When it comes to reaching your optimum health, it’s important to examine your lifestyle and habits overall. Even if you think you just want to focus on improving your diet, losing excess weight, gaining more muscle or achieving another specific goal, all these aspects of health are connected. With guidance on nutrition, exercise, mindfulness and more, you can more easily get to where you want to be.
Kara Crow, one of Chasing Nirvana Yoga’s newest team members, is here to help you set and reach goals that will allow you to be the best and healthiest version of yourself with her health coaching skills. Originally from Stowe, VT, Kara attended the University of Vermont before moving to Boston on somewhat of a whim in 2011 to be a personal trainer. Although she planned to race on the U.S. Ski Team and pursue a career as a professional athlete, life happened and circumstances changed. In her senior year of college, her adviser suggested she try an internship that focused on personal training.
Q: How did you get into health coaching?
A: I got sick a few years ago and had to find alternative means for healthcare because the conventional model wasn’t working. No one could tell me what was wrong with me. I was debilitated in terms of mental and physical function. I was tired, wasn’t sleeping, felt miserable, and I wasn’t living my life the way I wanted to. I went through all kinds of testing and functional medicine, and eventually got my life back. I was fully functional with two years of trial and error, but I decided I had to know more about it. Functional medicine led me to health coaching. Health coaching is a little less specific than functional medicine, but both have a lot to do with eating and nutrition. Health coaching and functional medicine both look at the system as a whole. You have symptoms, but what is the underlying cause?
Q: What were your next steps?
I had personal training clients come to me with a host of ailments, and I didn’t feel like I knew exactly what was wrong. There’s so much going on underneath the layers of the onion. I wanted to know what makes people tick and how to help people outside of the fitness aspect. I wanted to be able to do more with my skill set, reach more people and have more education to help my clients. I wanted the tools to help propel them to the next step.
Q: Why Boston?
A: Boston has a relatively young crowd of people ranging from entrepreneurs to corporate people; there are lots of people to get to know. It’s a city, but not one so busy that it’s overwhelming like New York. I love that there’s so much opportunity if you know where to look, especially when it comes to healthcare. Not only do we have one of the best hospitals in the country, but also some of the best holistic practitioners.
Q: What are the health coaching classes like?
A: I’m currently doing health coaching for small groups, in which we go through the basics of behavior change throughout a six-week time period. We start by discussing: why is change so hard? Then, we begin creating a structure to drive the change: SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) Goals.
From there, we dive into nutrition. I keep it simple, breaking down to the types of foods, explaining calories and advising on how to modify dishes at restaurants to make them healthier. The next week we talk about movement including the benefits of exercise and what you’re “supposed to” do in terms of amount and type. People tend to say, “If I can’t do it in full, I’ll do nothing.” Even if Mayo Clinic says do x minutes of exercise, doing y minutes instead of zero minutes is still progress.
Get more insight for how to reach your fitness goals with CNY health coaching in Boston, MA, by Kara Crow. Chasing Nirvana Yoga provides on-site yoga, meditation and other health-focused classes around the country.