President Trump Could Use a Health Coach
By Darrell Rogers
President Trump’s physical last month was a national reminder that we all must work harder to live healthier. In his read out of the exam, White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said, “I think a reasonable goal over the next year or so would be to lose 10 to 15 pounds. We talked about diet and exercise a lot. He is more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we’re going to do both.”
Like the President, millions of Americans also struggle to adopt and maintain healthy habits. We all have heard, and probably even repeated them ourselves, the myriad of excuses ranging from a lack of time, energy, and motivation. The truth is getting and staying healthy isn’t rocket science. Most of us know we need to exercise more, eat healthier foods, and manage our stress better. The challenge is adopting healthy habits and making them stick. The science is in, people are way more likely to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors when they work with a peer.
What if the President, and more Americans, had a Health Coach to help along the way?
Health Coaches are partners, or coaches that engrain healthy habits. They are trained in changing behaviors and holding people accountable to their goals. They are also frequently similar in culture, language, experiences, and/or values with their client, which can help develop trust and a unique bond that can bring about total life transformation and lasting change.
Developing that lasting change requires commitment and motivation, and most often, these healthy tendencies develop over time, with guidance and support from friends, family, colleagues, coaches, and anyone else who encourages you and holds you accountable.
Health Coaches are the future of preventative health care. In fact, as one of the fastest-growing professions with over a billion dollars in revenues, there are now approximately 35,000 self-identified Health Coach practitioners nationally, and the Department of Labor projects a 21 percent increase for health and wellness professionals focused on preventative health – faster than all other occupations.
The health and wellness industry is an economic powerhouse. A recent report from the Global Wellness Institute forecasted that the market for health and wellness products will continue to boom in the future and named the United States as the dominant marketplace.
Health Coaches are a unique and powerful part of the health care system. Through helping Americans implement and maintain a diverse range of healthy behaviors, Health Coaches assist in transforming people’s lives and, in turn, dramatically lower health care costs. The CDC notes that chronic diseases from poor lifestyle choices are at the heart of our nation’s health care crisis and comprise approximately 75% of our health care dollars.
Now is the time for Congress to continue the tax reform momentum by expanding the ability of Americans to use tax-free dollars to improve their health and wellness and utilize life-saving preventative health care. Congress should act now to incentivize wellness, offer a host of preventive health care options for millions of Americans, and reduce chronic diseases that burden our nation’s health care system. This would also create additional, well-paying job opportunities in the health and wellness industry for thousands of Americans.
The bottom-line: Health Coaches have the ability to reduce overall health care costs by playing a crucial role in improving health and happiness, which can help in all areas of our lives and futures.
With the right Health Coach, I have no doubt that President Trump could achieve the goals Dr. Jackson recommended.
Rogers is the Interim Director for the International Association for Health Coaches, which is celebratingHealth and Wellness Coach Week from February 12th-18th.