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Has your health taken a back seat in your busy life? A health coach meets you where you are and helps you get where you want to go.

Your health is the foundation

A 2022 Statistics Canada survey found that only around 60% of adults described themselves as being in very good health, a decrease from the year before. Your health is essential to your overall well-being, to every aspect of your life.

In this article, we will look at what a health coach is and how they can help you in your development.

What does health mean to you?

Life moves pretty fast. One day you’re playing in the schoolyard, the next you’re applying for a mortgage. Sometimes, we don’t feel like we even have time to stop and think, to reflect on our lives and our values.

What does health and well-being mean to you, at this stage in your life? Is it different from how you thought before? Are you happy with where you are, health-wise?

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk


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Oftentimes, our community around influences our definitions of health and well-being. Our family, friends, even social media, all have their own views on health and wellness. But what about you?

You and your health coach can explore your current habits and behaviours, and find what works for you. What do you want more of? What habits, patterns and behaviors need to change? Then it’s about building your path to good health, whatever that looks like for you.

Physical activity

The Canadian guidelines for physical activity can seem daunting. 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity a week at a minimum sounds like a lot of work. Add in the two days of strength exercises recommended by the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. How can I fit all this into my already busy life? What if I hate going to fitness classes, or a gym membership just isn’t in my budget right now?

Here at Lavendla, we have one focus: You! Our coaches know that one size does not fit all, especially when it comes to physical activity. Our coaches can help you find the right activities to increase or maintain your health, all while having fun and feeling accomplished!


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Diet

You get home from a long day, exhausted, and remember that you forgot to pick up groceries for tonight. With all the takeout and delivery options available today, often all it takes is a push of a button, and viola, dinner is served. But then what do you take for lunch tomorrow? And what about dinner for the rest of the week?

Our health coaches knows that not everyone has the time to make dinner every night and that no one wants to live off salads and bland chicken alone. Our coaches can work with you- your time, budget, and preferences, to come up with a plan that helps you meet your health goals. It might even save you time and money, too!

Sleep

According to the Canadian Psychological Society, around 25% of people aren’t satisfied with their sleep. Poor sleep doesn’t just mean you’ll be tired the next day. Chronic poor sleep can lead to poor health outcomes and can increase the risk of developing diabetes and even cancer.

Sleep is when the body really works its magic! Here are some things that happen while you sleep:

  • New cells are produced
  • Old cells are repaired
  • New information is stored in the brain
  • Energy is conserved
  • The immune system prepares for potential infections

Recovery

Your body and mind need time to recover every day, even when we don’t feel like we need it. The more we ignore the cues our body is giving us, the harder it is to bounce back. By taking time every day to reflect and recover, we can improve our physical and mental health.

Our coaches know that recovery looks different for everyone, and will work with you to help you understand your body’s cues and what works for you.

Motivation

Why do you need to know what motivates you? Well, it’s because motivation is your inner drive to achieve the well-being you want.

Health coaching helps you to understand what motivates you. Together with your health coach, you can make sure that your motivational factors are included in your plan. This will increase your chances of reaching your goals.


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Inner fitness

To feel good, we also need to train our inner fitness: your self-worth. You and your health coach will explore your self-image, as it ties into your self-esteem and compassion. Self-compassion is about how you are kind to yourself. It is about what you say about and to yourself. It has a major impact on your health.

By strengthening your self-compassion, you also create stronger self-confidence. Good self-confidence makes you believe in yourself. You dare to challenge yourself and do things that feel a bit scary. You dare to succeed.

How can my health improve if I practice self-compassion?

When we are not kind to ourselves, we are not so keen to take good care of ourselves. Being kind to yourself is about liking yourself. It also means not saying mean things about yourself that you would never say to or about anyone else.

If we get into the habit of liking ourselves, we will also have the courage to help ourselves more. We will have the courage to do things we couldn’t even imagine before. It is a positive attitude towards yourself and towards life that helps support mental and physical well-being.

What can a health coach help me with?

Your coach helps you gain new insights and perspectives. This leads to increased awareness and to finding the tools that help you. At the same time, you gain an understanding of how you function as a person and what well-being means for you.

Can a health coach help me with simple changes in my daily life?

Absolutely. You start with how you feel today and then explore how you want it to be. Then you look at what you want to change and what is causing the problem you are experiencing. Based on this, you identify the changes that will ultimately affect your well-being.

Is it time to take the plunge?

If you feel that you are not living healthily or would like to change something about your health, it may be time to consider health coaching as an investment in yourself.

When you hire your health coach

Likely, your current lifestyle has been built up over a long period of time. This means that you may need a longer time to create a new healthy lifestyle.

Before you contact the health coach, it is good if you have reflected on what you want to achieve with your health and why you want it. Your coach will start from your current situation, and help you set your goal and sub-goals. The coaching is about getting new insights and perspectives, increasing awareness, finding the tools that help you, and creating an understanding of how you function as a person.

We won’t say that it’s easy, but it’s worth it. We can help you make the difficult easier.

The benefits of professional help

Taking the step to talk to a professional coach can make a huge difference in your life. It can help you see your problems or challenges from a new angle and can also offer practical solutions that you might not have thought of on your own.

Many people think that coaching is only for those with complex mental illnesses or “big” life problems, but this is far from the truth. Coaching can be extremely beneficial even for people who are simply looking for support or guidance in life. Researchers at the University of Ottawa found that having access to coaching improved satisfaction in multiple aspects of physicians’ lives.


12 frequently asked questions about health coaches

What is a health coach?

A health coach is a mentor who supports you in your journey towards better health and well-being. They use techniques from psychology, nutrition, exercise science and positive behaviour change to help you set and achieve your health goals. The health coach works with you to create sustainable lifestyle changes that lead to improved physical and mental health.

How much does a health coach cost?

The cost of a health coach can vary depending on several factors, including the coach’s experience, level of training, and the length and intensity of the programs. Some of Lavendla’s health coaches offer package prices for longer programs, which can be a more cost-effective option.

How do I choose the right health coach?

Choosing the right health coach means finding someone whose expertise, approach and personality match your needs; it’s important to ask about their training, certifications and experience. Many health coaches offer a free introductory meeting, which can give you a sense of whether they are the right match for you.

What can I expect from my sessions with a health coach?

During your sessions with a health coach, you will work together to identify your health goals, explore obstacles that stand in your way, and develop strategies to overcome them. Your coach will provide you with support, knowledge and tools to make positive changes in your life. Each session is unique and tailored to your individual needs and progress.

Can a health coach replace a doctor?

A health coach cannot replace medical care from a licensed health professional; rather, they complement the care you receive by offering additional support, motivation, and guidance in making healthy choices in everyday life. If you have specific medical conditions, you should always consult with a doctor before starting a program with a health coach.

How does a health coach differ from a personal trainer?

While a personal trainer focuses primarily on creating and implementing exercise programs to improve physical performance and fitness, a health coach takes a more holistic approach to your well-being. A health coach works not only on physical activity but also on nutrition, sleep, stress management and emotional well-being to support you in achieving a balanced lifestyle.

What does it mean to work with an online health coach?

Working with an online health coach means you have the flexibility to communicate with your coach wherever you are, via video conferencing, phone calls or text messages. This format makes it easier to fit the sessions into your schedule and maintain the continuity of your health program, even when you are traveling or have a busy life.

Is health coaching effective for weight loss?

Yes, health coaching can be very effective for weight loss. By working with a health coach, you get tailored guidance and support to understand and change the behaviors that contribute to your weight. Health coaches help you set realistic goals and develop healthy habits and strategies to deal with challenges, leading to sustainable weight loss.

How do I measure progress with my health coach?

Progress is measured through a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. It can include everything from tracking changes in weight, body composition, and fitness levels to observing improvements in sleep quality, energy levels, and general well-being. Your health coach will help you set measurable goals and use regular assessments to see your progress over time.

Can health coaching help with chronic diseases?

Health coaching can play an important role in the management of chronic diseases by supporting individuals in making lifestyle changes that can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Coaches can help with diet, physical activity, stress management and other factors that influence the disease. However, it is important to complement health coaching with regular medical care and follow recommendations from health professionals.

How can a health coach help me manage stress?

A health coach can be an invaluable resource when it comes to managing stress. Working together, you can explore the underlying causes of your stress and develop tailored strategies to manage it. This can include techniques for mindfulness and relaxation, time management, and setting healthy boundaries in both personal and professional relationships. By reducing stress levels, you can improve your overall health and well-being, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

What is the difference between a health coach and a nutritionist?

While both health coaches and nutritionists can offer guidance in terms of diet and nutrition, their approaches and areas of expertise differ. A nutritionist, often known as a dietician, is an expert in diet and nutrition who can offer detailed meal plans, analyze nutrient intake, and provide specific advice for medical conditions or diet-related health issues. On the other hand, a health coach takes a more holistic approach, working to integrate nutrition as part of a broader strategy to improve your overall health and lifestyle. They can help you understand and implement the role of nutrition in your wellbeing, but their advice is often more focused on general health goals than specific medical conditions.

How to get help with your personal development, step-by-step

Striving for your full potential is a journey that requires commitment, work and mental focus. Therefore, we have developed a step-by-step guide that includes elements of mental training and coaching to help you start your journey.

Step 1: Self-reflection

Purpose: Understand your strengths, weaknesses, and goals.
Action plan: Use tools like SWOT analysis or journaling to identify your core values and ambitions. Map out what you contain and why you have become who you are.

Step 2: Goal setting

Purpose: Set clear and measurable goals.
Action plan: Use S.M.A.R.T. criteria or other mapping to define your goals.

Step 3: Scheduling

Purpose: Create a realistic and achievable plan.
Action plan: Use calendars and planning tools to prioritize time to work on your goals.

Step 4: Mental and Emotional Training

Purpose: Improve your mental and emotional state and focus.
Action plan: Use techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, and visualization.

Step 5: Coaching/Therapy

Purpose: Gain external insight and hold yourself accountable.
Action plan: Engage a professional coach, therapist, or mentor to guide you. You will be given exercises to practice between sessions.

Step 6: Monitoring and follow-up

Purpose: Make sure you are on track.
Action plan: Regular evaluations and adjustments to your plan.

Step 7: Feedback and adjustment

Purpose: Understand the impact of your efforts and make necessary adjustments.
Action plan: Ask for feedback from trusted sources and make adjustments to your plan accordingly.

Step 8: Reward and Recognition

PurposeCelebrate your progress.
Action plan: Set smaller milestones and reward yourself when you achieve them.

Should I work on personal development?

Working on personal development can be challenging but extremely rewarding. Instead of struggling to manage stress or emotions on your own, professional support can help you achieve the results you’ve been looking for. On our platform, you can easily get in touch with coaches, therapists or psychologists who can support you on your journey and make the difficult easier.

Ready when you are!

When you feel it’s time to invest in your personal development and health, we have qualified coaches who can help you on your journey. Because coaching is confidential and individualized, you can feel confident that you can develop on your own terms. Our core principle is to make the difficult easier.

Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

Written by Ellen Lindgren

Licensed psychologist

Ellen is a licensed psychologist and has experience mainly in clinical psychology where she has worked with various conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, crises and trauma in primary care and psychiatry. She has also worked with research while studying in the US and with affective disorders and insomnia at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.