Over half of Americans battle chronic diseases. One in four suffer from multiple chronic conditions that last a year or longer and disrupt daily life. These chronic conditions are driving up health care costs and increasing demand on our health care system; they account for over 80% of hospital admissions, 90% of filled prescriptions, and 75% of physician visits.
By 2030, the global economy is projected to lose $47 trillion due to the social and psychological burdens of chronic, non-communicable conditions like heart and respiratory disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. The good news? These diseases and conditions are preventable, treatable, and can be delayed or alleviated through simple lifestyle changes.
Simple rarely means easy though. Changing habits is difficult, and you are likely to face challenges you don’t expect, setbacks, and moments of low motivation. Making big changes can be very overwhelming too. Enter the certified holistic health coach. Health coaches are trained professionals who can help you set health goals and guide you through achieving them. They are able to identify what is holding you back and help you explore what changes will bring you success. They provide mentorship and guidance that makes you more likely to achieve your goals and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Don’t worry about keeping up with all those health trends. Work with a health coach instead.
Working with a certified holistic health coach is just that: certified, holistic, and you get a coach. Read on for our top five benefits of having a pro by your side as you change your habits and craft a long-lasting healthy lifestyle.
You get a trained professional
Certified holistic health coaches are highly trained and competent. They are also highly needed. With diet being the number one cause of disability in the country, we can reasonably expect that our doctors would be given adequate nutrition education in medical school.
Paradoxically, doctors do not receive the training that prepares them to address the lifestyle changes that could mitigate disease development or progression. You do not have to wait for medical schools to adapt their curricula. You can get to work with a certified health coach and start making the lifestyle changes that cultivate long-lasting, healthy habits now.
Do not worry or get overwhelmed by learning the intricacies of every single health fad, sifting through them to figure out what might work well for you. Part of the job for certified holistic health coaches is to stay knowledgeable and remain educated about those fads in addition to understanding which ones are truly healthy and will yield reasonable results. When you work with a trained professional, you get to do more of the doing and leave the thinking and planning to them.
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You get whole care, for your whole self, now
Holistic health coaches work from a big picture health scope. They are trained to integrate your mental, emotional, and physical needs into your coaching plan. Instead of looking at only symptoms, a certified holistic health coach knows the right questions to ask and the right suggestions to make to help you get to the root of the behavioral changes you can make in light of your emotional and mental needs. They also know how to recognize and inquire about your emotional and mental needs on your journey to better health.
Registered dietitians and nutritionists are often tasked with educating patients about specific, medically necessary diets. Their skills and training are a necessary part of comprehensive health care, but you might have non-medical needs and goals that you want addressed now. You might want to change your behaviors and habits sooner instead of waiting for their ill-effects to emerge later in life.
A holistic health coach can help you now, and they will consider your whole being and health care experience. You will have emotional, mental, and physical challenges that your health coach will address when developing your customized action plan and while coaching you along the way.
You get a coach
With a coach, you’re more likely to reach your goals and feel accomplished. In fact, with a holistic health coach at your side, you can expect to improve your quality of life, raise your spirits, see and feel physical health improvements, improve your emotional well-being, and feel less stressed. And, you’ll make these improvements last.
A coach will hold you accountable, and he or she will do so in ways that friends and family cannot always do. You might be thinking that all you need is a friendly accountability buddy. But friends and family members will surely meet conflicts of interest if they attempt to play both roles in your life. They might not want to or be comfortable asking questions or helping you reveal what is holding you back. And sometimes, they might unknowingly hold you back, like if they bail on a fitness class or plans to exercise together, or if they make it difficult to change your diet habits. A certified health coach is trained to navigate these situations and make sure you stay on track towards reaching your health goals.
Coaches don’t do the work, the players do. But effective coaches are there on the sidelines all the time. They provide support and encouragement when you need a pick-me-up, and they observe your game. When circumstances change, they help you adapt, whether that means altering goals, changing timelines, or speeding things up. A certified holistic health coach can help you shift course while staying on track towards success.
You get heard and listened to
On average, patients only have about 11 seconds to explain the reason for their visit before being interrupted by their doctors. This number is actually down a second from earlier research too. Rather than give patients their undivided attention, connect with them, and fully listen and hear their experiences, doctors are quick to assume why their patients came into the office based on referrals and previous cases. Doctors are aware of this problem, but are not always able to address it.
Certified holistic health coaches are able to spend more time listening to you and counseling you through behavioral changes. When we feel listened to and motivated in our efforts, our physical and mental health status improves more than if we work on our goals alone.
You get to be an active participant
Our current medical health care system is somewhat passive: something seems wrong, so you make an appointment. Beyond that, you tend to have to show up for treatment, get shuffled through appointments and tests, and receive care.
While other health care professionals show up as the expert in our lives, holistic health coaches refrain from dictating what we should do. Instead, they help us make our own decisions and determine what changes we want to make to achieve optimal health.
When you work with a health coach, you’re a star player. You gain and retain agency in your health. You influence your health goals, and having a coach help you set achievable goals and keep you on track helps ensure better results at any age.
Benefits of working with a health coach
If you’re ready to take control of your health, set some smart, achievable health goals, and you want to get lasting results that leave you feeling better physically, emotionally, and mentally, work with a certified holistic health coach. You are more likely to succeed and feel a greater sense of accomplishment and agency in your health care. Certified holistic health coaches will help you implement small behavioral changes one at at time at a pace that is comfortable for you. In time, you succeed at achieving big goals and creating overall healthy lifestyle change.
Enroll in AFPA’s accredited health coach course to gain the knowledge and skills needed to become a successful health coach.