Physical wellness involves activities that promote the proper care of our bodies and which are better for our overall health and lifestyles. Physical wellness balances physical activity with nutrition both of which contribute to bettering our mental health. This is because our minds are not only abstract but also physical in the form of our brains. Practicing physical wellness includes having healthy sleeping and eating habits, staying hydrated, and exercise.
Physical wellness has many benefits such as when we do exercise our bodies release chemicals in the brain called endorphins that create a feeling of happiness and positivity which is similar to morphine. This can reduce stress levels, increase motivational attitudes, and help increase mental health. Exercise can also help reduce the risk of developing illnesses such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, cardiac arrest, and certain cancers. Exercise has so many positive benefits and you can literally do it for free!
Exercise can be tailored to whatever your lifestyle and physical needs are. Adding exercise to your lifestyle does not mean you have to become a bodybuilder, marathon runner, or even go to the gym at all. Studies show that exercising 30 minutes a day can significantly increase your health benefits and it doesn’t even have to be all at the same time. You can break it up into as many segments as you need such as doing 10 minutes of exercise three times a day. You can also do small things like use the stairs instead of the elevator or plan active outings with friends like walking around the mall or going swimming.
Below are some links to resources to help with adding exercise to your daily routine:
Help Guide includes exercises for people with limited mobility (whether form injury, disability, weight, etc). This site also has resources to help you build an exercise plan, tips on how to stick with exercising, more facts about exercise benefits and so much more.
POPSUGAR Fitness is a YouTube Channel that has a diverse team that provides an even more diverse range of exercise options from beginners workouts to dance fitness to intense full body workouts. There is always a modifier in every video showing how to do a simplified version of the workout as well!
Chloe Ting on Youtube also provides great free and more intense workouts online
Link to Spotify where you can create your own workout playlist:
Another part of taking care of your physical health eating right. If you aren’t putting good into your body how can you expect to get good out of it? It does not matter how great of a shape you're in or how shapely your figure maybe if you are not fueling your body with the nutrients you need, it won’t function as best as it can. That could lead to the deterioration of your health. Eating well reduces the risk of diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer. On a positive note, it can also increase your capacity to hold onto memories, strengthen your bones, nails, and hair, and even reduce your acne!
Eating healthier means eating better foods for your body and eating in moderation, not starving yourself, or staying on restrictive or fad diets. Starving yourself and restrictive fad diets do not allow your body to get the nutrients it needs and can cause you to possibly gain weight from being in starvation mode, pass out, or lead to many different serious health concerns. Fad diets also are not sustainable because eventually people cannot keep up with them and have to stop because they are still hungry, malnourished, or just tired of being so limited. Give yourself grace! Learning to eat healthier can take some time and seeing visible results might take a while, but your body will be benefiting from each step you take.
Try not to become so overly concerned with physical wellness that you are obsessing over what you eat or how much you exercise because you may want to look a certain way. Remember eating healthily and exercising are supposed to be part of your self-care which serves to benefit you. If you become miserable surrounding these practices they can end up being more harmful to you in the end by taking a toll on your mental health. Everyone has different body types that should all be celebrated and are worth loving. Your body type also does not speak to who you are as a person or what you can offer to the world. Obsessions with eating, exercise, and body image in extreme cases can lead to unhealthy complexes such as body dysmorphia, anorexia, or bulimia nervosa (which should only be diagnosed by a physician). If you need help finding ways to eat healthier below are a few resources to help. If you need professional help doctors, life coaches, and nutritionists are great resources to reach out to as well.
Links to Resources:
Help Guide has an assortment of incredible resources to assist with healthy eating including guides on eating healthy for less, sustainable, diets that target specific health concerns, eating fast food and still be healthy. This site also has great tips on cooking and getting started on mindful eating for beginners.
@SweetPotatoSoul on YouTube that’ll even have people who aren’t vegan drooling!
Just going to Youtube and typing in “healthy eating” or any other specific key phrases will lead you to thousands of great recipes and Youtubers who have great experience and tips with healthy eating.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has amazing healthy eating plans, menus, and shopping tips
Healthy eating does not necessarily mean you need to eat less or spend insane amounts of money on buying organic foods. Instead, making healthier choices or eating in moderation can be a great way to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need. Being more mindful of your food choices can improve your eating habits such as instead of eating a bag of chips with every meal, you limit yourself to one bag of chips and find a healthier alternative such as grapes for the other two meals. Making mindful choices is important because it can help you live healthier but still be able to have fun and enjoy your favorite foods. You can eat healthier by finding healthier options at your favorite restaurants or making substitutions when you're cooking. So yes, you can still go to McDonald’s or CookOut! Another example of this is when you are baking you can use almond flour instead of white flour. You can hardly taste the difference. It can be expensive to eat healthier, but it does not have to be and you do not necessarily need to change your entire lifestyle at once. Gradually phasing out fatty and greasy foods will help you transition to eating healthier and eventually you won't even have to think about it!
Sleep is very critical to preserving our health. Sleep does a lot more than simply keep us awake during the day. If that were the case, we could just run off of caffeine, but that is not a sustainable lifestyle choice. When we sleep our body goes through several cycles that include processes such as hormone release. This is important because these hormones repair damages in your body, strengthen your immune system, regulate your weight, alter your brain, and much more. Sleep deprivation modifies parts of your brain that cause you to be unable to focus, be more irrational, solve problems, or even stay awake. A lack of sleep or irregular sleep cycles take a serious toll on your physical and mental health because your brain cannot operate as it's supposed to because many of its functions are only achievable when you are asleep. As a result, many studies have shown a direct link between sleep deprivation, obesity, heart disease, and deteriorating mental health issues such as depression.
It is much better to make sure that you get around 7 hours of sleep nightly to preserve your overall personal health. If you forfeit sleep to be more productive, in the long run, the opposite may occur. You can become compromised due to the associated negative side effects of sleep deprivation such as being less focused and having microsleeps (instances where you unknowingly fall asleep). Microsleeps are also a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents in the United States.
It is also understandable that sometimes life is extremely demanding at times so you might not have the opportunity to get a full 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but it is best to try not to make this a habit. A common myth is that you can catch up on the sleep you lost, but that is not true. Once you miss out on sleep you cannot make up for it. In order to try to get as much sleep as you can, it is important that you plan ahead or try to be more efficient with your time. Time management can be very effective in making sure that you get enough sleep. Try to be more proactive and get more of your work done ahead of time so you can have your evening to relax and have a good night’s rest. It is also important not to procrastinate so that you are forced to stay up extremely late or even all night to complete a task. Another method to preserve your sleep time is to set boundaries and try to be self-disciplined. You do not have to go out every weekend with your friends so you do not miss out or stay up every night gaming because you love it. Sometimes you have to sacrifice so that you get the sleep that you need. Think about it this way, if you deprive yourself of sleep regularly and it has detrimental health effects such as you being sick more frequently or injured as a result of sleep deprivation, you won’t be able to hang out or do any of the things that you originally wanted to do. Instead, you will have to put those things on hold to address your more pressing health concerns.
Like everything else in personal development, these changes take time, practice, and you may have some setbacks, but just be patient with yourself and know that every effort counts
It is understandable that some days you won’t get the sleep that you need for very valid reasons or that some people have a hard time falling asleep so below will be some great resources to help you improve your sleep:
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides an overview of the importance of sleep and risks of sleep deprivation:
The Sleep Foundation has useful tips on how to sleep better from mattress and pillows types to nightly routines, sleep disorders, and much more!
On Good House Keeping’s Website you will find a link to 10 great apps that can you can download to your phone or tablet than can help with improving sleep: