Help to get healthy . . . Alice Hore is the new Sport Waitaki health coach. PHOTO: ASHLEY SMYTH

Alice Hore believes little changes can lead to big results.

The new Sport Waitaki health coach is still easing into the role, after six weeks on the job, and said she was looking forward to helping people help themselves.

‘‘To help them make healthy choices — whether that’s diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, or helping with things like sleep,’’ Ms Hore said.

‘‘We’ll help develop collaborative action plans that support their health and wellbeing goals.’’

Ms Hore is based at Oamaru’s Central Medical and Kurow Medical Centre, although she is been working remotely at present.

She hoped to meet clients face to face within the next month or two, and there would be opportunities for other clinics to join the initiative in the future, she said.

Doctors and medical staff could refer patients to her, and she could link people with other services to help with things such as nutrition, and quitting smoking.

‘‘So we’re there to help the patients better understand their health conditions, and we’re also there to empower them to self-manage their own health,’’ Ms Hore said.

‘‘We work alongside patients to make changes to their health, no matter how big or small.

Personally, I am a big fan of ‘little bits add up to big bits’.’’

Most recently, Ms Hore managed Riverstone Larder, but she has also worked as a Youthtown coordinator, and a radio host.

She applied for this job because she thought she would be good at ‘‘helping people find their own answers’’, Ms Hore said.

‘‘I’m a big believer in exercise being a by-product of something you like doing,’’ she said.

‘‘Find something you like doing, and do it because you like doing it.’’

Changes in diet had to be the same.

‘‘It has to be delicious. You have to want to eat it, and treats can be healthy food.

‘‘Instead of thinking of diet changes as taking things away, think of it as adding things in. Like, add some veges, add some nourishing food — grow a garden.’’

She was a big advocate of ‘‘getting out and doing things’’, regardless of skill.

‘‘You don’t have to be good at the thing to do the thing. Whether that’s cooking, or sport, or a recreation activity . . .Just have a go.’’

In her time away from work, Ms Hore is the lead singer in The Saggy Britches Band, and also enjoys adventures with her dog.

‘‘We’re learning to paddleboard together, and I go mountain biking with my dog,’’ she said.

‘‘And I’ve taken up rollerskating — I highly recommend safety gear.’’

The health coach role was a WellSouth initiative, implemented by Sport Waitaki, which was free for patients registered at participating medical centres, Ms Hore said.

‘‘We will be based in the clinics, so people can have same-day appointments after seeing their doctor.’’

She was replacing Ellen McAtamney, who in February had moved within Sport Waitaki to become the healthy active learning adviser, working alongside teachers to promote physical activity and sport in schools.

When Ms McAtamney was health coach she had also covered East Otago, but the region now had its own fulltime health coach and community support person.

‘‘It’s something that’s growing across New Zealand.’’

She was looking forward to seeing the progress people made, using the guidance she could offer them, Ms Hore said.

‘‘I think it will be really rewarding helping people find practical ways to incorporate better practices in their lifestyle, and watching them evolve and feel empowered.’’