When talking about supporting our overall health, two things generally come to mind — nutrition and exercise, which make up the term physical wellness. Ahead, we’re sharing more about physical wellness and how we can make sure that we are promoting it through healthy eating and positive lifestyle habits.
What is Physical Wellness?
First and foremost, what is physical wellness? It’s a term used to describe balancing exercise, nutrition, as well as mental well-being. Supporting the three of these combined is an essential part of keeping our bodies functioning at their highest level.
Read on as we share more details about the three pillars of physical wellness and why they all play such an essential role in keeping us healthy.
The Benefits of Supporting Physical Wellness
Optimizing our diets with nutrient-dense foods, exercising regularly, and keeping our mental health in check come with countless benefits.
Here are a handful of benefits of supporting each of the three pillars of physical wellness.
Nutrition: It can help nourish the body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. A healthy diet also helps support energy levels and gives the body the nutrients it needs for growth and repair.
Exercise: While we have likely all heard about some of the benefits of regular physical activity, it’s worth repeating because it plays a huge role in supporting physical wellness. Exercising regularly may help support the health of our bones and muscles. It may also support energy levels, as well as help us maintain a healthy weight.
Mental Wellness: The great thing about supporting physical wellness is that healthy eating and regular exercise are excellent ways to help support mental wellness. Exercise releases endorphins (aka feel-good chemicals) that help us with a mood boost, and eating nutrient-dense foods that support energy levels is another great way to help keep our minds sharp and our mood upbeat.
6 Strategies to Support Physical Wellness
So we know that physical wellness helps keep our body in tip-top shape, but how do we put some of these things into practice?
Here are six strategies to support physical wellness that don’t require hours of endless commitment each day. That means you can still support your overall well being without spending hours in the gym or the kitchen prepping healthy foods.
There’s no all or nothing approach here.
#1 – Start With Healthy Habits
The first place to start is really taking a look at your current eating, exercising, and mental wellness habits and evaluating them. Is there room for improvement? Where in your schedule do you have time to fit some form of movement, cooking, or de-stressing into your day?
Really look at your calendar and find time slots that will work for you (without stressing yourself out) to make some healthier habits.
Once you start making changes, stick with it! It can take some time to finally feel like the habit is sticking, but don’t give up.
#2 – Move Daily
Regular exercise doesn’t mean that you have to work out for an hour each day. A brisk walk in the morning or after work counts as exercise too, as does a yoga class. So, find what works best for your mind, body, and your schedule.
And, sedentary lifestyles have been linked to various health-related issues, so try as best as you can to make it a habit to move a bit each day.
#3 – Focus on a Wholesome Diet
Changing your diet can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Start small by replacing one meal per day or swap out one unhealthy food at a time. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to making healthy and wholesome eating sustainable.
#4 – Connect
We aren’t meant to not socialize, and with the digital world we live in today, it makes it easy to have most of your connection with friends and family over the phone. But, connecting with friends and those you love is super important for mental wellness.
So, schedule something once or twice a month to go out, get dinner with friends, or get a family member to participate in a weekly fitness class.
#5 – Get Enough Sleep
The truth is that many of us aren’t getting enough sleep, which could negatively affect our mental and physical well-being.
That is why prioritizing sleep makes for such an important part of supporting physical wellness. Getting enough sleep helps the body as well as the mind rest, repair, and may help you feel a bit more focused the next day.
Most research suggests that adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep each night, so do what you need to do to try to get closer to this goal if you know that your current sleep habits could use a boost.
#6 – Combat Stress
Stress can be described as a mental, emotional, as well as physical response to change that may be going on in our lives. Unfortunately, many of us are dealing with chronic stress levels, which can certainly impact the overall quality of life. Not only that, but stress affects our hormones, immune, and even our nervous system, and many complain of digestive upset during times of increased stress.
Some great ways to help reduce stress are to exercise and practice some form of self-care daily (like meditation, yoga, walking, reading). Even organizing your space and keeping it clutter-free may help you feel a bit less stressed out.
Note that exercise is a great way to help combat stress. So it’s a two for one — reduce stress while keeping your body in tip-top shape with regular physical activity.
Use Physical Wellness As a Tool to Feel Like The Healthiest Version of You
Supporting optimal wellness involves a multi-step approach — healthy eating, regular exercise, and good mental health. By optimizing the three components of physical wellness, you may be on your way to feeling like your healthiest version.