What is Wellness?
Wellness is defined as the state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. The term “Wellness” addresses a pro-active approach to enhance your well-being, improve your quality of life, and prevent the onset of disease.
The four key areas of Wellness are:
- early disease detection
- lifestyle modification
- physical activity
- Early Disease Detection
Early Disease Detection involves periodic screenings and tests such as blood pressure, cholesterol, health risk appraisals, posture analysis, fitness tests, and cancer screenings.
The interval between tests may vary from every five years for young people, to every six months for someone older or who has been diagnosed as high risk in a certain area. Your Primary Care Physician should advise you on the appropriate frequency. Upon any detection of disease or high risk, you would be referred into an appropriate curative or preventive program. That referral process is known as “early intervention.”
The next facet of Wellness is Lifestyle Modification. This is done by making an increasing number of healthy choices during the course of a typical day. Lifestyle modification doesn’t take any real time or energy; it’s simply you making smarter decisions.
Examples include eating low fat/high fiber foods, avoiding tobacco, using alcohol in moderation, managing stress, wearing a seatbelt, and choosing a few stairs instead of taking the elevator. The key is to ease into lifestyle modification, as opposed to making drastic changes requiring immense amounts of willpower and self-denial.
The third element of Wellness is Physical Activity. Although exercise represents another healthy choice in your lifestyle, it requires carving out blocks of time in your busy schedule as opposed to simply making healthy decisions.
The good news is that as little as four hours a week can yield excellent results. A blend of aerobic exercise, strength training, and floor exercises that include stretching are the ultimate prescription for physical activity. “Cross-training” involves a rotating schedule of different activities and intensities. A trained Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness fitness professional can help you design an appropriate cross-training program.
The Common Thread
In each of the Wellness arenas, a common denominator represents the true key to success in minimizing the demand for curative health care costs. That common thread is personal responsibility. Only you can assure you’ll show up at a screening, take your medicine, wear your seatbelt or begin a program of regular exercise.
Written by Robert E. Stauble, Jr., Chief Development Officer, Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness.