Health goes beyond that of the physical and includes all-around mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Various health paths are available if you’re interested in becoming a coach in the field of health. Careers such as being a health coach, trainer, dietician, and wellness coach have been on the rise and are, at times, used interchangeably. This makes it important to understand that health coaching is an independent field that can be complemented by the other aforementioned careers. Let’s take an in-depth look at what a health coach is, what a health coach isn’t, and the benefits of becoming a health coach.
What Is A Health Coach?
Since the term is often interchanged with others that are similar to it, we must first answer this fundamental question: What is a health coach? A health coach is a professional who offers mentoring in the health department on a broad spectrum. A health coach is not licensed to specialize or provide details of how a client must live his or her life. The point of being a health coach is to motivate and encourage clients on their journeys to leading more healthy lifestyles. The partnership formed is client-driven rather than expert-led. Now that we have looked at what a health coach is, let’s take a look at what it isn’t.
What A Health Coach Isn’t
- A health coach is not a personal trainer. A personal trainer is an expert in physical exercise and is licensed to coach clients in this department. Clients can reach fitness goals under the guidance and supervision of a personal trainer. Fitness schedules, routines, and guidelines are set by the personal trainer, and the client follows suit while making progress.
- A wellness coach is not the same as a health coach. Wellness coaches focus on the broader aspect of clients’ wellness. These include career dynamics, family relationships, and financial health. The goal of a wellness coach is to help clients turn their lives around in a positive way and continue on that path.
- A dietician is a licensed professional with knowledge of the kind of foods that can enrich your life. A dietician can tailor-fit the type of diet that suits you based on information such as blood type, gender, weight, and several other factors.
When you combine the roles that these different experts play in the life of a client, you have a health coach. A health coach aims to support you in these different areas and keep you accountable to your goals on a general spectrum. If you have specific areas that need assistance, a health coach can refer you to the relevant professional required. Now that we have distinguished what a health coach is and isn’t, let’s look at the benefits of becoming a health coach.
Benefits Of Becoming A Health Coach
- Provide Physical Health Mentorship
As a health coach, you get to leave a lasting and positive influence on your clients’ lives. For example, you can encourage your clients to live the best kind of life possible. You emphasize the need to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and maintain a balanced sleep lifestyle. You can remind clients why aspects and habits that they tend to overlook, such as drinking water, is important. You can share with your clients some meal plans that they may be interested in trying out, as well as share with them your eating habits for support. A total shift in lifestyle can be lonely and sometimes frightening. Knowing that you can provide the support that’s needed is a fulfilling career path to take.
- Offer Mental And Emotional Support
In the age of constant pressure to achieve and be successful, people have become prone to mental struggles such as depression and anxiety. As a health coach, you get to assist people who are struggling mentally and emotionally. But keep in mind that your role as a health coach is not the same as that of a therapist, psychiatrist, or a psychologist. You must be that person who your client can lean on during the dark days, and know that they will not experience any rejection or judgment. If you notice that your client is in dire need of professional help, it’s then your responsibility to refer them to a mental health practitioner.
- Share Spiritual Wellness
Some clients seek a health coach for spiritual support. This isn’t to say that you take the role of a spiritual healer or teacher. Often, clients simply need a space to share their thoughts and beliefs just so these become clearer for themselves. Seeing that the field of health coaching is client-driven, you can share any material that you see as relevant and helpful to the client.
How Do I Become A Health Coach?
To become a health coach, you have to find a program that assists you in becoming certified. You have to carefully research different programs to find the one that will suit your goals and needs best. Analyze the topic subjects offered, the processes required, costs, and duration. Once you’re certified, you’re well on your way to finding clients to positively partner with.
Where Can I Practice As A Health Coach?
Becoming a health coach means venturing into flexible career paths. You can start your private practice and secure clients through advertising your services on relevant platforms. If it’s employment that you seek, you can venture into working with hospitals, yoga practices, fitness groups, schools, the army—the possibilities are endless.
It’s important not to confuse terms such as wellness coach, dietician, psychologist, and trainer with the term health coach. As a health coach, your role is to support your clients in reaching their maximum health potential. There may be instances where you have to refer your clients to the relevant professionals depending on your assessment of the situation.
Becoming a health life coach is beneficial to you in that you leave positive mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual influences in the lives of your clients. If you’re interested in becoming a health coach, make sure to sign up with reputable certification programs. The curriculum, cost, training style, and duration of training indicate whether or not it’s the right certification program for you. The career flexibility of a health coach is another motivating factor to becoming a health coach. The channels that you can venture into are endless and can be tailor-made to suit your preferences and lifestyle.