Stuck in a rut or hit a plateau? Here are some ways you can step up your game and boost your fitness with health coaching!
Hey friends, how is your month going so far? Things have been up and down for me: I missed out on our local triathlon because it was postponed to the same weekend as my YogaFit workshop (yay for YogaFit but bummed about missing the tri!).
On the plus side, I’ve been studying for my health coach certification through ACE Fitness. I love learning new things! I’m about halfway through my studies and it has not only helped me provide better service to my current personal training clients, but reading through the material has also helped me make changes in my own thinking and behavior patterns. Pretty amazing!
If you want to boost your fitness or work on your health goals, then you should consider seeing a health coach. Even though health coaching is a relatively new profession, it is quickly becoming popular o among average people and athletes alike since it is so effective.
My husband and I see a health coach a few times a year as part of his employee wellness program. We love our health coach! She helps us evaluate our overall health and fitness habits, we chat about reducing stress, and we find ways to make our health goals a priority. We have been seeing her for a few years now and have come to trust her, and we look forward to our health coaching sessions.
If you want to take your health and fitness to the next level, here are a few ways a health coach can help you:
Prioritizing health and behavior change
If you’re feeling stuck on your health and fitness journey, good health coaching can help! Health coaching is based largely on sports psychology and cognitive behavioral theory. Coaches work with clients to identify barriers to meeting goals and then help clients develop strategies to overcome them.
Many people run into obstacles when they are working to make their health a priority, whether it’s workout planning, a perceived lack of time, or negative thought patterns (like “I’m a loser” or “I’ll never reach my goals”). It helps a ton to have an expert provide a fresh perspective and objective input!
Good health coaching is very client-centered. Solutions are created as a team between clients and health coaches, and are focused on client needs and what works best for him or her. Health coaches are exactly that: coaches. They offer assistance but ultimately empower clients to create positive change for themselves.
While health coaches can provide a bit of help with behavior change, they aren’t psychologists or mental health experts. If you have deeper mental health issues or an eating disorder, for example, a health coach will refer you to a qualified professional. Health coaches will often work with medical professionals as a team to create a comprehensive wellness approach for each client.
Basic nutrition guidance
A health coach can also provide basic nutritional guidance and help you reach your nutrition goals. Even if you don’t have specific nutrition goals, and you don’t even know where to start on your health journey, a health coach can give you advice about how to structure your meals, prioritize whole foods, balance nutrients, and reach your goal weight.
While health coaches can provide some great nutrition resources, they aren’t registered dietitians (unless they happen to have that credential) so they don’t create meal plans for clients or give specific nutrition advice for those with medical complications.
Since health coaches work to empower clients to help themselves, they provide the tools for clients to create their own meal plans and grocery shopping lists. This helps clients own their choices and feel empowered to live their best life on their own terms.
Building your support team
If you have found a health coach you love, she or he can also help you create a team of family and friends to support you (and who you can also support!) when making lifestyle changes. Great health coaches help clients see the importance of a strong support system, and can help them identify people in their lives they can rely on.
If you are a loner by nature, it’s time to rethink your strategy! I am a very independent person and it’s hard for me to rely on others, but people who have a strong support network of friends, family, or even a social media community have a greater chance of reaching their goals than if they went about it completely alone.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a health coach, now’s a great time to find one! Health coaches help support their clients and act as advocates, cheerleaders, guides, and catalysts for healthy change. They are a bit like trainers but address more than just fitness: they have a holistic approach and target behaviors, thought patterns, habits, nutrition, social support, and stress, among other issues.
Check out the ACE® Fitness certification programs. ACE® Fitness is the world’s largest nonprofit health and fitness organization and has been educating trainers for 30 years.
Download the ACE® Fitness career guide
Have you worked with a health coach?
If so, what did you love about the experience?
What didn’t work so well for you?
This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and ACE® Fitness campaign. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist