National Wellness Month
Every August we celebrate “National Wellness Month” which focuses on self-care, stress management, and creating healthy routines. There is no better time to focus on your wellness than now.
Significant change to your lifestyle can make a large impact on your wellness. However, small, simple changes every day also add up to large improvements. Here are some tips you can include in your day to help improve your overall wellness.
- Proper Hydration – Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. Proper hydration helps regulate your body temperature, keeps your organs functioning efficiently, lubricates your joints, delivers nutrients to your cells, improves your sleep, helps with weight management, improves brain function, and flushes out toxins. If you want to prevent dehydration, incorporate more water and water-rich foods into your day. Eight glasses a day is an easy rule to remember and a good general target. However, every person’s hydration requirements are different, depending on factors like medical history, health conditions, and medications. Talk to your doctor to come up with a hydration plan that meets your needs.
- Physical Activity – You know physical activity is good, but do you know how good? In addition to other benefits, it can help with weight management, reduce stress, increase strength, reduce health risks, increase bone health, improve brain function, and boost energy levels. According to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, each week adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Examples of moderate intense physical activity are walking 2 miles in 30 minutes or 30 minutes of activities such as water aerobics, raking leaves, or gardening. For more examples go to the CDC’s level of intensity document. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any concerns about your fitness, have been inactive, or have chronic health problems.
- Good Night’s Rest – Getting a good night’s sleep helps prepare you for each day. Sleep is not just important so you feel rested. You can see improvements to weight management, brain performance, blood sugar regulation, your immune system, heart strength, and decreases in inflammation, disease, and risk of depression. Most adults perform best with 7-9 hours of sleep each night and a consistent sleep schedule. For more information on getting a good night’s rest go to the Sleep Foundation website.
- Healthy Eating – Most people know good nutrition and physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight, but the benefits of good nutrition go beyond weight. Good nutrition can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases, reduce high blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, improve your immune system, improve your gut health, better mood, and increase energy. So, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fiber, low fat dairy, lean meats, and watch your intake of unhealthy fats.
- Relaxation – Finding time to relax is proven to be critical for your health. Relaxation lowers stress hormone levels, improves your mental health, lowers blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, increases immune response, and relaxes the muscles. Relaxation can look different for everyone, so find what works best for you. Here are some examples of relaxation activities: breathing exercises, journaling, spending time in nature, exercise, listening to music, humor, yoga, massage, spending time with a pet, and more. At the top of my list are reading, running, naps, and time in nature. So, find some things that help you relax!
- Relationships – A big piece of well-being is creating and maintaining healthy relationships with family, friends, and your community. Building relationships provides a good support system and can increase your feelings of happiness, sense of belonging, purpose, and self-worth while reducing anxiety and feelings of depression.
- Disconnect – We just read it’s important to build connections. It’s just as important to occasionally disconnect from distractions like phones, computers, television, and social media. Even if just for a day, a digital detox can increase focus, add time to your day, improve mood and sleep, increase you self-esteem and body image, and make you feel generally more content.
As you can see “National Wellness Month” is not all about diet and fitness—it is about creating a positive, healthy lifestyle. Each day work on taking small steps to contribute to your overall happiness and wellness.
Please stay tuned for next month’s post for Thrive Wellness updates and share this information with your friends. Invite them to subscribe to the Waypoints Learning Center. Thrive Wellness monthly blogs will post at the end of each month.
People who come to Presbyterian Senior Living come for more than just a place to live– they come to feel energized, challenged, and fulfilled; they come to THRIVE.
About Andrea Teeters
Andrea is currently the Fitness Director at Westminster Woods at Huntingdon. Previously, she was the Fitness Director at the Presbyterian Village of Hollidaysburg. She loves teaching group exercise classes with the residents and coming up with creative ways to engage residents in Fitness. Andrea has been in the Wellness field for almost two decades. She loves doing outdoor activities with her family, reading, running, traveling, and being with her church family. Andrea lives in Huntingdon, PA with her husband Mark, 3 children: Zoey, Liam, and Milo. She also has a cat named Leonardo DeCatrio, and beagle named Olaf.