Shut the front the door, right? How can I say that....I didn't even go to medical school and basically flunked out of Organic Chemistry II and never took a single biology class in college!
Let me start out by saying that I am in no way bashing doctors. I completely respect the education they have and the work that they do to take care of the sick and injured. They are well trained in disease management, surgical procedures and the biology of the human body and have a lot of knowledge.
So how can I call myself a healthcare professional? I think to answer that you have to define what is health? Meriam-Webster defines health as:
So in the scope of nutrition and fitness the definition that I think most closely applies could be either the first or second option. Health is being well, free from disease AND the condition of one's body and mind.
I think you also need to define what healthcare is. According to Merriam-Webster, it is:
I think we need to break down this definition a little bit. Healthcare is the prevention or treatment of illness. Right there it is saying that it doesn't have to be both, and by saying or it might even elude to it being one or the other. The second part, by doctors, dentists, psychologists, etc. Clearly there is a bias towards formally trained medical professionals by this definition, but it does leave the door open with the etc, and that is where I come in.
Doctors, dentists, and psychologists, (given our current system of "healthcare") I would argue are more on the reactive or treatment side of illnesses versus the preventative side. They see numerous patients every day, typically for a short period of time. According to a 2010 report by the CDC 51.5% of doctor's visits, patients spent less than 15 minutes with a doctor and 89.8% spent less than 30 minutes.* I'm not blaming the doctors, as I'm sure they would like to engage more with patients, but that is just how the system is setup.
Another piece of the "healthcare" system that I believe is at fault is the mindset of the patient going into these short appointments. If anyone watches any television these days, they are bombarded by commercials from drug companies offering a solution to every problem known to man. In the same CDC report, doctor's recommended education services or lifestyle changes 43% of the time versus medication therapy, which was brought up in 75% off patient visits.* Even though people were given options to change their lifestyle, they often end up resorting to medication because it is easy to do. Why workout for 30 minutes a day and spend a little more time cooking meals when a pill will solve your problems???
So getting back to on topic, let's see how I, can have the gall to call myself a Healthcare Professional. It lies in the definition, PREVENTION of illness. Of the chronic illnesses that people reported to see doctor's for, roughly 60% of them are lifestyle diseases.* This includes blood pressure issues, diabetes, and weight management to name a few.
What I do as a Beachbody Coach revolves around encouraging people to change their lifestyle by adding exercise and eating healthier foods. It's these lifestyle changes that will help people combat those lifestyle illnesses and live healthier lives. So it is for this reason that I consider myself and every other Beachbody Coach out there a Healthcare Professional. We spend countless hours helping people learn about the role nutrition and fitness play in a healthy lifestyle. We motivate and encourage people daily to keep going...and even though it is more inconvenient than taking a pill, it is the better way to live!
*Information regarding the CDC report can be found at the following link.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.