What is a Wellness Coach and What Do Wellness Coaches Do?


The holiday season is looming ahead and this time of year is popular for learning how to navigate sticky social situations and staying healthy through it all. The new year and its “new leaf” theme are also straight ahead, causing many to start to think about what they want to do differently in the next year. All of these changes keep wellness coaches busy at this time of year, as they help their clients eat better through the season, reduce their stress, and set goals for the new year. Maybe you’ve been thinking about how much you’d like to become a health and wellness coach.

Is it time for you to embark on a new career path in the new year? If you’re passionate about all things health and wellness, this growing field might be the right place for you. Your friends and family might constantly come to you for health tips, you love to attend wellness expos, and your favorite hang out is your local food co-op. If holistic wellness coaching has been on your mind for a while, it could be the right time for you to get started!
What Do Health and Wellness Coaches Do

How You Can Help as a Wellness Coach

You might have grand visions of helping someone transform their life, but then wonder what a session with a client might actually be like. What does a health and wellness coach actually do?

1. A wellness coach is not a medical professional.

It’s good to know that wellness coaches aren’t nutritionists, dieticians, or personal trainers (unless you’ve already got that background, of course). Additionally, they aren’t strictly health coaches either. There’s a difference between health coaches and wellness coaches. What a Wellness Coach does is more holistic and lifestyle focused. They want to help prevent disease and illness through lifestyle changes though balance and wellness.

While we definitely need doctors, therapists, and other professionals who focus on dysfunction, illness, and disease, our society also desperately needs more support around prevention. By teaching, guiding, and supporting clients through the changes they need to make to create more well-being in their lives, you get to help them prevent or at least reduce the issues that would otherwise cause so much pain and despair.

2.A wellness coach doesn’t just work with nutrition and fitness.

Some health and wellness coaching programs concentrate exclusively on nutrition and fitness, which is great. But there’s a lot more that goes into a person’s experience of wellness than just food and exercise. At IAWP, we go beyond the typical approach to wellness since we know that true wellness addresses all aspects of a person’s life. Our Holistic Health and Wellness Coach training program addresses the whole of a person’s wellness (something we call Wellness 360), including their relationships, mindset, balance, and purpose.

A holistic approach to wellness coaching is important because someone’s nutrition might be directly impacted by their career, finances, or mindset. Helping your clients to uncover the underlying causes of their wellness struggles is fulfilling and produces lasting change in their lives.

3. A wellness coach becomes an expert in goal setting and achieving.

A huge part of helping others make big changes in their lives involves leading them through the process of deciding what the client really wants in life. By identifying their true desires and life purposes, you can work with a client to help break down these needs and wants into achievable goals.

The real help comes in supporting the client through learning how to achieve goals, however. While everyone is familiar with setting goals, not everyone has been taught how to help break those goals down into attainable steps and cross the finish line. It’s no secret that most new year’s resolutions end in defeat. That’s where having a wellness coach to help can make a crucial difference in a person’s life. You get to help them build a bridge between what they want and who they become!

4. A wellness coach is a guide to others to create real change.

Some coaches give a lot of advice and information. In our information-overloaded era, this doesn’t necessarily equate to change for a client. Some people see advice as overwhelming since they aren’t sure how to apply it to their lives. This can be a real setback for the coach and the client since it doesn’t produce the transformation that the client is searching for.

A more effective way of coaching is to work with your clients to get to the core of the issue they struggle with. In our program, we call this the IAWP CORE Coaching Method. Our coaches spend time really digging into clients’ struggles so they can help them work from the inside out, changing their habits and creating change that is lasting. This is the kind of experience that makes coaches successful and clients feel empowered and transformed.

5. A wellness coach is there to guide with accountability and support.

It’s true that many people who seek out the support of a wellness coach probably already know a bit about wellness and health. The trouble for many is how to implement their knowledge in ways that actually work. The other issue that people tend to struggle with is staying accountable throughout their transformation and getting the support they need when they’re facing a challenge or feel uncertain that they’re doing the right thing.

A wellness coach is a perfect person to help clients stay accountable. As a coach, you can check in with clients to see how they’re doing and help them get back on track when they wander away from their wellness goals. You also get to be there for clients when they just need a listening ear, can’t figure out what to do next, or need some troubleshooting help. Those who have someone to be accountable to and get support from are far more likely to stick to their goals and achieve their desired wellness transformation.

Are you ready to start a new career helping others as a wellness coach and transform their lives through wellness? 

Reach out to one of our admissions counselors to find out if our IAWP Holistic Health and Wellness Coach training is right for you.I

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About the Author

Suzanne Monroe

Suzanne Monroe is the author of Live Well Dream Big: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Your Best Self and Living Life on Your Own Terms. She has also written and published The Holistic Cookbook & Lifestyle Guide: 12 Weeks to a Healthier, Happier You, the co-author of 101 Ways to Improve Your Health and the host of the Live Well Dream Big Podcast. Suzanne was inspired to create the IAWP Wellness Coach Training & Certification Program in collaboration with other leading health experts in order to inspire people to create meaningful careers and spread the message of wellness.

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