It’s scary to start something new – especially when you are over 50 years old. But that is what I did when I began my health and wellness coaching company, Wellness Beyond Fifty, three years ago. Why health and wellness coaching? Why leave my comfort zone? I’ve done exceptionally well in real estate. Why not open my own real estate company instead?
I had defeated a bout with breast cancer 10 years before, and my real estate sales were booming. Married later in life to a wonderful man who enjoys his work as an editor, writer and grower of fresh vegetables, I had little to complain about. We own our home in Charleston and a lovely farm not too far away. I thrive on helping others, but it was the constant stress of selling houses and the impersonal nature of new technology that wore me down and made want to do something different.
What’s more important to any of us than having an enjoyable, stress-free life? Why has it become so difficult to live one? Our nation is having a serious health-care crisis. Approximately half of U.S. citizens are dealing with chronic illnesses, the complications from which is the nation’s No.1 killer. If I really wanted to help others on a meaningful and lasting level, what would be more important than helping them take control of their health and well-being so they could have wellness beyond fifty.
So ask yourself: “If you don’t know how to achieve and maintain good health, what do you have of any lasting worth?”
I began this journey by going back to college in 2013. I enrolled in one of the nation’s best health-coaching programs at Duke University, passed my oral and written exams and spent the greater part of a year focused on becoming a national board-certified health and wellness coach, which I achieved earlier this year. And here is what it means:
In September 2017, more than 1,100 professional health and wellness coaches passed the nation’s first Health and Wellness Coach Certifying Examination. The National Board provides this certification for Health and Wellness Coaching – collaboration between the National Board of Medical Examiners and the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching.
Health and wellness coaching as a certified profession focuses on the urgent need to increase clients’ engagement in sustained healthy lifestyles that prevent and treat chronic conditions. As the profession has grown, so has variability in the standards of health and wellness coaches working in clinical settings that include universities, employer health plans, private practices and health clubs.To deliver consistent standards for our profession, the consortium joined forces with administrators of physician-licensing examinations in the United States and developed educational and training programs to determine if health and wellness coaches meet national standards by passing a certification exam.
The National Board Certification for Health and Wellness Coaching is based upon a set of competencies for appropriately developing the coaching relationship, communication techniques, processes for behavior change, health and wellness knowledge, ethics and professional development and more. All practitioners who meet eligibility requirements and pass the examination are designated National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coaches.
If you have questions about the process, visit the ICHWC website at http://www.ichwc.org or NBME at http://www.nbme.org/hwc/, or contact ICHWC Executive Director Leigh-Ann Webster at (858) 395-5808.