Wellness coaching is one of the big trends predicted for 2009 by Entrepreneur magazine.
Maintaining your health is no longer a "one-a-day vitamin, a once-a-year checkup and a thrice-weekly workout," says the magazine. "It’s a 24/7 concern. Consumers want control over and convenient access to their own health information." Entrepreneur also predicts the rise of personal health portals and point-of-care solutions.
Wellness coaches appeal to the current consumer desire for both a holistic and a customized approach to health. A wellness coach helps either individuals or employees of an organization. The coach creates a customized program to address diet, fitness and emotional well being.
"We want to be well. We yearn to be in control and feel better. We want more energy," says Margaret Moore, founder of Well Coaches, the only health and wellness coaching certification program endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine in a recent WebMD article. "But there is an enormous gap between wanting to be well and the everyday reality of living with the mental and physical health penalties of overeating, under exercising, and having too little down time."
The most important gift of a coach can be a friendly voice or email when an employee is feeling blue and unable to stay on the diet or fitness track.
The number of wellness coaches is growing. The American Council on Exercise trained only wellness 100 coaches in 2003; it trained 1,000 last year.