sydney, Australia. I continue to explore the mind-body connection in my coaching practice, Back On Track.
I first encountered the concept of movement and coaching while taking groups up to the base of Mt Everest in the early 1980s — people just open up, and the more awe we witness the more they explore about themselves.
Three key reasons for combining exercise and coaching:
It encourages clients to be more physically active for mental and physical reasons.
It helps a client get “unstuck” when confronting difficult issues.
It spurs creative, deeper ways of thinking often released by mood-improving physical activity.
“Some people become anxious when dealing with emotional issues in a traditional seated, face-to-face interaction. Walking in parallel with visual distractions may allow for easier engagement.”
I’ve found this to be true. An avid kayaker and athlete, I’ve observed that people at all levels of fitness can benefit from fresh air and exercise when it comes to processing their feelings. I’ve also used walk and talk coaching with teenagers who were having a hard time opening up.
When I take people to a park, they are much more relaxed and the sessions are more productive. Clients have verified that looking forward rather than directly at a coach can help them open up and deal with difficult issues, ironically, face on.”