5 Common misconceptions and myths about your health coaching career

Jessica Graiser
July 24, 2023
5 min read

There are so many myths and misconceptions surrounding health, wellness, and fitness nowadays. Especially about health coaching! Even though it’s becoming a more common career path, there are still many common misconceptions that keep people hesitant to become a health coach. In this post, we are going to bust 5 of those common myths and share the truth about becoming a health coach!

Myth #1: Health coaches are 100% healthy

Health coaches, like everyone else, are not 100% healthy all the time. It's important to remember that health is a journey, and everyone has their own challenges and struggles.

As a health coach, remember, you are human. You may experience your own health issues or setbacks.  However, as a health and wellness professional, you typically have knowledge, skills, and tools to help maintain healthy habits and bounce back from any setbacks. 

In fact, many health coaches may have personal experience with overcoming health challenges, which can make them more empathetic and relatable to their clients. You may also continue to work on your own health and wellness goals alongside your clients.  It's important to remember that health coaches are not perfect, and your role is not to be a shining example of perfect health. Instead,  aim to support and guide your clients as they work towards their own health and wellness goals.

This myth is one that can typically keep highly motivated and empathetic individuals from taking the leap into the industry.  There is no pressure to be the picture of perfection.  If you are knowledgeable, motivating, and supportive, you can do this kind of work.  

Myth #2: You need a degree in health or wellness to become a health coach

Myth–busted!  This is absolutely not the case.  There are so many avenues to take in the field of health and wellness, some requiring extensive education and degrees.  Some, like health coaching, require an active certification, but not a degree.  This is not to say that it’s easy to obtain.  Let’s be clear about that!  The programs are rigorous and the tests are intense.  The difference is that it takes significantly less time to obtain this type of certification than a 4-year degree.  If you have a degree in health and wellness, a health coach certification will only add to your credentials and allow you to branch out to reach more clients.  

The time it takes to become certified as a health coach can vary depending on the certification program and the individual's schedule and pace of learning.  Some health coach certification programs can be completed in as little as a few months, while others may take a year or more to complete. Many programs offer flexible learning options, such as online coursework and self-paced study, which can make it easier for individuals to fit certification training into their busy schedules.

In general, health coach certification programs typically require completion of a certain number of hours of coursework, coaching practice, and/or supervised experience. Certification programs may also require passing a written exam or submitting a portfolio of work demonstrating mastery of health coaching competencies. It's important to research different health coach certification programs and choose one that meets your learning style and career goals.  For more information on obtaining a certification, check out our trusted partner ISSA 

Myth #3: Health coaching is an easy and quick way to make money

Full disclosure, this sounds like a negative myth to bust, right?  Most people want to make money and create financial success in their career.  We are not saying that health coaching is a dead end financially.  What we are saying is that it’s not a get rich quick scheme.  Many health coaches obtain their certifications and expect the clients to come flooding in.  This is the pain point we hear the most when we work with health coaches. 

Are we saying not to dream big?--NO

Are we discouraging you from choosing this career?--NO!

Are we saying you won’t get clients?--NOOO!!

We are simply setting the realistic expectation that hard work is on the horizon.  The average timeline for building a sustainable health coaching career on your own is approximately 12-18 months.  Is there an option to speed that up?  YES.

Partnering with Flowell will significantly decrease the time it takes to get your career up and running.  Working with us alongside you will allow for faster, easier achievement of those tremendous dreams you have.  With Flowell, you can expect to start earning from paying clients within 2-3 months using our highly tested programs. Your financial goals can absolutely be reached within 6-12 months.

Myth #4:  Health coaches can cure any health condition

Health coaches are not licensed healthcare professionals and cannot diagnose or treat medical conditions. Instead, they work with clients to create personalized plans to support overall health and wellness.

The scope of practice for health coaches can vary depending on factors such as their education, training, and certifications, as well as the regulations and laws in their specific state or country.

In general, health coaches work with clients to support overall health and wellness through behavior change and lifestyle modifications. 

This may include:

  1. Assessing the client's current health status, goals, and challenges
  2. Collaborating with clients to develop personalized health and wellness plans
  3. Providing education and resources on nutrition, physical activity, stress management, sleep hygiene, and other wellness topics
  4. Using coaching techniques, such as motivational interviewing, to help clients overcome barriers and make positive changes
  5. Monitoring and tracking client progress towards their goals
  6. Referring clients to licensed healthcare professionals as needed
  7. Adhering to ethical and professional standards in their practice.

It's important to note that health coaches are not licensed healthcare professionals and cannot diagnose or treat medical conditions. They work within the scope of their practice to support overall health and wellness, and may collaborate with other healthcare professionals as part of a client's healthcare team.

Myth #5:  Health coaches prescribe specific dietary plans and exercise programs

Health coaches generally cannot prescribe specific diets or exercise regimens because they are not licensed healthcare professionals, such as registered dietitians or physical therapists. In many states and countries, prescribing specific diets or exercise plans is considered outside the scope of practice for health coaches.

Instead, health coaches focus on using motivational interviewing and other coaching techniques to help clients identify their own goals and create personalized plans that work for their individual needs and preferences. Health coaches may also provide education and resources on healthy eating and physical activity, but they cannot provide medical advice or diagnose conditions.

It's important for clients to work with qualified professionals, such as registered dietitians and certified personal trainers, if they require more specialized advice or guidance. Health coaches can work in conjunction with other healthcare professionals as part of a client's healthcare team.

Want to learn more about health coaching and building your career with Flowell? Head to flowell.co/coaches to join our community and help your clients accomplish their goals!

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