Two weeks ago, I (rather boldly) declared that I was going to explore various dimensions of wellness on Tuesdays this year here on the blog. (As you may remember, I had an epiphany last month that in order for me to "live my best life," I needed to focus on wellness - in an holistic sense.)
And I'm here to begin my deeper-dive into one of the six dimensions of wellness as described by the National Wellness Institute.
(This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this blog post, but I decided to include it because it was such a lovely surprise to see this swan on my walk with the dogs yesterday.) (And, yes. Spring in Michigan is very brown.) (But at least it's not snowy.)
I've decided to begin my exploration into wellness with . . . the physical dimension.
Well. Because that's the dimension I think I'm doing best in (of the six) -- although there is always much to learn. And, hearing from you, it's a dimension of wellness that many of you struggle with. So I thought it would be a good place to begin.
According to the descriptions from the National Wellness Institute, the Physical dimension of wellness includes the following elements:
- regular physical exercise
- proper diet and nutrition
- discouraging tobacco and drug use, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption
- following safety precautions, practicing medical self-care, and using medical systems appropriately
Further, they provide two basic tenets of physical wellness:
- It's better to consume foods and beverages that enhance good health rather than impair it.
- It's better to be physically fit than out of shape.
Further, I would argue that physical wellness is even more important as we age! If you've spent any amount of time caring for an aging parent or relative, you're already aware of how quickly our physical bodies degrade with age. It's a fight against gravity from here on out, folks! My thoughts? We should do whatever we can to stay as active and independent as we can for as long as we can. And physical wellness plays a huge role in doing just that!
I totally get that it's hard to focus on fitness . . . when you've never really focused on fitness. We're fighting all kinds of barriers when it comes to physical fitness: Discomfort. Boredom. Inertia. Time. Money. Procrastination.
It's just . . . so hard . . . to make fitness a priority. (The New York Times reported recently that 1 in 4 adults over age 50 are essentially sedentary -- meaning they only move for "essential daily activities.") (That's not good.)
I'm here to encourage you to make a change. To make physical wellness a priority. (For Future-You if for no other reason.)
It's never too late to begin working on our fitness. In fact, becoming more physically fit in our 50s/60s/70s will help us stave off chronic illness and overcome injuries quicker in our later years. Improving our core strength, balance, and flexibility NOW will help us prevent falls, pick ourselves up if we do fall, and keep us moving long into our older years.
I'll admit it. I'm sort of a fitness zealot to begin with. (I think Future-Kym will appreciate all the time I spend at the gym.) But that's what zealots do -- they spread the gospel. So over the next few weeks, I'm going to try to make a case for upping your physical wellness game along with me.
Don't worry. I won't try to convince you to join a gym or start jogging or anything. But I will share information and tips with you. I'll describe what I'm doing to continue to challenge myself with fitness goals as I age. And I'll be your biggest cheerleader if you decide to become more fitness-minded.
Let's all start living our best lives . . . by feeling good!