Health & Fitness
It’s important to be happy and healthy! This lesson will contrast between health and wellness as well as what the different dimensions of wellness are and how they interact.
BEING HEALTHY AND HAPPY
People exercise to be healthy. Others choose to drink to one’s health. There is always a new diet or health fad every single year in the world of nutrition or exercise. But rarely do we hear of wellness fads or exercising to be well. It’s all about health.
There are many different types of risk factors, there are actually different dimensions of wellness as well , Each dimension contributes to our own sense of wellness or quality of life, and each affects and overlaps the others.
At times one may be more prominent than others, but neglect of any one dimension for any length of time has adverse effects on overall health.Let’s take a look at what they are :
The first dimension of wellness is Physical. This means we exercise, eat well, don’t do any dangerous activities like jumping off of buildings, and so on. Physical fitness increases physical wellness. By being physically fit and well, you are better able to take care of yourself and others, especially in a time of need. You are also better able to prevent illness and disease.
The Second dimension of wellness is Emotional wellness, it is a dynamic state that fluctuates frequently with your other six dimensions of wellness. Being emotionally well is typically defined as possessing the ability to feel and express human emotions such as happiness, sadness and anger. It means having the ability to love and be loved and achieving a sense of fulfillment in life. Emotional wellness encompasses optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance and the ability to share feelings.
The Third dimension of wellness is Intellectual, Critical thinking, being curious, and always learning new things. Developing intellectual wellness is critical not only to help a person grow in school and do better at work, but it actually prevents the onset of disease. It’s been shown that people who regularly learn new things and challenge their minds can stave off many mental health problems.
The Fourth dimension of wellness is Social wellness, it refers to our ability to interact successfully in our global community and to live up to the expectations and demands of our personal roles. This means learning good communication skills, developing intimacy with others, and creating a support network of friends and family members.
The Fifth dimension of wellness is Spiritual wellness, it involves possessing a set of guiding beliefs, principles, or values that help give direction to one’s life. It encompasses a high level of faith, hope and commitment to your individual beliefs that provide a sense of meaning and purpose. It is willingness to seek meaning and purpose in human existence, to question everything and to appreciate the things which cannot be readily explained or understood.
The Sixth dimension of wellness is Environmental wellness, it is an awareness of the unstable state of the earth and the effects of your daily habits on the physical environment. It consists of maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment. It includes being involved in socially responsible activities to protect the environment.
” Wellness is a state beyond the absence of illness but rather aims to optimize well-being. “
You may be surprised by the definition of wellness! Although variously defined, depending on the context, according to the National Wellness Institute, wellness is considered, “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence”. This definition is based on 3 tenets:
- Wellness is considered a conscious, self-directed, and evolving process of achieving full potential.
- Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment.
- Wellness is positive and affirming
“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone ” – Michael John Bobak
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It has many benefits, including improving your overall health and fitness, and reducing your risk for many chronic diseases. There are many different types of exercise; it is important that you pick the right types for you. Most people benefit from a combination of them.
Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication—but without the side-effects, of course. As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.
Exercise is a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Most importantly, it promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good. Finally, exercise can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.
Some of the other benefits of exercise are :
Sharper memory and thinking. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
Higher self-esteem. Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes a habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful. You’ll feel better about your appearance and, by meeting even small exercise goals, you’ll feel a sense of achievement.
Better sleep. Even short bursts of exercise in the morning or afternoon can help regulate your sleep patterns. If you prefer to exercise at night, relaxing exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching can help promote sleep.
More energy. Increasing your heart rate several times a week will give you more get-up-and-go. Start off with just a few minutes of exercise per day, and increase your workout as you feel more energized.
Stronger resilience. When faced with mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help you cope in a healthy way, instead of resorting to alcohol, drugs, or other negative behaviors that ultimately only make your symptoms worse. Regular exercise can also help boost your immune system and reduce the impact of stress.
So now you know that exercise will help you feel much better and that it doesn’t take as much effort as you might have thought. But taking that first step is still easier said than done. Exercise obstacles are very real—particularly when you’re also struggling with mental health. Here are some common barriers and how you can get past them.
Feeling exhausted. When you’re tired or stressed, it feels like working out will just make it worse. But the truth is that physical activity is a powerful energizer. Studies show that regular exercise can dramatically reduce fatigue and increase your energy levels. If you are really feeling tired, promise yourself a 5-minute walk. Chances are, you’ll be able to go five more minutes.
Feeling overwhelmed. When you’re stressed or depressed, the thought of adding another obligation can seem overwhelming. Working out just doesn’t seem doable. If you have children, managing childcare while you exercise can be a big hurdle. Just remember that physical activity helps us do everything else better. If you begin thinking of physical activity as a priority, you will soon find ways to fit small amounts into a busy schedule.
Feeling hopeless. Even if you’re starting at “ground zero,” you can still workout. Exercise helps you get in shape. If you have no experience exercising, start slow with low-impact movement a few minutes each day.
Feeling bad about yourself. Are you your own worst critic? It’s time to try a new way of thinking about your body. No matter your weight, age, or fitness level, there are others like you with the same goal of getting fit. Try surrounding yourself with people in your shoes. Take a class with people at a variety of fitness levels. Accomplishing even the smallest fitness goals will help you gain body confidence.
Feeling pain. If you have a disability, severe weight problem, arthritis, or any injury or illness that limits your mobility, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to safely exercise. You shouldn’t ignore pain, but rather do what you can when you can. Divide your exercise into shorter, more frequent chunks of time if that helps, or try exercising in water to reduce joint or muscle discomfort.
Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Examples include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and biking.Strength, or resistance training, exercises make your muscles stronger. Some examples are lifting weights and using a resistance band.
Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber. Yoga and doing various stretches can make you more flexible.
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