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What is Health Coaching and What are the Benefits of Working with One

by Danait Tzeggai

Health Coaches usually represent a single person who can offer advice or guidance on dietary changes, health goals, stress management and counseling, fitness goals and exercises, as well as lifestyle and behavioral changes. Health coaching is a 1-on-1 experience, coaches fulfill many of the gaps in health care that one doctor or trainer can't address. Considering this, health coaches can't diagnose, and prescribe medications, nor can they treat patients, but they can provide information and education. 

Most coaches have an education background in nursing, nutrition science, exercise physiology, psychology, or health education and are well equipped to coach. Additionally, they receive a health coaching certification from organizations such as The National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).


What makes health coaches different from other health professionals?

A health coach ensures that individuals are active participants in their health. Taking control of one's health allows people to take responsibility for their own health and outcomes. It's like driving a car instead of riding along as a passenger; you have more control over it. As opposed to health coaches, doctors have a one-sided relationship with their patients, where the patient listens and the doctor provides advice. Other health professionals are not trained in the science of behavior change and do not have the communication, social, and psychological skills that health coaches can provide, and have fewer treatment options. A health coach's practice revolves around motivational interviewing and behavior change which many other health professionals don’t have enough training on. 


What issues does health coaching address?

Currently, in our healthcare system, doctors have a limited time available for each patient, on average between 10 to 15 minutes, which leaves little time to ask as many questions as possible or receive detailed information. Individuals can meet with a health coach at their convenience to address any issues they may have as well as have many follow-up sessions. Health coaches have the time and expertise to motivate individuals to make new behaviors. 

Another problem is that many patients are at high risk for chronic conditions or have been diagnosed, but don't know much about their condition. Getting diagnosed can be a challenging time, so having a coach can fill in knowledge gaps and give advice on how to manage the condition. High-risk individuals are given certain goals to meet to prevent or delay the onset of conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Coaches help individuals transform their goals into action and making behavior change.

Reasons to see a health coach

  • Coaches are willing to meet you at your current health journey point and  provide you with information and tools to continue.  

  • They will help you set realistic goals and keep you accountable

  • Wanting to be consistent with the behavior changes you make

  • Take actions with the proper knowledge to live a healthy life

  • To take control of own well-being both physically and mentally 

How much does it cost to see a health coach?

The cost of seeing a health coach can vary widely. Prices vary according to the coach's experience and background. In addition, some coaches work for themselves, while others work for companies that provide coaching services which can affect the cost. Most coaching sessions last between 45 minutes and an hour and can cost up to $200 dollars. No worries about the cost because some coaches do accept insurance. As of last year, the American Medical Association (AMA) authorized NBHWC health coaching programs to accept health insurance. Coaches who have NBHWC credentials can provide insurance coverage to their clients.

 If you are interested in health coaching, ask your healthcare provider for recommendations. To find out if your health insurance covers the service and if they have a list of approved providers, you can contact them as well. 

 

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn, rather than teaching them.”

Sir John Whitmore

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Danait Tzeggai is passionate about wellness, and she works as a health coach encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle. Currently, she is pursuing a master's degree in public health with an emphasis on epidemiology. She has a bachelor's degree in health science and a minor in psychology. Her passion for public health led her to focus on nutrition, healthy living, and cultural competency. She is particularly interested in healthcare policies, access to care and reliable information related to public health and her goal is to bridge the gap between health care professionals and consumers.

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Keeping Fitness a Part of Your Daily Routine After 65

By Cori Ritchey

 

Exercise is a key medicine in life. It prevents and combats all kinds of health issues at any point in life. Exercise is not just for the young - keeping a good level of fitness at an older age can help alleviate many health issues, as well as maintain independence late in life. Starting a fitness routine in your 60s doesn’t have to mean jumping into high intensity interval routines and olympic lifting. Starting a fitness routine in your 60s can mean functionally keeping your body healthy by staying consistent with functional movement and basic activity. Here are five realistic ways seniors can prioritize their health:

 

Walking

Working on cardiovascular health is important in a population where heart disease is seen in 14% of the population. Luckily, cardio exercise does not have to be intense. Walking, alone, is one of the best cardiovascular exercises. The hype surrounding the “10,000 steps a day” trend is real. Walking gets our heart rate up to a level that can improve its function. Start small, going a distance and a speed that is mildly difficult, and building up slowly.

 

Take the Stairs

Stairs are everywhere, and they will always be an obstacle as we get older. Choosing to take the stairs where possible helps keep our endurance up, and will help us continue our independence on stairs late into our lives. This is an easy way to stay fit and functional in everyday life.

 

Swimming/Water sports

Water exercise is a great way to get your heart pumping with minimal strain on your joints. As we get older, the cartilage in our joints deteriorates, and it makes high impact activities difficult. Swimming, water aerobics, and even walking in water are low impact exercises that can help your cardiovascular system without straining your joints.

 

Calisthenics

Calisthenics are exercises that you can do with just your body weight. Starting an exercise routine with calisthenics means you can start a routine with just yourself, and you can do it just about anywhere. Utilize the sample workout plan below to try it out for yourself!

 

Start with 4 rounds, 10-15 reps. Rest as long as needed between sets

  • Chair sit and stands

  • Squats

  • Arm raises

  • Stair climbs

 

Standing

Standing helps blood circulation more than we think. By doing simple tasks while standing, we are able to keep our stabilization muscles strong and our blood flowing. Next time you’re in the kitchen, stay standing to cut your vegetables and other tasks.

 

Fitness can be simple. The way we live our everyday lives counts more to our overall fitness than how many times a week you hit the gym. None of these acts mean anything without consistency. Do these activities daily for best results.

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Cori Ritchey is a Washington D.C. native newly transplanted to the Boston area, expected to graduate from Emerson College in 2022 with a Masters in Journalism. She is a graduate of  Penn State University with a bachelors of science in Kinesiology. Through her experience working on the frontlines of health care, led by a love for reading, writing, and public speaking, Cori became a health and science reporter to shed light on these issues.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Media personality Kearni Warren talks to Dr. Melissa Myers, an occupational therapist at the renown Moss  Rehab in Philadelphia about empowering stroke patients and managing the aftermath of a stroke.

May 2002 page 6