The top 5 ways health coaching can help you.

Photo by VioricaIonescu/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by VioricaIonescu/iStock / Getty Images

What does a health coach do? Why not a trainer or a nutritionist? It's simple. Let's break it down.

1. We get to the root cause.

Relationships, career, spirituality, community all feed us. When something does not feel right, aligned or balanced in these areas, life can quickly lose its luster. During times of stress, most of us have ways we are comfortable managing uncertainty, unhappiness or fear. Some might head to the gym to burn off steam; others seek comfort in food, alcohol or other less productive ways of coping. While we might want to lose 20 or 50 pounds, a health coach can help get to the why of what's really going on first. Until we are able to identify what is causing a problem and resolve it, other symptoms like excess weight and depression will continue to persist. 

2. We look at long-term lifestyle change.

Short term gains are great, but creating healthy habits, both emotional and physical, that last are much trickier. Many studies have shown the power of 21 days to change a habit,; most health coaches work actually with clients over the course of 3-6 months. It does take that long to truly implement lifestyle change.

3. We get personal.

What works for one person will not work for someone else. Diets and nutrition are probably the most argued over subjects, with hundreds of books written on everything from Paleo to Keto to Vegan, Vegetarian and more. While all of these ways of eating have valuable elements to them, every body and mind is different and will thrive when given what it really needs. That's different from person to person. Just like a job or relationship, one size definitely doesn't fit all. Health coaches tailor and personalize plans that aren't transferrable.

4.  We look at the whole person.

A person's symptoms (like weight, poor sleep, low energy and depression) are a reflection of feelings, emotions, and struggles. Health coaches offer clients the space to self-reflect and self-examine. Looking at the whole person encompasses both mental and emotional outlook and the physical body. When one element is out of balance, it can cause major problems. Most of us intuitively know the right answers that will truly feed our needs - some might be as hefty as quitting a job or leaving an unfulfilling relationship; others are easier, like finding more joy through a spiritual practice and friendships. A health coach asks questions that lead clients towards their personal growth.

5. We are invested in health and well being first.

Aesthetics are part of the picture for most of us, but as a health coach, we are invested in helping clients get happier and healthier - first. For example, if you're trying to lose weight, you will not if you are not healthy first. Now, healthy can be a loaded word. But for the purposes of this post, let's run through a few examples. For instance, a healthy body doesn't retain excess weight - period. Weight is a symptom that something is out of balance. Insomnia is a symptom that something is not working well - either food, emotions or hormones need attention. A healthy person sleeps through the night, pain-free, and well-rested. Anxiety and depression signal other issues that can also be tied to gut health, nutrition, substance abuse and more. Managing stress well and creating good coping mechanisms are key for long-term health and happiness. So while a health coach can of course work alongside a trainer to help you get stronger or to your fighting weight, we really just want you to sleep, rest, eat well and be happy first. Then the rest will come.

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