What is Physical Wellness?
Physical Wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get the most out of our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. Physical Wellness means living responsibly and taking care of your body, and recognising that our daily habits and behaviors have a significant impact on our overall health, wellness and quality of life. Adopting healthful habits Physical Wellness (i.e. a balanced diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, routine health checks etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (i.e. tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness and reduced risk of preventable chronic illness.
The Importance of Physical Activity
Physical Wellness:The human body was designed to move. Regular physical activity has the ability to reduce the risk of several major chronic diseases, as well as promote quality of life and a sense of wellbeing. Some of the many benefits of physical activity include:
- Improved weight control (in conjunction with a balanced diet)
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
- Improved self-esteem and confidence
- Lowering of high blood pressure
- Reduced risk of some cancers
- Strengthened bones and muscles
- Improved mental health, mood and resilience
- Improve ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
- Improved longevity.
How do I get started?
To maintain health and reduce risk of health problems, health professionals in Australia recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days. The Australian Government National Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults provide advice on the minimum amount of physical activity needed to enhance your health. The four guidelines are:
- Think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience. Any form of movement is an opportunity to improve your health.
- Be active every day in as many ways as you can. Make a habit of walking or cycling instead of using the car.
- Put together at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.
- If you can, also enjoy some regular, vigorous exercise for extra health and fitness. Vigorous exercise makes you ‘huff and puff’ such as jogging, aerobics and netball.
However, make sure you start slowly- especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time. The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that those who are previously inactive, have heart disease, have close relatives with heart disease, or who have other major health problems seek medical advice prior to commencing vigorous exercise.
Curtin Stadium offer a range of physical activities for staff to help you get started on improving their Physical Health including group fitness classes, Exercise Physiology services, walking groups, and regular fitness and weight loss programs. Find out more at http://recreation.curtin.edu.au/.
Physical Wellness:Healthy eating and drinking is an important part of looking after your health and physical wellness. However it is often difficult to make healthy choices when faced with the pressures of time, convenience and often increased price. The Australian Government has developed a set of Dietary Guidelines to help you make informed decisions when faced with these challenges, below is a summary of the Guidelines.
- To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs
- Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five groups every day, and drink plenty of water
- Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans
- Grain(cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)
- Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol
- Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding
- Care for your food; prepare and store it safely
The full Guidelines as well as a number of useful online resources (including healthy recipe ideas, energy budget calculators, and online games) can be found at the Eat for Life website.