What exactly is health coaching?
Are you looking for ways to improve your health and wellbeing? There are many methods out there to improve your health, and more people are choosing to consult with a health and wellness coach. It is a relatively new field in life coaching, but what is it exactly? A health coach helps you set and meet goals for improving your health. While it seems similar to a life coach, there is a difference. Life coaches specialize in improving the wellbeing of their clients on various aspects. They focus on their mental wellbeing, their professional life among other things. Health and Wellness coaches focus more on improving the health of their clients. They encourage them to take on more positive habits, and they analyze nutrition, stress management, smoking cessation and physical fitness among other aspects. In this article we will discuss whether getting a health coach is right for you, some of the strategies they use for improving the health of their clients and the benefits of health coaching.
Should I get a health coach?
Is getting a health coach the right step for you? According to the CDC, only about 6 percent of Americans adhere to the 5 recommended healthy behaviors: sleeping 7 to 8 hours, having regular physical exercise, maintaining a normal body weight, drinking fewer than 5 drinks a sitting, and never smoking. There is also another report from 2018 that states that 42 percent of American adults suffer from obesity. Health coaching focuses on getting rid of bad habits that prevent you from living a healthier life. The field is relatively new, and you should consider weighing the options before making the right choice. If your goal is to lose weight and maintain a balanced diet, then an exercise coach might be a better fit. A health coach focuses on other aspects of your life including your mental wellbeing as well as your physical. It targets issues that exercise coaches and doctors often don’t address such as stress management or your motivations for reaching health goals. So you should consider getting a health coach if you want to develop healthy habits for the long term while also improving your mental health, and it can supplement recommendations your doctor or fitness coach may prescribe. Read on to learn more about the techniques they use to get you on the right path to healthier living.
A Health and Wellness coach can help you develop good habits so you can lead a healthier life
Health Coaching Techniques
So how can health coaches address your needs and what can you expect when consulting with one? Usually your health coach will set an appointment for a discussion. This is for getting to know you better and any character traits you have. When getting to know a client, a coach asks open ended questions and encourages the client to think of reasons for going on another path. This technique is called motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing lets the client find their own motivation and set their own path for change. Positive psychology is another technique that they use. It targets a client’s strengths instead of weaknesses and focuses on getting a client to a higher status than normal. They center more on the positive experiences of a client’s lives and emphasize showing positive traits such as kindness and compassion. Other topics that they concentrate on include self-confidence, hope and life satisfaction among other traits. Forming healthy habits is another technique to get clients to better their health and mental wellbeing. Coaches set specific goals for clients to achieve and measure any progress they make. They make sure that your goals are within reason, and if they feel that a goal may be too risky, such as losing an excess amount of weight within a short time frame, they may ask that you consult with a medical or fitness professional. They may also ask that you contact them everyday to make sure you are meeting your goals and making progress.
Benefits of Health Coaching
Now that you know a little bit more about wellness coaching, it’s time to learn about the benefits. For one, health coaching helps you achieve goals that may be difficult, or that you put off. How many times have you told yourself that you are going to start eating healthier or run at least 30 minutes and fall short? It takes tremendous willpower to accomplish what you want and few people actually follow through. For example, out of a sample of people interviewed in a survey, only 19 percent followed through on their New Year’s Resolution. Health and Wellness coaching holds you accountable for following through and developing your habits, and guides you every step of the way, from forming a nutrition plan to building your sense of self-efficacy. Another benefit is that it can lower your health costs. According to another study, health coaching has been responsible for lower hospital admissions by 10% and lower health and pharmacy costs by 3.5%. It has been proven to work, and is a viable option if you want to fasttrack living a healthier life.
Should you consult a health coach? While health coaching is no substitute for seeking the advice of medical professionals, it can be a great addition to any treatment that your doctor prescribes you. It solves problems that doctors and fitness professionals often don’t address such as your mental wellbeing and finding motivation for achieving your goals. We hope that you found this article very useful. If you are curious in learning more about other disciplines of life coaching, check out our article on mindset coaching and how it can improve your outlook in life.