Health Coaching is an off-shoot of Life Coaching targeted specifically at improving all aspects of health and fitness using the proven techniques and strategies that make Life Coaching one of the newest, fastest growing, and most effective self-development and performance enhancing techniques available.

Health Coaching is relevant to anyone wishing to improve their own health but is particularly pertinent to employees and organisations who want to reduce the amount of time and money lost through ill health. In the USA organisations that have invested in health coaching have seen a Return On Investment of between 2.5 and 7.5. Employers that offer health coaching to their staff not only reap the benefits of increased productivity but also retain staff longer avoiding the expenses associated with recruiting and training. (It is a little known fact that at any time 70% of a firms employees are either actively or passively seeking a new job).

A recent study at Yale University has shown that "Health Coaching is a highly effective and superior strategy in reducing total cholesterol, and other coronary risk factors such as blood pressure, compared to patients who were prescribed medication but not coached."

Health coaching can help in the following areas but is not limited to these areas

REDUCING STRESS
STOPING SMOKING
GETTING IN SHAPE
MANAGING A CHRONIC HEALTH ISSUE
NUTRITIONAL ADVICE & SUPPLEMENTATION
INCREASED ENERGY LEVELS

Further research has shown that "Wellness coaching is significantly more effective than personal training or dietician consultation in delivering sustainable behavior change. (Principles of behavioral Psychology in Wellness Coaching, Margaret Moore, Wellcoaches Corporation, November 2004).

A Health coach will help you transform your life in easy steps and help you achieve things you never thought possible! Your Coach will use a proven step by step process, keeping you on track, and holding you accountable. In deed, it is this accountability that sets coaching way ahead of every other type of health intervention. Your coach will inspire educate and motivate you to do the things you know you should. You will get in shape through ways that are fun, and you will soon be living an active lifestyle, looking good on the outside and feeling good on the inside.

Most people these days are aware of the importance of living a fit healthy active lifestyle but often lack the motivation or knowledge to get started. A coach helps you get motivated and can provide the information you need to start the transformational process. The coach will create a customised programme that helps the client achieve their goals at a pace that is right for them. The coach also recognises the fact that the client is creative, resourceful and whole and works with them on a voyage of guided self discovery to a life of health and fulfilment. It is a special relationship between coach and client, a collaborative partnership. The client must be willing to be coached, they must be prepared to accept responsibility for their outcome and be held accountable.

The first step in the coaching process is to assess where the client is currently at. Many life Coaches use the "Wheel of Life" to ascertain exactly where a client is in their life right now and then to work out where they want to be. This is the first step in setting goals. The Wheel of Life is a powerful tool that can be used in all areas of life and business. A health coach will use a variation of the “Wheel of Life“ - the "Wheel of Health" to help the people assess their current health.
On the "Wheel of Life" health is one of the segments, but as with all the other segments on the Wheel of Life it can be sub-divided to form a new wheel of 8 (or more) segments. To draw a Wheel of Life or a Wheel of Health, draw a circle about the size of a large grapefruit. Divide it into 8 equal segments, very much like you would divide up a pizza. The eight segments (there can be more in necessary), represent the important areas of your life or your health or your business.

The areas normally used for the health wheel are; Exercise, Sleep, Diet , Weight, Stress, Supplements, Fun and Recreation, and Happiness. These can be added to or replaced, for example Supplements could be replaced with Hydration , Bad Habits could be added. The client rates himself from 1 to 10 in each of these areas, where 1 is bad and 10 is ideal. A mark is placed in each segment of the wheel corresponding to the number given for that particular area. For example, if I rated my current level of exercise at 5, in the segment marked exercise I would place a mark about half way between the centre and edge of the circle. After rating every area of my health I would join up all the marks to form a wheel within the wheel. Most people end up with a wheel that, if it was placed on their car would give them a very bumpy ride. The wheel shows where your life is out of balance and identifies the priorities you need to work on to improve your health.

The client is then asked to chose an area which they wish to improve and then requested to do one small thing in the next week that will help them improve the score in that area. It is important that the action step is just a small step that is easy to achieve, and impossible to fail at. By making small steps each week huge progress can be made over a relatively short space of time. (It is doing things consistently that has the biggest effect. This can work for you or against you. If you consistently eat a pack of crisps, or a Mars bar every day you will get fat. There is nothing wrong with the odd treat. If you consistently exercise for 20 minutes every other day you will lose weight).
This process can be done alone, or with a buddy, or with a health coach. The advantage of working with someone else, particularly a coach is that they will hold you accountable to do the things that you know you should be doing.

Whilst most coaching is done face to face or over the telephone Health Coaching particularly lends itself to Internet technology. This has the following advantages;

Efficient
Easy to Use
Reliable
24/7 Access
Email your coach
Health forums
Available from any computer
Huge resources for self discovery
On line health assessments and risk assessments
Progress trackers
Get fit programme with virtual personal trainer enables you to train at home initially and avoid the often perceived embarrassment of going to the gym

The internet does not totally replace the role of the coach, who will still spend two 30 minute telephone sessions with the client each month.

HealthCoachingUK.com is a Division of Life Coaching Online (www.lifecoachingonline.com)

Author's Bio: 

After graduating from the University of Stirling with a degree in Biochemistry Trevor spent 18 years working for the police service where he was constantly bewildered at the mess people from all walks of life made of their lives. On leaving the police he was determined to help others improve their lifestyles and created Life Coaching Online. He is passionate about self-development, physical fitness, and living a healthy lifestyle. He has recovered from a chronic illness and is keen to help others overcome their own health problems. He is a professional Health Coach as well being a qualified Life Coach and Performance Consultant. He is aslo a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming. He has just launched a new website www.Health Coaching UK.com targeted specifically at people who want to improve their overall health and fitness levels using the proven techniques and strategies of Life Coaching. He provides his clients with access to one of the World's leading Health Coaching Websites to help them achieve their health goals.