Your body is wise as nature, it knows exactly what it needs to stay alive and guarantee its own wellness. Just like a tree that stands still against the rain and the wind because of its strong and healthy branches, your body can do the same, and thrive from adversity, as long as its branches are well tended.
In order to satisfy your body’s pillar needs, there are 4 Branches of Wellness you must pay attention to: exercise, nutrition, relaxation and sleep. These four branches are not independent, but correlated, one can highly impact the ability to sustain the other.
That explains why when you eat high in sugar or heavily processed food you end up feeling slow, heavy, and almost unable to perform any physical task.
Finding the right balance between the 4 branches of wellness can require some extra effort, but it is worth it! Especially during the particular time we live in with Covid-19, in which preventive wellness plays a huge role in maintaining one’s physical and mental wellbeing.
Before talking about preventive wellness, let’s define the concept of wellness.
What does wellness mean?
The word wellness is often related to health, happiness and wellbeing, and although these are all concepts involved in wellness, The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health”— meaning that it extends beyond someone’s physical health.
The current global situation regarding Covid-19 has led us to set our eyes towards Wellness. The pandemic and its repercussions affect not only one’s physical health, but mental health, and overall well being.
For this reason preventive wellness plays a huge role in the so-called “new normal”.
Preventive wellness amid Covid-19
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, regular wellness visits to the doctor for screenings may be limited because of concerns about contagion, and competing demands.
But now is when you need your routine screenings and to take care of yourself the most, that way you can prevent diseases that could make you more vulnerable towards COVID.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends preventive screenings, such as: prostate cancer screening for men, and mammograms to detect breast cancer for women, as well as vaccinations, checking cholesterol levels, testing blood glucose levels and blood pressure screening.
As mentioned before, wellness is not only about physical health, but also about mental health. Facing Covid-19 challenges can promote stress, anxiety, grief, and worry, which affect your mental wellbeing.
Preventive wellness measures for mental health such as limiting news, taking deep breaths, avoiding the excess of substances like alcohol and tobacco, connecting with people, and making time to unwind, are recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
What can you do to practice preventive wellness?
You can focus on the 4 Branches of wellness: exercise, nutrition, relaxation and sleep.
First Branch: Exercise
Evidence shows how exercise not only makes you feel better, but it makes you function better. Your body simply needs to be in movement to be healthy, and this is why exercise is an essential branch of wellness.
With social distancing and remote work, the danger of adopting a sedentary lifestyle increases. Lack of physical activity can bring major consequences. Such as: developing various types of cancer, risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, back pain, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome.
Benefits of exercising
- Helps control weight.
- Strengths bones and muscles.
- Reduces anxiety.
- Fosters normal development.
- Improves mental health and mood.
- Increases the chances of living longer.
- Promotes good health.
How much exercise a day is necessary?
Children and adolescents need about an hour a day of physical activity, that includes muscle and bone strengthening, while adults should have 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, at least 5 times a week.
Tips for exercising
There are many fun activities that help you stay physically active from home such as, resistance band exercises, yoga, push ups and sit ups, jumping rope, or lifting weights.
If you are able to go outside, you can take a walk, go on a bike ride, go running, play tennis or a sport that you like, or go hiking.
A good way of improving your physical performance and most importantly having the energy to exercise, is reinforcing your diet with a Sports Nutrition Supplement.
Second Branch: Nutrition
Good nutrition is the key to every aspect of wellness. What you eat plays a big role in how you feel, as much emotionally as physically, because of the strong connection between your brain and your gastrointestinal tract.
When you eat healthy food, you promote the growth of “good” bacteria, which positively affects the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which puts you in a good mood.
On the contrary, when you eat bad food like sugar or junk food, it causes inflammation, and promotes the growth of “bad” bacteria. Poor nutrition increases the risk of having a stroke or dementia.
Benefits of a good nutrition
- Improves the ability to focus.
- Helps you keep a healthy weight.
- Improves cognition and brain health.
- Boosts energy.
- Promotes healthy skin and hair.
- Reduces the risk of type 2 Diabetes.
- Reduces the risk of Cancer.
Tips for having a healthy nutrition
You can start by trading rice and pasta for whole-grain versions, eating more beans instead of meat, increasing your vegetables intake, eating healthy snacks like nuts and seeds. Also you should try not to skip meals, and control your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Third Branch: Relaxation
When you don’t make time to relax, you start noticing how your body becomes overloaded with tension and stress, this can lead to headaches, digestive issues, chest pain, depression, changes in sexual drive, and trouble focusing.
Relaxation releases the body’s feel-good hormones (serotonin, oxytocin, and prolactin), through deep relaxation practices like meditation and breathing you can obtain great benefits.
Benefits of relaxation
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Improves mood.
- Relieves pain.
- Helps decrease blood pressure.
- Promotes good immune health.
- Supports the cardiovascular system.
Fourth branch: Sleep
Sleeping is a fundamental branch of wellness that allows your body to recharge and repair every night, but most importantly for the time we are living in. Sleep improves your immune function, helps fight off any harmful bacteria and viruses protecting you from disease.
Benefits of a good night’s sleep
- Restores your energy.
- Improves concentration and productivity.
- Repairs muscle tissue.
- Enhances athletic performance.
- Prevents you from heart disease and stroke.
- Boosts your mood and social interactions.
A good sleep depends on what you do before going to bed, you should try not to watch any screens right before sleeping, avoid afternoon naps, as well as caffeine and nicotine in the evening, and try to have 7 to 8 hours of rest.
If you feel that you are not getting enough sleep, you can talk to your doctor and try with a supplement like melatonin for improving your sleep.
Pursuing a harmonious lifestyle is possible through the 4 Branches of Wellness. Support your nutrition, exercise, relaxation and sleep with the special supplements and products Nature’s Discount has for you, get them in our physical store!