Exercise Counselors

Exercise Counselors form the backbone of the work we do. Their role is to act as a first point-of-contact for the person living with cancer, in order to help her/him learn about exercise in general and what exercises will be the most beneficial.

Sunflower Wellness is a pioneer in the field of Exercise Counseling. We initiated an Exercise Counseling program at The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) (at the Joseph and Ida Friend Cancer Resource Center in the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center) in April 2010, specifically to provide exercise coaching to UCSF cancer patients. Each year we conduct over 200 Exercise Counseling sessions with patients onsite at the hospital.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only do nearly 80% of patients start or continue to exercise following their consultation, but those who do exercise report some significant benefits. Fatigue levels, as reported by UCSF patients, drop an average of 25% among people who exercise, and stress levels drop 23%.

Survey results and testimonials really tell the full story, including the first one we received: "This program is saving my life."

Sunflower Wellness will train more Exercise Counselors as our programs continue to expand. In general, our training program involves working with certified personal trainers (usually ACE or ACSM certified) who have also received the ACSM/ACS Cancer Exercise Trainer certification. (Please see all of the resources we recommend on our Trainer page.) In addition, we provide hands-on clinical apprenticeship experience to qualified people with live Exercise Counseling sessions, to help you learn our proprietary protocol for designing and delivering an exercise program for a person living with cancer. Although this program is in its initial stages of formation, we invite you to contact us to tell us about your interest in becoming an Exercise Counselor. And we always love to hear from our colleagues in other parts of the country as well.


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