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What exactly is a health coach?

It’s a good question!

Especially because the health coaching field is still up and coming, many people don’t know exactly what a health coach does.  On top of that, different health coaches can offer different services, sometimes creating even more confusion.

In general, a Health Coach partners with clients as a guide, supportive mentor, and wellness authority.  A Health Coach empowers clients to transform their health goals into actions by tailoring individualized wellness programs to meet their clients’ needs.

While many people don’t have intense medical conditions, they could often use some support, education, and tools to help with their overall wellness and health accountability.  A Health Coach offers this support, guiding clients through creating their own health goals, supporting them to implement those goals, and encouraging them to hold themselves accountable.  Though dietary nutrition is often discussed, there is also a focus on non-food forms of nourishment like career, relationships, physical activity, and spirituality.  The emphasis is finding balance, not solely focusing on incorporating healthy foods and exercise.  A Health Coach sees a client through a holistic lens, looking at the whole person in regards to health and wellness.

Some common areas where health coaches may help clients include:

A Health Coach does not replace a medical practitioner by diagnosing, treating, or taking responsibility for bringing about wellness changes in a client’s life.  Likewise, a health coach does not advise clients to stop taking medications, stop seeing their medical practitioners, or make major dietary and fitness changes.  Instead, a health coach encourages clients to adapt positive changes within client-driven wellness goals.  Additionally, health coaches encourage clients to hold themselves accountable for their choices, while supporting them in those decisions.  Health coaching compliments the tasks of health professionals and supports people with strategies that bring about lasting, lifestyle changes.

Statistics show that most Americans are living in a way that has many adverse effects on their health.  More and more money is spent on pharmaceuticals, yet people are getting more sick, more often.  Health coaches are able to provide people with information that can promote overall wellness while supporting disease prevention.  Health Coaches help people understand what healthy food and lifestyle choices are, and guide them to put wellness changes into practice in a way that will have a huge impact on their long term well-being.