You may be wondering, “Why would I need a health coach?” Coaching is useful whenever you have goals you wish to accomplish and want to be successful in achieving them. Historically, coaching has been primarily based in sports. Athletic coaches have been known for assisting athletes in developing to their full potential, achieving high performance and ultimately success. Nowadays, there are all sorts of coaches available, so you can find a coach for just about any area that you’re interested in.
The term “coach” originated in the 1600’s from the Hungarian word “koczi”, meaning wagon, later commonly known as a horse-drawn carriage. In 1830, it became a slang term for tutors who “carried” students through exams at Oxford University. The word “coaching” became identified as a process aimed at “transporting” people from where they were to where they wanted to be.
Everyone faces challenges with health issues at some point. When we are seeking to improve our health and enhance our wellbeing, health coaching can be an effective means of achieving positive changes that stick. Healthcare providers have traditionally attempted to persuade people by giving directives and instigating fear of negative consequences with little time to engage with their patients. While their advice-giving words may be filled with wisdom, this approach has failed to consider what it takes for people to integrate their recommendations into their lives, and motivate behavior change.
Rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, health coaches honor the fact that each client is a unique individual and an expert on their own life. Health coaches respectfully provide in-depth guidance while empowering the client to identify strategies for their particular situation. They hold the client with positive regard as they journey together with the client, helping them to understand their goals, discover what’s gotten in the way of success, and enhance accountability for follow-through. Ultimately, coaches support their clients’ capacity to make self-directed, lasting changes that protect against major health issues while improving well-being.
People hire health coaches for a wide variety of reasons, such as:
- Improving health habits and lifestyle patterns – particularly diet and exercise
- Decreasing stress
- Increasing energy
- Weight loss
- Gaining better control of chronic conditions
- Addressing COVID concerns
- Adjusting to a life-altering health event – such as managing menopausal symptoms, or after a heart attack
- Carrying out doctor’s prescribed recommendations – making it easier to do them
When you decide to work with a health coach, make sure you find one that has proper training and certification with the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). Not only do they hold the gold standard for health coaching certification programs, but coaches must pass a rigorous exam to meet their certification criteria. To learn more about health coaching and NBHWC’s standards, visit them at www.nbhwc.org.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”
– Oprah Winfrey