What Is Health Coaching And How Can It Help Me?
When asked what most Americans would want to change about themselves, many would report that they need to make changes to better their health. With the array of knowledge and “expert tips” on how to lose weight, stay slim, and regain your lost youth, why can’t we seem to motivate ourselves to improve our situation? Perhaps many of us would benefit from the accountability and results that health coaching can bring.
What is health coaching?
Health coaching is a trend that is catching on like wildfire through the health and wellness industry. A health coach is a professional who works in cooperation with a client, providing support, education, and even motivation to achieve nutrition and fitness goals. A coach who specializes in health and nutrition can keep a client accountable, empowering them to connect to goals and strengths in order to achieve higher levels of health. Creating new habits and forming new beliefs about success will bring you closer to your ideal picture of wellness than ever before, thanks to the advice of a health professional.
Health Coaches are client-centered and solutions-focused
A coach will meet you right where you are, at your current state of health, and work to find solutions for the problems that you find most frustrating. Your coach will hear and validate your unique needs, your desires, and challenges as the two of you work together to design a total wellness plan that fits you perfectly. A coach is there to help you connect to your unique values, uncover resources that will help you achieve your goals, and offer expert advice on how to do it efficiently and with true, lasting results.
Contrary to popular belief, health is not merely the absence of disease; it is total body, mind, and spirit wellness that enhances the quality of your life. Clients that undergo health coaching soon learn that optimal wellness includes a combination of diet, exercise, rest, stress management, spiritual pursuits, community service, time in nature, and all other things that feed the soul. When one or more of these aspects of health is imbalanced, it can cause imbalances in the physical body, which manifest eventually as chronic illness and disease.
Health Coaches can specialize in treating and reducing the symptoms of several conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Thyroid conditions
- Weight loss or gain
- Adrenal fatigue
- Autoimmune diseases
- Depression and anxiety
- Chronic fatigue
- Inflammation and chronic pain/li>
Getting to the root cause of your disorder, your health coach will work with you to determine whether diet and exercise changes are needed, and to design a daily plan for incorporating some of these changes to yield real, lasting relief. While these changes may be significant, it is important to remember that a health coach is not a certified physician, so they cannot diagnose, prescribe, or treat conditions as such. Health Coaches often partner with your primary physician to offer you comprehensive advice and treatment options for your health issues; steer clear of coaches who only want to offer you their advice independent of your primary care team. The path to greater health and wellness is through collaboration and cooperation.
What does health coaching do?
Helping their clients overcome bad habits like procrastination and ambivalence, a health coach will give you the kick in the pants that you need to start making changes. They will help you implement new, healthy behaviors, and uncover your inner motivation as you slowly gain confidence about your own ability to make changes that last. In addition, a coach can:
- Help design diet changes
- Show you how to eliminate and overcome cravings
- Create a movement and exercise regime that yields results
- Help to develop a stress management practice
- Help to build a meditation and mental health practice
- Help you to implement a care plan given by your doctor
- Help you to break bad habits
- Help to reprogram your own self-deprecating talk
- Inflammation and chronic pain/li>
This list is by no means exhaustive; relationships formed between clients and coaches often blossom into wonderful friendships and partnerships, where both parties benefit from the healthy habits and foundation that they have established between them.
Benefits of working with a health coach
People who begin a journey with a health coach benefit in many ways.
- They gain knowledge and expertise that was not available to them before. A coach is a treasure trove of nutritional knowledge, workout and fitness expertise, and practical knowledge on how to set goals and achieve them. If you are struggling with overcoming a hurdle, or you have been on a health plateau for what seems like ages, it may be time to call in a professional to give you that extra little push and some motivating information to achieve your goals.
- You start to see the bigger picture. The picture is bigger than the bag of chips in your pantry or the gallon of ice cream in your freezer. Holding in your mind your BIG reasons for change—being around for your children, staving off chronic illness and disease, and living life to the fullest–you bill be able to withstand some of the temptations that might have derailed your progress otherwise.
- You realize that you have a true ally in your corner. A health coach is intimately interested in you and your success. They can offer support and advice in a non-judgemental way, giving you a different perspective on your journey than others who may be too close to you. A health coach uses proven strategies, effective communication and powerful questions to support you through some tough life changes, and they are with you every step of the way, cheering you on and helping you get back on track when you stumble. With the development of this trusting relationship and connection, you are able to overcome issues that may have had you stuck, and you’ll see progress in your body, mind and spirit like you never have before.
- A health coach will help you design a customized plan for certain success. They can help you uncover what your true motivations are and what is most important to you. Taking into account your unique health history, your perspective, and your challenges, the two of you will design a plan that is tailored specifically for you and your needs. With clear intentions and solid goals, you can then develop step by step strategies for blasting through limitations and reaching your highest ideal of health.
- A health coach will keep you accountable—for what you say, what you eat, and what you do. You will have someone to answer to if you slip up, and you’ll have to work on bringing integrity into your health pursuits if you want to maintain an amicable relationship with them. Let’s be honest, you would not be considering health coaching if you were already where you wanted to be, right? Perhaps you need to know that you’ll answer for all of your actions, using that to motivate you and push you towards making better choices.
- A health coach will show you your inner strength. They are there to guide you and make suggestions, but you are the one showing up each day and doing the dirty work. There is a tremendous sense of pride that comes with realizing that you did achieve your goals as a result of some good old-fashioned, hard work. With a renewed sense of self-confidence, you’ll continue to set higher and higher goals and achieve better levels of health and wellness.
Are health coaches the future of the healthcare system?
With more and more people taking an individualized approach to health and wellness, it is important to realize that health coaches may become an integral part of healthcare. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, projected growth for the health coaching industry is going to be almost twenty percent, which is much faster than growth in other industries.
It might not be your genetics!
Health coaching works for the simple reason that most disease can be attributed to diet and lifestyle choices. In fact, recent studies show that up to 85 percent of all chronic health issues and illnesses can be traced back to diet and lifestyle choices; this is the perfect opportunity for a health coach to change your life by improving your habits and inspiring you to make lasting changes that positively impact your health.
Every health coach will be different, with a unique set of skills, knowledge, and expertise that will fit a certain type of client. Finding that inspiring motivator who can guide you through your process, help you to remove your own roadblocks to success, and keep you going when the going gets tough is invaluable, and once you find this person, take advantage of all that they have to offer. At its core, health coaching is a lasting partnership that empowers you to create healthy habits, manage and prevent chronic disease, and set the foundation for a lifetime of health and wellness.
Find a health coach near you
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