Hey ya’ll! In my last post “Why am I becoming an ACE Health Coach?” I told you my personal story about my health journey. I told you why I am passionate about health coaching, and I also gave some example stories about why I want to be a health coach.
So, what is ACE? What is a Health Coach? Why did I chose to become an ACE Health Coach? Let me tell you!
What is ACE?
ACE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering evidence-based lifestyle, fitness, and nutrition information and certifying well-trained fitness professionals. They also conduct third party research on new fitness techniques to ensure safety and efficacy of these practices. But don’t just take my word for it! Here is an excerpt from the 2015 ACE Certification Candidate Handbook that describes the American Council on Exercise and its mission:
“Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America’s health and wellbeing. Over the past 30 years, we have become an established resource for health and fitness professionals, and the public, providing comprehensive, unbiased research and validating ourselves as the country’s trusted authority on health and fitness. Today, ACE is the largest nonprofit health and fitness certification, education and training organization in the world with 58,000 certified professionals who hold more than 64,000 ACE certifications. With a long heritage in certification, education, training and public outreach, we are among the most respected organizations in the industry and a resource the public has come to trust for health and fitness education.”
ACE MISSION STATEMENT
“ACE’s mission is to ensure people have access to well-qualified health and fitness professionals and health coaches, and science-based information and resources on safe and effective physical activity, so they may get active, establish healthy behaviors, and live their most fit lives.”
American Council on Exercise
2015 Certification Candidate Handbook
(You can receive a copy of the Certification Candidate Handbook upon request).
What is a Health Coach?
According to ACE, a health coach is a “Professional who has the behavior change, physical activity and nutrition coaching skills they need to empower people to long-term healthy change.” To me, this means that I get to help people who struggle with their bodies and find it difficult to achieve and maintain weight loss through effective exercise and quality nutrition practices. ACE provides me with the tools and education to understand the latest evidence-based nutrition information and fitness science while keeping the client’s individual needs at the forefront.
Why did I choose to get certified through ACE?
Safety. Trust. Empathy. Excellence. Efficacy. Quality. Evidence-based.
All of these are qualities that I desire to offer my clients. Receiving my education and certification through ACE will help me deliver this value to my clients.
ACE Recognizes the Value of Empowering Clients.
Right now, the US is facing an epidemic of chronic health conditions. In a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately half of American adults have one or more chronic health conditions, such as: heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more (as cited in ACE Health Coach Career Guide p. 5).
Have you ever thought about how more people than ever before have access to information that might help them improve their diet and lifestyle? Why is access to information not enough? In addition to the issue of the often conflicting and questionable nutrition and fitness information available in popular culture, I think it’s also because there are normal psychological factors at play that keep us stuck in our old habits. We don’t always see change as positive and beneficial because change is hard for us ‘creatures of habit’! It can be scary to exchange a lifestyle that is comfortable and familiar for healthier behaviors that may seem painful and difficult to maintain. In addition, many people have attempted to make changes and for whatever reason, things didn’t work out which leads to thoughts of failure, and feelings of inadequacy.
This is where a Health Coach can step in and help! We can help you deal with feeling defeated by helping you renegotiate how you choose to talk to yourself. We can help you find your own inner motivation to make the changes that you want so that you can create YOUR healthy, vital life. As a health coach, I want to help you move in the direction towards health, and it’s all about you! What do you want? What do you need? What are your goals? You are number one in my book!
ACE Teaches Science and Evidence-Based Approach to Coaching.
ACE certifies well-qualified professionals. ACE offers safe and effective science-based information and resources. It’s all about trust.
Personally, I want to make the best choices about what I put into my body and how I exercise my body. I dedicate a lot of my personal time reading about the nutrition science behind many of the popular diets out there right now. Let me tell you, there is a lot of conflicting fitness and nutritional information out there in popular culture, and a lot of it is WRONG! What can it hurt to follow someone’s ill-informed dietary advice? Let me tell you what happened to me.
Here’s my story: Along my journey, I have tried many diets that didn’t work for me and I have also experienced negative effects from following pseudoscientific dietary advice from individuals with questionable qualifications. A couple years ago, I decided to follow a certain diet that I found on the internet for a few months. I thought: I’ll be eating much healthier than I used to, so what could it hurt? It’s just food after all! After a few weeks, I was losing weight very rapidly, so I was thrilled! Looking back however, because my diet wasn’t properly balanced, I don’t think I was eating enough protein. I was also exercising almost every day. After about two months on this diet, I started to notice that I was feeling more fatigued than usual, I had a hard time remembering things, I felt emotionally numb, I started losing my hair, and I felt light-headed. At this point, I was devastated about my hair! So I cross-referenced the diet I was following, and I found a lot of criticism about the risks of nutritional deficiencies associated with following this diet. I felt so angry that I was listening to individuals who promised health and vitality, but led me to the opposite. All I wanted was to lose weight and feel healthy. I was putting in so much time and effort, but heading down the wrong road.
My personal experience with bad nutrition information has cultivated a passion for finding the truth about understanding how my body works and what it needs to thrive and be healthy. I came to the understanding that I need to take good care of myself first before I can help others do the same! This is why I am so passionate about becoming a health coach that bases all of my techniques on evidence-based nutrition, psychology, and fitness science. Therefore, to me, evidence-based practice is THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in why I chose ACE!
If you are interested in learning more about ACE, feel free to visit: acefitness.org!
Also, if you’re looking for a great workout, need some good info on nutrition, recipes, or want to find a fitness professional in your area, check out: https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/