A wellness coach is someone who helps individuals reach their personal goals in areas such as exercise, nutrition and smoking cessation. They may also focus on other life goals such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving financial or work-life balance and creating healthy relationships. While they may work with clients one-on-one, wellness coaches also offer programs to groups and companies.
Many professionals choose to become wellness coaches to expand their career opportunities, especially those in healthcare and public health who wish to offer additional support for their patients. Others find the profession rewarding in and of itself, with the freedom to set their own hours and create a lifestyle that supports their wellness goals.
The main goal of a wellness coach is to help their client make sustainable changes that improve their overall well-being. They may use tools such as motivation, inspiration and accountability to encourage the client to develop the behaviors that will lead to positive changes. A wellness coach can complement medical care by helping the client implement lifestyle changes prescribed by a physician or dietician.
A wellness coaching program usually offers training and certification in various fields including holistic health, exercise science and personal development. The skills learned in these courses are a good foundation for this career. However, there are many nuances in the field that require further knowledge. For example, while a wellness coach can provide guidance on nutritional and fitness topics, they are not legally qualified to give professional advice such as that of a nutritionist or personal trainer.
As a result, it is important that any wellness coach completes further education or training in these areas to ensure they are fully prepared to offer the most valuable services to their clients. The International Association of Wellness Professionals (IAWP) is a leading education provider in the industry.
During their training, graduates learn how to build trust and rapport with their clients, how to identify what goals are most important to them and how to help them develop strategies that will help them achieve those goals. They are also trained to work with the entire person, not just their body or finances.
After they have completed their certification, a wellness coach can offer their services to a variety of individuals and companies. They may work privately with clients through Skype and other online platforms, in wellness centers or holistic clinics or at corporate offices as part of an employee wellness program. In the latter case, the employer may seek to reduce insurance costs or absenteeism by offering wellness coaching to their employees. The cost of these services varies, depending on how long the client is committed to working with the coach and the type of service offered. Some wellness coaches charge a flat fee per session while others will structure their services around monthly subscriptions that are more affordable to clients.