What is Health and Wellness Coaching?
Health and wellness coaching is a service where a professional coach who specialises in health and wellness offers private coaching sessions and packages for individuals. The coach helps someone achieve their health goals or improve aspects of their wellbeing by guiding and supporting them through the change process.
What is the difference between Health Coaching and Wellness Coaching?
In essence all coaching is aimed at selectively changing behaviours to get better results. However, the following distinctions may help you better understand some important differences between both health coaching and wellness coaching.
Health coaching is aimed at improving health and/or managing an existing disease/illness/injury by focusing on the behavioural aspects of a treatment or wellness plan. Health coaching can work as a standalone service or alongside an existing treatment plan such as surgery, medication or therapy where there are known beneficial behaviours that promote recovery and wellbeing. (LIFESTYLE MEDICINE) **link
• A diabetic may employ a health coach to help them make appropriate changes to reduce sugar in their diet and to increase exercise
• A person aiming to reduce their blood pressure naturally may want their health coach to help them manage stress, improve diet and lose weight.
• Someone recovering from surgery may hire a health coach to help them slowly reclaim their strength, mobility and fitness to return to the sport or hobby that they love
Wellness coaching covers a broader area of overall wellbeing and is often aimed at helping someone who wants to actively pursue higher levels of health and wellbeing, even if they have no signs or symptoms of disease.
• A bride or groom to be who feels overweight and wants to lose weight before an upcoming wedding might hire a wellness coach to help them stay accountable and stick to a reliable fat burning diet and exercise plan
• Someone who has been experiencing a lot of stress might avail of a wellness coach to help them stick to a daily meditation or mindfulness practice and organise their life more efficiently
• Someone with a demanding job may avail of wellness coaching to help them integrate their workouts, healthy eating and stress management practice into their busy schedule and deal with disruptions from extra demands like air travel and long hours at work
Why would someone hire a Health or Wellness Coach?
Change is often simple but rarely easy! Most people want to look, feel and live better yet following through with good intentions and making changes last is hard. Approximately 96% of New Year’s resolutions fail and even by the middle of February about 4 out of 5 people who had started the year making positive changes have fallen back into their old ways!
Most people underestimate what is involved in change and tend to rely on willpower and self-discipline to make their desired change but statistically this approach is rarely successful and is at least highly unreliable. The coach is an expert in behavioural change and knows what is required to make lasting lifestyle change.
Hiring a coach means hiring an ally whose expertise, guidance and support will be the difference that make the difference for you to be successful in getting what you really want and becoming who you want to be.
Is Health or Wellness Coaching for you at this time?
If you are already very clear on what your health and wellness goals are, you already have a good life balance and you are actively pursuing and achieving your H&W goals and objectives then unless you want to take your life and wellbeing to a new level you probably don’t need coaching at this time.
If however your health or wellbeing is suffering or is not as good as you would like it to be and you have a desire to make your future brighter and better then you will most likely benefit from some or all of the following aspects from a coaching relationship:
• Greater clarity as to what you want and who you want to become
• Increased motivation to fuel the effort required from the desired changes
• Guidance, reassurance and expertise from someone you trust who knows the ‘terrrain’ of health and wellness better than you
• Professional help to break down your goals into specific actions that are relevant, practical and manageable for your life and unique lifestyle
• A platform to brainstorm ideas and to strategically identify and overcome potential barriers to your success
• Someone to help you stay accountable to yourself and your actions
• Support from a loyal and trusted ally who is ‘shouting you on from the sidelines’
• The reassurance that you are not alone on your journey and that there is always someone you can discuss challenges or celebrate your victories with
What are the benefits of 1 to 1 Coaching Sessions?
Any Corporate Wellness program or service will only be effective if it results in actual change and in new behaviours being adopted. It is widely recognised in the field of wellness that ‘knowing isn’t enough’ and that most people will already know what they can do to improve their health and wellbeing but don’t always do it. Therefore, although education is important in health or wellness, it alone is not sufficient to ensure changes to behaviour are made and maintained.
Professional health and wellness coaching plays a vital role in helping employees turn knowledge into action, and turning action into lasting lifestyle change. Tailored coaching helps employees integrate healthier behaviours into their life in a way that fits their lifestyle and is sustainable for them in the long term.
What does a Corporate Wellness Coaching session look like?
One to one health and wellness coaching sessions are quite unique because they are completely individualised. Individual sessions usually last approximately 30 minutes and consist of highly focused ‘laser coaching.’
The employee is guided by the coach to select a focus area where they want to make improvements in their life such as diet, exercise, stress or sleep etc. They then work together to identify and set SMART goals or outcomes in that area. The coach will then assist the employee in gaining the clarity, motivation and strategy needed for action. The session results in specified action steps that the employee is ready to take on their goal to improved health and wellbeing.
A wellness coach will often bring expertise in many areas of wellness to the table and this expertise can be shared during coaching sessions when required to educate and inform an employee about a specific aspect of health/wellbeing. The emphasis then returns to how the knowledge can be utilised by the employee and turned into strategic action steps to improve health and wellbeing.