Why are health coaches necessary now days? We have doctors and physiotherapists and personal trainers....Why should we use a Health Coach?
The truth is a Health Coach bridges the gaps left by the traditional health practitioners. For example: Many doctors are untrained in nutrition and exercise, and are pressed for time when seeing patients. The best doctors may explain that a patient's health metrics are declining or on the verge of becoming abnormal and that they should make changes to their diet and maybe get some more exercise, but actually planning out lifestyle changes that will fit with a particular patient is far outside their scope of practice. They simply don't have the time, and often have more acutely sick patients to deal with.
Western Medicine is awesome.
I am a big fan of Western Medicine. It has changed the world immeasurably in the last century, increasing life expectancy and quality of life by leaps and bounds. However, I believe we should do whatever we can to avoid needing to see doctors and needing medicine in a chronic fashion. Obviously, acute emergencies happen. If you break your arm or fall through a window....You should probably go the ER! That is where modern medicine works fantastically to keep us alive and in one piece.
Where modern medicine lets us down is in the management of chronic health problems. It is estimated that around 85% of chronic health disorders are caused by diet and lifestyle. That means that 85% of chronic health issues are also treatable, and possibly even reversible with changes to diet and lifestyle!
Lifestyle and Genetics.
Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many auto immune problems are largely avoidable if our lifestyles are brought inline with our genetic expectations; that is to say that we give our bodies the things that it expects, genetically.
If you tried to feed a cat a vegan diet, your cat would eventually die young of some terrible organ failure or disease. Cats have evolved as predators and need a diet of meat. Their genes expect a diet of meat, and without it metabolic chaos ensues.
The same analogy can be applied to humans. Our bodies and genes have evolved to expect, and thrive in, a certain way of life. This applies to diet, exercise, stress events and even our social life! Our modern situation has augmented our traditional lifestyles to fall way outside the expected boundaries.
Humans in general have basic lifestyle needs. Most of us know roughly what these are, and it's an easy 5 seconds for a doctor to say "You should eat better and get some exercise." Great, the doctor has done his/her job and given you some great advice.... But what does that look like? More importantly; what does that look like FOR YOU!?
While Humans are mostly genetically identical, the small percentage of genetic variation can give rise to quite different dietary and lifestyle needs when it comes to daily life. We all need good, nutritious food and exercise...But a sprinter like Usain Bolt and a Rugby player like Os DuRandt are both human.....I think Usain would make a terrible prop forward and Os would not be the best 100m sprinter!! Their lifestyle needs, while largely similar, differ in particulars.
So to answer the original question: A health coach works with the individual to offer advice, but more importantly to provide support, goals, accountability and encouragement in order to achieve their health and wellness objectives. A coach isn't a trainer or a doctor but becomes a knowledgable partner in your health journey.
It is well documented that having a coach in sporting disciplines drastically reduces the "learning curve" time and improves success rating. In the same way, having a Health Coach improves your chances of making successful, meaningful and lasting lifestyle changes and reaching your particular health goals!
Whether you're entirely clueless and feel completely overwhelmed by the happy, shiny, booty-short-wearing fitness world our there; or you already know the changes you should be making, and just need a little help; a Health Coach can help you become the Super Simian that your genes intended. Give me a shout today and setup your free Discovery Session to see how I can help you.