How The 8 Dimensions of Wellness Will Improve Your Life: Physical Wellness
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What does physical wellness mean?
When we say physical wellness, we are talking about anything that affects you physically.
- sleep patterns
- diet and nutrition
- exercise and fitness
- sexual health
- other daily activities
Why is physical wellness important?
Physical wellness is important for your physical health. It includes all the things that you should be doing to help keep your body running well. It’s referring to how you take care of yourself or how healthy your body is.
Let’s discuss these areas in more detail.
It’s been pounded into your head your entire life, adults need 8 hours of quality sleep for optimum health. Anything less can have adverse effects.
Okay. Sure. Sounds good, but in reality, consistently getting 8 restful hours each night of your life isn’t going to happen.
When you’re young, you stay up too late and get up too early, then crash out on the weekends and end up sleeping until noon or later.
Once you have kids, your sleep is always interrupted. You’ll get an hour or two here and there for years.
As you get older, you’ll likely find that you just can’t sleep for 8 hours. I know I can’t. Your body just wakes up after about 7 hours of restful sleep.
The key to getting the correct amount of sleep is to listen to your body and keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time all the time. Don’t force yourself to stay in bed fighting to try to get in those 8 hours. If you wake up naturally after 7 hours, just get up and get on with your day. Your body knows what it needs, you just need to pay attention to what it’s telling you.
Diet and Nutrition
I’m aging myself right now, but when I was a kid, every Saturday morning in between cartoons, they would show a PSA about things like the importance of brushing your teeth or avoiding the munchies and staying active. One that has stuck with me all these years later was about eating healthy, it was called “You are what you eat”.
No truer words have ever been spoken! Well. Maybe. But, I’m sticking to it.
When I say diet, I’m not talking about a fad diet where you change your eating habits for a short period of time until you reach the desired results or give up. The diet I’m referring to is simply, your regular eating habits.
Like I eat a mostly plant-based diet. It is the way I always eat and will likely always eat. I don’t eat meat for the most part, and occasionally I eat eggs and a small amount of dairy. I don’t eat this way to lose x amount of weight or to reach a goal and then go back to eating some other way. It’s a lifestyle choice.
I’m not here to tell you that you too should eat a plant-based diet like me. I don’t care if you love meat and eat it every day. I am just here to tell you that what you consume will affect your entire body in all ways possible. So, eat like it’s one of the most important things you can do for your health. Because it is.
Your diet should include a wide variety of foods.
A healthy diet consists of the following nutrients:
- Water, and plenty of it
- Vegetables, especially green ones
- Proteins, lean meats, legumes, vegetables, certain grains, soy, nuts
- Carbohydrates, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans
- Fiber, also whole grains, vegetables, fruits(especially ones with the skin on), beans
- Vitamins and minerals can find in foods, a multivitamin is a good way to ensure proper amounts
- Fats, monounsaturated, oils, nuts, dark chocolate, avocado, dairy
Exercise and Fitness
No matter how much you hate to exercise, you must admit to yourself that doing it makes you feel good. Exercise gives you energy and stamina. It goes hand in hand with proper nutrition, so suck it up and start adding exercise to your routine.
It doesn’t have to be crazy either, I’m not saying you’ve got to join a gym, spend a bunch of money and all your free time lifting weights and stair-stepping. I’m just suggesting intentional movement.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Parking farther away
- Taking you dog for a walk, daily
- Trying yoga
- Taking up hula hooping
- Jumping Jacks
- Using a standing desk
These are things you can do at home or in your neighborhood and the only equipment you need is a $4 hula hoop from Walmart.
Sexual health is not only part of our physical well-being but also our emotional well-being. Being sexually healthy means having a positive outlook on sex as well as being physically healthy. Sex is part of a normal healthy lifestyle and should be something you include in yours.
Physical aspects of sexual health include:
- Regular check-ups with your doctor
- Avoiding Smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Using protection to prevent STI's
- Knowing your menstrual cycle
- Drinking plenty of water
- Wearing proper fitting, cotton underwear
Emotional aspects of sexual health include:
- Feeling safe - trust
- Thinking of sex as a good thing
- Respecting your partner and your body
In the next section we are taking a look at the third dimension of wellness, Spiritual Wellness. Click on the button below to continue reading.