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Online Health Coach Versus In-Person Coaching: What’s the Difference?
October 30, 2022 at 7:00 AM
Online Health Coach Versus In-Person Coaching: What’s the Difference?

Whether you are looking for an in-person health coach or online, you are likely looking to get in shape and make meaningful lifestyle-change goals. Health coaches can not only help you create a fitness regime and understand nutrition principles, but also help you identify and address the complex emotional, behavioral, physical, and lifestyle factors related to this change.

With health coaching, there are multiple ways that a coach can work with their clients. You will need to decide if you want an online health coach or an in-person coach as you begin your fitness and wellness journey. Read on to learn more about the differences.

What is in-person coaching?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most health coaching took place face-to-face. These coaches meet one-on-one with their clients in a predetermined location, such as a gym, office, or other corporate settings. Some people opt for in-person coaching because there are many benefits, including more interaction through nonverbal cues. This could include encouragement through verbal affirmations or comments made. They can also build a stronger personal connection with their clients and observe and comment on any changes made.

What to consider with in-person coaching

Finding an in-person coach can be difficult if you live in a remote area. That’s because these services are limited to a specific geographic region, making it challenging to meet if you live outside your coach’s area. There are also specific business costs related to face-to-face sessions, like having a gym membership, that you will need to pay money for.

Additionally, you may run into scheduling conflicts with your coach because of your work schedule, inability to secure childcare, family obligations, or other challenges. However, if in-person coaching is for you, find a coach that can work with you and around your schedule so you can get the training and advice you need on your health and wellness journey.

What is online health coaching?

Virtual coaching is a growing trend in the fitness industry as online health coaches harness the power of technology to connect with potential clients. The advantage of remote coaching for trainers and their clients is convenience, minimal overhead expenses, efficiency, the ability to connect outside of their region, and no travel time.

What to consider with online health coaching

While virtual coaching has risen in popularity, it can be a double-edged sword. It can connect you and provide you with more coaching options, but it may leave you feeling disconnected. Some people feel less connected to their coaches in a virtual setting — which can negatively impact social support (a typical predictor of success).

Face-to-face communication also allows clients and their trainers to better understand nonverbal cues, which can be a more significant challenge in a virtual environment.

Schedule a consultation with Step by Step Wellness!

Our process is in our name; we walk clients step by step toward wellness, helping them overcome their challenges and move toward holistic health. Our health coach, Shri O. Noel, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician who previously practiced at a leading academic medical center. A traditional medical practice didn't enable her to dive deeply into patient concerns, which is when she launched Step by Step Wellness. We commit to being by our clients' sides to provide unparalleled insight into their health and help them achieve actual results.

Contact Shri O. Noel, MD, with Step by Step Wellness to work with a virtual health coach.