Health & Wellness vs. Weight Management

If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my fitness journey it’s that there’s more to it than meets the eye. Often times, the biggest triumphs of all can’t be measured in numbers.

Most people will say they want to “live a healthy lifestyle,” when what they really mean to say is that they want to lose weight through diet and exercise. But does this weight management approach to wellness work in the long-term? Is their lifestyle actually changing? I’d argue that it’s not. Not really.

The way to achieve optimal health and wellness is to bring awareness to how the combination of mental, physical and social health affects your overall wellbeing. (These can be broken down into several other categories, but for now we’ll focus on these three.)

Wellness Wheel

It’s easy to dismiss how our mental state impacts our physical and vice versa—don’t get caught in a vicious cycle of one negative component influencing the others! Here are some ways to promote healthy habits in each category:

  • Mental: Short breaks from work have been proven to increase productivity and work satisfaction.
  • Physical: Small changes mattergoing for a daily walk and eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet are great steps toward positive physical change!
  • Social: Human beings are naturally social creatures. Take a step outside your comfort zone and start a conversation with your neighbor or join a local fitness group. Community support goes a long way in staying focused on achieving your goals.

A great way to get started is to take a personal health assessment. By answering a few questions, you can get a look at what areas in your life you should pay more attention to. This insight will lead to a development of life-long healthy habits, for a healthier AND happier you.

Are You Sitting Too Much?

Sitting too much can literally kill you.

Ok…so maybe that’s a bit dramatic…but sitting too much should scare you!

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examinations Surveys, which examines about 5,000 people in United States each year (Nelson & Zeratsky, 2012), 50-70% of people sit for 6 or more hours per day. That might seem like a lot, but if you think about the “average” daily schedule of a 9-5er, that isn’t far off the mark.

sedentary

Getting Productivity Up & Moving Infographic by Ergotron is licensed under a Creative Commons Attributions 3.0 Unported License.

So how does this impact our health? Too sedentary of a lifestyle can cause:

  • Low energy
  • Slower metabolism
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Risk of heart disease

How can you combat this? It’s easy – get moving!

  • Stand every hour – take a quick trip to the bathroom or go get some coffee.
  • Park farther away – sure that front row spot is nice, but those in the back are better for you!
  • Track your steps with an activity tracker – Using an activity tracker that monitors your idle time and steps is a great way to see what your daily activity looks like.
  • Take the stairs – if it’s possible, always (always!) take the stairs.
  • Outdoor walk – walking is good for the soul and the body!

 

So, are you sitting too much? What can you do to become more active?