As a health and fitness professional, you work closely with people on a daily basis.
Knowing and understanding your clients is key to establishing long-term relationships with them, as well as enabling you to get more referrals down the road.
People coming out of rehabilitation make up a large part of many health and fitness professional’s client base, and fully understanding their needs and tendencies can only benefit you and your practice.
Post-rehab clients fall into two main groups
Those who exercised before their medical treatment and those who did not. Both offer a unique set of challenges that, as a health and fitness professional, you’d do well to expect and understand.
The post-rehab client that did exercise before their procedure can be a firecracker to handle.
This type of client realizes the value of exercise (and, just as important, the value you bring to their exercise) and will probably want to jump right in where they left off before their procedure.
Their mindset is …”Well, my physical therapy is done so I must be healed!”
The reality is that their insurance will only cover so many sessions, and it’s rarely enough to ensure adequate recovery.
Because of their past history with exercise they’re very likely to find post-rehab boring and tedious.
Your job is to make sure they don’t go too far too fast.
Many of these clients will religiously follow instructions until they are 80-90 percent healed, but then feel they are good enough to quit following instructions and they jump back on the horse.
It’s usually this last 10 percent that leads to chronic problems down the road.
Clients who have never exercised present an entirely different set of challenges for you.
Chances are high that you’ll be working around a host of physical problems. They might be referred to you because their doctor sees them as a high risk of heart attack due to a poor lifestyle.
But, that isn’t their only problem. If they’re overweight, they probably have problems with their knees, or their hips.
They might be seeing multiple doctors for all of their different conditions, which may lead to conflicting instructions for their exercise regime.
For example, an overweight cardio patient may need 30 minutes of walking per day to reduce her risk, but the doctor she is seeing for her degenerative hips may only recommend 15 minutes per day.
This can be challenging for you, but it can lead to some great opportunities if you know how to take advantage of them.
By acting as a “go between” between all of your client’s doctors, they’re in perfect position to see what a great job you’re doing with their patient.
This could lead to many more referrals down the road for you. Spending some time dropping off brochures and business cards would make it even easier for these doctors to pass your name along to their patients in the future!