Four Ways to Improve Your Health and Wellness

Find a satisfying and enjoyable way to add physical activity to your daily routine such as gardening or playing with your kids.

By: Marta Staple, APNP at Meriter West Washington

Healthy living. Wellness. Good health.

We hear these terms all the time. We wish for good health for one another and for our children.

We strive for our own wellness. We talk about making healthy choices at the grocery store. We hear these terms on the radio, on the television, at home, at work, in the doctor’s office. But what do “health” and “wellness” really mean?

Is it simply the absence of disease that will provide all of us with good health, or is there something more? The World Health Organization (WHO) boldly defined health in 1948, saying that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” That sounds like a pretty tall order. I mean, “complete physical, mental and social wellbeing…”?

How do you do that? Who has time for that?

But the truth is, it is reasonable to expect health this good, good thing for ourselves! Even busy women, tired women, parenting women, working women; women can achieve health through making health a priority and committing to that priority. You can start on your road to wellness by creating a plan that includes:

  1. Quiet Time. Create time for yourself every day, if only 10 minutes. Turn off the phone, the computer, the TV. Put down the dishes. Hand your responsibilities to someone else for a few minutes. Be quiet, take a walk, think. Calm your mind. Simply creating time for yourself will help you manage your stress and increase your energy.
  2. Well Balanced Eating. It’s hard to know where to start, or to even know if your diet needs help. Use these simple guidelines: make ½ of every meal plant based foods, avoid sugars and processed food, and keep high fat foods as a rare treat instead of a daily item. Maintain a food diary on paper or through a smartphone app, which will keep you accountable to yourself for every last little cookie. Minimize restaurant food. As much as possible, make your own food from whole food ingredients.
  3. Get Active. Find a satisfying and enjoyable way to add physical activity to your daily routine. Remember that gardening, hiking, skiing, kayaking, running, snowshoeing, playing with kids, and long walks with a friend or partner are all forms of exercise that rewards not only your body but your soul. When you enjoy your activity, you are much more likely to stick with it. Make a goal of 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week. Make a goal of getting just a little bit of sweat on your upper lip.
  4. Avoid the Bad. If you smoke, become motivated to quit! Keep your alcohol consumption to moderate amounts, like 1 drink per day with a meal. Find a good bedtime routine and stick to it, so you can get all the rest you need. Dump the relationships that make you feel bad.

These practical ideas might help you think of your own ways to get started on your road to health. On the other hand, these practical ideas might just sound like someone else’s ideas, and not something that fits with your life. Don’t forget that your healthcare provider does not just help keep you free from disease; healthcare providers are also great at helping you create your own individualized plan for health. Meriter offers many great educational programs, mind-body wellness courses, and exercise and diet classes to help you achieve the health goals that are right for you. Talk to your healthcare provider to create a plan that works for you. Make this a priority, because you deserve good health.

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