Health Coaching Spotlight: Laura Neely

Working with a health coach can certainly help you meet your wellness goals. But don’t take our word for it—read how one rider achieved measurable results through this personalized approach, now available to our Ascend community.

At Ascend, we’re passionate about fostering a community that elevates and supports one another. Recently, we highlighted how friends can positively influence our performance and make working out more fun. As part of our Make It Yours Challenge, we paired riders up with accountability buddies for an extra dose of motivation. To take it a step further, we will be offering integrative health coaching services through the studio! With individualized guidance and encouragement, health coaching offers a custom approach for lasting lifestyle changes—without the gimmicks or fads.

The journey to wellness looks different for each of us. Whether you want to improve your diet, physical activity level, stress management—or simply want to feel your best—health coaching can help you meet your goals through small, manageable changes. We’ll provide more details about the program soon, but to get a glimpse of how health coaching can serve you, we’ve asked a member of our 100-rides crew, Laura Neely, to share about her recent experience working with a health coach (Kat), in conjunction with participating in our Challenge. Let’s take a look!


From your experience, can you share why health coaching was helpful for you? What was your favorite part about working with a health coach?

What drew me to try health coaching was something that Kat shared to describe the experience: it's about finding balance in your life, including a personalized focus on fitness and nutrition. I think there are so many fads and programs out there that have a misguided focus (getting a "beach body", juice cleanses, etc.).  Health coaching was more about finding what works for you, and helping you achieve optimal health and wellness. It was helpful to take that holistic approach and to learn to trust my body as the expert, tuning in to what makes me feel good, or not. My favorite part was having support throughout the process. Kat was so supportive and encouraging, it was great to have someone on my side, cheering me on.


How can a health coach bring about greater change than relying on yourself or friends for accountability? 

Expertise. Kat knew so much about so much! Any random question I had about health that I threw at her she either knew or knew where to look. Through that education she helped me make informed decisions about my health and wellness.  We kept a food log and she gave me ideas on how to improve or round out my nutrition. She found some gaps in my workout routine and helped me incorporate more strength training. Relying on friends for accountability is definitely important, but a health coach can help you optimize your approach.


Individual attention and small changes are a big part of the health coaching strategy. Did you find it helpful to “dial down” your goals into more practical, achievable steps? 

I think the small changes are key. I think we can get a skewed perspective sometimes that we need to make huge changes to see huge results, but Kat helped me stay grounded and focus on incorporating small healthy habits that when added all together make a big difference.


Did this approach lead to results?

 Yes, I experienced several benefits through health coaching. Through the personalized focus on my nutrition and fitness, I noticed measurable improvements in my performance (as shown on the strength test) as well as body composition. Making my nutrition and fitness a priority helped me make some of those healthy behaviors into habits, which I'm sure will lead to continual improvement.


Would you recommend health coaching to fellow riders who may be looking to find a more balanced lifestyle or want additional support to meet their goals?

YES! I found my experience to be really helpful and enjoyable, and I'm sure others will too. It was very personalized to my needs and interests, and I think others could benefit from that individualized attention to meet their goals too.  

Thanks for sharing, Laura! If you think this could be a fit for you, stay tuned for more information!