Individuals striving to be healthy may not know where or how to start. Can hiring a health coach help individuals start their wellness journey and reach their goals?
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Hiring A Health Coach
It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to make changes, but it is another thing to actually set a consistent plan in motion. Hiring a health coach can help individuals understand the information, develop an effective wellness routine that suits their lifestyle, and achieve health and wellness goals. A primary healthcare provider could be a resource and have referrals to reputable health coaches in the area.
What Do They Do?
Health coaches are experts in helping individuals reach health and wellness goals. This can be:
- Reducing stress
- Improving self-care
- Focusing on nutrition
- Starting exercise
- Improving quality of life
A health coach helps create a plan and makes it happen.
- Health and wellness coaches use motivational interviewing and evidence-based approaches to empower individuals in their wellness journey. (Adam I Perlman, Abd Moain Abu Dabrh. 2020)
- They help identify areas that need improvement, develop a plan, and encourage the individual all the way like a personal fitness trainer.
- Health coaches work with physicians and/or other health professionals in a clinical setting or as individual providers.
- Their role is to provide a holistic approach to health and wellness.
Health coaches can provide and assist with: (Shivaun Conn, Sharon Curtain 2019)
- Diet and nutrition
- Exercise, movement
- Mental and emotional health
- Occupational wellness
- Relationship building
- Social skills building
A health coach is someone who helps organize and balance various aspects of an individual’s life so they can learn to maintain optimal health.
- They will help overcome barriers when struggling.
- A health coach listens and provides support for whatever an individual’s goals may be.
- A health coach is there until the goal is reached.
It is important to ensure the providers being considered have the necessary qualifications. Because some certification programs offer a focus on specific areas like nutrition, it’s recommended to identify what is needed before choosing a health coach. Health coaches do not need a university degree, however, many certifications are affiliated with colleges and have educational partnerships that qualify coursework and award college credits. Training to become a health coach consists of: (Shivaun Conn, Sharon Curtain 2019)
- Goal setting
- Coaching concepts
- Nutritional concepts
- Motivational interviewing
- Stress management
- Changing behaviors
Health Goal Examples
Health coaching is not a one-size-fits-all approach. A primary healthcare provider or physician provides a diagnosis and medical plan, and a health coach helps guide and support the individual through the plan. However, hiring a health coach does not require a medical condition to employ services. A few examples of health goals that health coaches address include:
- Improving quality of life
- Reducing stress and management
- Lifestyle habits
- Weight loss
- Physical activity
- Emotional and psychological health
- Quitting smoking
Finding a Health Coach
A few things to consider.
- Determine goals and expectations.
- There are many types of health coaches and some may specialize, therefore try to determine the expertise needed to achieve the goals.
- Determine how much money will be invested, as many insurance providers do not cover the cost of a health coach.
- Health coaches may charge between $50 to $300 per session.
- Some will offer packages, memberships, and/or discounts.
- Look into their certification.
- Is it accredited?
- This will ensure choosing a coach who has received the training and expertise needed to provide quality care.
- Consult with potential coaches.
- Ask questions and see if they are compatible with specific health goals.
- Interview as many as needed.
- Virtual sessions, in-person meetings, and/or a combination?
- How long are the sessions?
- Frequency of meetings?
- Finding a coach that is flexible and convenient will help maintain a healthy coach/client relationship.
Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Treatment
Perlman, A. I., & Abu Dabrh, A. M. (2020). Health and Wellness Coaching in Serving the Needs of Today’s Patients: A Primer for Healthcare Professionals. Global advances in health and medicine, 9, 2164956120959274. doi.org/10.1177/2164956120959274
Conn, S., & Curtain, S. (2019). Health coaching as a lifestyle medicine process in primary care. Australian journal of general practice, 48(10), 677–680. doi.org/10.31128/AJGP-07-19-4984
The information herein on "Hiring a Health Coach: A Guide to Wellness Goals" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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