A health coach not only needs attributes that are relevant to their profession for them to be successful, but they also need to have the qualifications to back up their knowledge. Your health coach requires skills, attributes and qualifications, all of which can be learnt to some extent and some of which require a bit of an innate potential. Sometimes, when a health coach lacks with their innate ability, they use the skills they have learnt to supplement that. But no matter how much innate ability someone has, always ensure that you are checking into their qualifications. The point of health coach certification is to ensure your health and safety by demonstrating that they have completed testing requirements to be awarded the authority to coach you.
Training in Coaching, Fitness, and/or Nutrition
As mentioned above, your health coach needs training to be able to assist you on your wellness journey. The training of your health coach can be broad or narrow. Most health coaches will focus on the areas or diet, exercise and habit forming. Some health coaches may have training in all three areas, some may only have training in one and are working on training in other areas, and some may have a general knowledge of all three or be experts. It is important for you to find out what your health coaches qualifications are to ensure they align with your goals. If you are already on a keto diet but are unable to commit to a fitness routine, it may less useful to see someone who specializes in meal planning, that it would be for someone to teaches goal orientation or provides various forms of fitness routines. A health coach should be open with you about their areas of expertise and guide you to people who would be best able to assist you, if they cannot. Whether your health coach is educated as a coach, fitness instructor or in nutrition, they will all have the required the training that puts your health at the forefront of the conversation.
Knowledge of good health practices
Your health coach should receive training in good health practices whichever stream(s) they are educated in. This means being aware of all literature, both the literature that supports a primal lifestyle and the literature that contradicts it. They rely on science for the answers and not beliefs. They should not make promises or predictions about your future state of health. They should be open and honest with you, create a welcoming environment and be aware of your needs- when to push you a bit and when to back off. Your health coach should not: diagnose, prescribe or try to cure you. More on these point sin another blog.
Must be up-to-date with the latest health care developments
Your health coach stays up to date with the science and research through several avenues: continued courses, online research of science based research articles, and workshop involvement. Although the fundamental aspects of human physiology and the benefits of primal lifestyle may not change, understanding the minute differences between individuals is vital to ensuring you are receiving the best health care possible. Training and education is constant in this field because new research is always being done. New research is being done because it’s essential that the nutritional sciences remain rigorous. For example, if your health coach can learn about important genetic or biochemical markers that may be associated to your health, you can take that information with you to your medical doctor and explore it further. Or, if new research about how we form habits becomes available, your health coach may recommend new steps for you to take to strengthen your positive habits and make your goals easier to be achieved.
Good organizational skills
For your health coach to be optimal they should be organized. Maintaining several clients and keeping all of the information straight will be important for you so you do not have to repeat yourself and so they do not get your health information confused with that of another client. This is why your health coach may do an initial consultation and request forms to be filled out. These information forms along with recording either by video, audio or in written form of future sessions, will help the health coach to focus on your journey. Having organized records will allow the health coach to review them before your sessions. This will expedite your sessions so the health coach can follow up on last last consult. Remembering topics you discussed, tasks you were assigned, and any other information that needed to be researched, can be easily maintained through record keeping. Check out your health coaches website and see if it is organized in a way that you understand it. Websites can be tricky and have bugs, but if the overall look of the website is maintained, this could be a god sign that your health coach is, too.
Compassion may not seem like a regular qualification for a job position, but it can be essential for your health coach. For them to be able to accept you for who you are in your current state, will allow them to understand you better. Understanding leads to compassion. Compassion is something that can be learnt and can appear to be innate. The more your health coach practices compassion, the easier it will come to them. One of the best ways to practice compassion is through meditation. Your health coach may be recommending meditation to you. And if they are not, we certainly do recommend it here. Compassion will allow your health coach to connect with you on a positive level and be able to listen openly with you while providing critical feedback that may be beneficial to your wellness journey.
A health coach has several functions and they require skill training and innate desire to be beneficial for you. You are allowed to check on the health coaches qualifications either by directly asking, searching their website or asking others you know that have met with them. Your health is paramount, so invest the time that is required to ensure you are receiving what you require.