Wellness Coach Career - Increase Your Client Pool in 2023

Hey everybody, and welcome back to PT Pioneer.

This is your ultimate destination when it comes to understanding the health and fitness industry.

I aim to provide the most current and relevant academic and career advice for anyone considering getting involved in the fitness industry as well as anyone trying to optimize their current career.

As a fitness professional myself, I’ve formulated a way to help you figure out the best certification for your career goals, so please take this quiz before proceeding.

In this article on a Wellness Coach Career Info, you will be getting an in-depth description of what it means.

I’ll be providing insight on:

A brief look at wellness coaching
The difference between wellness coaching and health coaching 
Why do people need wellness coaches?
How to become a certified health and wellness coach 

With that said, let me not waste any more time, and let’s get right into it.

Wellness Coach Career Info

In a separate article on becoming a wellness coach, I briefly described what a wellness coach is.

This time I want to go into more detail to give you a full scope.

As the name suggests, a wellness coach is simply a health provider who specializes in helping clients or patients improve their general well-being towards a healthy lifestyle.

While many fields in health and fitness focus primarily on physiological wellbeing, wellness is a full spectrum, integrative health approach.

For instance, a personal trainer would focus primarily on physical performance and body composition. At the same time, a nutritionist would have their hand at improving the state of someone’s diet and their habits concerning food.

A wellness coach would take these aspects on board, but they would simply work as components to a more holistic approach in their coaching sessions.

A wellness specialist would also tackle issues concerning mental health, psychology, emotional state, and even spiritual wellbeing.

While other practices in health and fitness prioritize a narrow focus of aspects, wellness takes a person’s entirety and aims to achieve balance and optimal state.

Another distinction with health & wellness coaching is it is a guided approach rather than a dictated approach.

personal trainer, for example, will dictate methodologies and protocols aimed at optimizing an individual’s state of health and fitness.

So even though the plans and programs in place are customized to an individual’s preference, their execution very much relies on the astute expert command of the coach in question.

As the client of a PT, you are very much at the mercy of their ability to act as an expert in the field, and it is your role to simply follow instructions.

However, when it comes to wellness coaching, the coach is tasked with guiding as an educator their client to the point where they become the steward of their own health.

The clients or patients of a wellness coach are there to learn how to become experts on their own health.

This process takes place through education, active listening, practical exercises, and consultation sessions aimed at allowing the client to lead and learn.

Clients will learn how to respond to their own health cues, identify problem areas through intrinsic recognition of their own physical and mental state and develop programs and techniques that allow them to grow to a place of better health.

A health coach’s involvement in a client’s life is meant to be temporary in this sense, whereas a personal trainer may have an indefinite involvement in their client’s life.

That’s because a large part of a personal trainer’s value is adherence and accountability. Still, a wellness coach is there to shape permanent habits that lead to self-sustained self-accountability and discipline.

Lifestyle changes that a wellness coach may help a client implement include:

  • Clinical intervention
  • Communication skills
  • Occupational therapy
  • Disordered eating
  • Goal setting
  • Life skills
  • Mental health
  • Stress management
  • Mind-body alignment
  • Nutrition and diet
  • Physical fitness
  • Social skills
  • Self-care
  • Balancing professional and personal responsibilities
  • Spiritual alignment
  • Trauma counseling
  • Weight management

To this end, a wellness coach may be required to qualify before obtaining the title extensively.

That’s because many of the roles and duties under a wellness coach’s scope of expertise require authorization or licensing in the medical field in order to receive the all-clear to practice.

For example, trauma counseling and clinical intervention are not roles you can easily learn or legally be allowed to perform without some sort of degree in a healthcare professional field.

Having said that, you can be a wellness coach with a more limited approach.

For instance, you could be a certified PT, nutrition coach, and yoga teacher and work as a wellness coach.

Those three qualifications encapsulate the fundamentals of health & wellness coaching, albeit in a not-so-in-depth sense.

The Difference Between Wellness Coaching and Health Coaching 

The Difference Between Wellness Coaching and Health Coaching

It is important to know the difference between Wellness Coaching and Health Coaching.

I’ll tell you their unique features below! 

Another common point of contention is when people try to differentiate between health coaching and wellness coaching.

The two are often referred to in the same breath in the form of health and wellness coaching and health and wellness coaches.

Before I tackle the differences, let’s take a look at the similarities since this is where the confusion arises.

First of all, both health coaching and wellness coaching rely on the same foundational approach.

That approach relies on providing a guided engagement with a client’s needs in a way that enforces behavior change.

The emphasis with either practice is to provide a coaching program that allows your client or patient to take the reigns when it comes to understanding, optimizing, and managing their own health.

You essentially act as a mentor and information resource base while offering motivation and reassurance.

Another way that both health coaching and wellness coaching are similar is in the fact that they constitute an amalgamation of different aspects and practices in health and fitness science.

These include:

  • Physical fitness
  • Weight loss and management
  • Nutrition
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Corrective exercise
  • Mental conditioning

Many of these aspects and practices tend to overlap, so it’s difficult to compile a definitive list.

Regardless, this is where the similarities end.

Where wellness coaching branches off from health coaching is when it comes to innate aspects of self such as mental well-being and spiritual alignment.

The holistic approach necessary to combine both quantitative and qualitative aspects of human wellbeing is what gives wellness coaching its unique position.

With that in mind, let’s see what would prompt someone to actually hire a wellness coach.

Why Do People Need Wellness Coaches?  

Why Do People Need Wellness Coaches

So, you wanna know why people need Wellness Coaches?

Read below for more info!

From what you’ve learned so far, you can see the extensive value a wellness coach brings to the table.

You’ve probably also noticed how niche the scope of practice for a health coach is despite the broad number of aspects it tackles.

So why would anyone need a health coach?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 20% of Americans lack a sense of purpose and satisfaction with their lives and lifestyles.

This sense of dissatisfaction typically originates as a mental health concern but usually permeates aspects of physiological health.

In order to realign a person with their self-purpose and sense of healthy living, a wellness coach becomes the best solution.

Wellness coaching becomes pretty essential for people with a need to drastically readjust their lives.

It’s essentially an exercise in rewiring a person’s perspective on an ideal lifestyle and renewing a person’s relationship with themselves.

Wellness coaching is very useful for people who are recovering from a decline in lifestyle due to several possible factors.

These factors include:

  • Accident trauma
  • Post-injury rehab
  • Recovery from disordered eating (anorexia nervosa or morbid obesity)
  • Recovery from grief or loss
  • Recovery from drug abuse
  • Management during a chronic or terminal illness
  • People with disabilities
  • People with mental conditions.

Managing addictions benefits tremendously through correct wellness coaching.

Having said that, clients of a wellness coach needn’t be in any sort of dire straits.

A wellness coach-client can be any member of the general population who simply wants to better themselves by optimizing aspects of their health and wellbeing.

Perhaps they want to work on their breathing in order to prevent snoring and reduce the risk 9f sleep apnea.

Maybe it’s someone who’s experiencing reactions or conditions that doctors are finding difficult to pinpoint. 

As a wellness expert, you may be able to carry out a process of elimination that helps your client get to the root cause of their issues.

Wellness coaches are also commonly hired by companies and corporate entities in an attempt to implement corporate wellness initiatives.

Corporate wellness entails an initiative aimed at optimizing and maintaining the well-being of a company’s labor force with the express purpose of boosting morale and productivity.

Corporate wellness initiatives typically fall under human resources and would include activities such as:

  • Group fitness sessions
  • Nutrition advisory and meal planning
  • Holistic health sessions
  • Team building exercises
  • Yoga and meditation sessions
  • Counseling and occupational therapy

This group approach to wellness coaching can also be applied to sports teams.

For instance, top-flight professional sports leagues may have a need for holistic support over and above the standard requirement for sports coaching and performance training.

In order to optimize mental well-being and the intrinsic factors that drive elite performance, a wellness coach may step in to provide auxiliary services.

Schools, especially those with special needs pupils, might employ the services of wellness coaches. 

They may even go as far as to exclusively have qualified wellness coaches in their teaching staff.

Wellness coaches are also useful in environments more angled towards leisure and recreation.

The hospitality industry, for example, has an increasing demand for health and fitness services to coincide with their leisure packages and service offerings.

Having a health and fitness expert as part of a holiday experience completes many people’s experiences.

Even while on holiday, being fit and healthy is considered aspirational and essential for many with holistic health, such as what a wellness coach administers, becoming ever more popular.

So, in a nutshell, anyone can find a use for a wellness coach in improving their general well-being, from individuals to entire teams of colleagues. Still, it is more common amongst people trying to tackle critical lifestyle deficiencies.

How To Become a Certified Health and Wellness Coach 

How to Become a Health and Wellness coach

Come along, let me show you how to become a certified Health and Wellness coach.

Now that you know what a wellness coach is, how do you become one?

I’ve gone into detail on this in a separate article, so let’s look at the process with a brief run-down.

Based on what being a wellness coach entails, your journey into wellness coaching requires that you gain the right credibility through certification and credentials.

Due to the complex array of responsibilities, getting qualified is important in order to equip yourself with the key competencies of coaching practice.

Obtaining a university degree in a healthcare-related field is one component towards practicing; the other is gaining an accredited wellness coach certification.

This can be done through the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) and any one of its approved coach certification programs.

The NBHWC is the gold standard in wellness coaching in the US.

The Do’s and Dont’s of Wellness Coaching

Wellness Coach Career - Increase Your Client Pool in [year] 1

In this section, you’ll learn about the dos and donts of wellness coaching.

Understanding our scope of practice and limitations is important.

It’s important to have a clear picture of what you’re pursuing as a career to make an informed decision, but it also allows you to work within the industry and legal parameters.

I’ve already gone over what a health coach does on a day-to-day basis, but here it is again:

  • Achieving health goals
  • Clinical intervention
  • Communication skills
  • Occupational therapy
  • Disordered eating
  • Goal setting
  • Life skills
  • Mental health
  • Stress management
  • Mind-body alignment
  • Nutrition and diet
  • Physical fitness
  • Social skills
  • Self-care
  • Balancing professional and personal responsibilities
  • Spiritual alignment
  • Trauma counseling
  • Weight management

So what can’t a wellness coach do?

Well, based on the list above, you’d think a wellness coach can do pretty much anything, but the thing is, as a wellness coach, you are essentially a generalist in many fields.

Most wellness coaches will have only qualified in a handful of their sub-practices if any.

If, however, you do qualify as a dietician, personal trainer, physiotherapist, or clinical psychologist, for instance, you will have full reign in delivering these sorts of services from a clinical perspective.

Pros and Cons of Wellness Coaching 

Pros and Cons of Wellness Coaching

Here, I will give you a rundown of the pros and cons of wellness coaching.

Before you jump into the next article in this series and learn how to become a wellness coach, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of a career in wellness coaching.

There are two sides to every coin, so understanding the good along with the bad will help you make a more informed decision.

Cons

Let’s start with the cons, and when it comes to wellness coaching, there are a few that stand out.

The first drawback, in my opinion, is the generalist approach that comes with wellness coaching.

In many cases, wellness coaches are jacks of all trades, masters of none.

That’s because wellness coaching encapsulates so many practices under one umbrella; it would be difficult and almost abnormal to be a specialist in all of them.

To truly specialize and master many aspects of wellness coaching would mean lifelong academic pursuit, which in turn would leave little time to actually operate as a wellness coach.

Another con with wellness coaching is the heavy reliance on sales and marketing.

In order to successfully promote your services and sustain a viable career, you’ll need to master the art of sales and marketing.

Besides the tedium and effort required, aggressive sales and marketing strategies are often viewed as invasive, impersonal, manipulative, and even predatory.

The idea of aggressive sales and marketing couldn’t be more divorced from the wholesome, holistic promise the good wellness coaching aims to deliver.

Pros

Now let’s look at the pros of wellness coaching.

One of the cons I mentioned was the fact that wellness coaches are generalists by trade; however, in this general approach exists an emphasis on sustaining a strong and capable referral network.

Need expert nutritional advice? A wellness coach will refer you to the best possible registered dietitian.

Need a fitness program? A wellness coach can point you to the best personal trainers in your area.

One of the main duties of a wellness coach is to build an expert referral network, allowing clients to get on track with whatever concerns their wellbeing.

Wellness coaching is cost-effective.

That’s because you are supplying your clients with the means to manage their own health and wellbeing and implement that as a lifelong habit.

That cuts costs out of hiring specialist coaches and trainers.

Lastly, and probably the most important benefit of wellness coaching is the fact that it instills a sense of self-mastery, discovery, and awareness that allows clients to develop strategies and habits that benefit them over the long term.

Hiring a personal trainer, transformation coach, or nutritionist often means just following their protocols.

These protocols and methodologies might be modified to your individual needs and desires, but you’re ultimately following a script.

With wellness coaching, you write your own story based on the journey of self-discovery you undergo.

Conclusion

Conclusion on Wellness Coach

I hope this article has given you the necessary information you need before embarking on a career as a Wellness Coach.

Wellness coaching is expanding in popularity.

As aspects of well-being traditionally overlooked, such as mental health and spirituality, take center stage, the need for an all-encompassing, holistic approach to wellbeing is evergrowing.

If you are considering becoming a wellness coach, there’s no better time than now.

I hope this article provided some much-needed insight and information.

If you have any other questions, please make sure to drop a comment below

Frequently Asked Questions

References

https://www.cdc.gov/hrqol/wellbeing.htm#five

https://www.afpafitness.com/blog/what-you-can-and-cant-do-as-a-health-wellness-coach

https://www.integrativenutrition.com/blog/what-is-a-wellness-coach-everything-you-need-to-know

https://search.visymo.com/ws?q=what%20is%20a%20wellness%20coach&asid=vis_za_gc4_4&mt=b&nw=g&de=c&ap=&ac=5017&cid=8115442922&aid=86390485560&kid=kwd-315977304681&locale=en_ZA&gclid=CjwKCAjwieuGBhAsEiwA1Ly_nZVg3LUME9E2sv83MbyPtZBQzvhd3_3yLt0X4h6NU0UzXSxCDSLkPhoCAOsQAvD_BwE

webmd.com/balance/guide/life-and-wellness-coaches

https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-a-wellness-coach-when-do-you-need-one-4175824

https://www.wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au/What-is-wellness-coaching/what-is-wellness-coaching

https://www.pfizer.com/health-wellness/wellness/what-is-wellness#:~:text=Wellness%20is%20the%20act%20of,surviving%2C%20you’re%20thriving.&text=Each%20one%20has%20an%20impact%20on%20your%20physical%20and%20mental%20health.

https://www.physio-pedia.com/The_Concept_of_Wellness

https://www.usd.edu/student-life/wellness-center/what-is-wellness

https://www.careinnovations.org/wp-content/uploads/Wellness-Coach-Job-Description_La-Clinica.pdf

https://www.betterteam.com/health-coach-job-description

https://www.greatsampleresume.com/job-description/examples/fitness-nutrition/health-coach

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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