Thursday, December 19, 2013

Health Coaching - The Real Deal

How many times have we all been to a lecture, participated in a retreat, we get all ra ra'd up, and then thud... back to reality, and your current reality is not your physiological happy place. Despair is a devastating emotion.

We have all done it. There is very often a huge difference in theory & reality. We all know somebody who knows all the textbook rhetoric, but there are is an endless loop "but, but, but" why this knowledge is not applicable in their case.

Our health is worth everything. Let's face it - what good are we to ourselves, our families & our company if we don't have our health. According to the CDC - Center for Disease Control - 75% of our chronic diseases are preventable through lifestyle modification - but we have to make sure we modify those aspects of our health - otherwise we are not improving our health. And of course... we need to find a program that will fit into our crazy hectic schedules, our likes, medical risk factors... there is an array of specific needs to be met in order to assure a successful program.

Time. This seems to be the universal scapegoat for not getting exercise, healthy food preparation... time is an excuse - & the right program for you will address this constraint.

A study done by the American Heart Association in 2011 proved that remote health coaching can be just as effective as in person coaching in improving measures that are potential contributors to heart disease.

There is a plethora of corporate health programs that supply generic health information available from a number of websites. The true talent & worth of a health coach is one who looks at your current lifestyle habits, designs programs for you, and tries them out with you - working on that all important implementation phase with you. Guaranteed, tweaking or back to the drawing board is inevitable. Once again, more theoretical rhetoric - if the try it out phase isn't there. Ever watch a personal trainer prescribe the same workout and exercises for all their clients. I sometimes watch personal trainers getting clients to do moves that are clearly contraindicated to the clients obvious physiological limitations. Lunges are most definitely not for all, and don't get me started on crunches. Yet, trainers have their repertoire of old stand by exercises, irrelevant of the clients skeletal weaknesses.

Yes, we can encourage somebody to join a gym - but if they are only going to go a couple of times a week - not cool. We need to design a lifestyle integrating physical activity through out the day. We know it is our sedentary time that has become the plague of our time. The danger of being dependent on a gym is people think "OK I can't make it to the gym, so I guess I will exercise, tomorrow, tomorrow... " being dependent on a gym for our physical activity can be deadly. Desedentizing, physical activity programs need to be designed with that person's demands in mind. How bout a working parent who drops the kids off to daycare, goes to work, picks up the kids, makes dinner... they are excited to make it to an exercise class on the weekend - good for them - but it is not enough. A good program will deal with these challenges.

What if the person is in a stressful relationship - we know relationship stress can lead to many symptoms of metabolic syndrome leading to heart disease. Even if the person is fit - the relationship stress needs to be handled. What if the person smokes, thinks the only food comes from a drive by window, spends more time on an airplane then in their living room, has 100 pounds of fat to lose, drinks excessive alcohol, is in a wheelchair, is concerned about disease prevention, concerned about cancer prevention, mental focus, has known medical issues... A good health coaching program will guide you through your risks, and lead you to a physiologically rewarding, proactive lifestyle.

An effective health coaching program will do a detailed assessment of your own medical needs & risk factors, lifestyle patterns & habits that need modification or elimination, and build that program that will be tried & true for you. And most of all the "R" in relapse is for reality - a good program will help you recognize the signs, and build a track, to get back on track.

There is an appropriate health coaching program for you & your employees. Be picky, don't settle for prepackaged, or someone dictating to you what is available. Your health requirements are the determining factor.

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