These days, we increasingly hear about the concept of Wellness, which is usually defined as a “lifestyle oriented towards well-being” in the broadest of senses, comprising both physical and psychological aspects. In order to better understand the meaning of Wellness, let us take a closer look at its essential components.
Physical activity and exercise
Although ‘physical activity’ and ‘exercise’ are different concepts - the first of which refers to any type of movement and the second to a more structured movement performed for specific aims - both are fundamental elements of Wellness. In fact, without them it is impossible to achieve both mental and physical well-being.
In the 'World Health Report 2002' (WHO), a report on the health of the global population, the World Health Organisation pointed its finger at sedentary lifestyles as a leading risk factor for heart disease or other serious illnesses, such as diabetes and even certain types of cancer.
'Move for Health' is the motivational strapline which the WHO has chosen to promote moderate, yet constant physical activity as a natural medicine to help ensure good health and a long life. Even nutritionists point out how important an active lifestyle is for the overall good health of the individual within their own guidelines.
The 'World Health Report 2002' stresses that the combination of physical inactivity and poor diet increases the incidence of obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol, which in turn contribute to the onset of a number of illnesses.
This is why Wellness is also based on a complete and well-balanced diet. In order to be healthy, our body needs a balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, mineral salts and water. In order to know how to eat healthily, it is essential to know the quality and quantity of foods we eat, rather than simply calculating the amount of calories.
A few hours of physical activity and exercise each week cannot achieve total Wellness if combined with an excessive intake of alcohol, smoking or insufficient sleep. It is, in particular, worth emphasising the increasing importance of gaining a good night's sleep.
Regular physical activity and exercise are of paramount importance in terms of helping to correct bad habits, enabling people to quickly become aware of the benefits gained from a positive change in lifestyle. Furthermore, developing healthy habits means that people feel more energised throughout their daily routines and better prepares the body for activity and exercise.
Relationships with others
Achieving an overall state of emotional well-being is an important part of the Wellness philosophy. Feeling good about yourself is the first step to peace of mind and good relationships with others.
Developing and maintaining meaningful friendships and loving relationships can only release positive energy that brings about a feeling of self-satisfaction and happiness.