What does wellness mean to you?

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I love the term wellness, because it conjures up a holistic approach to health. Wellness isn't just about being healthy, physically fit, mentally sound - it's all of those things. This is something I've always believed in and it's why I have trained in physical fitness/personal training, karate, and massage therapy. To be well, you can't focus only on exercise, for example, without also eating well and keeping your stress in check.

I started thinking about this after reading another great magazine article recently, this time in Real Simple. It was about wellness, and focused on what we mean when we use the term. The article quotes many different kinds of specialists, from nutritionists to neurologists, about what wellness means to them and the one thing they would recommend to someone looking to be well. These were my favourite tips for increasing your wellness:

  1. Drink a glass of water in the morning to replenish what's been used up overnight and start your day off right. (Sports performance coach)
  2. Get your blood tested for levels of vitamins D & B12, iron and folate - and if low, increase them through food or supplements. (Endocrinologist)
  3. Eating right - a diet high in good fats and low in processed foods supports the beneficial bacterial in our bodies (Microbial ecologist) and aiming for 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, which keep our immune system in check (Dietary fat scientist). Also if you want to change what you eat, set goals of what to eat more of and less of (Registered dietician).
  4. Exercise five days a week for 30 mins - being physically fit helps you recover better when you get sick. (Cardiologist)
  5. Breathe with your diaphragm - not just in yoga/mediation but whenever you think about it during the day. This maximises your oxygen intake so you can think, feel & sleep better. (Breathing coach)