Everyday it seems as though a different diet plan or exercise routine is being touted as the
solution to acquiring better health and well-being. Each of these protocols has its own group of followers that swear by its effectiveness. Determining the correct path to take to master a healthy lifestyle can be confusing to say the least. How are you to know which is the best?
There is not a "one-size-fits-all" plan for wellness. Optimal well-being isn't just a product of being physically fit or eating the right foods, and wellness has a different meaning to different people. Many of us know what we need to do, but fail to get there. This partly occurs because traditionally, the emphasis has been on making physical changes. Cognitive changes, such as recognizing your values and how they align with your behaviors, need to occur in order to achieve long-term adherence to a healthy lifestyle. This is where contact with a Wellness Coach can be of benefit.
Wellness coaching is a profession which is increasing in popularity and has been ranked as #13 in the American College of Sports Medicine's Annual Worldwide Survey of Health and Fitness Trends for 2010. According to Karl Weiss, a Wellcoaches Support Coach based out of Sacramento, California, a Wellness Coach helps you to create your own vision of wellness. He states that "most of us can clearly tell what is wrong with us, but [very few] are able to depict wellness [and what wellness feels like and what the process of achieving wellness would feel like]."
Wellness coaching is about fostering self-empowerment. A Wellness Coach helps you to realize why you engage in your current behaviors and the steps that you need to take to change those habits to ones that promote health. It is a proactive process that involves self-discovery. Weiss describes wellness coaching as a layering of cognitive and psychological change with physical change. The goal of the wellness coach is for you to take control of, and responsibility for, your own health.
What can you expect to get out of a relationship with a Wellness Coach?
- An understanding of what is currently going well in your life and what attributes you have that made it so. Knowledge of your strengths will allow you to draw upon them to help you tackle the challenges in your life.
- The development of a personal vision of wellness. That is, an understanding of what you want to become, how you think you will feel when you acquire that status, and what you want to achieve by accomplishing that goal.
- A list of short-term and long-term goals and a plan of action that will allow you to progress from your present situation to that of your vision.
- A partner in your journey to well-being that will provide motivation and accountability.
"The initial consultation with a Wellness Coach lasts about 90 minutes and begins to build a vision, [setting] short-term and long-term goals, and [the creation of the] start of a plan," states Weiss. After that, "subsequent sessions tend to be in the 30 minute range, longer if issues arise or shorter if you are on task," he explains. Because there are still relatively few Wellness Coaches available, and one may not be in your area, many of the sessions take place via telephone conversations and email contact. Cost varies, but you can expect to pay around $100 for the initial session, with subsequent sessions ranging from $50-$100.
Karl Weiss - CWC, Wellcoaches Support Coach, firstname.lastname@example.org
ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, November/December 2009, Volume 13, Number 6, pp. 9-16, "Worldwide Survey Reveals Fitness Trends for 2010."
Labels: Wellcoaches, Wellness Coaching