What is health coaching

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BRIEF DEFINITION OF HEALTH COACHING

There are various definitions of health coaching. It is an umbrella term used to describe different types of intervention, “all with a shared aim of helping people set goals and take action to improve their health and lifestyle”1. In a nutshell, health coaching is training / therapy based on a discussion between the client and the coach. As simple as this may sound, it can be very powerful, as it’s about taking responsibility for your own health.


UNIQUE FEATURE OF MY COACHING PROGRAMMES

Apart from standard one-to-one consultations, I also include workshop sessions where I put theory into practice with my clients – we cook together to try out new recipes, explore local running routes, analyse ingredients on food labels, discover the best places to shop for healthy food and even take on challenges such as home decluttering. And in case you were wondering – yes, clutter can be an indirect cause of health issues! Click here for more information on the structure of my coaching programmes.

ASPECTS OF THE COACHING PROCESS

Any type of coaching is mostly about awareness, empowerment and reaching goals. The main objectives of a health coaching programme are:

  • to gain awareness of various aspects of your health, getting to the root causes of any existing issues
  • to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms that surround you, such as social patterns and marketing strategies of food companies
  • to build your confidence and motivation to take action and gain control of your health
  • to acquire new skills and develop new habits that will enable you to move closer to your goals

As your health coach, I will support you through the whole process, offering an objective opinion with a non-judgmental attitude, lots of motivation and inspiration as well as practical tools and methods for you to experiment with. I can’t promise it will always be easy, but it can definitely be eye-opening, life-changing and a lot of fun too!

WHAT ISSUES CAN BE ADDRESSED?

The goal of health coaching is to address the client’s current health concerns and work on developing long-lasting habits which will support their health well beyond the final coaching session. Typically, health coaching is used to address the following:

  • stress management
  • weight management
  • overall fitness
  • energy levels
  • sleep
  • digestion
  • food cravings
  • skin conditions

Health coaching can also be beneficial for the following clients:

  • healthy and fit individuals who wish to raise their awareness, enhance their health and prevent illness
  • individuals who wish to manage a long-term medical condition in the best possible way

Health coaching is an approach that is holistic, from the Greek “holos”, which means “whole”. A holistic approach means that rather than focusing solely on nutrition or exercise, you’ll be looking at various areas of your life and examining how they are interconnected.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE HABITS

An essential part of health coaching is working on daily habits, as it is our small everyday choices, routines and preferences which can build up and have a significant impact on our health. Health coaching is not about enduring a very restrictive two-week diet and a grueling exercise regime. Instead, it is about:

  • finding the time and motivation to observe and reflect upon your lifestyle choices and develop a deeper understanding of how these impact on your health and wellbeing
  • committing to improve areas you haven’t been investing yourself into enough , whether this be home cooking, spending sufficient time outdoors, nurturing good relationships with your family or taking the necessary risks to progress in your career.
  • making the effort to gradually implement new eating and lifestyle habits in the pursuit of health and wellbeing

REFERENCES

1 Does health coaching work. A rapid review of empirical evidence. [Accessed May 2016]
https://eoeleadership.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/Does%20health%20coaching%20work%20-%20a%20review%20of%20empirical%20evidence_0.pdf

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