What is Health Coaching and What Does a Health Coach Do?

What is health coaching? What is any type of coaching? If you are going to be a coach, it may help to define your occupation so you can better understand what is needed to be a successful coach.

What is Health Coaching and What is a Health Coach?

Myles Downey, one of Europe’s foremost business coaches and author of many books, defines coaching as, “ the art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another.” The health coach would then facilitate the performance, learning, and development of health related issues of another. Sounds easy, right?

Health coaches help people with health issues

Clients can come from a wide range of the population with a wide range of reasons:

  • Athletes seeking ways to boost performance through health and nutrition
  • Individuals with chronic illnesses seeking to find ways to live better.
  • Individuals seeking to lose weight.
  • People striving to live a healthier lifestyle.
  • Groups of children seeking to find ways to become more active and learn healthier habits.
  • Corporations seeking to promote health and wellness to their employees to improve productivity.

Health coaches help clients by

  • Listening actively
  • Providing constructive feedback
  • Using inquiry to help clients find solutions
  • Using positive psychological approaches to help clients find their own inner resourcefulness
  • Summarizing
  • Reflecting
  • Refocusing
  • Redefining
  • Allowing the client enough space to find their own answers.

Now, it doesn’t sound quite as easy, does it? Coaching is simple yet complex, easy yet very difficult, obvious yet so very subtle. Health coaching requires knowledge and learned skills, but it also requires a certain talent. It is both an art and a science. The science is learned through education and experience. Most are born with the art, but it is improved and strengthened through experience and eventually, trial and error.

So, what is health coaching? At its core it is behavior modification. It is providing positive space for clients to modify their behavior in order to live healthier lifestyles and reach wellness goals.

Does Health Coaching Pay?

If you are looking for a rewarding career, the first question is: What is health coaching? However, the next question might be: What does it pay?

According to the US Department of Labor Bureau Statistics in 2010, the pay for health and wellness coaches ranged from $23,443 to $61,928 per year. Indeed.com pegs the average salary at $72,000 per year. Health coaches can own their own businesses, work for a health care provider, be employed by a corporate wellness program, or work in other aspects of health and wellness. This variety creates more opportunities, but also contributes to the wide disparity in pay.

Perhaps the most important question isn’t: What is health coaching? Perhaps it isn’t: How much does a health coach make? Perhaps the most important question is: What rewards are there to being a health coach?

The rewards of health coaching are many:

  • Using your knowledge and skills to make a significant difference in someone’s life.
  • Taking charge of your own life and creating the future you have always wanted.
  • Incredible flexibility in where you work, for whom you work, and with whom you work.
  • The potential to earn supplemental income or to enter a career in which the earning potential is good and getting better.
  • The personal satisfaction of knowing that you are doing good for yourself while also doing good for others.

What is health coaching? It’s a great career in which you make a difference in your own life while making differences in the lives of your clients. You can’t ask any more than that out of a career!

Special Bonus – Learn 3 simple ways to become a life coach with the “30-Days to Become a Coach” video toolkit when you fill in the form at the top right and click the“Watch The Videos Now”  button. You’ll learn how to change your client’s life in 45 minutes.

Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community

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