Inaddressing issues of nutrition and fitness, several approaches can beused. However, two approaches have proved to be the most effective.Behavior change and self-empowerment have proved to be the mosteffective approaches in addressing issues of nutrition and fitness(Glanz,Viswanath & Orleans, 2008).
Usingthis approach, a health educator aims at changing the individualsthinking and perception about fitness and health issues. A healtheducator might use locally available media such as the use of postersand leaflets to change the behavior of people. The approach focuseson the benefits an individual can be able to gain by practicingproper nutrition and following proper fitness programs. For example,in the case of smoking, the health educator might consider teachingthe public about the negative effects of smoking, benefits ofquitting smoking and some of the side effects of quitting smoking.
Ahealth educator is tasked with the responsibility of helping peoplemake healthy choices. Through self-empowerment, a health educatoraims at creating awareness and understanding to empower people andhelp them make good decisions when it comes to issues concerningtheir health. The health educator should provide tools to ensure thatpeople make their own choices about their health. Self-empowermenttechniques include counseling, group work, social skills training,problem solving and assertiveness training. However, self-empowermenttechniques are not limited to those listed above and there are manymore self-empowerment techniques that can be used in addressingissues of fitness and nutrition. For instance, through counseling, ahealth educator may give the benefits of good nutrition and some ofthe methods the client can use to ensure that they keep fit and eatwell. The client is then at liberty to choose any of the methods thatmight have been mentioned by the health educator.
Thereare various challenges that a health educator faces when working as aconsultant in a fitness facility. A fitness center has facilitiesthat enable people to get in shape and unlike a gym it is not mostlybased heavy weight lifting. They also have a wide variety of fitnessand wellness programs aimed at improving the health of their clients.
Oneof the challenges a health educator working as a consultant in afitness facility would be to encourage people to take part inprograms and activities that promote disease prevention and wellness.Another challenge would be to develop additional programs andpolicies that would be aimed at meeting health education objectives.Another challenge would be to ensure that there is enough informationconcerning the various health benefits of the various facilities andprograms offered in the fitness facility. This would prove a bigchallenge, especially in a big fitness center with a lot of staff andclients. Also in the case of a big fitness facility, it would prove achallenge to supervise all technical staff to ensure that they areproperly implementing the health programs put in place. It can alsobe a challenge in keeping up with the needs of each client,especially in a big fitness facility (Cekal,2013).
Inaddressing issues of improper nutrition, a health educator must firstfind out the issues behind the client’s poor nutrition. There arevarious issues ranging from medical, personal and physiologicalissues that can affect a person’s nutrition. The following are someof the nutritional problems and their solutions.
Inthe case of decreased appetite, the client should avoidnon-nutritious beverages, eat smaller meals in the course of the day,participate in a light body activity and finally visit a doctor toestablish the reason behind the decreased appetite. In the case ofweight loss, a health educator should advise the client to take highcalorie foods, take nutritional supplements and avoid low calorie andlow fat products. In the case of heartburn, some of the solutionsinclude eating meals several hours before going to bed, avoid foodsthe client believes are behind the heartburn, eat smaller meals inthe course of the day, remain sitting for at least two hours before ameal. Constipation is also a big problem when it comes to propernutrition. The solutions may lie in taking at least eight cups ofwater daily, eating foods rich in fiber, take fruits that stimulatethe bowels, take at least one cup of prune juice and if constipationpersists, the client should visit a doctor. In the case of diarrhea,the client should take a lot of liquids, avoid foods with fats, tryeating soft foods and also visit a doctor when diarrhea persists(Bennett& Walston, 2015).
Thehealth educator also has a responsibility to advise the client onsome of the foods they can take to ensure they practice a propernutrition. Making sure, they have a balanced diet, taking fruits anda lot of water daily. The health educator might also bring into lightsome of the effects of poor nutrition. The health educator may alsomention some of the diseases that the client risks contracting ifthey continue to have a poor nutrition.
Bennett,C. J., & Walston, S. L. (2015). Improving the Use of Competenciesin Public Health Education.American Journal Of Public Health,105S65-S67. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302329
Cekal,N. (2013). GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF NUTRITION WORKERS. International Journal Of Academic Research,5(5), 135-138. doi:10.7813/2075-4124.2013/5-5/A.18
Glanz,K., Rimer, B., Viswanath, K., & Orleans, C. (2008).Health behavior and health education.San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.