Applied Exercise Psychology: A Practitioner's Guide to Improving Client Health and Fitness

By Mark H. Anshel | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Consulting With Special
Populations

Walk into a fitness facility and you'll see people who are in relatively good shape, moderate to high fitness level, and free of debilitating injury or other conditions that will inhibit exercise performance. Yet, the millions of individuals with various types of physical limitations or who are not relatively fit are being underserved by the fitness industry. Clients of MHPs include individuals with various maladies, injuries, physical problems and limitations representing all age groups. All of these individuals will benefit from regular exercise; however, they will require unique exercise prescriptions and monitoring of progress. Of course, many of the conditions presented to MHPs require medical intervention, such as a doctor's clearance or working with a physical therapist or other specialist. Whereas some personal coaches are trained to administer exercise interventions to special populations the MHP is not trained to provide such information. It would be unprofessional, for instance, for the MHP to prescribe an exercise program to individuals with strict physical and medical limitations.

Nevertheless, clients trust their MHP, and the solidarity of this relationship is an important component of taking the risk of engaging in exercise. The purpose of this chapter is to provide MHPs with insights into the special needs of these populations, and how these clients often considered unhealthy or whose needs differ from the

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