A health coach is a change agent who helps their clients set and achieve health goals and build new habits. How do they do this?
Coaches help people discover the “why” behind their desired health change.
They empower people as the experts on their own bodies, minds, and circumstances.
They help people identify challenges and blind spots that are preventing change.
They provide support and accountability.
They use their broad knowledge of health and wellness to help people navigate a variety of health concerns.
No other health profession has this unique skill set. That is why health coaching fills a critical gap in our healthcare system and why health coaches are increasingly in demand.
Health coaching is a partnership between coaches and clients that guides clients toward the changes that they want to make. Coaches and clients develop a relationship built on trust and respect that allows them to explore clients’ values, reasons for change, and what’s possible.
Coaches also have the tools and skills to help clients build new habits and make lasting changes. This is what makes health coaches unique in the healthcare industry—they are not just a source of information but a catalyst for transformation.
Working with a health coach can have a variety of benefits for clients. Some clients may take actions that they never considered possible or overcome sticking points that they thought were insurmountable. Others may see a shift in mindset that helps them take an important next step. Still others may discover how to make lasting lifestyle changes after years of cycles of success and failure.
Health coaching has positive effects on clients dealing with heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, among other chronic diseases. Clients with these chronic diseases get help understanding their diagnosis and treatment plan, get support with the difficult emotions that can result from a chronic illness, and have a partner to hold them accountable as they take steps to manage or reverse the disease.
Clients may see benefits that go beyond their initial focus area. They often gain confidence as they take action and make changes, which can spread to other areas of their lives. These benefits can include better relationships, work–life balance, or general improvements in life satisfaction.
Specific habits may also translate well from one area of health to another. You may notice that clients who have breakthroughs starting an exercise routine also implement a regular bed time or develop consistent meditation practice.
Even after a coaching relationship ends, your work with a client can continue to provide benefits for them. Clients who learn how to build habits can continue creating a healthy life for themselves for the rest of their lives. As the proverb goes, you can give someone a fish and feed them for a day, or you can teach them to fish and feed them for a lifetime.