Healthcoaching: New, Exciting, Empowering

By Melanie Prinz

Coaching has become acceptable to both  business and individuals to help improve performance, manage stress, and achieve work and personal goals.  The practice of personal, life, business, sports performance and executive coaching has grown substantially since the early 1990s.  Although the term "coach" has been borrowed as a metaphor from sports, it is now applied to the personal and work domains.  This the term "coaching" has entered into the public psyche beyond the sports pages and is becoming generally acceptable.

Health Coaching is where the how and what of health and wellness becomes most clear: everyone knows what a sport coach or trainer does, and a health coach (essentially a life coach with expertise in health and wellness matters) will help you define your health and wellness goals.

A Health Coach takes an active and directive role in helping a person achieve their goals by facilitating the learning process.  The Coach may help educate the client on specific health-related issues and go on to support them in achieving their health-related goals.  Because of the personal nature of health coaching, working with clients could include tackling health related psychological blocks to change, which could be challenged in the individual or group coaching session.

Why would you want to be a Health Coach?  It’s no secret that Americans have reach an all time level of being "unhealthy".   Even with widespread campaigns aimed at helping people stop smoking, eat better and exercise, etc.; the vast majority of Americans do not overcome their destructive habits, do not get regular exercise and are not eating enough fruits and vegetables.  Think about this, the health care system in the US is a two trillion dollar industry and it is riddled with problems.  There has been an explosion in obesity that has been cited as high as 63%, along with climbing rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases associated with lifestyle and behavior choices.  As far back as 1996, Harvard Medical School published a 7 year study with confirms up to 70% of all cancer, heart disease, stroke and mature onset diabetes are preventable with lifestyle and behavior changes.  And yet,  the health of the wealthiest nation in the world continues to decline.  In 2005, the Institute of Medicine published a major study identifying that ninety million Americans are health illiterate.  This does not mean, in this internet dominated society, that people do not have access to or are not receiving enough health information.  It means that the majority of us do not know how to interpret or use the health information we received to control or improve our health or prevent chronic disease.  So what is the solution to the problems we face in health care today?  It’s simply this;  Help people not to get sick in the first place. Health Coaches help people get on to a lifestyle and behavior changes that they can stay with and be comfortable with. 

Health Coaches help people become proactive about their health, stay informed, focused, motivated and educated.  Think about this also.  People want to improve their health.  They buy expensive equipment, join fitness clubs, start diets, make great new year’s resolutions, and they mean well but they usually get off track because they don’t have a good system for staying on track.  Well, coaching helps to solve that problem.

Coaching as an industry has proven to be 91% successful and health coaching is a niche market within that industry.  By coaching people and holding them accountable to doing the things they say they are going to do  you have a 91% chance of being successful at helping those people reach their goals.

Health Coaching pays well.  The average health coach is making $121-$190 an hour working by phone and by internet.  If you are looking for success with your health and wellness goals, or looking work with purpose and integrity, health coaching may be just the thing for you.

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