Health coaching is a relationship and partnership with a coach who helps you reach your wellness goals. Your health coach will help you prioritize your wellness initiatives or lifestyle prescriptions in a way that you can plan and incorporate them into your life.
Have you ever heard the following? (either from someone else or yourself)
- it would be beneficial for you to lose some weight
- you really should start eating better
- you skipped 3 runs last week, you really shouldn’t do that
- you really need to reduce your stress
I’m sure we all have herd at least one of these things at least once in our life, and it is usually at a time when it just seemed impossible to do anything about it. If you haven’t herd any of the above questions, good for you! You are one of the lucky few,and I encourage you to keep up with the great self-care you must be practicing. For the rest of us, these recommendations often come from ourselves, our loved ones who are trying to look out for us, or our doctors and complementary care practitioners. Lets be honest, when they come from ourselves the tone is usually more disparaging than how you read it above. And when it comes from your doctor it is often so overwhelming you don’t even know where to start.
What is wellness?
There are many definitions of wellness. There is one simple definition I keep coming back to and it is this:
“Wellness is living your life very consciously, in ways that enhance your health and well-being.” It’s all about the conscious lifestyle decisions we make every day that allow us to choose the wellness options. (from Real Balance Global Wellness)
I think the definition is pretty simple and all encompassing. And is affirms my strong belief that if you are thinking about a decision you are already making the correct choice. If you are thinking about what you are eating, what you are going to do for exercise today, or even what time you will go to bed because you want to wake up rested, you are already doing the right thing regardless of what your decision is. You are putting yourself first, and being aware of your lifestyle and wellness.
What Determines your Health?
You may be surprised that your health is influenced mostly by your lifestyle. Your health is influenced by four factors: genetics, medical, environment, and lifestyle.
Lifestyle ……………………….. 53%
Medical ………………………… 10%
Environment ………………… 21%
(Center for Disease Control, 2004)
That is a large portion of control you have over your health, 53%! Lifestyle is all within your control, what you eat, amount of water you drink, how much sleep you get, your relationships, how much movement you have in your life.
If you are surprised by this, or want some more information, there is this really cool guy named Dan Beuttner who did the blue Zones Lifestyle Study. He traveled to the 5 places around the globe whose populations had the most people who lived over 100 years just to study the effect their lifestyle had on their longevity. If you are interested you can find more information at www.bluezones.com.
What is a health coach?
A health coach is relatively new member of your complementary care team, and you may not have herd of a health coach before. With the current epidemic of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease we are seeing more of in North America there are few people equipped with helping people break the cycle of quick fixes and temporary changes that are common reactions to a health crisis. That is where a health coach comes in.
It is common practice to hire a coach in sports. Someone to help you run faster, skate better or jump higher. We seek out and respect these sporting coaches for their expertise on the subject matter and the techniques they use to help us reach our goals.
Health coaches are the same as that, except we are here to help your, your whole self, your lifestyle, your health and wellness. Health Coaches have specific training in change methodology and have a foundation in wellness concepts and understand the impact of lifestyle on health and wellbeing.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope through sharing I helped you gain some insight on what health & wellness is and some clarity on how a health coach can help you reach your goals.
How do you define wellness, and what are you doing every day to contribute to your personal wellness?