What does a Health Coach do?

What does a Health Coach do?

health coach

Health coaches are part of the movement dedicated to reversing the physical inactivity epidemic. A health coach helps educate and motivate people to adopt healthy, long-term, sustainable behaviors to improve their health. They coach people to create a life that avoids so many lifestyle illnesses and health conditions.

A health coach works to facilitate healthy lifestyle changes through a three areas: physical activity, nutrition education, and behavior change.

Working with a health coach begins with a holistic assessment of your lifestyle. Lack of time is the most frequently reported reason for why people don’t exercise.  Health coaches work to help clients understand how to realistically include movement in their days.

There is also discussion about your support systems. In order to maintain positive changes long-term, you need reliable support systems. Sometimes this involves suggestions for altering high-risk behaviors. While this sounds really scary, it can mean changing a simple habit like snuggling on the couch with your sweetie, while watching TV and eating a bowl of ice cream every night.

Coaching behavior change is the heart of a health coach’s job. Using psychological methodologies, the health coach helps clients evaluate their starting point. From there, the coach can introduce small mindset shifts to set off a snowball effect of positive change.

Another role of the health coach is guiding goal setting. Depending on the client’s starting point and desired main goal, the coach helps clients set goals related to fitness, nutrition, self-care, and overall wellness. The health coach ensures that goals are realistic, appropriate, and achievable for the client.

Weight management coaching includes a blend of psychology, fitness planning, and nutrition evaluation and education. Health coaches have advanced study in both the psychology of weight management as well as the science of physiology. This unique blend places health coaches as central figures in fighting the obesity epidemic.

Where can I find a Certified Health Coach?

  • Medical offices- particularly those inclined to functional medicine or holistic practice
  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Community centers
  • Private practice

Many health coaches are fitness and wellness professionals who want to further their education to better serve their clients.

Interested in chatting about my health coaching services? Fill out the form below, and we’ll get a 15-minute phone call set up right away.

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3 Secrets to Starting an Exercise Habit that Sticks

3 Secrets to Starting an Exercise Habit that Sticks

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Starting an exercise habit is hard. But when you feel prepared both mentally and physically, you’re more likely to stick with it.

3 Secrets to Starting an Exercise Habit that Sticks

  1. KNOW THAT IT’S OKAY TO BE A BEGINNER

Everyone was a beginner at some point. Don’t psyche yourself out before you even get started. Know that it is okay not to know how to do things. It is totally normal to feel a bit lost and confused if you’ve never lifted weights or been to a Zumba class or tried to run for more than a minute before. Heck, even walking is a great way to get started!

If you accept that being a beginner when you’re starting an exercise habit means that you need to ask for help, you’re much more likely to be successful. There are people who are happy and willing to help you. Many personal trainers are willing to work with you for just a session or two if you need a little jumpstart or orientation.

It’s always a better idea to ask someone who knows what they are doing rather than just trying to look around and fake it til you make it. Remember that the goal of working out is to improve your health– so don’t do something that might lead to injury.

And here’s the really good news about being a beginner: you have lots of room for improvement! You’re likely to see and feel progress fairly quickly after starting an exercise habit. Woo hoo!

2. HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

Just like when you’re cooking in the kitchen, using the right equipment makes the whole process much more enjoyable. Whether you’re working out at home or at a gym or studio, having the right equipment increases the chances that you’ll stick with your new program.

So if you’re thinking of doing yoga at home, buy yourself a good mat. If you want to take spin classes at a gym, make sure you buy the right kind of shoes. Want to start a weekly kayaking date? Buy sunscreen that not only works but feels great on your skin.

You can find some of my favorite pieces of workout equipment here.

Regardless of what meaningful movement you’re going to be doing, I suggest investing in a good pair of shoes (and good socks!) and a water bottle you love. Ladies, find yourself a sports bra that does its job without digging in to your skin and chafing. Being comfortable while you’re exercising goes a long way in making sure you maintain your workout schedule.

One word of caution: don’t go buying a fancy tech watch gizmo just because everyone else has one. If you’re someone who is more motivated by how you feel than tons of data, you don’t need to spend your money there.

3. FIND WHAT YOU LOVE

I know it seems totally obvious, but so many people skip this step! Doing something you love is the most critical factor of all when starting an exercise habit! Figure out how your body loves to move, and you’ll be so much more motivated to prioritize your workouts.

This is the perfect time to tune out your friends and focus on yourself. While having an exercise buddy is a great way to stick with your workouts, internal motivation is an unstoppable force. Don’t be afraid to chart your own course.

If all of your friends love to run but you hate running, then don’t run! If you really want to join a soccer league so you can play on a team again like you did in high school, go for it! And bonus points to you if your idea of workout fun scares you a little bit. Exercise is a great way to push both your body and your mind.

Struggling to come up with an idea that really appeals to you? There’s an reflection exercise as part of my FREE Fit in Fitness 5-Day Challenge that can help!

I hope you have great success with these 3 secrets to starting an exercise habit that sticks. Good health and great happiness to you.

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These 3 secrets to starting an exercise habit that sticks will help any beginner get off on the right foot-- and keep going!

Walking: Boost Your Body, Boost Your Brain

Walking: Boost Your Body, Boost Your Brain

walking health benefits fitness creativity

A lot of times people in the fitness industry like to overcomplicate things.

People are led to believe that unless they use sophisticated equipment, contort their body into uncomfortable positions, or sweat profusely, it doesn’t count as exercise.

Wrong.

Hippocrates wrote “walking is man’s best medicine.” With no fancy equipment, gymnasium, or playing field necessary, one can improve her fitness just by walking.

In our sedentary culture, we could all use a little more of that medicine.

To move is to feel invigorated…alive! Perhaps that is why several cultures—the Spanish and the Italians, notably—retain the evening stroll. It’s not about fitness in the same way that Americans like to think of it. Rather, it’s about connecting with community in an active way.

When we can combine something that is good for our body physically with something that buoys us mentally, why wouldn’t we want to do it more often?

 

Enter the walk-and-talk: boost your body, boost your brain.

Next time you’re working to arrange a coffee chat with a friend, offer instead to meet her for a walk. It doesn’t have to be fast, nor does it have to be far. But if you spend an hour moving rather than an hour sitting, you’ve done something good for yourself. (Not to mention that you’re less likely to be tempted by goodies in a pastry case if you’re out walking.)

Maybe you’ll feel motivated by knowing some of our greatest human minds walked daily. Albert Einstein, Ludwig Beethoven, and Steve Jobs are all well-documented regular walkers. When you think about all they contributed to society, maybe you’ll understand why philosopher Freidrich Nietzche wrote “all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

The mobile meeting has a well-established place within American corporate culture. Do you have an opportunity to introduce more movement into your day at work? Think of the creativity boost you receive from moving your body as an added bonus.

If you’re still feeling like walking isn’t really exercise, then don’t think of it as such. Walking is, however, meaningful movement that contributes positively to your health. If you’re motivated by data and personal challenges, using a simple pedometer or a more sophisticated fitness tracker may help keep you walking on the path to health.

Walking is the perfect beginner’s exercise! Join the movement. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other.

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Walking is great exercise that supports both physical and mental health.

How Your Home Life Affects Menopause

How Your Home Life Affects Menopause

menopause perimenopause stress housework second shift mental load

 

Years ago, when my husband and I were expecting our first child (who is now a high school freshman), we decided that I would be the primary parent.

Let me be clear: there was absolutely nothing pejorative about this term.

We were living abroad, and I didn’t have a work permit. I also really wanted to nurse my baby and be his primary caregiver. At the time, it was a lovely life, and our family of three was quite content.

Fast forward to 2018. We now have three kids: one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school. Both my husband and I own our own businesses. I am still the primary parent.

It’s a familiar tale, right?

Studies show that women do three times the housework that men do. That’s a visible inequity of labor.

This set up is known as “The Second Shift” , a nod to the fact that even though women are in the paid workforce at higher-than-ever rates, the bulk of childcare and domestic duties are still theirs.

But that’s not all…

There are also all of the less visible tasks that also usually fall to women.

Birthday parties. Registration dates for piano lessons and ice skating classes. Dentist appointments. Annual well checks. PTA lunches for teachers. Which friend is currently persona non grata.

Once we understand the mental load that women carry, it’s much easier to understand how exhausting it all can be.

 

Let’s face it: we all have a certain amount of bandwidth. And if my bandwidth is being taken up by the minutiae of logistics for three other people—plus family functions—that’s a lot of bandwidth!

Many husbands are certainly participatory in kids’ lives in a way that men weren’t a generation ago. Both dads and kids benefit from the active fatherly presence in the kids’ lives.

But for women who are juggling work, raising children, aging parents, and managing the symptoms of perimenopause, the mental load can be crushing.

It is futile to try to address the stress that exacerbates the unpleasant symptoms of menopause without acknowledging the mental load. When we learn strategies to decrease the mental load, we can begin to develop systems of meaningful self-care. One such strategy is educating ourselves about the realities of perimenopause and the role stress plays in how we weather the storm.

Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause is a six-week ecourse that includes educational information about the physiology of hormones and bodily changes that happen between ages 40 and 55. Furthermore, we take a deep dive into the psychology of why women feel the burden of the mental load at this time. Finally, Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause offers you the opportunity to create a road map to a happier, healthier, more balanced life.

Not sure if you’re in perimenopause? Check out this video….

Did you know that the "second shift" work of chores & childcare contributes to menopause symptoms?