Mollie Martin by Mollie Martin

As a personal trainer, you know how to help your clients reach their fitness goals. Adding health coaching to your offerings and being able to discuss nutritional habits and the psychological aspects of behavior change with your clients, however, would undoubtedly increase your effectiveness and put you on a much higher playing field. Here are just a few reasons why more personal trainers are becoming health coaches.

  1. Today, clients understand that fitness and good nutrition go hand in hand. Although personal trainers know the basics about nutrition, there is a plethora of knowledge to be gained with the health coaching certification (check out the bulleted list at the end of this article).
  2. Wellness is a multifaceted endeavor, requiring a holistic approach that covers a wide range of health habits and lifestyle factors. Registered nurses and dietitians, massage therapists and even chiropractors are becoming certified as health coaches to better address the full spectrum of wellness. Personal trainers who also earn their health coaching certification acquire the behavior change, physical activity and nutritional coaching skills they need to empower people to achieve long-term health.
  3. Health coaches can guide and assist clients even when they aren’t in session. For example, they can provide tools that help clients track their nutrition, perform behavioral and lifestyle assessments, and use decisional balance worksheets and more. On top of providing tools, health coaches know to most effectively deliver feedback and provide appropriate coaching tips to clients.
  4. Health coaches make more money by offering more services. Holding another NCCA-accredited certification means you’re able to provide behavioral feedback along with more guidance and insight regarding nutrition, weight loss and optimum health.
  5. Health coaches can cover more topics with their clients because meeting sessions generally consist of less physically demanding work. In fact, many health coaches meet with their clients for walks, coffee talks, grocery store visits, hikes and even virtual appointments, all of which contribute to addressing the wide-ranging needs of each client.
  6. There is a wide range of continuing education available to help health coaches expand their skills and knowledge.

Individuals studying to become an ACE Certified Health Coach learn about the following topics:

  • Various client personality types and how to apply that understanding to improve communication skills
  • Problem-solving models
  • Interpersonal sensitivity and respect
  • Behavioral theory models
  • Etiology of obesity
  • Effects of genetic and environmental factors
  • How to communicate with the health network
  • Current concepts in weight management
  • The breakdown of popular diets
  • Pharmacological agents for weight loss and weight-loss surgical options
  • Discussion of various eating disorders and how to approach the topic
  • Lifestyle changes to elicit long-term success
  • Discussion of lifestyle modification and behavioral change
  • How to use 24-hour diet recalls and food frequency questionnaires with the pros and cons of each
  • Teach clients about self-reliance, and how that is the only way to ensure long term success