When we think about physical health in Western society, most of the focus goes to issues such as weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol markers. There are three clear avenues that affect these health markers.
Three Aspects of Physical Wellness
As the first component of physical wellness, fitness relates to the body’s ability to carry out daily tasks. How strong is the skeleton? How well do the muscles pull on the bones to move the body? Can you easily do what needs to be done every day without getting tired?
Fitness includes cardiovascular health, which is the efficiency of the heart and lungs working together. Exercise such as walking, running, swimming, biking, and dancing are all ways to improve cardiovascular fitness. As your heart and your lungs get stronger, you will notice you have more energy. Being able to do everyday tasks with less effort is a great reason to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Resistance (or strength) training is another component of fitness. Activities that build strength include weight lifting, using resistance bands, or aqua exercise. Resistance training is essential for women in perimenopause. Building your bone strength stabilizes your skeleton. Having strong muscles and a stable skeleton reduces your fall risk.
Including both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training in your life improves your fitness.
Food is the fuel your body needs to survive. If you feed your body with high quality fuel, you’ll get high quality results. Unfortunately, the converse is also true: feed your body junk, and you’ll feel like junk.
Any quick Google search reveals the tremendous number of popular nutrition ideas. While following a particular nutrition philosophy may have good science behind it, there’s a lot of nutrition information that is driven by fads. Also, each person is different, so there is no one “golden ticket” diet plan for all of humanity.
Michael Pollen famously said, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
As simple (and obvious!) as that sounds, it really is sound advice. For some people, eating a plant-based diet is easy. If that’s not you, check out these five easy ways to eat more fruits and vegetables. By giving yourself a good nutritional foundation, you help your body stay healthy.
In a society of abundance, we have food around us at every turn. As such, we tend to overeat. Even worse, this food that is so readily available is usually non-nutritious. Unfortunately, these empty calories add unnecessary weight and often keep us from eating nourishing foods. It’s a nutritional double-whammy.
Your physical wellness can be improved if you eat nutrient-dense foods and pay attention to your body’s cues about when it is full. Again, it seems to simple to be true. But sometimes we shouldn’t ignore the obvious!
Drinking enough water can improve your physical wellness with little to no expense to you. Huzzah!
If we drink enough water, we create in our body the optimal conditions for carrying out hundreds of basic and essential functions. But if we are under-hydrated, we can experience all kinds of unpleasant issues: headaches, backaches (hello! kidneys!), muscle fatigue, and brain fog.
The importance of hydration cannot be overstated. Water is involved in bodily processes that range from regulating body temperature to cell health. By staying well hydrated, the body can easily digest the healthy nutrient-dense foods we eat. Water also helps lubricate the joints we use in fitness activities. Truly, it’s the simple things that can deliver the biggest results.
When taken together, fitness, nutrition, and hydration contribute to physical wellness. And because we live in our bodies all day every day, when our body feels good, our mood and interactions with others improve. When you feel good, you feel good! That’s not just health– it’s wellness. The concept of wellness includes everything that affects the health and outlook of a person: physical, mental, and spiritual.