A healthy lifestyle is all about balance, and the new year is a great opportunity to start working toward all-around wellness. Whether it’s a physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, occupational or social need, all aspects of your health are important and are often interwoven. For example, if you focus more on work than other aspects of your life, you may become overly stressed, which can negatively affect your social, physical and emotional wellness.
Picture wellness as a wheel with each area of your life as a spoke. If one area is smaller than another, the wheel won’t turn smoothly – just like your wellness. Balancing work, social, physical, emotional wellness and everything else isn’t easy, but working toward balance will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Wellness doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and commitment. The best way to work toward a healthy lifestyle is to set goals and celebrate milestones by rewarding yourself. Rewards are an important way to reinforce success and provide motivation to continue working hard. Set realistic goals and give yourself time to accomplish them without overwhelming yourself. A common goal that has multiple health benefits is starting an exercise routine. Physical activity can help reduce stress, improve sleep and boost your mood. For most adults, the Center for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity every week, but it’s important to work up to that amount. When it comes to exercise, every little bit counts, and it can be helpful to break up your work-outs into ten-minute increments throughout the day.
Before beginning any exercise routine, it is always important to consult with a healthcare professional to approach fitness in the safest, most beneficial way.
Some simple goals that will help you feel healthier may be getting enough sleep, managing stress, putting away technology or spending more time with family. Our area is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary healthcare physicians, behavioral health specialists, and other related healthcare providers dedicated to educating families in the community on improving overall wellbeing and establishing healthy routines.
Megan Norriss is a wellness coordinator at Cone Health. Norriss received a Bachelor of Science in exercise and sports science from UNCG in 2006, and is certified as an exercise physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. Megan received a master’s in health promotion management from Nebraska Methodist College in 2014.