September 15

Alex Colianni, Clinical Exercise Physiologist talks learning outcomes from activity.


Alex works in Chicago not Boston oops mind you geography was never a strong point but the content in this video is worth the mileage.

Alex came to my attention on a piece he had written and I had seen on eating disorders and particularly how activity aligned with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help sufferers overcome their disorder.

As readers of this blog will know I am great believer in supporting mental health & well-being through physical activity.

Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist tells a story based on this very thing, “there is only one way to learn and that’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learnt through your journey.”

That’s what makes this video so interesting as Alex has to get his clients moving without mentioning exercise. Not an easy task!

How does Alex achieve this; he does so by getting the client to look at it through a different lens. So all the preprogramming that has gone before does not become a contest between the heart and mind.

How does he do it? Let me spill the beans!

He talks with them and finds out what it is they like to do and he disassociates exercise from activity so as people, not all people, associate exercise with things they dislike.

Interestingly, activity that involved exercise but was joyful was not perceived as exercise because they enjoyed the activity. Therefore, enjoyment in what you are doing led to secondary outcomes such as improvement in their health without the target group fully appreciating they were in fact exercising.

Pain Point Coach which is me advocates activity to support your mental health & well-being and like Alex suggests here, the improvement in your health, whether that be cardio vascular, strength, speed, flexibility or endurance is very much a secondary aspect of the activity. Whereas, Alex seeks to remedy an eating disorder through activity I seek the learning & development of organizational behavior to maximize potential and performance. However, I was not blind to the similarities in the strategy to deliver an outcome using activity with periods of reflection and discussion.

It gets better by Alex alluding to the fact that activity can have tremendous mental health benefits and whilst he does not advocate stopping taking prescribed medications by a doctor he certainly thinks it should form part of a package of treatment.

If you work in mental health whether with eating disorders or not this video of Alex explaining how he treats patience and the weighting he gives to his decision making will surely be helpful. Thank you Alex for you time.


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