Kelley Vargo by Kelley Vargo

Have you been considering expanding your career or starting a new one altogether? If you find yourself drawn to the health coaching profession, chances are you possess certain characteristics that inspire you to want to help other live their most fit lives. Here are eight signs that you were meant to be a great health coach. 

1. You value health in its entirety.

What separates a health coach from another profession in the health and fitness industry is the total approach for achieving an optimal lifestyle. An ACE Health Coach values the unique integration of exercise, nutrition, psychology and a host of other factors when empowering others to achieve their optimal selves. The health coach recognizes and appreciates the specific practices of other healthcare professionals (e.g., training from a personal trainer, meal plans from a dietitian) and serves as a uniting guide to these area-specific entities. The health coach realizes that each aspect of health is important to achieving optimal and lasting behavior change. If you find yourself often integrating nutrition, exercise and psychology, you have the frame of mind for becoming a great health coach.

2. You are passionate about empowering others.

One of the fundamental characteristics of a great health coach is a passion for helping others become their best selves. As health coaches, we can encourage others to continuously invest in their own greatest asset—their health. Despite the wide availability of health, nutrition and exercise information, putting knowledge into action can be a difficult feat for many individuals. As a health coach, you can empower others to take action through motivation, inspiration and guided discussions. A health coach has the ability to tap into someone’s motivation and foster action. If you feel gratified by, and passionate about, empowering others, a career in health coaching is one to consider.

3. You are engaged in continuous education.

The field of health coaching is a continuous learning process. From science to psychology, behavior change theories to business and marketing tactics,  health coaches must have the thirst and dedication to challenge their own minds as well as those of their clients. The health coach profession sparks learning from an intimate level with an individual client to a broader scale, such as developing a business model. The health coach isn’t afraid to admit that he or she doesn’t know everything, is willing to ask for help, research and reflect on new material. Health coaches have the ability to strike a balance between the science and the application of material and are able implement this in their practices.

4. You have an intrinsic desire to create.

Health coaches understand the importance of an open mind, exposing themselves to new information and developing opportunities for health information that they can disseminate to their clients. From vlogging to blogging, daily emails to video chats, health coaches are creative in their ways of working with clients and create new materials to help clients achieve their personal goals. Health coaching is an art ground in science; thus, a health coaches are able to get creative in the way they disseminate information and inspire action.

5. You realize the need for improved health.

Whether you are just entering the health field or have been in the industry for years, you understand the need for improved health in our nation. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, healthcare practitioners have their work cut out for them. Now more than ever, companies and organizations are hiring health coaches, incentivizing healthy behaviors and investing in corporate wellness as a way to decrease healthcare costs and improve workplace wellness. A health coach is able to see this need as an opportunity to help others regain their health by inspiring action. If you see this need, you might be ready to embark on a career as a health coach.

6. You are a good listener.

One of the most essential qualities of a great health coach is finely tuned listening skills. Despite the health coach’s role as the “expert,”  it is important that a coach doesn’t fall into the “expert opinion trap.” This is simply rattling off one’s own perspective or answers without engaging or asking the client for his or her thoughts, feedback, and ideas. If others find you easy to talk to and believe you to have an open mind, and you enjoy helping others come to solutions, you are on the right track to becoming a great health coach.

7. You value dynamic relationships.

One of the best aspects of being a health coach is the relationships that foster and thrive as a result of the career. Successful coaching relationships are dynamic in nature and include the exchange of ideas, plans and motivation. As a health coach, your ability to relate and connect with others is essential to providing a comfortable environment to foster behavior change and growth among clients. Understanding and applying behavior-change theory, along with motivational interviewing skills, are important tools to incorporate while establishing goals.

8. You inspire and motivate through your actions.

Chances are, if you are thinking about becoming a health coach, you already inspire and motivate others. Through your actions, those around you see the value and passion you have for health and wellness. Your own lifestyle serves as a model for others and you often attract others to you. If you value your own health by incorporating exercise, nutrition and psychology into your daily life, you are well on your way to embodying a positive lifestyle that will inspire others.