The concept of wellness has evolved as a focus of good health. We hear the word a lot, but do we really know what it means? Not long ago, the everyday person may have associated wellness with fitness and being in good shape.
With the rise of holistic approaches to medicine incorporating more spiritual and meditative practices in the early 2000s, the meaning and understanding of wellness shifted from something purely physical to a broader cultural understanding.
You won’t find a provider today using the words wellness and fitness interchangeably. This is because fitness focuses on your physical health, while wellness is a broader term that encapsulates a balance between all types of health, including your physical health. We want to be fit, but more so, we want to be well rounded in our overall approach to health and that’s where wellness enters the discussion.
Today, wellness is considered multi-dimensional. Physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social, and environmental wellness are all main focuses of the term. But even things like proper nutrition and getting enough sleep can contribute to reducing your stress levels and achieving optimal wellness.
Vice President of Fitness at VIDA Fitness, Lisa Lipscomb, has a fantastic success story about her wellness journey. After breaking her back, being diagnosed with Lupus SLE and Connective Tissue Disorder, and experiencing excruciating pain 100% of the time, Lisa had a very low quality of life a couple of years ago.
In efforts to prevent getting back surgery, Lisa began doing physical therapy five times a week. The focus of physical therapy did not relieve any of Lisa’s chronic pain, her strength was waning, and she started to lose a lot of weight.
As this effort wasn’t helping reduce Lisa’s pain, she shifted her attention beyond the immediate lens of physical therapy to taking an overall wellness approach. Lisa began working with a Registered Dietitian to make sure her nutrition was geared towards a minimal inflammation diet. Instead of physical therapy, she began taking virtual Pilates during the pandemic just to move.
After doing this religiously, Lisa started to feel better within just a few months. Her inflammation diminished, and within a year, she was able to:
- Quit taking pain medications
- Be more present and social within her community
- Get back to her daily activities
- Avoid surgery and regain her strength
Today, Lisa continues to be dedicated to the different dimensions of wellness. When she misses Pilates or shifts her diet, her body keeps the score, and her pain levels increase.
For these reasons, Lisa is completely dedicated to achieving optimal wellness in her daily life. She called the experience life-changing and stated that her overall quality of life is 100x better.
Lisa is just one of many examples of how people can work the multi-dimensions of wellness into their lives to achieve optimal health benefits. We’re going to break down and explore the different dimensions of wellness in a series of blog articles that aim to help you achieve this same level of success. Stay tuned!