Defining and Integrating Wellness
Wellness can be defined as any behavior, large or small, that contributes to health and vitality. Exercise and healthy eating are wellness, but so is taking a walk with someone, doing an exercise that challenges balance or performing familiar actions in different ways. Additionally, these behaviors might be done for a few moments or a few minutes; in other words, you don’t have to do something for a long period of time for it to be considered wellness.
Here are some practical ways to integrate wellness into your everyday activities. These are not methods you need to use every single day. Rather, they represent a shift in the way you interact with the world as you move through it. These are just a sampling of ideas that you can adapt to your specific spaces and places. Some will work for you, while others won’t. The point is to figure out what works best for you.
- Stand while putting on socks/shoes. Rather than sitting down, stand on one leg while taking off or putting on your shoes or socks. Stand close to a wall or other solid object to lean on or catch your balance, if necessary. Wellness benefit: Making this small change offers a quick dose of balance, mobility and coordination training.
- Put on pants/jackets with non-dominant leg/arm first. Without realizing it, we get into patterns of doing everyday actions the exact same way. Wellness benefit: Consciously doing activities differently creates a slight cognitive and coordination challenge that is beneficial to both your body and your brain.
- Vary your gait when walking up or down stairs. Try walking stairs with a slightly wider gait than normal, take two stairs at one, go up the stairs sideways, or go slightly faster or slower than your normal pace. Wellness benefit: Changing up your movement can help improve balance, coordination, strength and confidence when walking on stairs.