Wellness seems to have become a misunderstood word. The whole “wellness game” is often associated with spending large sums of money.
The truth is, you don’t need to hit those pricey spas every week or so to get your wellness on, all you need to do is go back to basics.
Let’s take a look at some of the most natural ways you can and should practice wellness therapy every day. It’s surprisingly easy to do, yet extremely beneficial to the body, mind, soul, and wallet.
1. Nature Is Your Friend.
Spending as much in nature as possible should be top of the list for any sensible wellness game plan. Sound like a drag? Too hard to get out into nature from where you live? Too time-consuming? Hold on.
Nature is everywhere; you just have to look around and find it. Even in the largest cities such as New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, or Hong Kong, nature is just around the corner.
List of Parks and Green Spaces:
You’ve got parks, large or small, rivers, gardens, cafes with gardens, lakes and botanical gardens. Going for a stroll or simply sitting and relaxing in one of these places will install a calm and positive mindset.
Considering stress is a significant cause of depression or even heart disease/stroke, the importance of taking “nature dips” can’t be overemphasized!
Besides, spending time in nature provides a whole array of health benefits and reduces the risk of:
- Type II diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Premature death
- Pre-term birth
- Salivary cortisol (stress marker)
- Heart Disease
“Forest Bathing” as they call it in Japan. A study conducted by The University of East Anglia in 2018, involved 290 million people, 140 studies and 20 countries from all over the world.
Living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits — according to new research. A new report reveals that exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.East Anglia University
If this didn’t convince you to go green, I don’t know what will. But let’s try this.
Those of you who are familiar with my writing know I talk a lot about walking. Maybe too much, some may say. But why do I continually promote walking?
The answer is; none of us walks enough (even me at times), and walking is the single most effective health and wellness tool available to promote robust heart health, reduce stress, relax our mind, build healthy joints and bones, and support overall organ health.
On top of those significant benefits, walking makes you feel happy, energized, and optimistic. You can walk off headaches, drowsiness, bad moods, anger, negativity, anxiety, fatigue, depression, sadness, loneliness, and even minor forms of joint or muscle pain in legs, knees, ankles, and back.
Walking most definitely ups your wellness game! And that’s why I say, “15000 Steps a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!”
Regular exercise helps people age more slowly and live healthier, more vigorous lives. And it also helps people live longer. Calculations based on the Harvard Alumni Study suggest that men who exercise regularly can gain about two hours of life expectancy for each hour of exercise.
In fact, just 30 minutes of brisk walking every day will go a long way toward enhancing your health.www.health.harvard.edu
The Mayo Clinic agrees:
“Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.”Mayoclinic.org
And if you still don’t believe me, you must read the article in the next link below. The author pretty much reflects what I discuss in my article, “15000 Steps a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.”
Recent studies show that walking as little as two hours per week can help you live longer and reduce the risk of disease.www.bluezones.com
3. Take a Nap.
Day-time napping often carries a stigma of laziness. Not so. Taking a 15 to 20-minute nap after lunch, or in the middle of the afternoon, rests your brain and increases creativity. 5-minute power naps a few times a day are also a great way to re-charge.
After your nap, you’ll feel energized and ready to shoot from all cylinders again. Brief naps are similar to meditation sessions, except you come out of a nap feeling more rested. Your brain managed to switch off completely. I try to take a 20-minute nap every afternoon when my mind tells me it’s time to take a rest. I enjoy my naps as part of my wellness game.
If you don’t believe me, the Sleep Foundation agrees.
While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance. Nappers are in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued an afternoon nap.www.sleepfoundation.org
4…and then Sleep some More.
This one is a biggie. It’s alarming to see how many folks think they can get by fine on no more than 4-hours sleep. You can hear this all the time, mostly from young entrepreneur types, and it goes something like this; “I work until 12 or 1am, and sleep until 4, or maybe 5
Hmm, that’s a dangerous statement right there. Sure, when you are in your twenties or thirties, you’re able to put up with a lot more abuse on your body and mind. However, the unseen damage people are doing to themselves when following a routine like this can be severe.
Constant work pressure increases stress levels, resulting in high cortisol release (our stress hormone), which can lead to heart disease and or stroke. Failure to exercise (which is often a result of this type of behavior) will, besides, lead to excess weight, a weaker immune system, and illness.
Adequate quality sleep is paramount for being healthy, building, and keeping a robust immune system and living longer.
Sleep recommendation, by the CDC:
According to the CDC, the breakdown is as follows:
- Newborns (0–3 months): 14–17 hours
- Infants (4–12 months): 12–16 hours
- Toddler (1–2 years): 11–14 hours
- Pre-school (3–5 years): 10–13 hours
- School-age (6–12 years): 9–12 hours
- Teen (13–18 years): 8–10 hours
- Adult (18–60 years): 7-plus hours
- Adult (61–64 years): 7–9 hours
- Adult (65+ years): 7–8 hours
I don’t see any numbers in this list about 4 or 5 hours being sufficient, even for anti-sleep warriors! Embrace your sleep and your place of rest like it’s your little paradise.
If you want up your wellness game, get your shut-eye in folks, you will be happier, more productive, and quite possibly live longer!
5. Water- or Hydrotherapy.
Water therapy sounds daunting; I know like some particular treatment with a therapist submerged in water. It’s not so. Water therapy refers to any activity which involves water.
Simple things such as;
- Taking a hot bath
- A long hot shower
- Going for a gentle swim
- Lying in a pool of warm water in the ocean
- Jumping into an ice bath for a few seconds (or minutes)
The mere act of spending time in soothing water (and the ice water, if you are into that), is a pure form of relaxation wellness treatment, which get your wellness game on, with ease!
And the benefits of submerging ourselves are vast! Let’s take a look:
- Can improve heart health
- Eases breathing
- Reduces stress
- Brain and nervous system can benefit due to the relaxation
- Improve sleep
Dwelling in warm water has been practiced for centuries worldwide, so there must be truth in water therapy being extremely good for our wellness and overall health.
For one, I always feel so much better after a plunge the pool, a relaxing swim in the ocean, or session in a jacuzzi.
There can’t be enough said about the importance of proper hydration throughout your day. No matter if it’s warm or cold weather outside, dehydration is a problem for many folks.
Some forget to drink as they are busy with work, errands, or running around with family. Others don’t like to drink too much as they say it makes them feel bloated, and then you have cases where folks just don’t know how much water their body requires every day.
Dehydration can lead to calcium build up in the kidneys, which usually results in very unpleasant kidney stones.
Side effects of dehydration:
- Constipation or hard stools
- Skin can become dry and dull
- Difficulty speaking and breathing due to dry mouth
- Moodiness and irritability
On the other hand, the benefits of drinking plenty of water:
- Balances body fluids
- Regulates body temperature
- Improves skin
- Raises energy levels
- Can reduce headaches
- May help prevent kidney stones
- Supports brain function and focus
- Can even reduce the side effects of alcohol consumption
Water is essential for life. From the time that primeval species ventured from the oceans to live on land, a major key to survival has been prevention of dehydration. The critical adaptations cross an array of species, including man. Without water, humans can survive only for days.US National Library of Medicine
I think that says it all. If you are dehydrated daily, you will not die, at least not in a few days, but you are causing yourself damage and inviting illness.
Water, water, and more water is the answer! Making sure you get your water intake optimized is key to staying on top of your wellness game. Drink more than you think you need to, daily, then you may be getting enough.
7. Sun Exposure
Consensus leads us to believe that we must shun the sun at all costs, as sun exposure causes skin cancer. Next, we must lather the sunscreen all ourselves whenever we dare leave our house, exposing our skin to sunlight!
There is no scientific evidence linking regular moderate sun exposure to any form of skin cancer. Excessive skin exposure can present a risk of skin cancer, even then mostly for carcinoma, an easily treatable condition, but not for melanoma. The sun is our friend and works wonders for our wellness, happiness, and overall health.
Let’s look at the benefits of Sun Exposure and Vitamin D:
- Boosts Immune System
- Provides Auto-Immune Protection
- Cancer Protection
- Strengthens Bones and Muscles
- Supports Heart Health
- Supports Skin Health
- Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
We can only produce adequate Vitamine D through sun exposure, not through our food intake. The only alternative to ensuring sufficient Vitamine D levels is by consuming supplements.
Spending time in the sun is one of the best things you can do for your overall wellness, positivity, and happiness.
There is growing observational and experimental evidence that regular exposure to sunlight contributes to the prevention of colon-, breast-, prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, hypertension
Considering these data we hypothesize that regular sun exposure benefits health.www.sciencedirect.com
Summarazing the Wellness Game.
Taking care of your wellness is neither expensive nor time-consuming. All it requires is for you to be kind to and look after yourself by doing the most natural things we are meant to do.
Transport yourself to nature, and walk, a lot! Make sure you take energizing naps and get enough sleep daily. Relax in warm water, and drink plenty of water. Treat yourself to a daily dose of sun, enjoy the warm glow, and the resulting release of Vitamine D, our happy hormone.
And remember, this wellness game plan can be executed daily, without cost or much effort.
As always, thanks for reading, and I look forward to your comments or questions.
Writer, Former Olympic Athlete & Certified Health Coach
“It is my mission to help people regain control of their health by building a healthy, strong heart, body, and mind, supporting a longer life.”