When was the last time we actually paid attention to our health? It’s easy to get caught up in the continuous cycle of work, sleep, and more work. After awhile, our body screams in protest and demands we pay attention to its needs.
For years, we have been making short and quick visits to the medical professionals. We have accepted and trusted completely that they really do know what is best for us and they will help us recover. However there are times when there is a need for something intense, a need for a health advisor – a health coach
What is a Health Coach?
Health coaches are certified healthcare professionals who consists of nurses, dietitians, counselors, health educators and physiologists, who coach patients on wellness such as physical activity, nutrition, stress and weight management, tobacco issue and sleep.
They are also defined as a cheerleader, a wellness authority and supportive mentor who motivate individuals to adopt positive health choices. Health coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals through specific lifestyle and behavior adjustments. They help develop a vast understanding of how food affects the body, as well as about how all elements of one’s lifestyle impacts their health – from relationships to careers to mindset to stress levels.
It is also important to understand that a health coach is not a doctor. Health coaches do not diagnose conditions; prescribe medications or advice the doses of your current medications.
While it is not necessary to recruit members having a medical background, coaches are provided with significant training in the specific health needs of the population such as diabetes testing, healthy eating, and dietary restriction. A successful health coach program consists of six weeks of intensive training, and multiple refresher courses throughout their tenure as a coach.
Partnering with Health Coaches
Many doctors are starting to partner with health coaches for their patients who are obese, diabetic or need to change their behavior in order to improve their health and treat lifestyle-related illnesses.
Nowadays health and wellness coaches offer services from doctor’s offices, spas, gyms and even through private practice. They often fill gaps where doctors, nutritionists and dietitians don’t have the time or resources to fill.
Many American companies are also beginning to hire health coaches to establish workplace wellness programs for employees. Health coaches are making a vital difference in the lives of many low-income individuals and communities by being a consistent part of their lives, and guiding them through complex health care systems. In addition, the data that health coaches get from their communications with patients has the potential to change the way we think about and deliver health care.