Forget about health fads, gimmicks and diet books that come and go as quick as the latest fashion trends, scientists say that wellness is ultimately the key to good health. Although there is no universally accepted definition for wellness, essentially it means “a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being,” says Charles B. Corbin of Arizona State University,acknowledged as the father of the conceptual physical education movement.
Wellness includes not only having sound physical and mental health, but also encompasses financial, mental, medical, intellectual, physical, occupational, social and environmental dimensions too. Wellness is an active process of always striving to achieve a more successful life, and the following tips aim to help you led a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
- Eat nutritious foods. Instead of snacking on junk food throughout the day, try fruit or vegetables. It’s OK to indulge in some unhealthy fare every once in a while, but be sure to make those food occasional treats and not a part of your daily diet.
- Exercise. Exercise is key to achieving good health. If you have any health issues, consult with your physician to come up with an exercise plan that will be ideal for you. And if you don’t exercise regularly, start slowly.
Walking is a great activity for exercise-newbies. To start off with, try walking briskly for 30 to 45 minutes, three to five times a week. If that is too much for you to complete in the beginning, try breaking down the exercise into short bouts throughout the day. For example, try walking for 10 minutes three times a day, 15 minutes twice a day and so on until you build up to 30 consecutive minutes.
Stress Reduction. Finding constructive ways of dealing with stressful situations is another key factor in achieving good health. When you mind relaxes, your body will follow suit. The following relaxation techniques aim to help you successfully deal with stressful thoughts or situations.
1. Progressive Relaxation. Tense individual muscle groups for several seconds and then release them. This allows your muscles to gradually relax, reducing tension and anxiety.
2. Deep Breathing. Next time you feel stressed, try deep breathing. Sit in a comfortable position and take measured breaths. Inhale while counting from one to four and exhale while counting from four to one. Repeat until you feel calmer. Deep breathing increases the amount of oxygen in the body and allows you to relax.
3. Visualization. If you find that you’re thinking anxious thoughts, use your imagination to focus on positive, healing images. Find a comfortable position, shut your eyes and visualize a scene or place that you associate with safety and relaxation. You can imagine whatever you wish, as long as it is calming to you.
4. Thought Stopping. When you notice you’re having negative thoughts or are beating yourself up over something or someone, focus on those thoughts for a few minutes, and let them go. Then try focusing on something positive.