My health and wellness has always been a focus of my life. I admit the strength of that focus as ebbed and flowed over the years. But as I sit here today, I know that each day is a gift. You always hear that health is the greatest wealth and that is so very true. It is important to learn how to develop a wellness program in your life.
To help me grow and learn more about how to improve wellness and overall health, I have started a yearlong course with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Their missions is to play a crucial role in improving health and happiness, and through that process, create a ripple effect that transforms the world.
I like that IIN takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, teaching you that it’s not just about the food on your plate, but also how you nourish yourself through other areas of your life, such as your relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality.
There is a lot in my life that “feeds” me, and I believe that they are all important to my overall health. My relationships, my family, my teaching career, my church community, my time spent in nature, mediatiating, journaling, and yes the food on my plate and the exercise I do to stay physically strong. They are all important to my overall wellness and health.
How to Develop a Wellness Program in Your Life
It’s important for all of us to take responsibility for our health and overall wellness in life. If you want to improve how you feel, increase your overall wellness, and have your balance in your life, then developing a wellness program is the way to do it!
Developing your own personal wellness program will enable you to fully understand what it means to have a “life-balance” and give you a plan for achieving it.
Evaluating Your Life
There are several core areas in your life that you should review when developing your wellness program. Today we are just looking at a few. All of these areas are important, yet some of them are often ignored because of our busy schedules. The core areas that we are looking at today include the following:
- Leisure Time
In order to create a program that ensures your wellness, it’s vital to include all of these areas in your plan. This is because, ultimately, all of these key areas have a place in how we feel – both physically and psychologically.
Elements of a Wellness Plan
A program that focuses on how “well” you are, should always start with a diet that includes healthy foods. These include nutritionally sound foods – foods that are cultivated organically so that you reduce the amount of toxins that enter your body.
You should focus on consuming fresh plant foods – like fruits and vegetables – rather than the prepackaged foods in the store. Eating nuts and drinking lots of water can also be especially helpful.
- Check out your local health food store or farmer’s market for the freshest produce. Some farms even offer co-op memberships in exchange for doing work on the farm.
Exercise is another important element of success when it comes to developing a wellness program. Not only does exercise help you build and maintain muscle and bone strength, but it also increases the amount of available oxygen throughout your body.
The cells, muscles, bones, and other components of the body are heavily dependent upon oxygen and the body’s ability to properly circulate the blood. A healthy, oxygenated body will have more energy, which will make you more productive and generally happier.
- Exercising doesn’t mean spending lots of money on a gym membership. Walk around your block, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk through a nearby mall and you’ll see the benefits.
- Invest in a workout DVD to use in the privacy of your own home and make a commitment to use it four times a week.
The next part of a wellness program is to ensure that your thoughts and feelings are positive and complimentary to your life. Having a support group or someone to talk to about issues that concern you can be very productive.
- Spending time in nature, meditation and journaling are all opportunities to help you clear your mind.
In addition, learning how to manage stress can be extremely beneficial to your wellness mission. If certain people or places cause you to experience stress, depression, or other negative feelings, then it’s important to pull yourself away from them or find a productive means for coping with them. Unplugging and creating breathing space and time for leisure is vital.
- Talking to a friend, family member, priest, or counselor can provide great comfort. These people can offer you objective advice and other ideas on how to deal with the stressors in your life.
Remember, you must focus on both the physical and the psychological aspects of who you are in order to be “well.” By following these techniques to develop your own wellness program, you’ll enhance your life well into the future!