Wellness is a difficult word to define. Traditionally wellness has meant the opposite of illness and the absence of disease and disability. More recently wellness has come to describe something that you have personal control over. Wellness is now a word used to describe living the best possible life you can regardless of whether you have a disease or disability. Your wellness is not only related to your physical health, but is a combination of things including spiritual wellness, social wellness, mental wellness and emotional wellness. Wellness is seen as a combination of mind, body and spirit. Different people may have different ideas about wellness. There is no single set standard for wellness and wellness is a difficult thing to quantify.
2 AnswersMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredSupermarkets are designed to make you walk out with way more items in your shopping bags than you intended. Next time you’re strolling the aisles, pay attention to the sensory sensations your supermarket uses to seduce you: the smell of brewing coffee and donuts, the colorful signage around the DVDs near the checkout, even the music is designed to make you reach for your wallet. During quiet business hours, supermarkets play slower music, hoping it will cause you to linger and buy more. On average, these supermarket tricks can cause you to spend $50 more per trip. Be sure to walk in with a list—and stick to it!
1 AnswerKatie Rickel, PhD, Psychology, answeredThe next time that you find yourself judging someone who struggles with their weight, consider the following:
We all engage in unhealthy coping behaviors sometimes: We might text while driving. We might smoke cigarettes. We might “forget” to put on sunscreen at the beach. Overeating just happens to be one unhealthy behavior that has visible consequences. Overweight individuals have a whole array of strengths and weaknesses just like the rest of us; their bodies do not connote anything about who they are as a whole and complete person.
Many overweight people are desperately trying to improve their health: Changing long-standing nutrition and physical activity patterns is no easy task. For many obese individuals, punishing diet programs are all too familiar. Most could write their own books on diet and exercise because they have tried virtually everything on the market. That overweight lady on a scooter may very well be fully engaged in the weight-loss process. For all you know, she may have already lost 60 pounds and is only just now able to even fit into the scooter. Weight loss is a slow and effortful process. You cannot make assumptions about efforts in self-care just by looking at someone.
The majority of obese individuals experience some level of physical and emotional pain every day of their lives: Imagine not being able to stand up from a chair without shooting pains through your legs. Picture yourself sitting through a movie with the arms of the chair digging into your sides. Envision yourself being pointed at by small children who ask their mothers, saying “Why is that man so fat?” Being an overweight person in our culture presents physical and emotional challenges on a daily basis. Don’t be yet another source of pain.
1 AnswerMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredIndulging in some of your guilty pleasures can add years to your life. Whether it’s a “mental health day” off from work, a long bubble bath, nap, massage, chocolate croissant, or serving of tiramisu, treating yourself can bestow numerous health benefits -- especially if you strip away the guilt.
1 AnswerSitting around -- driving, eating, working, knitting, emailing, watching TV -- is lethal. This isn't news. Everyone's known for a while that Coach Potato-Itis is a serious heart threat. And recent studies have shown that lots of sitting, even if you get serious amounts of exercise, messes up your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.
But here's the new shocker: Sitting causes cancer. Scientists have just tied 49,000 US cases of breast and 43,000 of colon cancer each year to prolonged sitting. That puts tush time right up there with smoking, obesity and a passion for pork rinds.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
1 AnswerHere's the latest news: Eating right helps your body handle potentially damaging particles called free radicals that are generated when you exercise. In a recent, headline-grabbing study, people who munched watercress daily had an easier time processing these free radicals after a session on a treadmill than those who skipped the leafy green.
Free radicals created by a moderate amount of physical activity, such as a daily, half-hour walk, are actually helpful. Physical activity switches on your cells' antioxidant defenses, increasing their ability to neutralize free radicals, which keeps your cells healthier—possibly the main health benefit of physical activity. Leafy veggies, such as watercress, kale, spinach and turnip greens, help out because they contain flavonoids that, along with physical activity, increase your natural antioxidant defenses.
1 AnswerDo you pride yourself on being a savvy shopper, someone who can't be duped into paying too much for too little? Then don't go food shopping if your tummy is rumbling.
On the other hand, being hungry is a perfect time to shop for an extravagant suit, a silk tie, or the ultimate Sex and the City temptation: fantasy shoes. You'll have a great time doing it and walk out happily empty-handed! If you're hungry, you'll splurge on food but turn into Scrooge McDuck when it comes to paying for anything else.
The key to this shopping mystery is a little gremlin called ghrelin, which is a hormone produced in your stomach that shouts out to your brain, "Feed me! I'm hungry!" When ghrelin's message gets through, it turns into, "That food looks so good. Pay anything for it, now!" Researchers don't know exactly why ghrelin has the opposite effect on your willingness to spring for things you can't eat, but it does.
So when you're hungry, feel free to bypass the grocery store and head for the mall. It's even healthy. Older adults who shop daily enjoy a 27% lower mortality rate than their stay-at-home pals. (Is it the walking or the window-shopping? Probably both.) Just grab something to eat before you head back to the grocery store, like a small bag of heart-healthy walnuts (six halves) or almonds (12 will do the ghrelin-suppressing trick). It'll keep your waistline slim and your wallet safe.
1 AnswerJob loss can play some nasty games with your health. A full 10% of people who lost their jobs developed new health problems in the year and a half after the event (compared with 6% of those who held steady jobs). No surprise: Stress can push you into using unhealthy coping mechanisms (like those containing sugar, trans fats, alcohol, or nicotine), and it can affect your physiology. How? The short (but scary) list: It can make you lose your libido, ruin your sleep, and weaken your immune system, and it can cause you to age faster and get fat more quickly.
For some, being spiritual means going to church. For others, it means finding a quiet place to meditate and think about life. No matter how you do it or what you call it, meditation and prayer can help slow breathing and brain activity, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Plus, when you do pray or meditate, you're more likely to be filled with peace, joy and other positive emotions that can also lead to positive physiological responses throughout your body.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Spending time with awesome Mother Nature makes you feel alert, enthusiastic, energetic and simply happy. Is it the fresh air, the sunshine, the greenery? No one knows for sure. But something about being outdoors appears to help people get even bigger benefits from their workouts and they're also more likely to stick to their outdoor sports be it walking, bicycling, kayaking or an outdoor fitness class.
1 AnswerWe all have weeks when our confidence and self-esteem plummet, and everyday irritants that we'd normally blow off (cat hair on your best black pants, dead batteries in the remote) get to us more than they should. Use these tactics the next time you feel one of these moods coming on:
- Take a step back. Sometimes, problems swell into things that get out of control or look worse than they really are. And sometimes you just don't give yourself enough credit: You may actually be dealing with your daily stresses just fine -- but in your head, things feel frantic. Take a step back. Try to see yourself through someone else's eyes (anyone's eyes -- your lover's, your gardener's, Big Bird's). You might see that you're actually doing better than you think.
- Schedule a worry period. Okay, do you relish worrying? Fine, worry away. But there's a catch: Devote two periods a day to it. Give your worries your full attention for 15 to 20 minutes. Wallow in all their soul-sucking glory. Then stop. When they rise up again, tell yourself that you'll address them during your next worry period. Now you're in control over when worries can worry you.
- Laugh it off. No joke, there's something magical about laughter, even if it's forced. Laugh off some of the day's tensest moments. This is called self-generated laughter (versus cracking up at a comedian), and doing it regularly can make you more positive and optimistic. The reason's pretty basic: The more you laugh, the better you feel.
- Let go of the past. Happy memories can be blissful, but obsessing over bad ones doesn't do any good. Learn from past mistakes and move on -- don't keep reliving them. Focusing on the present is the best thing you can do for yourself when you're down.