Wellness has become a favorite catch phrase or marketing slogan to attract attention in today’s market. This has been due partially to the growing awareness of all the contaminants and unhealthy impurities that have been identified in our environment and in our food supply. Health and nutrition systems are on the rise and will continue that way for some time. Health and wellness businesses are springing up from everywhere imaginable- even from places that have no connection to health, wellness, or even nutrition. Recently I have come across corporations who employ full time wellness directors whose purpose is to provide wellness information and education to employees or possibly to other business entities for a profit. Wellness is a term that is going to be around for a while.
The term “wellness” can be applied to areas such as nutrition, posture, environment, consumables, exercise, ergonomics, healthcare, psychology, education, behavior, attitude, finances, and more. With all the excitement it can be confusing to try and understand exactly what is healthy and which sources of information are reliable. As you may have noticed, most of the wellness education is linked to product marketing or advertising. Wellness marketing has become a great way for products to be marketed in a “use this product because it’s healthy for you” kind of way. A lot of the information used to support these items is legitimate, but undeniably biased. Because there is no clear way to verify and approve these statements without having a financial agenda involved we are relegated to educating ourselves. Complicating matters experts in the same field can disagree quite adamantly about any given subject; one dietician may promote supplementation while another preaches in favor of diets without supplementation.
Health and nutrition technology is also providing us with new information as well as supporting previously accepted theories about wellness. Research will continue to produce studies, but we always need to be aware of who is supporting the research. One thing is for certain- there are simple steps that can be taken to improve the health of most individuals right now. They aren’t complicated or under debate and they can be done without much difficulty.
- Remove trans fats from your diet- or at least minimize them. They are mostly found in commercially baked foods and processed foods.
- Increase water intake. The recommendation is to take your body weight in pounds (lbs.) and drink half that amount in ounces. (Example: a 150 pound person is to drink 75 ounces.)
- Increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. This will help with digestion and proper function of your GI tract. Try some new things to find your new favorites.
- Reduce the amount of snack foods- chips, candy, soda, ice cream, cookies, cakes, etc. Don’t worry- I didn’t say remove, I said reduce.
- Think about posture. Improving posture can improve almost all body functions and decreases the chance of injury.
- Get physically active. Start easy. Walking is a great exercise to begin with. Try to avoid high impact activities until you can build up to them.
- Stretch every day. Don’t overdo this one. Just stretch until you can feel a little pull in the muscle. It’s best to do this after warming up- after activity or just out of the shower.
- Do something that challenges you mentally on a daily basis. Sudoku, crossword puzzles, computer games, learning a new language. Make it fun.
- Take time for yourself. Spend 15 to 30 minutes a day doing something for you. It can be something from this list or anything else you decide. Just be sure to do it for yourself.
By beginning to implement these things into (or out of) your life you will enhance your own wellness and enjoy the benefits of a happier and healthier lifestyle.