“Wellness” is everywhere. We have wellness holidays and wellness homes, wellness drinks and wellness shoes; there are wellness companies and even an entire wellness industry. “Wellness” sounds like a new, trendy concept. Most people don’t really know what it is, but it is definitely real.
In spite of “wellness” having burst on the scene seemingly out of nowhere, it is what mankind has sought out at all times. Wellness is what makes life enjoyable. It goes beyond good health. The aim of Wellness is to maintain and improve health, to ensure positive vitality, a strong immune system and resistance to illness.
Here are a few more definitions:
American Heritage Dictionary:
“Wellness is the condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise and habits.”
“Wellness is about waking up every morning and having enough time, energy and freedom to live the life you want.”
Prof. Paul Z. Pilzer – The Wellness Revolution:
“Wellness is the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal”
What Does Wellness Mean to You?
In contrast to wellness, the term “health”, as we use it today, is directly linked to treatment of disease, not its prevention. You seek help from the National Health Service (NHS) when your health is failing and you receive care in your final phase of illness. The health professions are overwhelmed by these demands, and consideration of prevention or enhancement of good health is ignored. The NHS is really a National Sickness Service. It does not ensure health. It provides services reactively to people with existing diseases. Wellness, on the other hand, is proactive: aiming to prevent diseases from developing, to make people healthier and look better, to slow down aging.
Wellness goes beyond good health. The aim of Wellness is to maintain and improve health, to ensure positive vitality, a strong immune system and resistance to illness. The foundation of Wellness is nutrition. We are what we eat. Our health depends on what we eat. Our moods depend on what we eat. Our productivity depends on what we eat. Our enjoyment of life depends on what we eat. And, of course, to get our day off to a great start depends on what we eat to break the fast.
House of Commons Health Committee – Obesity Report, May 2004:
” …while our evidence suggested that people are, generally speaking, aware of what constitutes a healthy diet, there are multiple barriers to their putting this into practice.”
Our lifestyle has become hectic. We are stressed. We don’t take time to have three proper meals a day. We resort to fast food and television dinners, skip meals and snack. Convenience foods have reduced the main ingredients in our daily diet to refined carbohydrates, the wrong type of fat and an abundance of caffeine in tea or coffee while we ingest very little fibre, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. By contrast, our calorie intake by far exceeds the calories we burn. Especially fast food provides extremely high levels of calories without leaving us with a feeling of satiation. This lack of stimulus makes us eat more, and we literally pile on the pounds. At the same time we suffer from deficiency of some of the most vital nutrients we need to maintain good health.
As a consequence, dietary related illnesses are on the increase including health problems such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure, osteoarthritis, back pain and psychological damage. The strong association between obesity and cancer has only recently come to light. In the opinion of experts, 90% of cancers could be prevented with the right level of nutrition.
Whatever your level of wellness you are at, improving your nutrition wil lift you to a higher level of wellness. It will help you stay healthier longer, age more slowly and get more out of life.
Here is a list of
Factors That Impact Health:
- Fast food diets that are high in fat and low in nutrients
- Overly-processed, convenience foods
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Certain medications
- Lack of dietary fibre from fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Not enough healthy sources of protein in our diets to support healthy muscle and bone
- Lack of proper rest
Wellness is no different from anything else in life: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Key Steps For Achieving Optimum Wellness:
- Define Your Wellness Goals.
- Have a personal wellness evaluation.
- Identify key areas you need to impact to reach your wellness goals.
- Get recommendations from your Personal Wellness Coach.
- Make a plan of action that you can commit to.
- Get the ongoing support you need to stay on your wellness track for a healthier future.
These steps are designed to accommodate individual needs. One size definitely does not fit all. But this does not mean that there are no general rules.
To get started, here are
3 Basic Steps To Optimum Wellness
1 – Balance Your Diet
You need to get enough of the right foods including colourful fruits and vegetables, protein, good carbohydrates and just enough good fats for the taste you want. You also need vitamins, minerals and fiber from dietary supplements to provide the nutrition missing from your diet that your cells need for good health.
2 – Drink Lots of Water
Your body is about two-thirds water. In an average day, you lose about one and a half litres of water even without excessive sweating. To feel your best, you should drink 6 to 8 large glasses of water a day.
3 – Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can help you feel and look your best. Exercise conditions your heart and relieves stress and makes it easier to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
However, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Once you get the go-ahead, start slowly and gradually work up to longer and more strenuous workouts. Overtraining, especially when you’re just starting out, can lead to strains and injuries.
When you don’t have the time and daily exercise isn’t practical for you:
- Set a goal of exercising four times a week in 30-minute sessions.
- You can count minutes of activity that are already part of your day, such as time spent gardening, towards a goal of 30 minutes of exercise accumulated throughout the day.
- If you’re driving to work, try parking farther away from your workplace to get a brief walk in. Or, if at all feasible, give up the car and walk or cycle in combination with or without public transport.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Find the exercise that works best for your lifestyle, whether it’s at a gym, on a hiking path or on a playing field. If you’re going to exercise outside, make sure you protect your face and exposed parts of your body from sun damage.
Most importantly, whatever you choose, have fun.