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Health Coaching: Everything You Need to Know

The phrase “health coaching” has become increasingly popular in recent years. But what is health coaching, exactly? It refers to a specialist who’s trained in a variety of subfields and works with you to bring about positive changes to your overall health and well-being. 

What is a health coach?

A wellness authority and mentor can support, motivate, and inspire you to make positive lifestyle choices. They help you identify specific goals and teach you multiple ways to achieve those goals. If you’re unsure of what you should be focusing on, a health coach can show you how to zero in on the right areas. Maybe it’s about upping physical activity, improving your diet, or addressing a medical issue. Typically, coaches are educated in the fields of wellness, nutrition, and mentorship.  

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Since there’s no one way to get where you want to go, an effective coach allows you to choose a path that best suits you. For instance, a pro who instructs you to take up running when you hate cardio isn’t setting you up for long-term success. 

What is a certified health coach?

Do you want to find out how to be a health coach? Though a formal certification isn’t required, a license from an accredited program significantly increases your chances of being hired. Types of certifications include areas such as wellness, general health coaching, and personal training. Courses range in price from $500 to $6,000 and take anywhere from weeks to months to complete.

Health coach services

Next, you might want to know, “what does a health coach do?” The answer to this question varies. The following health coaching services are widely available. 

Nutrition/lifestyle health coaches

They assist you in reaching your goals through adjustments to your diet and daily routine. They’re qualified to tackle skin issues, fertility problems, poor metabolism, and emotional struggles. Health coaching is particularly beneficial during major life transitions, like pregnancy, chronic illness, or weight loss. 

They will analyze your usual diet and show you how to make smarter food choices. For example, it’s easy to become attached to unhealthy habits that stem from misleading information and dieting myths. They can dispel those myths and transform your relationship with food. 

Personal/fitness health coaches

Personal health coaching typically focuses on physical fitness. They understand the physiology of the human body, and how to build muscle and lose weight, cope with injuries, and maximize performance. Whether it’s one-on-one or in a group setting, these pro trainers determine your current level of fitness and guide you toward fulfilling your unique goals. 

Wellness health coaches 

Wellness health coaching shapes your mindset, emotional state, and perspective. Through counseling, discussion, and enhanced spirituality, they’ll determine the areas of your life that are in need of attention. 

Their work also overlaps with other health coaching areas like diet and exercise. Promoting your overall wellness means addressing any aspects of your life that may be out of balance. 

What to look for in a health coach

First and foremost, seek a health coach with the proper certifications. Unfortunately, the field of health coaching is unregulated, so anyone could claim to be a pro even without formal training. 

When interviewing prospective coaches, ask about their training program. Decide how important it is that they received online or in-person training. 

Discuss the types of programs they offer, whether they are one-on-one counseling, group sessions, online courses, or something more comprehensive. 

How much does personal health coaching cost?

With such a wide array of health coaching services on the market, pricing varies greatly. Note the national average cost for health coaching in the U.S. ranges from $60 to $90 per hour. For a more accurate estimate, think about what you want your health coach services to include, such as:

  • Workout routines or fitness training
  • Meal plans or recipes, with recommendations on what to eat and when 
  • Email support 
  • Weekly check-ins 
  • Daily prompts from apps to keep you on track

Next, you’ll have to choose the format of health coaching that’s right for you, whether it’s: 

  • An entire program
  • A package of sessions
  • One-on-one training
  • Group training
  • Online courses

Also, take into account the level of experience your health coach has. A recent graduate may advertise their services at half the price of a seasoned coach. 

Most pros offer three-month or six-month packages, typically including two 45 or 60-minute sessions per month. Those new to the health coaching field might charge around $100 to $200 per session. In contrast, experienced coaches tend to offer packages instead (ranging from $1,200 to $2,400). 

In addition to these basic service packages, you might be able to add customized options. For example, you could sign up for biweekly sessions but add fitness training, meal plans, or email check-ins.

As a rule, group programs are significantly cheaper than private sessions. A seven-day group package could cost $100 per client with a new coach, and around $150 with a veteran coach.   

As with any hired professional, you want a health coach you feel comfortable with. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, sharing private info, and discussing your weaknesses and insecurities. Lastly, stick to your health coaching budget to ensure you can work with them as long as necessary. 

How to become a health coach

If you have a passion for helping others attain their life goals, consider entering the rewarding field of health coaching. Get your career off the ground by taking the following steps:

  1. Decide what kind of health coach you want to be. Are you an avid fan of fitness, diet, and nutrition, or overall wellness?
  2. Research certification programs in your area. Would you prefer training online or in-person? Read reviews to ensure the program’s a good fit and confirm that it’s within your budget. 
  3. After graduating, try to get as much client experience as possible. Consider starting your own small business or landing a job at an established clinic. 
  4. Gradually shape and fine-tune your personal style of health coaching. Do you prefer teaching in-person or online? Do you like training clients privately or in group settings? 

Takeaway

The question of "what is a health and wellness coach?" is a bit tricky to answer. Despite being a far-reaching and complex discipline, the underlying goal of health coaching is always the same. Health coaches not only motivate and inspire but help you set and achieve positive goals to create a happier, healthier you. 

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/02/04/whats-a-health-coach

https://www.exercise-science-guide.com/blog/5-most-popular-health-coaching-certifications/

https://www.wellsteps.com/blog/2020/01/02/wellness-certifications-health-coach-certifications-personal-training-certifications/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/6-things-to-look-for-when-hiring-a-health-or-fitness-coach_b_9489484

https://www.healthcoachsolutions.net/price-health-coaching-programs/

https://www.thumbtack.com/p/health-coach-prices

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