In this article, the purpose of a wellness coach, who could benefit from working with one and the benefits of wellness coaching are explored. The article also discusses the difference between wellness coaching and nutrition coaching and provides guidance on how to become accredited as a wellness coach.
Wellness coaching involves working with a coach to help improve various aspects of well-being. This could include, for example, improving sleep, reducing stress or improving diet quality. While wellness includes physical health, it is a more holistic concept that incorporates mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. A wellness coach is someone who has received training in client-centered health education, motivational strategies and behavior change science. They coach their clients to help them take charge of their own health and achieve their specific goals.
A wellness coach may work in various settings, such as healthcare teams, gym settings, or community centers. They may have a specific area of expertise and work with particular populations, such as young mothers or college athletes. Wellness coaches use their training to support and motivate their clients to make changes by helping them to develop life skills, create supportive systems, and explore the deeper meaning behind their goals.
While many coaches may be able to coach both wellness and nutrition, generally, nutrition coaches tend to focus more on food and diet quality to support overall health, body composition or performance goals. Wellness coaches tend to view health more globally and also consider exercise, sleep, social connections, work, and recreation. Neither nutrition coaches nor wellness coaches are qualified to practice medical nutrition therapy or develop meal plans for medical conditions.
Becoming a wellness coach can involve obtaining accreditation through one of the over 100 approved wellness coaching programs and certifications approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). These programs vary in cost, area of specialization, educational and/or professional requirements, and program length. Graduating from one of these programs qualifies an individual to apply for the National Board Certification Examination. Although the wellness coaching field is largely unregulated, having accreditation from an approved program and receiving support from the NBHWC can validate the education received.
Therefore, working with a wellness coach can provide the support, guidance, and accountability necessary to help people achieve their well-being goals. Coaches work with clients in a client-centered way, helping them to take charge of their own health and make changes that align with their personal values and priorities. Becoming a wellness coach requires obtaining accreditation through one of the many approved wellness coaching programs, and while the field is largely unregulated, receiving support from the NBHWC can validate the education received.