MRM speaks to Kevin Coulter, a fitness, mobility and nutritional specialist, who has designed an eight-week programme for MRM employees to follow.
Kevin’s weekly emails and video sessions have helped the company’s staff improve their exercise, healthy eating, sleep and general wellness during this year of working remotely.
- Tell us about your job?
For the past eight years I have been working within an NHS facility which acted as a gym and place to exercise for staff. Our role involved looking after the wellbeing of the health workers.
I worked with people on a 1:1 basis as well as being involved in projects designed to promote exercise, nutrition and wellbeing to the staff. This included a lot of seminars for nurses and people whose roles were busy and stressful, working with them to help implement realistic changes.
One of my last talks with them was sitting in the staff room to answer questions – although I got the impression they just thought I was in to judge their lunch choices though!
- What led you to become a PT?
I have always been interested and involved in keeping fit and taking part in sport, and studied sports science at university.
I think knowing how positive it feels when completing exercise, I wanted to help other people with that – ranging from getting people feeling more included in physical activity to working with individuals wanting to lose weight.
I also did a placement in primary schools, working with teachers on physical education programmes, and realised early on that children were harder to control than adults.
- How is working with companies different to individual PT sessions?
I think when you’re working with companies, there is a slightly more generic approach. You are trying to make sure you cover all bases, as everyone is different and everyone has their own personal goals, which is the beauty of exercise and nutrition.
The benefit is that everyone may work in a similar manner due to the nature of the job, so you can use this to help people in a specific way, for example working on mobility if they are sitting for long periods of time.
- Why do you think it’s important to focus as much on nutrition and broader habits as it is on physical fitness?
I realised early on that nutrition was going to be the foundation that, more often or not, meant people had a good grasp of their own health. It is a lot quicker to eat 100 calories than it is to burn them.
Exercise has an extensive list of health benefits, however if you aren’t eating well or you are eating the wrong foods, too often it has an impact on the way someone exercises or whether they perform physical activity well.
In much the same way as stress levels can be affected by the amount of sleep you get, if you wake up tired it may negatively affect food choices and therefore your motivation to exercise. They all interlink and it is important to acknowledge that good health is more than just physical, it’s mental and even economical.
- How do you think the current environment may have changed people’s health habits?
I think the current situation has made people think about where their health levels are right now. It has also highlighted that you don’t need to live in a gym to achieve good health; loads of options exist and home workouts – from HIIT to yoga – are all great ways of staying active.
This has therefore given us a chance to look at current habits and if there are ways in which we can improve them.
- Once lockdown is over, what do you think will change / what do you think will stay the same?
I think people may prioritise giving themselves some more self-care. If you can get a quick 30-minute workout done at home, it takes out the gym travel time and allows more time for cooking and even just getting on with a hobby you enjoy.
- What positives have you taken from the experience?
The big positive for me has been more family time (I have a two-year-old) but also working with clients online and adapting to that environment has been really fulfilling.
It’s been seeing everyone getting or remaining active, buying bikes and taking through the likes of zoom – although gym equipment has become like gold dust as a result!
The initiative with Kevin is part of an ongoing benefits programme which aims to help and support mental, physical and financial health and wellbeing across the MRM and Capital City Media business.