Meet Martha McDuff: Beaufort's holistic health coach
Our lives are filled with mixed messages and false claims when it comes to our health. How do you get through the clutter? Folks in the Beaufort area can just call Martha McDuff. Martha, a local school teacher over the past several years, has recently opened her own holistic health coaching business, helping Beaufortonians along on their personal journeys to take back their lives, one step at a time.
Martha meets regularly with local clients to address issues including weight loss, stress management, diet and exercise, which can all lead to serious health problems, and she even helps her clients to instill healthier general habits in their day-to-day lives.
“I spent a lot of my life teaching and I left the schools behind to be able to help other adults in their lives. I’m able to combine my experience in teaching with my passion: personal health and wellness. Unlike nutritionists, who focus on diet, and personal trainers, who focus on exercise, I take a more holistic formula to treating both the mind and body through a variety of approaches.” Martha said. “My primary focus is helping to educate people, so that they can make choices for themselves.”
A native of Beaufort, Martha’s journey to health and wellness began nearly two decades ago as a girl struggling and searching for balance in her life. After suffering personal and professional challenges and a debilitating injury, Martha became determined to forge a path for herself, “because nobody was going to do it for me,” she said
While she was a full-time educator with a masters in both teaching and in public administration, Martha devoted her life outside the classroom to educate herself on how she could reach peak physical and mental performance, the right way. She became certified in yoga, mat pilates, and taught classes at a local fitness facility. She had navigated the overwhelming false information in the market and finally reached a place in her life where she achieved balance. “I became determined to share what I knew with others and help them achieve their personal goals,” she said. In June of 2016, with 200 GreenMonkey Yoga certified training hours at her feet and a holistic health coach certification, Martha resigned from teaching elementary students in Port Royal to pursue empowering others full time. She founded her own company and lives passionately in the pursuit of helping others reach their goals.
Having a health coach is a growing trend among Americans. While there are no statistics tracking how many there are nationwide, based on news reports, the numbers appear to be growing.McDuff is, to her knowledge, one of the first in the northern Beaufort County area.
Martha said she is very client-centered. “You have to be because each individual is different. I create and individually tailored twelve session programs to help my clients reach their goals through exercise, diet, stress reduction and teaching healthier daily habits. Stress management is a major factor in leading a healthy lifestyle and I encourage making simple changes to remove things causing stress from your life.”
“Lots of these steps are simpler than people think. When I was teaching in the classroom I always enjoyed watching the ‘light bulb’ go off in my students’ faces. You know when they finally understand something for the very first time. Well, I enjoy the same with my clients today.
Meeting with someone regularly also provides accountability, she added, which can help people stay focused on a goal. “I’ll admit I’m more of a cheerleader than anything. You’re doing the work, I’m just bringing you along.”
When not working with clients, you can find Martha running around (literally) all over Beaufort.
She teaches tabata, yoga and pilates at Artizen Yoga, the BeaufortCounty YMCA and at the Celadon Wellness Center. She’s active with the Beaufort Track Club, and has a penchant for writing with her Fit Beaufort column here at ESPB. Martha also runs the Facebook page Fit Beaufort and is also involved with a new website called Play Outside Beaufort that highlights all of the local Lowcountry races and outdoor competitions.