Understanding the Physical Components of Wellness
Wellness is the ultimate state of wholeness that can be achieved by a human being. It is the physical, mental, spiritual, and practical utopia of the human experience.
Holistic wellness consists of eight distinct pillars, or arenas, of well-being. In this article, I will address the first pillar, which relates to the aspects of wellness that are most often associated with health and longevity — those intrinsic to the fitness and performance of the human body, namely physical exercise and proper nutrition.
Physical wellness is comprised of several smaller components, such as body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and glucose levels, blood pressure, functioning of organ systems, including the skeletal structure, musculature of the body, and the circulatory system, and overall strength, stamina, and endurance (Univ. of California). Annual physical exams at a physician’s office serve to monitor and regulate these wellness factors. Not only that — a physician can also refer you to a specialized doctor, such as a cardiologist or oncologist, should the need arise. It is extremely important to prioritize annual visits to the doctor’s office.
Underlying these physical components of well-being are various lifestyle factors and behaviors that either promote or diminish wellness. Among them are alcohol/tobacco use, sleep patterns, exercise habits, diet and nutrition, and lifestyle factors such as extreme stress or lack of work-life balance. Collectively, these lifestyle factors create a playing field in which the ultimate result of the game is far more complex than a simple WIN or LOSE.
Applying this allegory to human wellness, a loss would signify death. Rather morbid, I know. Luckily, it’s not that simple. Physical wellness is a spectrum rather than a simple black-and-white measurement. Several factors are at play and balance must be maintained consistently. It is important to be aware and conscientious about nurturing each of these contributing behavioral patterns. Only then will physical wellness truly be achieved.