Good health is something most people perpetually strive for in life. We may experience fluctuations in our weight and fall off the wagon occasionally when it comes to eating well, but as long as our overall health and wellbeing are good, everything else seems to fall into place. But as we know, exercise and diet alone are not the only ingredients to achieve this. It’s dictated by a number of factors including mental health, stress, sleep habits, and sometimes aspects that are out of our control, like chronic illness.
But while there are a multitude of resources to assist us with the day to day, from personal trainers, apps and dieticians, none of these things take into consideration how all the factors intersect to determine someone’s overall health. This is where a health coach could be beneficial. So what is unique about what a coach could offer?
Help Make Big Lifestyle Changes
Anyone who has made the decision to kickstart their new health journey will be familiar with the sense of overwhelm it can coincide with. Where do I start? How often should I exercise? Do I need to cut out carbs? There’s an abundance of exercise options and workout plans out there, and if you pick one that’s not right for you or bite off more than you can chew, you might jeopardize the long term picture. According to certified health coach Erika Schlick, meeting with a coach “bolsters your ability to change”. She continues: “Essentially, you’ve got someone right there with you cheering you on and challenging you to commit to the lifestyle changes that you most value, or will best serve your overall health and wellbeing.”
Advocacy and Accountability
Having someone to be your cheerleader relates closely to having an advocate who can both help you on your journey and keep you accountable. Schlick explains that it’s especially important for those suffering from illness. “What’s often written off as ‘fatigue’ or ‘stress’ is just a wastebasket diagnosis because the doctor can’t conclude what the actual diagnosis is,” she says. “This can be extremely disheartening when you’re in pain or suffering. A health coach advocates for you and helps you embark on the trail to health.”
A coach can also help you set realistic goals and establish a framework to meet them. “Many of us have great intentions for our health, but between the daily demands of our busy schedules, our health, the most vital part of our existence, gets compromised,” Schlick says. “When you work one on one with a health coach, you don’t just set goals together, you create an actionable plan that helps you achieve your goals realistically.” There’s also the benefit of having someone to give you an extra push when motivation wanes.
Adjust Your Relationship With Health
Reaching a point when you are content with yourself and comfortable in your own body is a journey. It can be tough to find a good relationship where you can work hard, find balance and keep perspective. Usually, it requires some amount of trial and error, but a health coach can help you keep focused on the bigger picture. After all, health is not determined by a number on a scale. “Each body is different. As a result, each health plan is unique,” Schlick explains. “Meeting with a health coach is an excellent way to curate a health plan that is designed specifically for you.” She adds that to get to that point, you inevitably go through a process where you learn more about your body — what foods work for you, types of exercise where you most reap the benefits, and what makes your soul feel good. After all, isn’t a healthy mind the core reason we embark on health journeys?
Find out more about Erica Schlick’s health coaching here.