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What is Health Coaching?

What is Health Coaching - someone being coached

You've heard about life coaches, career coaches, and personal coaches, but have you ever wondered what a Health Coach does?

In this blog we explain what Health Coaching is, the role of a Health Coach, why this profession is increasingly in demand and how to become a Certified Health Coach in just 12-months.

What does a Health Coach do?

There are many different types of coaches, so what exactly does a Health Coach do? Health Coaches work with clients to become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves. The primary goal of a Health Coach is to help clients commit to a permanent lifestyle shift, overcoming all the barriers which commonly prevent people from changing.

Health Coaches create a new set of healthy lifestyle habits underpinned by a powerful vision for health and a newfound level of motivation and commitment; whilst also mentoring, inspiring, guiding, and motivating clients.

Typically, vital improvements will be made to a person’s diet and sleep and energy levels, as well as potentially creating a new exercise and fitness routine they can enjoy. Helping reduce stress, organising time effectively to create the all important ‘me’ time, creating strategies to improve feelings of wellbeing and happiness, losing weight, reducing pain and symptoms, increasing confidence, finding a new life purpose and much more can be achieved.

A Health Coach in person consultation

Essentially a Health Coach is able to coach clients on any change which will improve their overall physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Health Coaches can also set fun challenges, turning what has traditionally been seen as a restrictive and boring process, into a life changing, fun and exciting experience - tracking and celebrating successes along the way.

Health coaches have the luxury of time to delve deeper into the ‘how's and why's’ of preventative care that medical doctors do not – thereby bridging the gap. Understanding the importance of this is fortunately now being recognised and consequently many doctor's surgeries are adding Health Coaches to their team. This is a fantastic new opportunity for those who are passionate about health and helping others avoid unnecessary disease and suffering.

What is a Health Coach?

Health Coaches work with clients to come up with their 'new life' plan - one that will fully support their health goals with a clear vision for what they want.

Many people start out on a health or weight loss journey and become overwhelmed within a few weeks - slipping back to more familiar patterns. A meta-analysis of 29 long-term weight loss studies showed that more than half of the weight people lost was regained within two years, and by five years more than 80% of lost weight was regained (3). Sadly, without the help of a Health Coach instilling new habits, old habits will creep back in, life gets in the way of even the best-laid health plans and goals. People today are stressed out, time-poor, exhausted and far from feeling in ‘tip top’ shape!

Unfortunately poor health has become the ‘norm’ and people are tolerating it; often using food, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and other stimulants to keep themselves going, in order to give themselves energy, calm themselves down, or provide reward to deal with difficult situations. Which results in the inability for them to change on their own or give all of these ‘habits’ up at once, without support, resulting in failing within a few weeks.

Two health coaches working online

Health Coaches are champions for their clients, supporting them with their health goals and what they need to do to achieve them. Health Coaches help people to create a version of themselves so that they can enjoy optimum health and energy, with control over their health and ultimately their future. Using a tried and tested psychological coaching approach, (a formula we have developed and honed over 15 years), Health Coaches Academy finds the key to a client's motivation to unlock their unique ability to transform their lives. It is quite simply among the most rewarding professions to be in today, in a fast-growing sector full of opportunity.

Why are Health Coaches in demand and so urgently needed?

In a world still dealing with the aftermath of Covid-19 and the continuing rise in lifestyle related diseases, people are turning to wellness professionals like Health Coaches to help them.

It’s sadly becoming ever clearer that our primary health care systems are under increasing pressure, and front line staff are feeling the strain.

Think back to your last doctor's appointment - did you have enough time to chat about your overall health and well-being? Were you able to talk about your eating habits, how stress affects you, or your exercise routine? Most of the time, people walk away feeling disheartened and not listened to. The truth is, doctors feel that frustration too! They would love to spend more time with each patient, but they just can't seem to squeeze enough minutes into their busy days.

The landscape of healthcare has changed and now chronic disease far outweighs acute illness, with 74% of premature deaths linked to noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. These diseases are a result of a combination of various genetic, environmental and particularly lifestyle factors; including smoking, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity (1).

That’s almost three quarters of us who will die prematurely - which means that many of the 74% of premature deaths could be avoided.

This is exactly where health coaches can help! With chronic diseases often being preventable through diet and lifestyle changes, health coaches have the time to deal with the underlying barriers which are preventing people from changing their habits. People want to be healthy but it is difficult to make long term sustainable changes when there is so much temptation and mixed messages around. It isn’t easy to change ingrained lifestyle habits and stay motivated long-term without a skilled accountability partner and a knowledgeable 'cheerleader' to spur you on.

Research suggests that only 50% of heart disease patients make positive lifestyle changes to protect their health, and one study found that only 14% were able to implement all the changes (2) Many people have the desire and initial drive to change their habits, but often fall by the wayside, as they need support to make them sustainable.

So the issue is 'behavioural change', and this is where a Health Coach can really make a difference. Professional Health Coaches can make a significant impact on people's health by supporting, guiding and empowering people to implement sustainable lifestyle and nutrition changes.

How to Become a Health Coach

Choosing a recognised and accredited Health Coach Training course is crucial to your success in the health and wellness field. Our Ofqual-regulated HCA Level 5 and PCI accredited Health Coaching diploma is the perfect fit for anyone passionate about health. Whether you're just starting out or already making a difference in the profession, perhaps as a doctor, nurse, physiotherapist or other allied health professional. Even if you've encountered health issues on a personal level or witnessed them in your family or social circle, Health Coach training is for you.

By investing in your own well-being first, you'll be equipped to empower others in their journey towards better health. And the best part? You can make a difference while you learn.

You are likely to be someone who is concerned with the spiralling statistics and the steep rise in avoidable health issues, which continue to rise, despite the multi-billion dollar health and weight loss industry.

A female Health Coach laughing and clapping her hands

Mostly you are someone who is a good communicator and who feels now is the right time to follow a career path which truly inspires you. One where you are making a real and significant difference to others.

To work in the Health Coaching profession you need to be someone who is fascinated by the psychology of behaviour change: what makes people do what they do, or not do what they need to do? What is the key to unlocking someone's drive and motivation to change?

Coaching is firmly rooted in the belief that behavioural change and success in achieving anything is 10% what you do and 90% mindset. This idea developed back in the 1970’s when a tennis coach noticed that the tennis professionals most likely to win were those who played an 'inner' game of tennis as well as an 'outer' one.

With health coaching, we work on the 'inner' and the 'outer' game of optimum health. Of course, to enjoy optimum health you must have the right nutrition in play, however the critical skill a Health Coach needs is the ability to motivate, educate and inspire their clients to follow the plan, whilst adapting it to suit their lifestyle and also committing to a brand new approach and attitude to life.

Where can Health Coaches Work?

We are witnessing a significant growth in the demand for professional Health Coaches worldwide. This is not surprising considering the worsening global health statistics.

The global Health Coach market size was estimated at USD 14.48 billion in 2021 and is predicted to rise to over USD 25.95 billion by 2030.

There are a wide range of opportunities and prospects for qualified Health Coaches. Health Coaching jobs within established organisations including the NHS are increasing as the demand and recognition grows. Health Coaches can set up practices in health centres, gyms and fitness centres, holistic and beauty therapy businesses and anywhere where there are people who want to improve their health.

Considering that 70% of people want to lose weight, 84% of people feel tired most of the time and 67% of people are stressed, there are potential clients to be found everywhere and anywhere.

Health Coaches can also work in corporate environments, run groups and run online programmes as well as see clients individually.

Health Coaches can also coach entire families. As a Health Coach you can carry out home visits, work in schools, put together a wellness event package and market it to just about anyone who has an interest in improving the health of those around them.

As Health Coaching is so flexible, you can see clients from around the world so you are not restricted to only seeing clients in your own country. This gives you countless opportunities.

Women working at a health coaching event

When we first started seeing Health Coaching Clients in 2003, we ran several groups per week with numbers between 12 and 28 in each group. This was a great way to create a community of people supporting one another and we achieved stunning results with our Person-Centred Nutrition and Coaching approach. What's more, our clients maintained the results and our coaching business grew from strength to strength.

With a Combined 30 Years of Health Coaching and Nutrition Experience, you are in very safe hands. We are 'off the scale' passionate about training thousands of successful Health Coaches who help change the health, lives (and fate) of as many people as possible. We all know people who are unhealthy, unfit, overweight, stressed and unhappy. We all know people who succumb to illness far too young. It doesn't have to be this way. In our view, every single person who does not enjoy the health they want should have their own Health Coach. We have worked with clients both one to one and in groups. Our clients achieved stunning results and started recommending their friends and family to join what they often referred to as their 'Nutrition Course' or 'Nutrition Club'. This is because not only did we coach them to help them find and maintain motivation and commitment, we taught them how their bodies actually worked and what they had to do to look after them properly. They loved the process and the sessions and found the whole process life-changing as well as inspirational and great fun! And we found the secret to unlocking breakthrough results.

We teach you how to replicate this and create health programmes that are a fun journey of discovery for your clients!

It is vital to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

How long will it take to train to become a Health Coach?

Our training is thorough - you may find shorter Health Coaching courses to get your certification in health coaching, but we want you to complete the course feeling confident and fully prepared with the depth of knowledge required to help people work through their transformation process.

We will never compromise on quality and do not believe in short cuts. The course can be completed part-time and takes 12 months to complete. We are accredited and validated by all the important UK and international professional bodies. It’s important for many of our students to achieve a high quality and recognised certification for Health Coaching in order to feel confident in practice and become a certified Health Coach.

Our diploma is a Level 5 Ofqual qualification and is fully approved by UKIHCA (The UK and International Health Coaching Association), PCI and the Association for Coaching. Our course has been designed with busy lives in mind too, so you are fully supported throughout your studies, right through to graduation and beyond.

Many of our graduates choose to become part of our Health Coaches HUB membership, where graduates transition into professional practice and become successful Health Coaches. This is a vibrant and highly supportive community of peers and experts, provides ongoing professional development, business support and so much more.


Discover Health Coaching for yourself.

Talk to our team today and find out how you can make a real difference!

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