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Wellness coaches focus on body, mind to ease stress

April 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
No matter what your situation, our busy lives can make us feel like hamsters on a wheel and cause havoc on our health. There's a new group of professionals called wellness coaches, who promise to perform a complete life makeover, transforming our bodies and minds.

Christine Silva was extremely stressed out trying to balance work and family with no time left over for herself.

"I was constantly exhausted. I felt like I was never able to keep up," said Silva.

So she decided to try something new. She hired a wellness coach to help her regain control of her life.

"Within the very first session, I realized this is not about just getting exercise. It was about how do I see myself and where do I want to be," Silva said.

Unlike personal trainers, who concentrate on physical fitness, a wellness coach takes a more holistic approach, focusing on both the body and the mind. They meet clients one-on-one and help them create an individualized health plan.

"The coach is really trained to help you take a bigger picture of you, overall aspects of your health and wellness, and then come up with a formula that combines all of these things together," said Margaret Moore, CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation.

And this type of coaching is not just for executives.

"It was seen in the workplace with executives that they were more productive if they were healthy and fit and they were handling their stress well and addressing all the issues of wellness. So now it's showing to be advantageous for the average person to pursue wellness as well," said Dr. Holly Benjamin of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Of course, hiring the right coach is key. Right now, there is no national certification for wellness coaches, so experts suggest you ask a lot of questions.

"They should make sure they know the fees up front. They should know what the wellness coach is offering, communication, how many times they meet," said Benjamin.

Silva has been working with her coach for two years and is amazed at how her life has changed.

"I'm more relaxed on a almost daily basis," said Silva.


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