According to a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), “educated and experienced fitness professionals” now constitute the most important fitness trend in the world. “Personal trainers” rose from seventh to third place at the time of this survey.
“We want to be well. We yearn to be in control and feel better. We want more energy,” says Margaret Moore, founder of Well Coaches, US. “But there is an enormous gap between wanting to be well and the everyday reality of living with the mental and physical health penalties of overeating, under exercising, and having too little down time.”
That’s one of the reasons why Moore and other wellness coaches have been working to increase awareness about the field among medical professionals in the US. Moore readily admits, however, that although the idea is becoming increasingly popular with the public, it’s only beginning to catch on with doctors.
“Physician referral to coaches is still at an early stage,” she says. “We don’t have reimbursement, and it’s going to take years to fall into place. We see grass-roots, small-scale doctors coming to us. But most physicians just aren’t into it yet. It’s still very new.”
However, not everyone is a good candidate for wellness coaching, says Michael Lano, MD, one of the doctors who have embraced the idea. The ideal patient is someone who may not be doing anything bad, but they’re not doing the good things, either, he says. “They’re not eating well. They’re not exercising. They’re stressed. They’re stuck. They’re not making progress.”
Moore advises choosing a coach who makes you feel the most energized and confident. You should be inspired after a coaching session, with lots of “Aha!” moments, as well as motivated about your ability to make needed changes in your life.
Expect to spend at least three months with a coach before seeing meaningful progress, which is typically defined as the creation of two or three healthy new habits. And don’t hesitate to end the relationship if something doesn’t feel right.
Ellen Albertson, a licensed corporate wellness coach, in the US says that people come in expecting to be told what to do, but what actually works best for them is to slow down, think about their goals, and then determine the path themselves.
“People are out of touch with their bodies. When you listen to your body, you eat when you’re hungry, you stop when you’re full, and you enjoy food for its rightful place in your life,” she says.
Within the coaching community in Trinidad and Tobago, Marcia Smith of The Center for Life Change is a Certified Professional Coach – a graduate of the International Coach Academy, Australia . Anyone who would like FREE information on Health & Wellness Coaching can contact Marcia at 1868-622-5744.