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August is National Wellness Month!

Mon, Aug 15th, 2022


Yay! What’s Wellness?

Wellness is defined as the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.

The two main components of Wellness are Mental and Physical Health. Mental Health is defined as a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being, while Physical Health is defined as the absence of disease or serious illness.

Physical and mental health are actually connected. Poor mental health puts a person at a greater risk of chronic physical conditions and chronic physical issues can increase the risk of poor mental health.

Ok, ok, hold the phone, those big and vague definitions are great but do not help me understand or resolve any of my wellness concerns. Perhaps we take a different approach. What can I do to improve my wellness? Where do I start?

As Waylon Jennings sang a few years ago…. “Let’s get back to the basics of life”. Start by having a conversation with your MD. What does your doctor say your needs are and what should you do to improve your health status? With your doctor’s blessing, pain free, gentle exercise is the best starting point. If you have been doing nothing physical but can walk, start there. Begin at a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation without becoming short of breath over the duration of your walk. If you can, walk with a friend. The walk will be more enjoyable and likely you will accomplish two goals instead of one, improving both your physical health and mental outlook.

Next on our list of basics is Sleep. Sleep and exercise are both tied together to promote better health. Regular moderate exercise helps us get a full night sleep. As well, regular moderate exercise and proper sleep, 7 to 9 hours per night, will both help reduce your risk of heart disease. If you are having a hard time getting enough sleep, try this little tip. Get up early, just after the sun rises is preferable but before 9 am is also ok, go outside and walk for 10 to 20 min. If that is too much for you than just get outside. Eye exposure to early morning light will help you put to bed (pun intended) your sleep hormones and get you ready for a great day. This reset to your daily circadian rhythm will also help you get a good night sleep. Reminder: Do not look directly at the sun. The collateral light that gets in your eyes from just being outside will be enough.

In general, the order to the start of your day that will set you up for a better night sleep is as follows: up and rehydrate with water, go outside, eat breakfast, and finally after you have been up for about 90 minutes then have your usual caffeine. Holding off on your external intake of stimulants such as tea or coffee will improve your day-to-day activity and get you that much needed good night sleep.

So, there you have it, a few simple daily activities that will help you achieve better wellness. Keep in mind that Bell House Medical has a wide variety of assistive devices such as canes, rollators, wheelchairs and scooters to help you get out and moving to start a great day every day!