Let’s get deep for a moment: we all want to be in good health. But what exactly is “health?” How do you know when you’re healthy? Is it the absence of any illnesses or diseases, or are there different levels of health among people who are without illness? What exactly are you working toward when you adopt healthy habits? The answer to those questions is a concept called physical wellness.
Let’s explore what that means and how you can work toward improving or maintaining your physical wellness.
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What Is Physical Wellness?
Simply put, physical wellness is an overall state of good health. It means that your body is functioning well and can do what you want it to do, from your daily activities to fitness activities to just enjoying life without excessive aches, pains, and hindrances.
Physical well-being isn’t a specific metric, nor can it truly be defined by numbers. It’s a state that changes and may look different for everyone. For example, wellness looks very different for someone in their 20s than someone in their 70s. Wellness also looks different for someone who’s living with a chronic illness compared to someone who isn’t. It’s all about getting your body into a condition that is low-risk for complications or problems and makes you as comfortable and capable as possible.
Physical wellness is an ongoing condition, not a goal you hit once. It can only be achieved through a collection of healthy habits that you continuously maintain, like healthy nutrition, exercise, sleep, mental health habits, and so on.
Key Aspects of Physical Wellness
To help you understand, we can break it down in terms of the key aspects it involves: exercise or activity, nutrition, sleep, hygiene, mental health, and medical care.
Our bodies are meant to move, so physical wellness involves keeping your body adequately active. The recommendation is for all adults to have at least 2.5 hours of exercise in total each week. It’s best to spend most of that time doing moderate to vigorous activity to enhance your cardiovascular health, along with strength training twice per week.
For physical wellness, you need to nourish your body properly with a balanced, healthy diet. Health Canada’s nutrition guidelines can help you plan a diet that has all the macronutrients and micronutrients your body needs. It’s also important to get most of your diet from natural whole foods rather than processed foods.
Your sleeping hours might be downtime for you, but this is when your body goes to work, performing a variety of crucial functions that are necessary for your health and that it can only perform while you sleep. Health Canada recommends 7-9 hours of quality sleep daily for adults under age 65 and 7-8 hours of quality sleep daily for those 65 and older.
Proper hygiene is vital for your wellness because it lowers your risk for infections and many illnesses. Hygiene that supports your physical wellness includes washing your hands several times each day (scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds each time), daily oral hygiene, and showering regularly.
Mental health is one of the most underestimated aspects of physical wellness, but it’s critical. Your stress and mental health affect hormones and inflammation throughout your body, so they contribute to a wide variety of body functions and health issues. The opposite is true, too: physical health issues can contribute to mental health problems. Mental health that supports your physical well-being can involve stress management techniques, therapy, making time for activities you enjoy, and so on.
Visiting your doctor regularly is essential for physical wellness. It allows you to identify potential issues or warning signs so you can make changes for your health before an illness or long-term problem takes hold. It also keeps you informed about your health and gives you a trusted resource who can guide you in reaching and maintaining physical well-being.
Why Physical Wellness Is Important
Physical health should be a top priority at any age because it’s the key to long-term health, longevity, and quality of life. The best cure for any illness is prevention, and physical wellness gives you the best chance for preventing illnesses as much as possible.
It’s not just about your future, though. Physical wellness paves the way for a strong quality of life, allowing you to have the physical ability and comfort to be active and enjoy life. It lets you do what you want to do without your health hindering you.
Physical Wellness and Mental Health
The link between physical health and mental health cannot be overstated. Physical health and mental health are inextricably linked. After all, your brain is part of your body, so mental health is just as much a part of your physical health as heart health and lung health.
Physical wellness empowers you to have better mental health because it helps balance the hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemicals in your body. We also know that staying active physically and socially is a major contributor to mental health. Physical well-being allows you to be active in a way that supports your mental health.
The opposite is also true: mental health supports physical health. Symptoms and conditions like anxiety and depression can negatively affect your ability to do what you need to do for your physical wellness. They can take away your energy to exercise, prepare healthy meals, shower, and so on.
Benefits of Physical Wellness
No one can deny that physical well-being takes time and energy to maintain. The benefits far outweigh the investment, though. Consider these top perks of physical wellness.
Wellness is all about helping your body’s systems function smoothly and properly. This minimizes your risk of a wide range of life-shortening illnesses, from cardiovascular disease to type 2 diabetes to respiratory diseases. If you want to live longer, wellness is where it starts.
Improved Quality of Life
Physical ailments and limitations have a powerful impact on your quality of life. Wellness allows you more freedom to travel, enjoy your favorite activities, and simply live your life with as little pain and difficulty as possible.
Fewer Health-Related Burdens
Health problems are a burden. They come with more doctor appointments, medications to manage, and financial costs, to name a few. Physical wellness keeps these burdens to a minimum.
How to Improve Physical Wellness
Now that you know why physical well-being should be a goal, how do you reach that goal? The path to wellness comes with a variety of strategies and habits. You already know the basics: eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly. On top of this, these four tips can set you up for success.
1. Set Physical Wellness Goals
Your journey toward wellness should be based on your starting point. What do you need to work on? Which numbers in your bloodwork or medical tests could improve? What fitness benchmarks do you wish you could achieve? Set specific goals you can measure.
2. Create a Healthy Routine
Healthy habits often come down to momentum rather than motivation. When you’re in the habit of working out every morning, eating certain healthy meals each week, drinking a specific amount of water each day, and maintaining a regular bedtime, you’ll do all this daily without thinking about it.
Everyone has days when they’re unmotivated. If you turn healthy habits into your routine, though, they become that much harder to skip.
3. Take Nutritional Supplements
Getting all the nutrients your body needs is difficult. That’s especially true for busy people who don’t have time for in-depth meal planning. Nutritional supplements can fill in the gaps. With personalized nutrigenomics, your provider can recommend specific supplements that will benefit you.
4. Look for Ways to Improve Your Sleep Quality
Healthy sleep doesn’t just mean sleeping long enough; it means getting the deep, high-quality sleep you need, too. If you don’t wake up feeling rested, look for ways to improve your sleep quality. Some strategies are:
- Following the same nighttime routine at the same time every night
- Using blackout curtains to keep your bedroom dark
- Avoiding using devices with screens, like your phone and TV, for an hour before bed
How SRx Health Promotes Physical Wellness
SRx is here to help you experience the freedom and comfort of physical wellness. As an integrated health system, we can continuously monitor your health so you know exactly how to improve your wellness. We can also link you directly to the resources you need within one collaborative health system, including mental health services, vitamin optimization, vaccinations, nutrigenetics, and more.
To learn more, explore our health services and connect with us today.