10 Tips For Improving Your Physical Wellness
If you read our page about wellness than you know that it encompasses both our mental and physical wellbeing. The two are intricately intertwined, which means that you have to take both into consideration if you want to improve your overall wellness. Wellness is a dynamic concept that involves eight dimensions emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual wellness. Some of these dimensions have a stronger influence on our physical wellness while others have a stronger relationship with our mental wellness. Before we jump into tips on how to improve our physical wellbeing, lets first discuss the factors that impact it.
WHAT FACTORS IMPACT OUR PHYSICAL WELLNESS
Physical wellness involves our overall physical health and our state of awareness of our physical well being. Ideally, we want to keep our health in the best condition we can and our physical functionality in an optimal state. Maintaining our physical wellness is a lot like a balancing act. This means making sure we are keeping our activity levels, diet, finances and mental state in check. It is not an easy task, but it is necessary. The key factors that affect our physical well-being include our diet, physical activity, sleep, emotional well being, finances, stress levels, lifestyle, and medical state. So let’s get to the tips.
1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
It goes without saying that having a healthy diet can do wonders for our health. Our bodies need certain vitamins and nutrients to not only function but also to thrive. If we don’t, we put ourselves at risk of malnutrition, illness, and injury. Eating a healthy balanced diet means consuming fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats. Consult the food guide or a nutritionist for tips on what you need in your diet and how much. Having a balanced diet goes a long way to maintaining your physical well being.
2. Drink water
This is the easy one, get plenty of water to stay hydrated and help your body flush out any toxins. Our bodies are made up of 60% water if we don’t drink enough water we can experience a host of health-related issues such as dehydration. You can only survive for 3 – 4 days without water, if you’re not fond of plain water try other alternatives. Try flavoring your water with pieces of fruit, cucumber, lemon or even a splash of juice. The general rule is we should be drinking eight glasses of water a day. I know this sounds like a lot, so try drinking watered down juice even. Whatever method works best for you, do it. Hydrate, hydrate hydrate.
3. Avoid bad habits
Avoid any bad habits that can harm your health such as smoking, excessive drinking, and excessive consumption of fatty and sugary foods. Now I know this is easier said than done but try to find other ways to derive enjoyment. Most bad habits develop as a coping mechanism, find other ways to deal with stress. Replace a bad habit like smoking with drinking water, using a stress ball, taking a quick walk or a jog. If that doesn’t work try incremental steps like replacing a smoke with chewing on a cinnamon stick or play a game on your phone to get past the craving. If you struggle with drinking, try avoiding events that involve drinking or seek help from an addictions professional. Whatever your habit is research ways to replace the habit with a better and more healthy alternative. Never replace a bad habit with another bad habit, that will only give you more problems to overcome.
4. Visit the doctor regularly
We are all guilty of avoiding the doctor until it is absolutely necessary. A big part of our physical wellness is our state of awareness of our physical well being. That is why it’s important to see your doctor regularly even if nothing is wrong to ensure nothing is hiding under the surface. Seeing our doctor regularly is the best way to detect ailments that may not have reared their ugly head yet and can potentially save your life with early detection. Sometimes doctors can detect things we weren’t even aware were a problem, especially in the case of melanoma and cancer. I think it goes without saying that you should be sure to see your doctor if you do see signs of any major illnesses. Don’t downplay your symptoms or be embarrassed to see your doctor, a good doctor would rather you come in than wait till its a bigger problem.
5. If your struggling with mental health symptoms talk to your doctor
As I mentioned before our mental and physical well being go hand in hand. If we don’t take care of our mental and emotional state, it can have a negative impact on our physical health. For example, stress can cause an array of damaging effects on our mental state, and that can then lead to issues with our physical health. This one is vital, if you find yourself experiencing any mental health issues, please see a doctor. Early help is important. If your afraid or you feel too embarrassed to seek help, ask someone you love or trust to go with you for support. Either way, maintaining your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so take care of yourself.
Our bodies need physical activity to stay healthy and to improve our physical well being. We need to get enough exercise or physical activity to keep our bodies in shape and at their optimal state. This doesn’t mean you need to spend all of your time in the gym, you just need to engage in enough activity to avoid becoming sedentary. If we don’t get exercise, our bodies begin to store fat, if we pair this with unhealthy eating habits the problem just gets worse. Everyone is different, which means that the level of activity you need differs from person to person.
There are several factors we can consider when determining how much activity we need to get on a personal level. The first is our weight, are you overweight, underweight or on target, and what is your goal weight. If you’re overweight decide how much you want to lose, if your underweight decide how much you want to gain and if you’re on target how much exercise do you need to maintain your weight. The second factor is your diet, do you eat a healthy diet or not, if you eat healthily you may not need to exercise as much, if you eat poorly, you may need to exercise more. The final major factor is your medical state, if you have a medical condition, consult your doctor about the right amount of activity you need and which exercises are best for your condition.
7. Get some sleep
Sleep is a very important part of our physical wellness, sleep deprivation can have a devastating effect on our health and our ability to function. Sleep deprivation can hinder our executive functions such as problem-solving, our reaction time, and our alertness, which can increase the risk of injury. When we sleep our bodies go into repair mode if we don’t enter the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep phase our bodies don’t effectively repair themselves. For all these reasons and more it is important to get plenty of quality sleep. That means getting a proper 6 – 8 hours of sleep each night to help your body and mind heal.
8. Find time for me time
We all need downtime, a chance to take care of ourselves and our needs. If we don’t make time for ourselves, we will burn out and break down, and that is no good for anyone. Putting yourself at risk of burning out can not only impact your mental state but also reduce your immune system, increasing the risk of illness or injury. It is important to set out time in our day to have some me time. It’s not always easy to find the time but its necessary, even if it’s just a couple minutes to watch a reality tv show or have a couple of minutes of quiet. Our lives are busy enough, so make sure you take 5 for you, whatever you need to take care of your mental sanity.
9. Make time for family and friends
Social interaction is a good way to keep your mind off stressors and to bond with others. Spending time with friends and family can help you unwind and keep you sane. This, in turn, reduces the chances of burning out and getting sick. So, make time to visit with loved ones!
10. Learn the skills you need to manage money effectively
As I mentioned before wellness has eight dimensions and one of them is financial wellness. Financial wellness relates to our ability to manage money and the state of our current and future financial circumstances. This dimension is one of the most important dimensions because our financial situation impacts our quality of life, increases our stress levels, and eventually can result in harm to our physical health. Also, money issues can limit our ability to purchase the healthy foods our body needs. If you can get advice from someone with good money management skill try to learn from them. Try to develop the skills to manage money well, which can help you reduce the risk of financial struggles.
Taking care of our physical wellness can be a balancing act, it is important to take the necessary steps to keep everything in check. It is also vital that we take care of our mental well being too since they are both co-dependent. By eating healthy, exercising, drinking water, managing our health and finances and taking downtime we can prevent burnout, injuries, and ailments. Find out how you can improve your mental wellness!