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by Lera P.
27 Apr

Benefits of Wellness Coaching

Aiming for the best result possible, would you not look for a professional in the field to guide you? On a quest to a healthier and happier lifestyle, that specialist is a health and wellness coach. But what exactly this broad title means?

Here are some of the insights into the work of a health and wellness coach, what to expect, and how to find one. If after reading it, you decide to become a health coach yourself, in the end, you will finds ideas on how to enter the profession and what to expect. 

Who is a Health and Wellness Coach?

A health and wellness coach isn't a medical specialist per se. A coach can't make a clinical diagnosis, prescribe treatments, or provide psychological therapy. According to the National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coaches, a scope of wellness practice is limited to expert guidance. A coach assists a client on his/her journey to the health and wellness goals by unitizing internal strengths and external resources and keeps a client accountable. But an approach and concrete actions may vary from a specialist to a specialist. It depends on the personal choice of a coach and his/her areas and levels of expertise.

To keep it short and easy, a health and wellness coach assists in areas of life such as nutrition, exercise, mental and emotional health, and overall lifestyle habits that affect wellbeing.

Then Who is a Life Coach?

There is a fair confusion between life and health & wellness coaches. Life coaches also aim to help people find more joy in life, but the areas they focus on are slightly different. A life coach assists in personal and professional spheres, help a client to understand his/her strengths, develop skills, set goals, overcome challenges, and excel in work, life, and relationships.

On the life coaching sessions, you may go through the following steps: 

  • Goal setting and verbalizing a vision for success;
  • Elaborating professional and personal growth plans;
  • Pointing out limiting beliefs;
  • Strengthening financial stability;
  • Improving communication skills;
  • Woking on the professional and personal network;
  • Building new habits;
  • Working on growing or starting a business.

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Is Wellness Coach Just Another Name for a Nutritionist or a Personal Trainer?

Although some of the coaches may also provide nutritionist advice, elaborate a training program, or give recommendations on supplements intake, a wellness coach certification doesn't imply this. A health coach can add that to the skillset with additional wellness coach training and other educational programs. And before trusting your health to a coach, make sure he/she has the qualification and is trained to make advice like that.

How to Understand that You Need to Work with a Wellness Coach?

The main factors affecting our wellbeing and disease development are genes, environment, and lifestyle. Two of those factors are out of our control. No matter how eco-friendly you live, it's impossible to change, for example, the state of air pollution in your city. A person also inherits a unique family history that determines his/her risks to end up with certain health conditions. 

On the other hand, lifestyle is what we can control, and it can help break that family patterns. Studies show that it's in our power to lower the impact of some genes. Here, wellness coaches come into play. They are the ones who can help you to restructure your health habits, mitigate lifestyle diseases, give up addictive habits, or simply achieve your health goals.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

A health and wellness coach can help you if you want to:

  • Invest in your health and self-care. Even if it's done out of pure interest.
  • Increase life satisfaction. You may be successful at work, but then spend all your free time binge-watching TV-shows. A health coach can help you change a mindset, find a balance between all spheres of life, relax in a way to maximize productivity.
  • Use it as preventive measures. Some of the medical conditions can be triggered by the choices we make every day. Smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity, work-life balance are factors contributing to the progression of diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer. Life changes can help to prevent, postpone, or stop them from getting worse.
  • Lose or gain weight. The proper amount and quality of food are essential for our health and wellbeing. And whatever your goal is, a body wellness coach can help you to feel more comfortable in your own skin. 
  • Quit smoking. No matter if you are a social or heavy smoker, you know it yourself that cigarette smoking is associated with lung cancer and other health problems. If you struggle to quit, the guidance of a specialist can help you to get rid of the habit.
  • Lower your stress levels and anxiety. But don’t go too far with it, in some cases, it's better to seek professional medical help. 
  • Deal with a medical condition that requires lifestyle changes. Facing diagnoses people sometimes don't know how to react and process this information. For example, people diagnosed with diabetes or those at risk are advised to make several lifestyle swaps. A certified wellness coach provides the needed guidance. 

How to Find a Coach, and What to Look for

You may spend some time finding the right coach that fits your needs, personality, and approach to life. But subjective things aside, you also need to check the knowledge of a coach. A person is going to give you pieces of advice affecting your wellbeing and quality of life, you'd better make sure a coach knows what he/she is doing.

A coach may go through a wellness coach training online or offline, finish a master’s level program or another coach-specific curriculum. A true specialist will be ready to prove his/her knowledge and education if needed. 

A coach can also prove the skills with the accredited wellness coach certification. Global organizations like the International Coaching Federation and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching move the industry forward by setting the standards and providing independent certification.

The next thing to draw attention to is the approach a coach follows. Look for a person who inspires you, and is on the same wavelength. If you want to tackle possible diseases with the change of diet, try to find a coach who has also a degree in nutrition.

If you want to work through all spheres of life and find the root causes of your habits, think about a holistic wellness coach. The holistic wellness approach is based on 8 pillars: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, financial, and environmental wellbeing. It may scare at first to open up and reveal yourself to a complete stranger. But this way, you can address the root cause of a problem. So often we come to comfort food when experience problems at work, lose sleep because of financial insecurities, and so on. A holistic wellness coach goes with you through all spheres, so that all worked together.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

If You Want to Become a Coach

If after reading all of this, you realized it's something you want to do in life, here is a couple of tips on how to enter the world of health and wellness coaching. It’s a relatively new field, so it's hard to find undergraduate programs to become a specialist. But there are plenty of courses online and offline. On average, a course lasts 6 to 12 months and includes lectures in psychology, nutrition, fitness, behavioral science. 

The next step to prove your professionalism is to earn the certification. To become a certified health and wellness coach, you may need to go through additional classes and training programs, pass the exam, and prove your practice with the clients.

What to Expect from Wellness Coach Jobs 

Wellness coaching gives a lot of flexibility in terms of employment. You can choose who you are most comfortable working with. Wellness coaches can have their own practice and give consultations both online and offline. Other specialists work in wellness centers, spas, or health clubs. Businesses or corporations hire coaches to help employees switch to a healthier lifestyle, be more energetic, and hence productive.

Wellness coach job description usually includes tasks like: 

  • Assessment of a client’s health condition; 
  • Setting health goals with a client;
  • Consulting, developing a strategy to achieve these goals;
  • Monitoring the progress, adjusting the roadmap;
  • Conducting behavioral health screenings.

These are general terms to describe wellness coach jobs. A corporate wellness coach may also closely cooperate with a human resource department, make presentations on various health topics to the whole organization, interact with the teams and departments to meet their specific needs. 

In the end, it's up to you to decide whether to work with a wellness coach or not. But think about it as a way to avoid the try and error phase on your way to health goals. When you are ready to trust a coach, define your goal, and search for a professional specializing in that area. Don't forget to check feedbacks and education. 

Quick Answers to the Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a wellness coach?

A health and wellness coach is a specialist who will help you elaborate personalized strategy to tackle health and fitness goals. A coach will assess your current health condition, clarify your goals, and help you achieve them using your strengths and available resources. You can find an online wellness coach, go to a specialist at your gym or spa. Some companies establish corporate wellness programs, and you can have a consultation with a body wellness coach right at your office. 

How to become a wellness coach?

To become a wellness coach you first need to go through wellness coach training. An online or offline program lasts 6 to 12 months and covers topics like psychology, nutrition, fitness, and behavioral science. Then you can start your practice, find an internship, or apply for an entry-level position.

The next step on the health and wellness coach career path is to become a certified wellness coach. To earn the certification you will need to go through the additional training process that may last up to a year. It includes classes, exams, one-on-one or group work with clients, assessment of the skills.

What does a wellness coach do?

A general wellness coach job description includes an assessment of current health conditions, goal setting, consulting, monitoring of the progress, behavioral health screenings. But the scope of health coaching may include all sorts of things. For example, a holistic wellness coach may also go through your finances, held spiritual sessions, reduce your ecological footprint. 

What is a Life Coach?

A life coach addresses professional and personal issues of a client. People hire a coach facing challenges, starting new projects, aiming to achieve more in life or career, develop leadership skills. On the life coaching sessions, you will discover what drives you and what holds you back, work on the long-term and short-term goals in life, career, finances.

Can a licensed practical nurse (LPN) become a health and wellness coach?

An LPN educational programs include courses on nutrition, general anatomy, and physiology that will come in handy working as a wellness coach. Technically, you don't need to be a certified wellness coach to start your practice. If you want to switch working as a coach full-time, certification can provide you with more employment opportunities, credibility, and knowledge. But overall, there are hardly any limitations regarding who can become a health and wellness coach. 



Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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