Physical and mental wellness are two important aspects of life. We all need to eat healthy food, exercise regularly, sleep well, get enough rest, and take care of our bodies. We also need to take care of our mental health. That means having good relationships with family members, friends, colleagues, and others. It also includes taking time out to relax and unwind.
Our mental and emotional well-being is just as important as our overall physical health. Without proper mental health, we cannot function properly. Our moods affect our ability to think clearly and perform tasks efficiently. A person who is depressed may not be able to work productively. And if he/she does manage to do his/her job, then their performance might be poor.
We all know that stress affects us physically. When we feel stressed, our heart rate increases, our blood pressure rises, and our breathing becomes shallow. These changes increase our risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and coronary artery disease.
But there is another side to stress. Researchers now believe that chronic stress can cause depression and anxiety disorders. It can also cause problems with memory and concentration, so one will have to be careful.
In addition to being physically unhealthy, a person who is chronically stressed is also less productive at work. He/she may become irritable and argumentative. They may also lose interest in social activities.
Factors Affecting Physical Wellness
There are many factors that influence physical wellness. Some of them are:
• Exercise – Regular exercise helps keep our body fit and strong. It improves our energy levels and reduces stress. It also keeps us alert and active throughout the day.
• Nutrition – Eating nutritious foods promotes overall health and well-being. Healthy eating habits are important for keeping a healthy weight.
• Sleep – Getting adequate sleep each night is very important. Lack of sleep causes fatigue and tiredness. Tiredness leads to a lack of focus and reduced productivity.
• Stress Management – Managing stress is one of the best ways to improve our physical health. It helps reduce the chances of developing illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
• Medication – Taking medication for certain conditions such as asthma, allergies, arthritis, and high cholesterol is necessary. However, overuse of prescription medications can cause serious adverse effects. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor before starting any new medication.
• Alcohol Consumption – Drinking too much alcohol can adversely affect our liver and kidneys. Excessive drinking can also lead to heart attacks and strokes.
• Smoking – Cigarette smoking is bad for our lungs. It can also damage the lining of our mouth and throat. Therefore, quitting smoking is recommended.
• Screen Time – Too much screen time has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Children should limit their use of electronic devices during meals.
• Diet – Changing our diet to healthier options can help us maintain a healthy lifestyle. For instance, eating more fruits and vegetables can prevent some types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that protect against free radicals, which can cause cell damage.
• Water Intake – Most adults require around 3-4 liters of water daily. Adults who drink plenty of fluids stay hydrated and avoid dehydration. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 40 percent of college women suffer from some form of clinical depression. According to another study done by the National Institute of Health, approximately 20 million Americans have some kind of mental illness.
That means there are at least 60 million Americans who struggle with various forms of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, personality disorders, and others.
There are certain things we can do to improve our overall mental wellness. We need to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually, and financially.
Components of Mental Wellness
Mental wellness consists of physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual aspects. We’ll go through each one individually:
When we talk about physical well-being, we refer to our physical fitness level. Physical exercise helps us to stay fit and healthy. It improves our body image and self-esteem. Regular exercises reduce stress, boost energy levels, and increase concentration. Exercise also reduces blood cholesterol levels, strengthens bones, increases muscle mass, and improves lung capacity. Apart from this, it is important to take good care of various components of physical fitness.
Our emotions play a very important role in our lives. Emotions influence our thoughts and behaviors. Positive emotions such as joy, happiness, love, gratitude, hope, and optimism promote positive thinking patterns. Negative emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, guilt, shame, and loneliness can cause negative thoughts. When we face stressful situations, we tend to think negatively. Our moods affect our relationships, work performance, academic achievements, decision-making skills, and personal satisfaction.
We should always keep in mind that life is not just about living, but also about giving back to humanity. Spiritual wellness includes having faith in God, following religious beliefs, and doing good deeds. Spirituality brings peace, inner strength, and harmony into our lives. It gives meaning to our existence.
Social well-being is defined as being connected and engaged with others. Social support systems provide us with emotional, psychological, and practical assistance. Family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, teachers, coaches, counselors, clergy, therapists, doctors, nurses, and others are examples of social support.
Intellectual well-being is the ability to learn new things and retain knowledge. Intellectual well-being is achieved when we acquire knowledge and apply it to solve problems. Learning something new is a great way to improve our intelligence quotient (IQ). IQ is the measure of general cognitive abilities. People with high IQ scores perform better in school, earn more money, and enjoy greater success in life.
Importance of Mental Wellness
Mental wellness plays a vital role in our lives. Without proper nourishment, we cannot grow, develop, and thrive. Our brains require food to function properly. Our brain cells consume glucose, oxygen, and other nutrients. Lack of nutrition leads to poor memory, impaired vision, inability to concentrate, and lack of motivation.
As stated earlier, we need to take care of our bodies, minds, and spirits. To achieve this, we must eat right, sleep well, exercise regularly, avoid harmful substances, and maintain close relationships with family, friends, and loved ones.
I hope, this article was helpful in answering your “What are the factors affecting physical fitness and wellness” question!