different types of health coaches

Simplifying the Difference in the 7 Main Types of Health Coaches

The term “Health Coach” sounds all fancy, like it’s something only the rich and famous can use, but that’s not the truth. A health coach is someone you turn to when you need to ditch bad habits, and you’re looking for ways to do that so you can adopt healthy habits. Most people these days need to get the health and wellness part of their lives on the right path, and that’s where one will need a type of health coach depending on your needs.

The subject of Coaching believes that an individual has all the answers to their problems within them, and all they need is a little push and help to lead them in the right direction. A coach helps their client discover the potential within themselves. Different types of coaches can help you get your life into perspective, and you can choose one based on your needs and the kind of habits you’d like to ditch.

If you have already decided that Coaching is your calling, you have a multitude of choices to pick from. Still, if you want to take up a specific branch of health coaching specifically, we will expound on the different branches of health coaching. You can choose the one that speaks to you best. Choosing the kind of health coaching you would like to pursue will also help you know the kind of clients you will be dealing with; you will then choose that branch of health coaching if you’re genuinely passionate about it.

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What are the different types of health coaches?

Seven different types of health coaches are mainstream right now, and we will expound more on them below. Health Coach is such a broad term that carries other careers beneath it. For example, if one’s goal is to lose weight, they will have to hire a Health Coach, but if their goal is to find a way to deal with daily stress and take care of their general wellness, the best candidate for this will be a Wellness Coach.

The differences between different types of health coaches are dependent on the client’s needs. When choosing a Health Coach career to pursue, you should keep in mind the types of clients you’re about to work with and if that’s what you’re ready to do. But if you’re torn between two, for example, a Health Coach and Wellness Coach, you can decide to pursue both of these certifications (see here for Health Certification and Wellness Coach Certification) and offer your clients both services. You don’t have to stay with only one certification. Even if you’ve been a Wellness Coach for one year then decide to abandon it completely, you can then decide to be a Holistic Coach.

Whether you are looking for a Health Coach to help you meet specific goals and change your life, or you want to be a Coach yourself, you’re in the right place. Below we expound more on what to expect from the different types of Health Coaches.

What are health coaches called?

The most common term that people call Health Coaches is Wellness Coach. For the most part, both of these terms have been used interchangeably by the vast majority of the population. But that does not mean that it stands for the same function. Most of their functions overlap, but  they are different roles.

More to this confusion is that more certifications are offered online and in-person that combine Health and Wellness coaching careers. So, you’ll find most people holding the “Health and Wellness Coach” title. These two coaching careers merge so well with each other, and that’s why it is easy to use the name interchangeably.

The 7 main types of health coaches

There are seven different types of health coaches. Knowing the differences will help you understand which one you would like to pursue or one’s you’d like to combine.

Life coach

A Life Coach guides clients to achieve their personal and professional goals, improve their lives, and feel better. A life coach will help their client find fulfillment in life. If you hire a Life Coach, they will help you improve your relationships, day-to-day lives, and careers. They will help you figure out what’s holding you back in life and guide you as you come up with strategies to improve it. A Life Coach can help you utilize your skills and gifts by maximizing them to build a better life for yourself. A Life Coach always will be by your side, giving you the support you need to make life-long changes in your way of life. The difference between Life and Health coaches is; a Life Coach serves a broader domain like helping out with executive coaching, career issues, and professional effectiveness.

Health coach

A Health Coach is your cheerleader partner and guide when it comes to your health. A Health Coach will help you implement lifestyle changes to improve your health and keep it that way for as long as you live. To get in touch with a Health Coach, your doctor may recommend them to help you if you have chronic health issues, or you may hire one for yourself if you have specific goals like getting into shape. There are six main areas that Health Coaches address these include;

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Activity
  • Time management
  • Smoking
  • Stress

It is common to find that if one of the above areas is out of balance, it affects all the other areas. For example, for some people, stress can trigger the habit of smoking, which in turn affects sleep, which will interfere with your physical activity or prevent you from eating well. A Health Coach will help make small changes daily that will grow into good habits, making you a better and healthy person.

Fitness coach

A Fitness Coach understands the difference between what you want and what you need. When working with a Fitness Coach, they will help you identify obstacles preventing you from reaching your goals and how to get over those hurdles. A Fitness Coach will help you develop a fitness program based on your needs.

Nutrition coach

Nutrition is a broad term, and there is no “one size fits all.” So, when you see a Nutrition Coach, they will help provide you with answers when you need them and ask you questions that will lead you to the right decisions. A Nutrition Coach works with the general population to include healthy eating behaviors and mentor or lead a healthier lifestyle.

Mindfulness coach

A Mindfulness Coach will help one practice mindfulness daily irrespective of whether they’re going through joyful or challenging moments. Mindfulness helps one concentrate on the “now,” putting aside the past or the future. By doing so, one can be still and compassionate. A Mindfulness Coach will help you build a satisfying practice of perspective, wisdom, kindness, and self-compassion.

Integrative coach

An Integrative Coach helps lead clients to achieve change and development in their lives. Integrative Coaching believes that instead of offering a particular style of Coaching, it combines different styles and brings them together to bring out the best style of Coaching depending on the client’s needs. Upon learning Integrative Coaching, one can decide to combine it with other coaching styles to help clients get the most out of it, for example, Integrative Health and Wellness Coach.

Wellness coach

A Wellness Coach helps clients find the tools and motivation to pursue and achieve their physical and emotional goals. Hiring a Wellness Coach will help you make general life choices fitting your lifestyle. A Wellness Coach uses behavior change, psychology (holistic psychology or traditional), and life coaching concepts to help a client overcome obstacles and maintain healthy habits for life.

Who uses Health Coaches?

Most people hire a health coach when they need help with health issues like losing weight, gaining weight, smoking, managing chronic conditions, defeating addictions, and adjusting to life-altering health occurrences like a heart attack. Most of us need at least one of the above Health Coaches in our lives. You need a Health Coach if:

You need accountability

A Health Coach will help you develop goals you need to achieve and ways to get there. Your Coach will help you maintain accountability to the set goals and action plans. In Coaching, your Coach will start you off with small goals like waking up five minutes earlier every day to meditate, which will eventually result in waking up one hour before normal time to work out or do yoga and meditate. Once you have attained the milestones you set with your Coach, you can always create other goals, and your Coach will lead you every step of the way.

You need an individualized plan.

Let’s say, for example; you need to start eating healthy. You will then hire a Nutrition Coach. Your Coach will develop an eating plan that suits your lifestyle and foods you love to prevent you from missing out and still attaining your goals. You can’t find such individualized plans by downloading generic meal plans. Even when you’re on your fitness journey, a Fitness Coach will help you develop a workout schedule that will enable you to attain your goals and be where you want to be in the period you would like to.

You need help overcoming barriers.

If you have been struggling with problems such as being active, you can have a Health Coach help you slowly come out of your shell and start becoming active. Taking those few steps every day will eventually have active hours in your routine, which helps you get healthier. Struggling with addiction can be very difficult. But with the help of your Health Coach, you will finally overcome the things holding you back from achieving sobriety.

You are seeking long-lasting change.

The minute you hire any Health Coach, it means that you are at a point where you want to change your life to take a better direction. Whether you get a Wellness or Life Coach, whichever part of your life it is you want to improve, it will improve. You will get tools that will enable you to keep on that path and achieve more by yourself even after parting ways with your coach.


Society today needs all these different types of Health Coaches to help get each one out of the mess holding them back. Whether you’re looking for a Coach that best suits your needs or are thinking of pursuing a course in Health coaching, above you will find your answer. Health coaching is a fast-growing business as more people are coming forward and looking for coaches to help them improve their lives.