Most of us are familiar with the role of a coach when it applies to sports. We observe the coach on the sidelines of a football game, for instance, providing support and encouragement to assist individual players to perform and behave optimally for the team to win the game. Similarly, yet a bit different, health coaching is the practice of supporting an individual in choosing positive lifestyle behaviors to perform optimally in relation to their health and wellbeing.
We could all use a health coach no matter what stage or journey we are on. Coaching allows us to gain a better and different perspective of ourselves and can help us notice things that may be subtly blocking our way from achieving what we set our eyes on. Health coaching is a form of personalized care and helps combat the loneliness and isolation when navigating one’s health journey which can be complex and confusing.
Let's dig a bit deeper into health coaching and learn why it's growing in popularity!
What is Health Coaching
Wikipedia defines health coaching as the following: "Health coaching is the use of evidence-based skillful conversation, clinical interventions and strategies to actively and safely engage client/patients in health behavior change. Health coaches are certified or credentialed to safely guide clients and patients who may have chronic conditions or those at moderate to high risk for chronic conditions. "(wikipedia.com)
Who are Health Coaches
Health Coaches provide support, guidance and accountability as they work in collaboration with their clients in setting goals for better health and wellbeing. They can be licensed professionals such as, Registered Nurses, Social workers/counselors or Registered Dietitians. Or, they can be prepared in other fields, such as health education or exercise physiology. Additionally, there is a certification for health coaches indicating they have received training in behavior change theory and listening techniques that are above and beyond their field of study.
Why should I try health coaching?
Research is showing that health coaching has a positive impact in the management of chronic health conditions and gives you support to help you feel less alone in your healthcare journey.