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This site is an archive of our Well Written Blog posts until April 2020. For the most up-to-date content visit NWIJournal.com.

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Who are Health Coaches?

Posted By Samantha Diedrich, Monday, July 15, 2019

Health coaches—or wellness coaches, are wellness professionals. The buzz words, "Health Coach", are heard almost daily now; from worksite wellness programs to health and fitness clubs, social media groups, and nutrition stores. Health coaches wear multiple hats and come from a broad spectrum of health and wellness backgrounds.

The one thing a health coach will not do is tell you what to do.

The role of a health coach is to assist their client through the stages of change by setting SMART goals with their client. Health coaches work with people to overcome barriers and help their clients celebrate small successes. Goal setting is the fundamental backbone of health coaching. When you set a goal with a health coach, the coach becomes your ally in your personal wellness journey. Health Coaches will help motivate you, keep you accountable, as well as provide feedback and ideas when needed. The one thing health coaching will not do is tell you what to do. Health coaching is not a “tell me my plan and what to do to meet my goal” kind of experience. It is specifically there to work with clients to find the goals that mean the most to them and work past the barriers that may come up along the way. Coaches are also there to be the clients' first source of accountability; eventually decreasing that need along the goal pathway.

Health coaches are there to help people create lifestyle changes by accomplishing goals that last. Through behavior change, the coach will help figure out what has made their client struggle in the past and plan to overcome that challenge in the future. The health coach can bring ideas to the table, but the client always has the floor as to what will—or won't—work for them.

Health coaches are more than just a trend in wellness, they are here to stay. Health coaches are wellness professionals who are trained in behavioral change, motivational interviewing, and working with people to achieve and celebrate personal goals. Many health coaches work in worksite wellness and business health career fields. They tend to come from different areas of expertise, such as clinical exercise physiologists, registered dietitians, personal trainers, and/or have college degrees in health, fitness, exercise science, or wellness promotion. health coach with clientHealth coaches may also have other wellness credentials, such as the National Wellness Institute Certified Wellness Practitioners, CHES, Nutrition Specialists, and/or Personal Trainers. Health coaches have a wide span of expertise, which helps clients across a broad spectrum of wellness issues. This enables coaches to work with clients in various areas to create a plan that is individualized for each client.

Many employers now require that health coaches hold a certification to call themselves health coaches, but not all health coaches are certified. The science of wellness is still evolving, and as with many aspects of wellness, proceed with caution as a consumer. Most states will allow anyone to call themselves a health coach, whether they have been trained as a health coach or not. Some “health coaches” may not have a degree in health and wellness, let alone training in behavior change. As a health and wellness consumer, make sure your health coach has proper evidence-based training in behavior change, motivational interviewing, and wellness before you commit to their programming.

If you are an aspiring health coach, do your research and look for evidence-based certifications. The best health coaching certifications will contain a classroom component, case study review, written exam, and practical exams. The practical exam is an essential component to health coaching and learning to apply motivational interviewing skills to client sessions. Many wellness employers—especially in the health care setting, are looking for certified health coaches to add to their staff. To make yourself marketable as an emerging wellness professional, obtaining a health coaching certification is a new job skill requirement found in most wellness job descriptions. If you are passionate about exercise, nutrition, stress, mental health, etc., work toward finding accreditation for that passion. This will help you strive in coaching as well as make you an ideal candidate for future employers.


Samantha Diedrich, MS, CWPSamantha Diedrich, MS, CWP, is a Certified Wellness Practitioner and Health Coach with Aspirus Business Health - Wellness. She is passionate about engaging business partners and clients to improve their lives through health and happiness. She is a member of the National Wellness Institute's Emerging Wellness Professional task force.


Tags:  Coaching  Emerging Wellness Professional  Health Coach  Wellness Coach  Wellness Professional 

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NWI Member Spotlight - March 2019

Posted By Marvin D. Burruss, Friday, March 8, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Marvin D. BurrussMarvin D. Burruss, CWP

I am an NWl Certified Wellness Practitioner. I hold a BS Degree in Psychology and an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Health and Wellness Promotion. I pride myself on providing support, motivation, accountability, and education while helping individuals achieve balance of mind, body, and spirit and ultimately improving their personal well-being. 

I am primarily employed by Weight Watchers (WW) as a telephonic Personal Coach as well as a Workshop Wellness Coach. I have been doing telephonic coaching since WW introduced it in January of 2014. I try to provide a rare and an often-overlooked male perspective in a predominately female environment. Eighty percent of my coaching members are males and I supply coaching to this minority population in ways that men can relate to. I believe I have been extremely successful in my work with them.

As a Coach in the Employee Wellness Program at the College of Lake County, I serve a diverse, multicultural, multiethnic and multigenerational population at their urban campus in Lake County. My bi-monthly meetings are focused on assisting employees in reaching their personal wellness goals including nutrition education and living a healthier lifestyle.

For five years I’ve served as the President of the College of Lake County Wellness Club whose mission is to inspire personal and community wellness for students. I‘ve lead this student group in organizing activities such as Blood Drives, Health and Wellness Fairs and other presentations for the diverse student body. I also was a member of the Wellness Commission at the College which supports the college’s initiatives to infuse diversity, multiculturalism, and environmental sustainability into the curriculum and college activities.

Before being exposed to wellness I worked for approximately 25 years as a Construction Project Manager, however, once I started getting involved with wellness, especially having a background and degree in Psychology, I knew right away that this was my calling in life. The more I learned about the benefits of bringing well being and balance into my own life the more I realized how important it was to share this knowledge. One of the things that I find most rewarding about coaching is the positive impact I can have on someone else’s life. It helps to satisfy my need to serve others. Personal Coaching was a perfect fit for my personality and skill sets. 

Unlike many of my friends of the same age who are starting to retire, I’m excited about expanding my second career in coaching. I am working on getting National Board Certified and hope to get into Diabetes Prevention Coaching soon. This is especially personal for me because my Father, almost all of his siblings and many other family members on that side of my family suffer from and/or have succumbed to this insidious disease. Who knows, if I hadn’t changed to living a healthier lifestyle then I might be in that situation as well. I can truly say that wellness changed my life for the better. 

I live in Grayslake Illinois with my beautiful and loving wife, Andrea. Together, we have four daughters and four grandchildren. When I’m not working I enjoy watching football (Go Steelers!!), bicycling, dancing and traveling. In parting as I like to, “Be well, BE MARVELOUS!!!


Tags:  Health and Wellness Promotion  Marvin Burruss  NWI member  NWl Certified Wellness Practitioner  wellness  wellness coach 

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Thank You for Your Service—Bob Boyd!

Posted By NWI, Thursday, June 7, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Bob BoydAt the National Wellness Conference this year, Bob Boyd will be stepping down from the National Wellness Board of Directors after serving his limit of two full terms. NWI has cherished Bob’s vigorous engagement spanning over twenty years. For many years Bob would arrive from his home in Brisbane, Australia after an 18-20 hour plane ride and immediately plunge into work as a conference volunteer. A pioneer in his country’s wellness movement, a dedicated university instructor, and Founding President of the National Wellness Institute of Australia, Bob brought tremendous experience and continual passion for wellness to the NWI Board

Bob has spearheaded NWI’s International efforts, networking and recruiting wellness professionals from around the globe to become engaged in our organization. This has resulted in the formation of the NWI International Standing Committee furthering involvement by international members and developing ways to spread wellness globally. He will continue to be involved with the work of the committee as a member volunteer.

For more than forty years Bob has been contributed professionally across all areas of personal and corporate wellness. His involvement includes research, consulting and teaching.

A Ministerial appointment to the Queensland State Steering Committee on Health Promotion in the Workplace preceded his appointment as the inaugural Director of the Queensland University of Technology Wellness Matters Program. He is an accredited Workplace Wellness Director, Certified Wellness Practitioner, Certified Workplace Program manager, Wellness Culture Coach, and Wellness Coach Trainer (for Real Balance Global Wellness Services, Inc.).

While exiting the board, NWI and all of its members look forward to continuing to enjoy not only Bob’s professional contributions, but also his joyous embrace of life that we all love to experience.  Cheers mate!


Michael ArloskiMichael Arloski, Ph.D., PCC, CWP, National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Real Balance Global Wellness Services, Inc.
michael@realbalance.com
www.realbalance.com
1-970-568-4700
Fort Collins, Colorado

President, Board of Directors, National Wellness Institute


Tags:  Australia  Bob Boyd  International Wellness  NWI Board of Directors  NWI International  NWI International Standing Committee  wellness coach 

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Transformational Leadership

Posted By Alex Lobo, Thursday, January 4, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Alex Lobo MBA
Founder and CEO of the Mexican Institute of Integral Prevention
Member NWI International Standing Committee 


One of the biggest issues in the management of human talent, the achievement of strategic objectives, and the execution of priorities and needs of the organization, is that people do what they have to do to succeed. 

The issue of leadership has been addressed in many ways; most research being around the need to train people, motivate them, and empower them. The main problem is that each human being has different needs, values, beliefs, talents, resources, abilities, and ways of looking at life. Also, the people who lead do so in different ways through different leadership styles and employ different techniques to have their teams achieve their results. From this perspective, change by itself is not enough to achieve goals and results, especially in medium- and long-term strategy issues in companies. It is not enough to provide methodologies, motivation, and tools. It is necessary to accomplish a change from the operational level, to transform at the level of identity; which generates alignment with respect to values and strategy.

Today, work teams need to self-manage, and for this we need a new way of looking at the leadership issue. Not only the change that the leader asks of his teams, but from the process of accompaniment towards an integral transformation of the person. Today more than ever, leaders have the opportunity to become mentors, coaches, cheerleaders, and sergeants of their teams. Always starting from their own example, from their own resources. But above all, the leadership that is required nowadays has to do with the identity of the leader and the identity of the work teams.

The basis of transformational leadership is self discovery. Who should I be to achieve the objectives? Who do I have to convert? What are the features of my personality that I would have to exalt? What to improve? How should my own resources grow? How am I a generator of that process of change in operability, of transformation in identity? 

Affects Of Transformational Leadership On Work Teams

Transformational leadership positively affects work teams from the level of behavior change —new tasks, assignments, skills to be developed — through to the transformation of beliefs and attitudes, regarding the task itself and team members' own abilities. It is also important to influence the habits and discipline of each member, to explore what are the values and moral and intellectual priorities of each one, as well as their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, which gives a better understanding of what is relevant for each work team. 

The three concrete actions of the transformational leader are: understanding the fears and obstacles through which each work team passes; understanding the context and current situation of the individual and their resources and immediate needs, and facilitate the process of transformation, starting from what is apparently a simple task to what becomes a new identity.

Transformational leadership involves those steps leaders have to take to manage themselves. To be able to increase their influence on others, understand the motivations, limitations, and fears of their work team, and help them to expand an instrumentalist vision of accomplishing tasks and achieving results to a functional vision of capacity expansion and strengthening of human identity.

There are specific characteristics of the transformational leader and specific motivations and ambitions of all human beings. The contemporary leader understands these elements and uses them in favor of results, growth, and the generation of future value. Thus adding competitive advantage through four characteristics for the development of transformational leadership: 

  1. Social-emotional skills:  these are the concepts of self-care, self-knowledge of emotional intelligence, social intelligence, the motivations and unique situations of each individual, decision-making, and always thinking about this concept of "better decisions" and that of resilience, concept, and concrete development goals, how to grow in each of these areas with specific indications, individually and at a corporate level.
  2. Virtues: the transformational leader is someone who is regulated in the moral and spiritual from the cardinal virtues. The need to develop strength as a central element of consistency, ability to face obstacles and not bend to situations that are in the way. Temperance, which is the virtue that regulates one's appetites, passions, and vices that we generate consciously or unconsciously and that obviously distract us, de-motivate us, and generate physical, psychological, and profitability consequences. Prudence, which is having the clarity of doing the right thing for the right reasons at the right time with the right people, and being able to understand and have a broader vision of the different systems, actors, and forces that exist in the business environment — the number one feature of the trans-formational leader. Development of maturity as the core competence, understood as the ability to self-regulate, self-manage, and to achieve what is proposed.
  3. Persuasion: everything that social influence implies, and how to raise one’s levels of influence to have others do it. Evidently here the key piece has to do with the motivation both at the intrinsic and extrinsic personal level. 
  4. The competition vs. the experience: every transformational leader must have worked, documented their personal learning, their success stories and failures. The leader must understand the specific lessons to work with their teams in specific situations and understand that the main task is to inspire and instruct.

Every one of these characteristics is necessary to increase the chances of success in achieving objectives. In addition to these competencies there are five specific habits that transformational leaders have to master: 

  1. Self-management and self-government: eat well, sleep well, exercise, and lead a harmonious, healthy, and well existence.
  2. Continuous learning: the leader is the first apprentice. Lead from learning and not from knowledge; the knowledge leader gives a chair, the leader in learning accompanies the discovery or transformation process.
  3. Listening: it must be active, with an interest and with a fair amount of curiosity towards people and their points of view.
  4. Discipline: there is no obstacle that can resist perseverance and for this it is important to stay focused, not be distracted, and be a bit stubborn through tenacity.
  5. Celebration: the transformational leader knows how to recognize the effort and knows how to reward the results. Understand that the basis of happiness is progress and that it requires taking time to recognize, reward, and give back. 

Although these habits are not generated from one day to the next, if you start immediately, you achieve your domain through repetition. It is also useful to propose a plan of action and individual improvement for the achievement of goals. This is undoubtedly a recipe or proven formula for accomplishing the transformation of work teams and individuals. Conceptually it makes a lot of sense, however the emphasis must be on the execution and implementation of these concepts.



Alex LoboAlejandro (Alex) Lobo is founder and CEO of the Mexican Institute of Integral Prevention, writer, researcher, lecturer, educator, consultant, Wellness Coach, Life & BusinessPerformance Coach. The Mexican Institute of Comprehensive Prevention, is an association Alex founded after extensive experience working in the design, management and implementation of “Comprehensive Prevention” Models in educational institutions, public and private sector and governmental organizations. He has studied administration, international trade, and has obtained a Master degree in the Mexican Business School (IPADE). Furthermore, he has worked in consulting, teaching and research in various institutions in Mexico, the United States, and South America. “Comprehensive Prevention” ensures full personal development and freeing the inner potential. It humanizes relationships and leads to a state of consciousness, well-being and fulfillment.

Tags:  Alex Lobo  International Wellness  leadership  Mexico  occupational wellness  success  thriving  wellness coach 

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