Health and Well-being Coaching

Health and Well-being Coaching

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Health coaching is the use of evidence-based skillful conversation, clinical interventions and strategies to actively and safely engage client/patients in health behavior change. Health coaches are certified or credentialed to safely guide clients and patients who may have chronic conditions or those at moderate to high risk for chronic conditions.

A Health Coach is not a personal trainer, a counselor or a dietitian.

“One of the game-changing dimensions to health coaching is the real emphasis on listening to the client and learning from her,” explains Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, FACSM, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, who is based in Redmond, Washington. “There’s a shift in focus from, ‘I’m the expert to solve problems’ to, ‘Let’s you and I go on the journey together to help you change your life.’”

We are already aware of the problem: Too many people are unhealthy—some obese, some with diabetes or hypertension, some who just don’t exercise. And the tricky thing is that it’s not necessarily that people don’t want to become healthy. Often they do, and will try different food plans or exercise strategies. The problem is that these solutions don’t stick and people end up feeling frustrated and alone.

Unhealthy individuals want lasting change, corporations want healthy workers, and healthcare providers want patients to get and stay healthy. Likewise, fitness pros want clients to succeed in making changes for the long term.

So what is the answer to the problem?

It may be health and wellness coaching. Some fitness industry experts believe this exploding field will help unhealthy people go from wanting to do something to actually getting it done. Coaching certifications emphasize a trio of skills—in behavioral, nutritional and physical training—that can holistically treat those struggling with poor health. Why do experts think health coaching can help, and how does it relate to you as a current or aspiring fitness pro? Health coaches and coaching experts share their viewpoints.

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