Wellness Series Part 1: Physical
Wellness is an ever expanding industry, but what is it really? The definition of wellness reads that it’s “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal”. There are many different aspects that go into being in good health, but a key thing to note is that it’s an active pursuit, not a passive state.
But why does any of this even matter? Why is wellness so important? When you commit to focus on yourself and your overall health, you are choosing an overall higher quality of life. Optimal wellness affects your overall well-being, reduces stress, reduces your risk for illness, and creates opportunity for positive interactions.
When you think of wellness, you may just think of physical health: a healthy diet and exercise routine. But there is so much more to wellness than just the physical aspect. There are many different models of wellness, most of which contain at least 6 aspects of wellness, and some include even more. The most common ones are: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental. However, in this series, we are going to focus on the physical and emotional aspects of wellness – starting with the physical.
While the US is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it is not one of the healthiest. Life expectancy and survival rates in the US have improved over the past 100 years, but compared to other high-income countries people in the US experience more injuries and illness, and live shorter lives. There are many different factors that contribute to this, but some are preventable through living a healthy lifestyle and striving for optimal wellness.
One of the biggest problems affecting physical wellness is a poor diet. Fast food, processed and convenient foods are easily attainable, cheap, and…tasty! Many people have developed bad eating habits for various reasons, which leads to excess weight gain and eventually illness. One way to begin to make healthy changes is to make time to cook your food yourself. However, cooking doesn’t mean preparing processed food at home, but rather using fresh ingredients and whole foods. See our blog on cooking for tips on making cooking a part of your healthy life.
Wellness is an active pursuit, and anyone who has attempted a healthy lifestyle before knows that it takes some time and effort. But when you consistently make the effort to eat healthy foods, make time for exercise, and focus on getting rid of that extra weight, you won’t only see the difference…you’ll feel it too!
Here are some tips to help you achieve your optimal physical wellness:
Find something you enjoy and really commit to it! If you can’t make it to the gym, at least try to get in your 10,000 steps for the day. Don’t enjoy exercise? See our blog on gym alternatives.
Eat a healthy diet with controlled portions.
You might be surprised by how good you feel when you fuel your body with healthy foods.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep affects many aspects of wellness, and not getting enough sleep can have negative consequences. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can also improve the quality of your sleep, which leads to you feeling good!
Learn to recognize early signs on illness and ways to prevent disease.
If something doesn’t seem right with your health, it’s best to see a doctor and not put it off. Delays in medical treatment can make fixing a problem more difficult…early detection and treatment is key!
Use alcohol in moderation, if at all.
Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption is not just good for your overall health (and sleep quality!), but will help you reach your weight loss goals. Alcoholic beverages can be high in calories, and add up quickly.
Try to prevent injuries by using seat belts, helmets, and other protective equipment.
Even if you think something won’t happen to you, it’s not worth the risk to your body and health.
You probably already know this, but there are just so many negative effects of smoking that aren’t even just limited to physical health. If you smoke, do what you need to do in order to quit. If you don’t smoke, continue not smoking.
Remember that wellness is an ACTIVE pursuit! It’s a journey, and like any journey it may have its ups and downs. But just remember that your body is the only body you have, and living in optimal physical health is part of living your best life and achieving your wellness goals.