Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably familiar with personal trainers and what they can do for your fitness routine. You may have also heard of life coaches or executive coaches and how they can help you set goals and achieve them. But, even if you’re regularly reading the Nourish blog, do you really know what a health coach is?
And more importantly, how would you know if you need one? For starters, have you ever dreamed of having:
- Increased energy?
- Decreased cravings?
- A more consistent workout routine?
- More confidence in the kitchen?
- Help implementing lifestyle changes your doctor has recommended?
- Better cooking skills?
- A more efficient and effective way to grocery shop?
- Lower food-related stress?
- Less guilt about what you feed yourself or your family?
If you said yes to any of these, then health coaching could be just what you need!
A health coach is someone who can guide you through implementing lifestyle choices that will help you create and maintain a healthy, vibrant life. Health coaches are gaining popularity as a way to help reduce the incidence of chronic illnesses that can be controlled through lifestyle modifications. For example, Type 2 Diabetes can be largely controlled through diet and exercise, but while most doctors tell patients that fact, they don’t often have the time or the means to help them implement the necessary lifestyle changes. It’s like being told you have a flat tire but not having a clue how to change one and not having anyone to teach you!
This is where health coaches come in. They’re like personal trainers for your overall health plan. They can help you improve the way you eat, teach you how to cook, demystify exercise, explain the importance of rest, help you assess the influence your career and relationships have on your health, and help you organize your life to accommodate your new healthy habits. A good coach will walk beside you for a period of time – 6 months or longer usually – until those habits are hard wired into your life and you feel confident that you can sustain them on your own.
Your coach should be certified (by an authority like the Institute for Integrative Nutrition or the American Association of Drugless Practitioners). Moreover, you should feel a connection with the person you choose to hire – your results will be better if you look forward to meeting with your coach than they will if you dread it! Generally your first meeting should be a free getting-to-know-you session so that you can decide if you’d like to work together on an ongoing basis.
Health coaches are getting some good national press. Oprah has featured them in O magazine. Dr. Oz has declared them a critical element in the future of health care. And, Dr. Andrew Weil’s Self Healing Magazine says, “When athletes want a competitive edge, they hire a private coach to monitor their progress. When it comes to your health, using this mindset could also be beneficial. Health coaches are increasingly being hired by corporations to help employees stay healthy and by individuals seeking to improve well-being. For some, these coaches offer assistance in managing dietary constraints (due to conditions such as celiac disease or diabetes), and for others, they might focus on teaching stress-reduction methods. In some ways, the health coach picks up where your physician left off, helping you implement wellness strategies suggested after a check-up or diagnosis.”
If you think a health coach may be just what you need to reach your health goals this year, our team at Nourish is ready to meet with you in person or by phone to talk about the programs we have available. Contact us today to get started!