What is a Health Coach?
What is a Health Coach?
People often think that being healthy is nailing the combination of eating the right foods, exercising enough and getting a regular check-up from their doctor.
Whilst there is some aspect of truth to this, there is so much overlooked in this simple equation.
As an Integrative Institute of Nutrition Health Coach, we are taught a unique philosophy which takes a broader approach to the concept of food, using the terms of ‘primary food’ and ‘secondary food’.
Whilst a lot focus was previously placed on nutrition – as IIN Health Coaches, we view this as secondary food. Primary foods are those which nurture your soul and cover areas of health such as physical activity, spirituality, career, finances and relationships.
The traditional health system has been concerned with curing poor health. By comparison, health coaching focuses on promoting good health in the form of prevention. In fact, holistic wellness and nutrition are the foundation of health and happiness.
There’s an analogy which beautifully sums up the role of health coaching…
A man sat by a fast-flowing river and noticed a person in trouble being taken downstream. He jumped into the river and pulled them out to safety before collapsing on the river bank. No sooner had he done this, he noticed another person floating by in trouble – then another and another. Each time he’d leap into the river to save them. It was hard work, tiresome and potentially deadly if they couldn’t be saved in time.
Struck with curiosity, the man wondered where all these people were coming from so he decided to look at what was occurring upstream. He found a bridge that people were jumping off into the much-gentler part of the river and then finding themselves in trouble as the water picked up ferocity.
He knew that instead of rescuing these people downstream, it would be far easier and safer to warn and prevent these people from leaping into the river in the first place – before they were for a dangerous ride.
This is exactly what health coaching is about.
It’s taking a preventative approach to our health by focusing upstream through prevention and promoting good health.
WHAT IS A HEALTH COACH?
A Health Coach is a supportive mentor who helps clients feel their best through food and lifestyle changes, offering personalised, one-on-one encouragement. They are the link between information and transformation.
Simply knowing doesn’t bring about change – the obstacle is exploring what is going on on a deeper level and executing the action steps which fuel long-term wellness.
Health Coaches help people look at health holistically and work towards a greater quality of life overall. They understand that transformation takes time and offer a growth mindset, ongoing learning, resilience and understanding that it is all about the journey.
Health Coaches hold a protective space and structure in which their client’s can develop and progress toward their personal wellness goals.
WE’RE IN THE BUSINESS OF SOUL NURTURING SUPPORT FOR OTHERS!
WHAT DOES A HEALTH COACH DO?
A Health Coach’s role is to help client’s develop and progress toward personal wellness by:
- Building self-awareness feelings, mindset & behaviours
- Exploring areas of life that may be out of balance
- Setting effective & achievable goals
- Identifying perceived barriers
- Implementing healthy lifestyle change
- Staying accountable
WHAT DOESN’T A HEALTH COACH DO?
A Health Coach is not a nutritionist or doctor (unless they’ve completed additional separate studies). A Health Coach will not prescribe nor tell you to stop taking medication which has been prescribed for you. They will not treat life threatening illness or terminal disease.
They instead focused on prevention and there to to help lessen the likelihood of preventable disease occurring in the future.
WHO NEEDS A HEALTH COACH?
Whilst it’s true that not every needs (or wants) a Health Coach – consider this… professional athletes engage coaches to assist them with their training and playing at their optimal level.
Successful business people engage coaches to provide the support and guidance they require taking their business in the right direction.
So, how is it any different when it comes to your health?
In a world which is full of so much information (and mis-information!), it can be overwhelming where to start. One piece of information promotes a certain diet and another is in direct conflict with it – dairy is good for you / stay away from dairy. Grains are good / grains are bad.
No wonder you don’t know where to turn!
How do you know what will work for you?
Once you do start off on your own journey, who’s there to check in and keep you accountable? No-one…before you know it, you’re back where you began but you’re now 6 months down the track.
To live a vibrant life, we all need holistic support. Your Health Coach will provide guidance to navigate the confusion as you embark on your healthy lifestyle journey and hold your hand throughout your time together.
It’s important to note – someone must want to be coached for it to be effective. We’re not here to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to. They need to be in the right mindset to take control of their life and be supported through the transformation.
If you’re feeling as though you need someone to support and to hold you accountable for your own health, check out my Wellbeing Transformation program HERE or our online holistic wellness program The Healthstyle Emporium HERE.
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