Coaching continues to be one of the fastest growing industries and the title of Wellness Coach being the most. Recently an associate of mine made the quip “yeah the economy takes a downward turn and suddenly everyone is a coach.” At first I was taken aback. But then after some thought I realized from one perspective this statement has some truth behind it. I made a conscious effort to keep an eye for how many ‘coach’ type touches came my way. Let’s just say I stopped keeping count. Which gave me cause for concern especially when it comes to one particular area of coaching – Wellness Coaching.
We have one body this life time. To put the wellness of it in the hands of individual who does not have the proper training can be scary. With no real regulatory body overseeing the coaching industry. Well, yes we have the International Coaching Federation and the International Association of Coaches which certified coaches register themselves through. A niche such as health coaching though there is no clear criteria around how to discern a true health coach versus a weekend crash course certified. Here are a few guidelines to look for when considering partnering with a wellness coach.
To be a wellness coach, the individuals needs to have a certain background pertaining to health and physical wellness. Supporting an individual to achieve better overall health requires a solid understanding of nutrition, physical anatomical working (anatomy) and physiology. It is strongly recommended to ask for credentials when hiring a wellness coach. Here are a few of these credentials:
- CPR / First Aid Training – yes, you want to know if you are doing any type of exercise with them they can help you in case of an emergency.
- Personal Training Certification – learning they have gone through a certification process gives you a sense of confidence. The confidence they actually know what they are doing. Even if their certification expired years ago they will still retain the information and be able to apply it.
- Nutritional experience – what type of experience does the individual have with regard to diet, fuel plans, supplements, calories, etc.
- Certified Professional Coach – do they have certification that is registered through one of the two agencies listed above? Where did they receive their coach training? Get the goods on how they became a coach.
- Testimonials – can they provide you with references from past clients? so You may want to speak to the client directly and ask questions of their experience and success rates etc.
- Any other certifications or designations such as: Registered Nurse, medical licensing etc.
The medical industry is embracing the approach to supporting individuals during times of health change; these niche coaches are RN Health Coaches. Doing a quick search online with the key phrase “RN Health Coach” provided numerous links. A typical description of an RN Health Coach’s position sounded something like this:
“provide telephonic support to members through health education, decision support, clinical assessment, and utilization management. The goal is to assist consumers in taking control of their health care by making informed and effective health care decisions, thereby managing their health care costs”
It is important to remember your wellness coach will never guarantee you will achieve the required or desired level of health. But they will be able to support you through a period of time to stay on track. One of the key benefits behind working with a health coach is they will be your cheerleader. Obviously they can not do the work for you. But they will keep you on track, brainstorm strategies and actions with you so can potentially meet your health goals. You may not need to partner with an RN Health Coach to reach your goals. If you are facing a serious health crisis then this maybe the road for a more successful outcome and investment of your time and finances.
It is this follow-through approach that will empower you to get even healthier. Which is one of the most important steps in achieving an improved overall level of wellness. Your level of confidence and comfort when working with any coach becomes your key guiding light. The credentials are your confirmation. Good luck with your wellness goals.
Questions? Contact me here!