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Jun 235 min read

Do you need a health coach?

Updated: Jun 30

This is a question that gets raised more frequently in 2020 than it might have in, say, the 90s. As each generation becomes more health-conscious, more avenues for staying healthy become available. While most of us are quick to say we want to live a healthy life and live a long time, making healthy choices can be difficult. We are surrounded by unhealthy choices, including processed foods, the instant gratification of fast food, and sugar in every direction. Not only are healthier choices harder to make, but the sheer decisions alone are increasing levels of stress and anxiety.

It’s a lot. Thankfully, there are people that can help. As more and more people prioritize health and wellness, health coaching has become a prominent option for those who need additional tools, support, and guidance to make positive changes. Working with a health coach can not only encourage healthy behaviors but also improve your quality of life and lead to numerous other benefits. In this article, we’ll look at what a health coach is, what they do, and how they might be beneficial.

What is a health coach?

Health coaches are not all that different from any other coach or trainer. People hire personal fitness trainers to help them stay on point with exercising, and health coaches work very much in the same vein. The only difference is that health coaches may cover a broader spectrum of services and guidance. Many help people focus on improving their diet and eating habits, others may provide more holistic services that can cover things like anxiety and time management.

Health coaches are very different from doctors. They do not diagnose clients with a particular condition. Instead, they focus on providing guidance and tools to help the person live a healthy life around a condition. One example might be meal planning. A person may be told by their doctor that the ketogenic diet is the best diet for their health. A nutritionist might help build a tailored eating plan under that recommendation. A health coach can help you execute on the meal plan by showing you how to build time for prepping meals into your schedule.

Since health coaches come from all sorts of different backgrounds, they may specialize in certain things. For example, a health coach may have a professional background as a dietician, making them experts at creating healthy meal plans. They may concentrate on this aspect of health in their health coaching practice and choose to refer other needs to outside professionals. Health coaches may have experience in a variety of professional areas, including nursing, public health, physiology, nutrition, stress management, and more.

How do you work with a health coach?

Health coaches partner with you to create a plan that will get you on the path to optimal health. Rather than bossing you around and telling you what to do, most health coaches will engage with you on creating a roadmap for lasting, impactful behavioral changes. They can provide guidance and support at every step along the way.

This usually begins with a vision session where you can tell your health coach about your long-term health goals. They may ask you about your current health, any existing conditions, and your inspiration for wanting to make a change. They may also want to hear about your past experiences in changing to a healthy lifestyle as well as what motivates you as a person. Using this information, you and your health coach will craft a tailored plan that fits inside your daily routine.

Is working with a health coach right for me?

Only you can answer that question. To figure out if it makes sense, it can be helpful to ask yourself some questions:

Do I want to improve my health

Do I need help staying on track of my health and wellness habits

Am I struggling to make a positive change for my health?

Would it be helpful/motivational to have someone to celebrate my accomplishments with me?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, you may want to consider working with a health coach. While it’s certainly not the only way to achieve your health goals, it can be helpful to have someone on your “team”, cheering you along and providing support. Also, keep in mind that personal preferences and technology has morphed health coaching into something that can occur in many different ways. You can find a health coach to work with in-person, over the phone, or even via an app. You may even be able to combine various styles to create a health coaching scenario that meets your unique needs.

Decent Primary Care: An Alternative to a Health Coach

While working with a health coach can be positive, it may also be redundant. You see, Decent health plans offer free primary care, which means that our members can visit their primary care doctors as often as they would like -- for free! Have a health goal you’d like to work towards? Discuss it with your doctor! Have a pesky, unhealthy habit you can’t seem to kick? Get some tips from your doctor! Looking for the best ways to improve your diet? Snag some ideas from your doctor! Are you sensing a pattern?

The other great thing about having a Decent health plan with free primary care is that you can choose between in-person or virtual options. We offer several different plans and options so you can find the most tailored solution to all your health care needs. See for yourself -- get your free quote today!