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“My own path towards wellness has been a long and dynamic one. It’s taught me that healing from the inside out takes time and there can be great value in various sources of guidance. “
– Carre Otis
For years people often associate personal trainers as the gurus of personal health and wellness.
In today’s society the belief that our looks portray who we are is ubiquitous. Fortunately, not everyone believes this philosophy and there is a large part of the population who seek the power of inner beauty.
There is much more to being just physically fit and a much deeper chiasm that we should explore when pursing overall health. Moreover, there may be an even better resource for people who are interested in revamping their lives to reflect health and wellness.
Wellness coaches are the future of health education. People all over the world are reaping the personal benefits that come from wellness coaches and there are numerous and often unknown services that a wellness coach can provide for you.
Research shows a large positive impact on behaviors of people who work with wellness coaches in addition to dieting and exercise. An article by Deborah Gardner (2014), shed light on how wellness coaching can actually help to change a person’s behavior which attributes to more positive outcomes.
It is a multi-faceted approach to one’s health that really makes a difference. Imagine being able to consult with one person to help you with your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
A wellness coach is like having your own personal trainer, nutritionist, and mental health counselor all in one.
What is a Wellness Coach?
Wellness coaches are health professional who not only target physical fitness but also mind and spirit in conjunction with overall lifestyle.
These health professionals have a great understanding of psychology as it relates to health. A wellness coach can help you set goals to improve many areas of your life such as diet, exercise, emotional health, and how to obtain better motivation to meet objectives.
Just like having a sports coach, a wellness coach can guide you to what “plays” in life will help you achieve your aspirations.
Wellness coaches can also help you learn ways to prevent disease or live healthier with a disease you may suffer from.
“Wellness coaching requires a unique set of skills that are not taught in traditional coach training programs. A wellness coach works with individuals or groups who want to make changes in their lifestyle to optimize their health and wellbeing.”
A wellness coach is known for their ability to help you discover the healthiest path and most affective path for meeting your goals. It is a partnership that is often much deeper than even a doctor/patient relationship.
The approach is very future driven and forces you the client to focus on future aims. People who had weight loss surgery for instance may benefit from working with a wellness coach to help change their overall lifestyle and habits which may have led to their obesity.
A gastric bypass patient was studied over a 1-year period while working with a wellness coach and was reported to have maintained his status post weight for up to 1 year after surgery which is extremely remarkable (Schwartz, 2013).
Where Can I Find a Wellness Coach?
A great resource for finding a wellness coach is asking your medical doctor to refer you to one. There are even wellness coaches online that provide virtual counseling sessions.
Some large fitness clubs also provide wellness coaching. It is important to choose a wellness coach who you are comfortable with and who also has the right credentials.
Normally a wellness coach is a professional who works in the area of health or fitness. For example: A doctor, licensed nurse, or nutritionist can all be great resources. The majority of wellness coaches also have a distinctive certification that reflects specialized training.
What is it Like to Work With a Wellness Coach?
A wellness coach will normally start with an overall assessment. An assessment will consist of your overall health and wellness, diet, and lifestyle.
Your wellness coach will work with you to develop goals and a timeframe of steps in order to reach your goals. Most clients work with their coaches over a timeframe of 3-6 months.
This is usually a realistic amount of time to be able to benefit from services and maintain consistency in your routine. You may even find it helpful to follow up with your wellness coach a couple times of year.
The commitment is entirely up to you. Many coaches will even offer a free consultation before you are obligated to their services.
Wellness coaches are definitely more bang for your buck if you are looking to develop an overall lifestyle change. Possibilities are endless when you have someone who really understands the human psyche. Give a wellness coach a try and you may be surprised at the goals you are able to obtain.
“The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.”
– Greg Anderson
Corporate Wellness Programs
Seeing someone out running, or on a bike, or talking about going to the gym is just part of daily life. But, it’s a relatively recent cultural change – seeing someone dressed in athletic gear, out running, say 50 years ago, would have been really odd.
This is partly because there was less of a need, for example in 1960, three-quarters of the UK workforce were described as manual workers, whereas today that same proportion are described as knowledge workers. As the demand for digital and online services increase the inherent physical job demands decrease and thus need to be supplemented.
The other contributing factors are that over time society has learned to recognize the value of exercise for health and wellbeing… so over time it has become our ‘normal’.
The same is true of diet and nutrition. On the whole, there is at least at a level of acceptance, that what we eat impacts on how good we feel.
However, unlike physical exercise, and conversations about the amount of carbohydrate or fat in our lunch, discussions about maintaining every-day mental health are still rare.
Corporate Wellness Programs: How Holistic is Yours?
The business environment being somewhere we spend a large amount of time has started corporate wellness programs acknowledging that exercise and diet play a vital role in health.
Corporate Wellness Programs are not rigidly defined as they are usually tailor suited to the individual needs and resources of the company. Typically these programs include a range of activities such as health education, health monitoring, smoking cessation initiatives and incentives for physical fitness to emotional wellbeing, family care, and financial wellbeing.
Unfortunately, proactive programs to help employees improve mental resilience or wellbeing, are uncommon, which seems contradictory to our modern day wellness needs. While our bodies are moving less, the increased pace of changes, increased working hours, the always-on culture coupled with job uncertainty and economic instability, can provide a problematic environment for our minds, which aren’t always given a chance to stop.
The popular ITV show Cold Feet, shown recently in the UK, included a scene with two of the characters, Pete and Jen, in a class learning meditation. Compared to say a scene of a conversation between two people on running machines, it seemed strange as many of us are still not used to seeing it. But, perhaps, we should get used to it, for the sake of our health.
The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health suggests that at any one time, one person in six will be experiencing depression, anxiety or stress related issues at work; with an estimated cost of £26 billion per year for UK employers. The cost of burnout and stress to both employers and employees is high, however, there seems to be good evidence to show that prevention through corporate wellness is effective, less costly and may even provide economic benefits!
Corporate wellness programs play a vital role in the workplace as the research around workplace wellbeing grows almost daily. These programs can be run internally through HR or from a specialist position and furthermore many companies choose to run their activities internally with the guidance of external wellbeing consultants.
Reaching the Remarkable: A Holistic Approach to Corporate Wellness
One such expert consulting practice is Reach Remarkable, who provide managerial and training support for a holistic approach to corporate wellness. At Reach Remarkable it is not just about physical health but the consideration of mental wellbeing.
Reach remarkable offers a comprehensive range of workshops, short and long term courses, retreats, team building activities and worksite visits all focused on building the psychological resources needed for holistic wellbeing at work.
The ideas introduced and developed through activities include mindfulness at work, developing a growth mindset for boosting performance, wellbeing and workplace resilience and a specific course for learning how to perform under pressure. There is also an opportunity to tailor make the services which suit your organization.
“Focusing on performance improvement alone can lead to great short term results, but may also contribute to burnout in the longer term. Reach Remarkable approach performance differently by combining performance enhancement with improved resilience and well-being, supporting sustainable long term performance and productivity.”
– Mark from Reach Remarkable
This is done through their unique five-element model which builds on the physical aspects of health by adding in the elements of emotion, attention, mastery and purpose and meaning. This encourages a holistic approach to wellbeing at work by supporting performance and building resilience.
Reach Remarkable’s Holistic 5 Element Model
Take Home Message
The importance of corporate wellness programs is gaining greater attention as we move more towards knowledge based working roles. While we know that wellbeing is hugely impacted by physical exercise, diet and health monitoring and education there is still a glaring gap in the way we are approaching wellness at work.
Holistic corporate wellbeing programmes, like those offered by Reach Remarkable, offer a focus on mental and emotional wellbeing as well as the physical. In this way, companies can invest in prevention thus increasing the psychological resources needed to maintain employee health and wellness. These programs also greatly influence company performance and offer long-term financial benefits.
Start paying attention to the holistic wellbeing of your employees and together, we can open the dialogue of the role of mental health and resilience in the workplace, in hopes of it becoming a normal part of every working life.
Get in touch with Reach Remarkable and find out how you can start your corporate wellness programme with a holistic approach.
Offer, A. (2008). British Manual Workers: From Producers to Consumers, c. 1950–2000. Contemporary British History, 22(4), 537–571.
The sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. (2007). Mental Health at Work: Developing the business case. Mental Health at Work: Developing the business case (Vol. Policy Pap).
Campion, J., Bhui, K., & Bhugra, D. (2012). European Psychiatric Association (EPA) guidance on prevention of mental disorders. European Psychiatry, 27(2), 68–80. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2011.10.004
Gardner, D. B. (2014). Walking the Talk for Patient-Centered Care: An Interview with Eileen O'Grady, Wellness Coach. Nursing Economics, 32(2), 99-100.
Schwartz, J. (2013). Wellness coaching for obesity: A case report. Glob Adv Health Med, 2(4), 68-70.