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15 May 2021

Translate science into practical eating and exercise advice

Health Science students

Eating a healthy balanced diet accompanied by regular exercise is vital in maintaining physical and mental health and wellbeing. If you’re currently working in healthcare – perhaps as a fitness trainer, nurse, midwife, disability, or aged care worker – you will know how important both food and physical activity are to your clients’ ability to live healthy and happy lives. Having a well-rounded, holistic skillset in both nutrition and exercise is a highly sought-after skill.

Translate science into practical eating and exercise advice

Health fads come and go. With the proliferation of health and fitness trends, it’s important to analyse the validity of information and conduct research using credible sources. Sources can include published articles, systematic reviews, population health data or project evaluations. The ability to interpret scientific research, analyse quantitative and qualitative data, and translate science into practical eating and exercise advice are vital skills. People working in this field are also expected to have expert knowledge on national physical activity and dietary guidelines, as well as current and emerging trends in the industry.

Adopt strategies that enhance motivation

Did you know gym memberships increase by approximately 40% in January, but 54% of gym members don’t turn up? As a health practitioner, motivating people to stick to a nutrition or fitness program which requires them to work hard and commit to a long-term goal can be challenging.
Lack of motivation is one of the key factors contributing to a lack of commitment to exercise. Knowing how personal attributes and situational factors influence motivation levels allow you to work effectively with your clients to help them achieve their goals.

Learn to communicate effectively with clients

Health practitioners may communicate with the public by delivering presentations, running workshops in the community, or developing pamphlets and posters on health-related topics. Tailoring your language to the people you’re speaking to is critical in getting your message across. When you’re communicating with members of the community and the general public, it’s important to use non-scientific language to clearly explain concepts and theories. Similarly, research publications or public health journals are important when presenting scientific-based concepts to your peers.

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