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Posts Tagged ‘physical health’

Last month I returned to work after the birth of my son. Since then, many people have commented – often with a hint of jealousy in their tone – on how quickly I “bounced back” after having a baby. The message they mean to convey with these words is that I was successful in returning to my pre-pregnancy weight. I do count this achievement as a success, as I was very intentional about staying active throughout my pregnancy to help with my labor, delivery and postpartum recovery. Physically, one might look at me and think that I am well, and in some respects that is true. I eat fairly healthfully and am maintaining a healthy weight. But, as my colleague Amanda explained in her recent blog What Does Wellness Mean to You?, there is much more to wellness than what meets the eye.

In her blog, Amanda introduced the nine dimensions of wellness and the wellness wheel (shown below) promoted by The Ohio State University Office of Student Life. She encouraged readers to reflect on where they stand within each dimension of wellness, perhaps by using the self-assessment questions suggested by the University of Lincoln-Nebraska.

wellness wheel

When I reflect on my own wellness at this point in my life, eating healthfully is a high point. However, within the physical dimension of wellness, I actually fall short in other regards. My activity levels now are much lower than they were prior to and even during my pregnancy. Additionally, I am not sleeping well; not because I lack opportunities to sleep, but because I struggle to quiet my mind enough to achieve a true state of rest. These struggles both contribute to and stem from a lack of emotional wellbeing. I recognize that at this point in my life, I have yet to establish effective ways to cope with stress, and that needs to be my priority right now. I used to exercise daily as a means to cope with stress and decompress after my work day. Now, there are new demands on my time that make this difficult to do. Consequently, I have trouble quieting my mind at the end of the day. This can easily turn into a vicious cycle, as sleep deprivation can contribute to further stress as well as reduced wellbeing in the social, intellectual, creative and career dimensions.

If you haven’t done so recently, take a few moments this week to evaluate where you stand within each dimension of wellness. What are your strengths, and where do you have room to improve? Perhaps a clear priority will emerge, as was the case for me. You can use your priority area to find small and simple things you might do to become more well in that area.

Wherever you stand, remember that we all have strengths and weakness. Be kind to yourself and others, and don’t be too quick to judge a book by its cover.

 

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

 

Sources:

Bohlen, A. (2019). What Does Wellness Mean to You?  Live Healthy, Live Well. https://livehealthyosu.com/2019/04/04/what-does-wellness-me-to-you/

Harmon, M. (2017). How Well are You? Live Healthy, Live Well. https://livehealthyosu.com/2017/08/18/how-well-are-you/

The Ohio State University, Student Wellness Center (2019). Nine Dimensions of Wellness. https://swc.osu.edu/about-us/nine-dimensions-of-wellness/

University of Lincoln Nebraska, Student Affairs (2019). 9 Dimensions of Wellbeing. https://resilience.unl.edu/9-dimensions-well-being

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Hearts Dancing

I like to dance.  I am not even talking about any particular style of dance – just moving around to the music.  I know I am not very good at it, and almost always I think I look out of sorts when I see myself in the living room mirror dancing.  But I don’t care because dancing feels wonderful to me!

One of the huge benefits of dancing is improved condition of your heart and lungs.  According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to maintain good health we should aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five days a week or 150 minutes a week.  Breaking up the 30 minutes into three 10 minute segments helps to get in the 30 minutes each day.  Dancing at home, alone or with others, for one of the three segments will help you easily obtain this daily goal.

We know exercise should be a part of our daily routine so why not choose an activity that we enjoy.  The great thing about dancing on your own, no specific style – no one around, is that no matter your age, size, or physically active level, you move at your own pace and in your own way.  There is no right or wrong way to dance – just move to your favorite music.

February is American Heart Month.  Heart disease, a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart, is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Reduce your risk of heart disease and dance – dance to your heart’s content!

Writer: Candace J. Heer, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Morrow County, Heart of Ohio EERA, heer.7@osu.edu

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu

Resources:

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Dance_health_benefits?open

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/hearttruth/downloads/html/hhh/learn-new-moves.htm

http://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-disease-and-stroke-continue-to-threaten-u-s-health

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916

Photo Credits:

http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mgyrhUE/dancing+hearts+1

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