What Coaching Can Do for You
Something Significant May be Missing from Your Wellness Efforts
Everyone knows the basics of healthy living. Eat a balanced diet. Exercise. Get a good night’s sleep. Manage your stress. And these days there are plenty of online programs, wearable technology, and phone apps that help us learn about healthy living. Most of us realize, however, that knowing and doing are two different things, often creating barriers to success which can deflate motivation and impact chances for success.
This is where the well trained Health Coach comes in. Why? All the wearable technology and internet information in the world doesn’t know when you need space and when you need a little nudge. They’re not very good at helping you explore why you’re stuck or why you sometimes regress. They do a poor job at changing and adapting with you, your successes, and your challenges. And, they don’t know how to link your goals for good health to your vision, your values and what’s REALLY important to you.
Health Coaches are the latest members of your wellness team. Unlike physicians whose role typically is to diagnose and prescribe, Health Coaches help you make the changes you want to make by stoking your fire within. And unlike Nutrition Specialists or Personal Trainers, who often hand over wellness plans and monitor compliance, Health Coaches partner with you to uncover the strategies that honor your values and lifestyle. They help you stay accountable.
Health Coaches are experts in human behavioral change. They recognize that family, physicians, and employers may influence positive changes in health, but the real inspiration to move towards wellness has to come from you. Health coaches use a process that surfaces what is most important to you and links those values to the healthy behaviors and goals that matter to you most. This is where the motivation originates. As you progress, your coach helps you create a plan to reach those goals, keeping the entire process focused on you, the client.
Although Health Coaching is indeed a new field, the initial research results are encouraging. Some of the recent studies include:
Patients with poor cardiovascular health who undergo health coaching show improvements in total cholesterol and BMI, lower stress, more physical activity, better nutrition, and reduced smoking.
Cancer patients who work with health coaches demonstrate better pain control.
Health coaches help obese patients decrease their waist circumference and improve their functional health.
Diabetes and kidney patients who engage with health coaches experience decreases in fasting blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1C, hospital admission rates, and amputations.
Health Coaches are trained in a process model that honors clients’ values and visions, inspires motivation, and maximizes accountability. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Health Coaches are changing the current health and wellness arena, helping clients turn dreams into goals and goals into lifetime successes.
Health Coaching might just be that missing piece in your wellness efforts.