What is a health coach?
A health coach motivates you to bring overall lifestyle changes to improve your health and well-being. They help you discover the "why" behind your desired health goals and empower you to become an expert on your body, mind, and circumstances. Health coaches will use their general health and wellness knowledge to guide you through health concerns by identifying challenges preventing change. Then, through support and accountability, they will help you overcome those barriers.
Why is health coaching necessary in modern health practices?
Whether you've chosen to better your health due to a health crisis or just want to make a lifestyle change, it isn't easy to feel productive and motivated when unsure where to start. Health coaches can provide support and guidance during transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a health-centered one. They are partners and "change agents" who help you set and achieve health goals and build new habits.
In the realm of health and fitness, we have become reliant on meal plans, diets, and philosophies dictated by "others" to solve our "self" (doctors, personal trainers, nutritionists, social media influencers, etc.). However, prescribed plans typically fall apart because they don't account for the reality of your life: who you are, what you care about, and how you spend your time. They don't fix the underlying behavioral patterns that may be leading to an unhealthy lifestyle. The common functional medicine approach tends to fail because it addresses the symptoms instead of finding the root of the problem. Prescriptions should not be the first thing we look at; they should be lifestyle first. If you seek results, you need to establish different behavioral patterns by building plans specifically for you - and created by you - with your circumstances and priorities front and center. That's where a trained, certified health coach comes in. Health coaches use a client-centered approach to collaborating with people. They function as partners and facilitators, supporting their clients in taking action, creating plans, and achieving goals based on the client's ideas, interests, and experiences.
Health coaches can be critical interpreters and patient advocates for people dealing with a medical system that is short on time to listen to patient's concerns and explain how to implement treatment plans. You can think of health coaching as sitting at the intersection of health information and behavioral change. Health coaches have a working knowledge of diet, lifestyle, and nutrition. They understand how these contributors to health affect the body, which helps them understand and empathize with clients' health challenges. Coaches also have the tools and skills to help clients build new habits and make lasting changes. This makes them unique in the healthcare industry—they are not just a source of information but a catalyst for transformation.