Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving. It is the culmination of every healthy step you take.
Mental health is equally as important as physical health. At the same time, it is not unusual that mental health challenges often follow poor physical health. Therefore, let’s talk about physical health and wellness.
The first thing to know is that good physical health and wellness are based in satisfying three fundamental needs:
That being said, wellness is not a strict diet. Likewise, it is not a grueling schedule of time at the gym or forced bedtimes and naps. No, wellness is built on practicing healthy habits on a daily basis.
Getting the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals, water, and other nutrients are key. The results are a healthy immune system which bolsters your personal health.
Because of COVID-19, people are now much more aware of the importance of a healthy immune response to disease. However, it was important before, and will continue to be important after the pandemic.
In the fall and winter a healthy immune system is often associated with colds and flu and the body’s ability to fight off those infections. It’s common to hear people say they take zinc tablets at the first sign of a sniffle or cough.
Dr. Len Horovitz, an internist and pulmonologist at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York said that it has long been thought that zinc bolsters the immune system. He says it might be explained by the results of a study led by Dr. Roberto Guerri-Fernandez of the Hospital Del Mar in Barcelona indicating that zinc may have an anti-inflammatory effect that is protective for COVID patients
The study found that 249 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with low levels of zinc tended to fare worse than those with higher levels. Although not conclusive, the study results reflected a pattern showing every unit increase of zinc in the blood lowered the odds by 7% that a patient would die in the hospital.
Nutrients, like zinc
For wellness, zinc is one of several essential minerals. Your body uses the mineral zinc for fighting off infections and producing new cells in the body.
Besides negatively affecting your immune system, zinc deficiencies can have side effects such as hair loss, lack of alertness, and a reduced sense of taste and smell. Zinc deficiencies can also present through loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss, wounds that don’t heal or open sores, on the skin.
It is rare for someone to have a significant zinc deficiency because the recommended daily amount of 8 mg for adult women and 11 mg for adult me is readily available through your diet. The following foods are good sources of zinc:
- Red meat
- Wheat germ
- Wild rice
Alternate sources, not as high in zinc, include baked beans, cashews, peas, and almonds.
Exercise means different things to different people. Wellness is finding the exercise that is right for you, your life, and your stage in life.
For some, exercise is participating in sports activities. Here at Spinal Logic Chiropractic, we see many patients come in with acute injuries or overstressed a part of their body. These conditions could be the result of hard or rough play, jumping into an activity that you haven’t done for quite some time, or pushing too hard with too many reps, too much distance, or too much weight. In order to master the skill of listening to your body, it must be practiced. With this in mind, many patients say they hear their bodies telling them to come see us.
Other people have a scheduled gym day and routine exercises to do at the gym. Of course, most gym-goers are constantly working to increase time, distance, or weight. It feels good although some days it results in achiness or soreness and other days, it’s simply painful.
Walking – and living
For many people, exercise is the number of steps taken or minutes walking. We hear goals such as 10,000 steps or 20 – 30 minutes of daily exercise. Both can have a positive impact on your physical health as well as your mental health.
Just staying busy and living keeps the body active and fit. Housework, gardening, mowing the grass, running errands, making 23 trips up and down the stairs, as well as the old trick of parking at the far end of the parking lot are all ways to add exercise into your day.
Sleep is the magic tonic in wellness. To feel good, meet the morning with energy, and perform optimally, the body must have time to relax and regenerate.
The topic of sleep is on everyone’s mind. It is taken up every day as people get to the workplace. Think about the number of mornings you have heard “I didn’t get enough sleep,” or “I was up all night,” or, more desirable, “I slept like a log last night.” You’ve probably said one or all of them hundreds of times yourself.
The amount of nightly sleep required to feel rested and ready for a new day varies person-to-person. However, getting that perfect number of hours asleep is another essential element in wellness – and contributes to a strong immune system.
The mind plays a big role in developing good sleep hygiene and habits – or not. Stress is one of the most common culprits to not getting enough restful sleep. No one can eliminate all the stress we carry into the bedroom at night. However, we have several recommendations to get the best sleep possible:
- Avoid caffeine after noon or early afternoon
- Make a to-do list or plan for the next day
- Decrease activity to calm and quiet activities before bed
- Use a pillow that is comfortable and supportive
- Establish a nightly routine and go to bed at the same time every night
- Wake up and get up at the same time each morning
Wellness is living and thriving
Staying healthy and feeling good is the goal of wellness. Give yourself permission to develop and follow the routines that are good for you, your family, and your life.
Remind yourself to do the things that help you feel good:
- Sit up straight
- Take time away from the computer or TV
- Limit alcohol
- Listen to your spouse (and children) and pet the dog
No one is perfect. Days are full and accidents happen. When you start feeling pain, or that chronic discomfort or ache it could be a result of the nutrients you are (or are not) getting, your activities, or your sleep patterns. Our practice here at Spinal Logic is built around wellness. That includes relieving pain and discomfort, but it also includes maintaining the wellness levels you achieve and want to keep. Don’t hesitate to call us at 317-745-5111 to come in for a free consultation. We look forward to seeing you!
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.