Gagliardi also notes that health training is “becoming an integral part of the allied health continuum. That factor alone has the power to shape the future of the field. As a result, an increasing number of creative and unique work environments are beginning to appear that demand the services of health counselors. According to Gagliardi, some of the “out-of-the-box” environments in which health counselors work include pain management clinics, human resources offices, group training environments, insurance companies, diabetes prevention programs, and skilled nursing facilities.
Health and wellness training is an incredible set of skills that can help you personally, your family and friends, and your community at large. But before you decide to invest (your time and money) in training a health coach and become a certified health coach, it pays to be clear WHY you want to become a health coach and enter the world of wellness professionals. A certificate from a health and wellness training program can prepare you for entry-level positions that emphasize the central role of a coach who partners with clients to help them achieve their health goals. Learn more about the rigorous IIN curriculum that integrates more than 90 of the world's leading experts in health and wellness, combining the scientific and the spiritual to create comprehensive and immersive health education.
What differentiates a health coach from others in the health and fitness industry is their approach to achieving a more optimal and healthier lifestyle. You'll most likely find a health coach in a private practice, at a health insurer, or through a corporate wellness program. Chris Gagliardi, ACE Science Education Content Manager, attributes this growth to an expanding body of research that reflects the benefits of health training as a practice, a growing number of job offers, improvements in educational efforts, greater public knowledge and a more defined scope of practice. When becoming a health coach, it's essential that you learn not only holistic health information, but also solid training skills to help your clients make lasting changes in their lives.
A popular and highly effective technique among many successful health coaches is taking customers to a grocery store and re-teaching them how to buy food based on their unique needs. Health coaching roles are becoming so prolific that there are now many training programs to choose from, so just a few words of caution before choosing an online nutrition school to earn that valuable health training certificate; not all health coaches are created equal. I think that simply taking a test (because you have previous certifications) without receiving education on new material (as you would with a 6-month or one-year health training program) would leave you at a disadvantage as a health coach and would not provide you with the tools you need to succeed and impact. But just to clarify (since it's confusing), health and wellness coaches are NOT dietitians, clinical nutritionists, or doctors.
It's one thing to buy healthy ingredients and staples from the pantry, but it's another to understand how to use them in a way that helps you feel nourished and satisfied. It's not just about learning holistic nutrition and training skills; if you want to run your own business, you also have to be willing to learn entrepreneurial skills. While clinically experienced health counselors may find more opportunities in traditional healthcare organizations or health insurance companies, a health coach can provide services in virtually any setting that emphasizes well-being. You can establish ongoing relationships with local organizations, health food stores, wellness centers, churches, or other entities to hold regular events.