I am a certified personal trainer and some years ago i qualified as a certified health coach. there seems to be a great need for health coaches. it has really balanced my business and my life and helped me support and train clients in a more holistic way or mind/body equation. I do not notice a shift on the IDEAfit in this direction. maybe i am missing where to find it. I see wellness coaches and lifestyle coaches but not health coaches. anyone got any input on this or insights.
Thanks so much for your question. IDEA agrees wholeheartedly. In fact, an article about this career path will very likely appear mid-year in IDEA Fitness Journal. Are there any specific areas of coverage within Health Coaching that would be helpful to you?
IDEA Health & Fitness Association
I believe in the ACE trainer manual there is a section that talks about the various health and fitness providers and how each provides different aspects of care, or different services, but that there is usually one person who would be the main conduit to different services (it has been quite a while, and I am going from memory here). In a way the health coach, or wellness coach, or life coach is a way to provide that type of service. A health coach might come more from the fitness world, or the wellness world, or the nutrition world, but should have enough understanding of each, and enough contacts, or knowledge of local services, to provide referrals when necessary, and to understand where and when to refer.
There is a famous quote “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” It seems to me a person can have a deep knowledge of a specific area (I do not consider myself an expert on yoga, but I do have decades of study, reading, and practice, and consider myself to be reasonably knowledgable in this area), or (maybe sometimes and) one could have a good deal of knowledge of a wide variety of areas, and become the conduit.
One problem with ‘certifications’ now, is that they are such big business that there are so many offered in so many small areas, by so many people and places it can make it hard to develop industry standards for new areas. I think that is a place where an organization like IDEA is helpful, so I am glad to hear that they are taking on this issue.
It looks like you work currently in the Caribbean. Is your clientele composed more of regulars, or of vacationers, and if the latter, do you find that affects how you work with them? I know St. Lucia has a very strong tourist economy, and would imagine that people who are traveling there would be very interested in wellness and health, bu would be very interested in your perspective.
Health coaching generally helps clients get to where they want to go faster than if they were to do it alone. While certainly it is a valuable tool to know wellness, health coaches do not tell people what to do, they help people come to their own answers by inquiry and discovery.
I have seen the health coaching business grow from infancy to what it is today, a big business consideration. When I started health coaching teleclasses in 2006, as an adjunct to the International Coach Federation, no one showed up for the sessions. Today it is a strong group. Today health promotions companies can hire a professional health coach from $70,000 a year.
Bottom line is many people do better with support, and studies are the evidence.
I became an ACE Health Coach last year and it’s been fantastic for my career.
I can assimilate my training into my health coaching and visa versa. It seems that the inquiries I am getting are for lifestyle changes rather than personal training.
I am really glad I studied, took and passed the test, it wasn’t’ easy for me, but well worth it.