The clients that we serve deserve our very best. Therefore this course is designed to bring forward the changes in the wellness coaching industry that are required for us to be able to move forward and gain credibility that we seek, while observing the most recent methods used in coaching. The wellness coaching industry continues to move forward to provide better solutions for coaches in order to increase our effectiveness while improving how we are perceived by those who are not familiar with wellness coaching.
THE WELLNESS COACHING INDUSTRY
The wellness coaching industry currently is so full of different or alternative solutions available to the coaching process, leaving wellness coaches unsure of all the possibilities available to them in order to provide their clients with improved quality of life and overall better health and wellness. As we’ve mentioned, this program is going to be useful to any health professional who wants to improve client results, while getting a deeper and better understanding of coaching strategies and communication styles that will allow the coach to not just be a wellness coach, but to be an expert in this field.
To be able to develop those close relationships or partnerships with our clients we need to provide structure, accountability, expertise and even inspiration, in order to help our clients learn to grow and to improve upon what he or she is currently doing. Again, as a reminder, we use the term coaches to include the entire field of all health coaches, fitness coaches, wellness coaches or anyone in the field of coaching a client in ways that target health, fitness and wellness.
But we also need to be able to provide different, or more definitions that are also important for us to know, in order to be aware of different coaching styles that show high levels of success and then to be able to set a higher benchmark for all of the different areas of coaching, and of course, most specifically wellness coaching.
Health coaching involves those who practice with accredited professionals and work to apply evidence of psychological counseling and coaching. These coaches typically help subjects that are considered more like patients than clients.
Some fitness coaches also consider themselves to be wellness coach-es. This greatly depends on how you work with the client.
Wellness coaching includes those who work with clients who basically want to improve some behaviors that they are currently doing. The more formal definition of wellness coaching is that it is focused on coaching behaviors that include exercise, weight control and stress. Wellness coaches, by definition do not simply tell people what to do or how to live. A well- ness coach should only offer advice as an ex- pert when it is necessary to help the client and when the information comes from within the field that the wellness coach has a technical background in.
Wellness coaching is a similar to fitness coaching, in that it uses a lot of the same principles and skills but coaches deliver fitness coaching to clients when they are actually training someone, and this is a little bit different than what the wellness coach would do. You should come to think of wellness coaching as being a conversation with your clients. For many cli- ents, you will be rethinking the ways that you work. If you are a fitness trainer, for example, you may work with someone while instructing them on what to do, with the aim of hitting a fitness goal or increasing your client’s fitness levels overall. It’s not wellness coaching. We are more likely to sit down and ask our client questions and to talk with the client. This is the bulk of what wellness coaching is made up of.
A wellness coach should have a defined, interactive space and be able to have one-on-one quality time with their clients and to be able to coach them, using an information gathering process. There is a lot that our clients will need to tell us that will help us to design a program or strategy and then to work with them as they move towards their specific wellness goals.
OTHER FORMS OF COACHING AND TRAINING
It’s important to recognize these different definitions of coaching. There are other forms of coaching, too. Often times people tend to lump life coaches into the field of wellness coaching or even those who mentor. Life Coaching was a growing field and developed along the lines that show differences when compared to the job description of a wellness coach, with the main differences being that a life coach will work toward, or touch upon, areas of health and fitness concerns, but they often do not have formalized training in exercise physiology, nutritional sciences or the psychological principles that are applied to exercise habits, stress management, weight loss or food intake concerns. The delivery of coaching services from a life coach would be more rooted around the personal values of the client, such as work, home, and family life. Overall, the goal in life coaching is to help the client so that their lives can become more fulfilling.
With mentoring, we see a different role being fulfilled. In the mentoring relationship with the client, the entire approach is different. This would be more like a teacher or instructor as they provide the expert answers that some clients are looking for, based on the mentor’s experiences and knowledge. Sometimes mentoring is criticized due to the fact that we see mentors taking responsibility, so that their clients don’t have to.
Personal training is also a form of coaching and is known to involve concepts tied to helping the client and to motivate them toward a particular fitness goal. Trainers prescribe fitness routines or a certain program to achieve a fitness based outcome or goal. It’s not a big leap for a person- al trainer or fitness trainer to become a wellness coach, as many personal trainers tend to have excellent people skills, as well as the communication skills which are vital to being an effective wellness coach.
HOW TO BECOME AN EFFECTIVE WELLNESS COACH
If we were to try to define wellness coaching further, it would open up a real can of worms because wellness is typically used to describe anything that can go on in our daily lives. Wellness coaching is the mastery of the clients wellbeing, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual activities. The goal with your client is towards a regular practice of healthful behaviors. This does not imply that we work with clients on a spiritual level but now and again there will be things that influence our clients values, and these values might creep into the area of spirituality.
But an effective wellness coach should program coaching delivery to include stress management, exercise, dietary intake, health maintenance and disease prevention strategies.
If you were to put all of these things together, you would have a better understanding of what wellness coaching is. We can summarize it by saying it’s a new way of working with clients, where we draw from research-based knowledge, while learning to understand how our client thinks. So we’re not just thinking about how they move or their physical attributes or their metrics, we’re also thinking about what’s going on inside their minds that could be preventing them from achieving health goals that they might need, or want, to set for themselves.
At this stage in the evolution of wellness coaching, it is the coaching strategies themselves that are something we need to refine for those working with clients one-on-one. This also extends into the fitness industry. Within the fitness industry, fitness management has done a good job of rising to meet the challenge of trying to retain members. A lot of members will join fitness clubs, including people like your client, but very few retain their memberships or we see use of these memberships as infrequent. Since we know that, in America, at least 65% of our population does not take part in regular physical activity, we can easily identify a need.
We also know that more than 30% of Americans at least 25 years of age have hypertension, and one person dies from CV disease every 10 minutes.
The percent assigned to people who are able to successfully maintain a weight loss goal for a 12 month period lingers in the single digits. It can be interesting to study people, in order to see the differences between people who are able to maintain weight loss compared to those who haven’t. Those who have been able to maintain their weight loss show that they have undergone some major transformations in their lives or lifestyles in order to maintain weight loss. This may be where the wellness coach is used the most frequently. There is also a very strong component of exercise science in wellness coaching
UNDERSTANDING BEHAVIOR CHANGE
In addition, to exercise science applications in wellness coaching, we also must recognize the need to understand behavior change better, overall. This is simply due to the fact that this will make up a very large portion of your work and is also one of the most difficult parts within the coaching process with clients. The main point of this is that changing behaviors is extremely difficult for some. Why is it difficult? There are a few main reasons why people struggle with change.
Try to assess from your client where they stand in terms of being ready to change. We will talk about Stage of Readiness for change later, but it is essential to also know how clients struggle with behavior changes, even when they know they need them.
Becoming a Certified Wellness Coach is the perfect addition for the fitness professional who wants to offer more all-inclusive wellness services to clients.
The time is now for you to enjoy this exciting and rewarding career, which offers you personal fulfillment while improving the lives of others.