Like an athletic coach who directs players in practice and rallies them from the sidelines, a health coach can be an indispensable aide for someone who wants to proactively improve or maintain his/her health. Whether living with disease, recovering from a surgery, trying to lose weight, or building stamina for more tennis, a health coach can help someone ensure they are in the best position to reach their goals.
A good health coach will get to know the real you.
Your health coach should be going above and beyond to know you.
They will need a detailed family medical history, personal medical history, current medical profile, and list of medications and supplements you are taking. They should also discuss your sleep patterns, stressors, triggers and have an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.
In order to truly help you reach your health goals, a quality health coach will also need to know your health and life plans and your ambitions, as well as your actual diet, habits, and the dynamics of your work-life balance or lack thereof. Beyond all that, they should be able to see your potential and help you set a vision for achieving those goals. Do you want to learn tennis? Want to lose weight and make better food choices? Or maybe play more golf? Your health and life goals are important so your coach knows what healthy will look like for you.
Your health coach should be able to help you prioritize needs, create a plan and encourage you to stay the course.
Let’s be honest – you’re looking for a partnership, not a drill sergeant. A good health coach should help you set a plan and hold you accountable to it. They should encourage you along the way to keep you on pace. While you are working for your goals, they can help you stay interested and motivated by having fun along the way. After all, you wanted to be pushed forward, not over the edge!
A good health coach knows the game is both mental and physical.
When you choose a health coach, they need to be ready to motivate you to execute your plan. Setbacks are inevitable. They should be able to help you stay in the game and help get you focused after a loss or setback. Look for someone who will celebrate your victories and recognize milestones so you are motivated to keep going forward.
A good health coach gives it to you straight.
You aren’t paying a health coach to be a cheerleader. A good health coach should be fair and objective. They should be candid, but reaffirm its for your best interest. Learning about yourself is part of improving your health and life skills. It’s important not shy away from tough love when it’s necessary.
A good health coach keeps you informed
Lastly, a worthy health coach should be accessible and knowledgeable. Equally important, they need to be able to educate you on medications, nutrition, and information about your physiology to help you make better decisions. When you are injured, they should be able to explain, in a way you understand, the treatment and plan for recovery. Interpreting information from your doctors, and make sure you know how to apply it practically is one of their primary responsibilities.
In short, your health coach needs to be on your team, completely. They should be your support, encouragement and guide. Choose wisely.