What exactly is a Health Coach?

Health coaching is an emerging career in Australia and New Zealand and a fast-growing market in healthcare worldwide. A Health Coach is someone who works in primary healthcare or in the community in their own private practice.

Health Coaching is based on positive psychology and employs health behaviour change theories to build motivation and promote self-determination and self-efficacy. It is all about empowering people to take responsibility for their own health. 

Why do we need health coaches?

Preventable chronic diseases continue to rise, from type 2 diabetes and heart disease to anxiety, stress and mental health challenges, despite medical advances. More than 70 per cent of deaths are caused by preventable chronic diseases but we have an overwhelmed healthcare workforce unskilled in preventative lifestyle medicine. 

Now more than ever, we need to get back in touch with our health and take ownership of it once more. “The most effective preventative strategy is the one that leads to changes in lifestyle concerning diet, physical activities, cessation of smoking, and the control of metabolic disorders [6].” 

Health coaches can support people to make lasting behaviour changes that promote health and wellness, and prevent ill health. They are companions who walk alongside clients, encourage, champion, inform, and hold them accountable.

Katherine Froggatt, PREKURE Health Coach
What do you need to become a Health Coach?

You don’t need previous experience in healthcare to become a Health Coach.  If you have a passion and an inner desire to make a difference in the world, health coaching is a gateway to making positive and meaningful changes in other people’s lives.

If you’re passionate about health and wellbeing, if you like to help other people and you’re a good listener, you’ve got everything it takes to become a great Heath Coach

Health coaching takes about 6 months of training to become certified. It covers health, science and nutrition, positive psychology and behaviour change, as well as coaching techniques. 

What do Health Coaches do?

Health Coaches are experts in whole-person health. They support clients with regular sessions to work with them on their health journeys to reach their health goals using health science education and behavioural change tools.

Clients may want to work with a Health Coach to:

  • Manage or improve chronic disease
  • Create healthier habits
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve sleep
  • Lose weight in a sustainable way
  • Reach physical fitness goals

Health Coaches can also choose to specialise. You can become a Mental Health Coach and help clients suffering from mild to moderate mental health challenges using preventative and lifestyle approaches. If you are passionate about nutrition you can train to be a Metabolic Nutrition Coach focusing on food as medicine. Or a Metabolic Health Coach supporting those with chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, weight loss and more.

Jared Cannons, PREKURE Health Coach
What career options are available for Health Coaches?

Becoming a Health Coach gives you many options to design a career that fits your lifestyle, using your strengths and existing knowledge.

Opportunities open for you to explore as a Health Coach include:

  • Work as a Health Coach in a GP clinic
  • Running your own health coaching business online, at home or at a clinic
  • An employee wellbeing advisor
  • A school or community youth worker
  • An aged care wellbeing advisor
  • Expanding your scope of practice as a PT, Physio, Midwife, Nurse, Counsellor or Naturopath

Take a look at the journeys, personal growth and career pathways of some of our PREKURE Health Coach graduates and the positive impact they are making on the lives of others through the power of Health Coaching and preventative lifestyle medicine – https://prekure.com/success-stories/

Being employed as a Health Coach

There are jobs for Health Coaches in GP clinics, pharmacies, governmental organisations, hospitals, insurance companies and corporate employers.

Health Coaches can be integral to a wider healthcare team, working alongside other health and wellbeing professionals, such as GPs, nurses, nutritionists, counsellors and personal trainers. The Health Coach’s aim is to walk alongside the client or patient, helping them make lifestyle choices that work for them and empowering them to find the root cause of their health issues.

Starting your own business

Many Health Coaches start their own business, either as a Holistic Health Coach or focus on a specific niche and type of clientele, for example, weight loss, nutrition, fertility, heart health, cancer or type 2 diabetes. This path is a great choice for someone interested in a specific area and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Often Health Coaches start purely online, running their businesses from social media or a basic website to build up their profile and network to grow their client base.

While building up their private practice, many Health Coaches choose to combine private practice and employment or collaboration with a clinic. For example, a Health Coach might take on private clients and also do some work in a GP clinic or pharmacy.

More benefits of becoming a Health Coach

You’ll be making a difference in people’s lives, supporting them to better health, and working with something you are passionate about. But there are more upsides to a career in health coaching. 

  • Flexibility

As a Health Coach, you have the freedom to create your own schedule. You can combine working for yourself, doing some employed work or collaborating with other health and wellbeing professionals.

  • Virtual

While you can of course continue to meet people in person, the option to work from home and consult virtually is now a big bonus in our ever-changing world.

  • Positive impact on your personal life

Training as a Health Coach will have a significant positive impact on your personal development and your own relationships with family, friends and colleagues. As part of your training, you’ll discover important parts of yourself. Learning the art and skill of coaching can be life-changing for the coach too, not just for your future clients.

  • Useful skills for the future

Whether you are working purely as a Health Coach or combining your coaching qualification with other skills, such as personal training, nursing, nutrition or physiotherapy – or something completely different – the core coaching skills you’ve learnt in your training are useful for any kind of behaviour change. You will also be amazed at the personal growth these new skills have in your personal life as you learn how to communicate more effectively and build better relationships. These powerful skills will give you an advantage wherever your future career takes you. 

How to Become a Health Coach

PREKURE is leading the way to change the face of healthcare and put prevention at the heart of medicine in New Zealand and Australia through their accredited online Health Coach courses and programs.

PREKURE is a recognised training provider for Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand Association (HCANZA),the Canadian Health Coach Alliance, and the United Kingdom Health Coaches Association (UKHCA). Our university-level courses are also endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP).

Learn more about PREKURE’s university-level Certified Health Coach training here.

1. $7 Billion U.S. Health Coaching Market Gains Favor Among Consumers, Insurers & Employers, marketresearch.com

2. Health Coach Market Size to Worth Around US$ 27.8 Bn by 2030, Globenewswire.com

3. The U.S. Health Coaching Market, researchandmarkets.com

4. The TTW model – Te Tumu Waiora – Te Reo for to head towards wellness – is a new way of delivering wellbeing, mental health and addictions support through general practice.

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