All You Need to Know

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All You Need to Know

Sometimes, it gets complicated for most of us to fully understand what health coaches are and what they do as each coach has their own health coaching definition.  Therefore, in today’s post, we are going to discuss health coaching definitions, the roles of health coaches and how a health coaching session works.

Health Coaching Definition: What is Health Coaching?

According to the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching’s health coaching definition, health coaches help and guide individuals “seek self-directed, lasting changes aligned with their values, which promote health and wellness.”

To add to this health coaching definition, health coaches are trained professionals who conduct one-to-one sessions with clients. The purpose of those sessions is to guide and motivate clients to improve health conditions. A health coach uses different strategies such as advice, support, motivation, and guidance to bring health transformation in clients.

What are the roles of a health coach?

The roles of a health coach vary according to their specialty but typically, a health coach performs the following roles:

  • Health coaches are trained professionals in areas like nutrition, fitness, and coaching. They conduct one-on-one sessions with an individual or a group to assist and guide them to healthier conditions and lifestyles. 
  • Health coaches also emphasize wellness beyond healthy nutrition and diet. They work with their clients to help them bring balance into their relationships, careers, and physical activities.
  • Health coaches may also act like traditional wellness professionals such as therapists, nutritionists, dietitians, etc. to bring positive health-related changes to their clients.

How does a typical health coaching session work?

Anyone who has ever created a coaching program will tell you that it’s an arduous task. It takes organization, focus, and a lot of creativity to come up with a highly successful health coaching program. So how do you create a health coaching session that will be not only relevant and productive, but memorable? Follow these steps to make sure your session is a valuable experience for your clients.

  1. Finalizing details regarding the health coaching agreement – First of all, it is important to agree upon aspects like areas of the client’s health a health coach has to focus on, fees, session schedules, forms of communication, and so on.
  2. Developing a wellness plan – The second step deals with laying out foundations for a well-thought-out wellness plan for clients. However, the plan doesn’t need to be for the whole coaching duration as health coaching is a dynamic process and may require improvisation from time to time. 
  3. Commencement of the health coaching process – After the wellness plan is created, the health coaching process commences. Coaches strictly follow agreed-upon schedules and communication means.
  4. Coaching session protocols – Health coaches follow some basic protocols during coaching sessions to achieve the desired outcome. For example, coaches actively listen to their clients, respond accordingly, ask appropriate questions, and guide clients according to their needs.
  5. Accountability – Health coaches also encourage and motivate clients to follow suggestions given. They also handle queries or questions in between coaching sessions, suggest additional resources, and so on to help clients achieve expected outcomes. 
  6. Gradually adjust goals and set benchmarks – Health coaches may also gradually adjust goals and set benchmarks if needed. It is important to keep original wellness goals in mind, show clients from time to time how far they have come, and what to achieve next.

If you spend time thinking through the above, everyone will get full value from your health coaching sessions. Finally, spend as much time as you can creating fun and interesting sessions. These will likely keep your clients interested and participating.

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Jeannie Cotter
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

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