Earlier this year, we highlighted some of the benefits and opportunities in health coaching. As described in “How to Become a Corporate Wellness Coach”, becoming a health coach allows you to help people set and achieve goals for long-term health and wellbeing. Rather than treating one symptom or illness, health coaches take time to work with the whole person.
By focusing on behavior change, the partnership between the patient and health coach provides an environment for the patient to take responsibility for their own health through guidance, education, and self-management tools provided in regular meetings or appointments.
Health and wellness coaching can shape happier employees
Coaches can help address many forms of health. Exercise and nutrition, stress management, weight management, and sleep are all common lifestyle habits that coaches can provide guidance for. In addition, chronic condition coaching allows patients to manage conditions such as hypertension, asthma, arthritis or diabetes. Doing so will not only help to prevent a more serious illness or condition from developing, but will also allow the patient to feel their best and live life fully.
A health coach can assist in identifying behaviors or conditions that may result in serious health risks through biometric screenings and Health Risk Assessments. Together, the health coach and patient review these results to determine specific health concerns and discuss goals that the patient is hoping to achieve. Through Motivational Interviewing, the health coach can inspire patients to make healthy choices by asking about what is working well for them, what health goals they wish to achieve, and how important those goals are. Designing a wellness plan that aligns with these behaviors and personal values will help the patient successfully manage their health and achieve personal goals.
Make time for each patient
Designating adequate time with each patient is essential for building a successful wellness plan. Whether in-person or telephonically, it is important for coaches to make themselves available for valuable discussion and check-ins on a regular basis. While this can be flexible according to the patient’s needs and availability, 20-30 minute meetings typically allow for a full review of progress, planning for next-steps, and opportunity to discuss educational material or resources. Setting a mutual plan for weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly appointments can also help to maintain progress and execute permanent change.
The appeal of health coaching can best be described in this quote from Mary Meyer, Marathon Health national director of health coaching:
“I love it not when a person comes in and says thank you for helping me, but when they come in and say ‘Look what I did!’ Because that’s what’s sustainable, when someone changes for themselves.”
Interested in a career in health and wellness coaching? Check out our open positions.