In pursuit of wellness, we decided to take a closer look at wellness and how to maintain a greater level of personal health. A lot of overall health is rooted in staying on top of the basics. Whether you’re a health nut or just starting on your health journey, there are five core aspects of wellness that can make or break how you feel day-to-day.
While water may seem like a basic, overly emphasized necessity for life, it’s actually a truly critical part of overall health and wellness. You’ll find yourself really struggling in every other area of wellness that we cover if you don’t properly hydrate. The truth is, you probably already know this, and you’ve probably been told thousands of times that you need to drink more water. But why? Hydration is critical for organ function and much more. If you don’t particularly like water, what are some good ways to help get yourself to drink more? You could have a daily goal for the amount of water you should drink; carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go; add fruit to help give your water some flavor if you don’t like the taste of it. You can find more benefits and tips in our article on water.
Equally as important as water is your diet. Now, before we dive into this topic, we want to be sure that everyone’s on the same page as to what we mean by “diet.” We’re talking about nutrition, getting the right nutrients to properly fuel your body; not a restrictive, depressing food plan that steals the joy out of eating. The primary thing to note here is that food is fuel. Food can provide nutrients that give you energy, boost your mood, help you lose weight and gain muscle, or it can bring down your energy and mood, cause you to gain weight that is not beneficial, and limit the effectiveness of your workouts. Diet-related health problems can also arise if you’re not getting the proper nutrients; you could be lacking in a certain vitamin or mineral like iron or Vitamin K. Today, there are several fitness apps available and other solutions for determining what your diet is lacking, so you can start implementing foods and/or supplements to correct deficiencies.
To some people, exercising is one of their favorite parts of the day, and for others, exercise is that thing they know they should do, but they don’t ever actually do. Whatever camp you fall in, we can all start by agreeing that some form of exercise is important and beneficial. Now, if you have a hard time working out, it could be because you haven’t found something that you enjoy doing and/or you haven’t tried a form of exercise long enough to see that you do actually enjoy it. For example, you may not know it now, but after a few times, you may find that you enjoy Zumba, hiking, swimming, walking, lifting weights, Pilates, playing a sport, etc. The best way to get yourself to exercise is to find something that you can maintain over time, which normally works best if you find something about it that you enjoy. It’s also important to remember that there is a portion of exercise that is simply discipline; there will likely be days that you don’t want to work out, and that’s when you dig deep and choose to do it anyway.
Another essential and yet often overlooked part of overall wellness is rest. Rest envelops sleeping, napping and breaks. Rest can mean, and likely should mean, taking a break from your workout routine sometimes. Running and doing other forms of exercise seven days a week with no rest day can be very taxing on your body and could even counteract your progress; if you still want some activity, consider switching up what you do – go for a walk, swim, bike if that’s not your normal routine. And, as you probably know, sleep is critical for your health as well. According to a survey performed by Well + Good, “92 percent of respondents report feeling fatigued more than one day per week; 65 percent point to general stress for constantly keeping them awake; and 70 percent say their fitness goals suffer as a result of sleeplessness.” These results reflect similar findings to many other sleep studies. Basically, get some sleep, babes!
While not a conventional aspect of overall wellness, having fun is certainly an important one. To be truly well overall, you need to have a healthy body and a healthy mind and soul. If all your time is spent on work and other tasks that you don’t actually enjoy, you’ll probably find daily activities hard, exercise boring and your mental wellbeing on the decline. We need to have some time in our days and weeks that is spent doing things we enjoy, whether that’s getting out on a scenic hike, playing a game with friends or enjoying a movie. Having fun seems like a simple task, but in the craziness of daily life and all the pressure our schedules experience today, it can be difficult to actually make the time. Make the time to have fun; it’s worth it.
Most, if not all, of the points presented in this post are probably things that you already knew. But, just because you know they’re important, doesn’t mean you act on that fact. Oftentimes change takes time and repetition. In the busyness of life, remember these five core principles, and make a point to make your wellness a priority.