What is Wellness?
Definition of Wellness
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and
making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.
"...a state of complete physical, mental, and social
well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." - The
World Health Organization
Dimensions of Wellness
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is more than being free from illness. Wellness is a dynamic process of
change and growth. There are many interrelated dimensions of wellness:
physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, environmental, and
occupational. Each dimension is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health. www.shcs.ucdavis.edu/topics/wellness
wellness is a dimension that involves being fully in touch with feelings and
emotions regarding yourself and others. Developing self-confidence, love, and
trust for others are key aspects that help to define emotional wellness. Having
and maintaining a strong, healthy emotional aspect of personal wellness can
help cope with the emotional challenges in life that often go hand-in-hand with
aspect of wellness refers to the development of the mind as an instrument for decision
making as well as learning and interpreting experiences. It involves critical
thinking, curiosity, and creativity. The ability to be open to new experiences
and ideas that contribute to growth are characteristics associated with a
healthy intellectual dimension.
wellness refers to the idea of being able to develop meaningful interpersonal
relationships. It also involves being able to maneuver through various social
situations while appreciating the similarities and differences between people.
wellness revolves around the development of your own personal belief system and
adherence to that belief system. Seeking purpose and meaning in life, whatever
your beliefs, while appreciating the various religious perspectives of other
people is a key aspect of spiritual wellness.
perhaps the most well-known category and it includes a personal attention to
and maintenance of overall health through nutrition, physical activity, sleep,
and positive healthy habits to maintain a healthy quality of life. Physical
wellness is the ability to take charge of your health by making conscious
decisions to be healthy.
important to lead a lifestyle that is respectful of our environment. This includes
respecting nature and those species living in it. Also, respect for others
living in our environment is just as necessary as respect for the physical
environment itself. While today’s climate is one of increased environmental
awareness, the average person may still be unconcerned or simply uninformed
about what he or she can do to help the environment. You don’t have to be a
member of an organization to help; an individual can help by simply leading an
environmentally conscious life
wellness is the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure time,
addressing workplace stress and building relationships with co-workers. It
focuses on our search for a calling and involves exploring various career
options and finding where you fit.
enter college, their diets often deteriorate. There are many factors
responsible for these changes--stress, sedentary lifestyle, changes in schedule
due to study patterns, and changes in eating patterns in general. However,
making smart nutritional choices can be very important for optimal well-being
and academic performance. There are several actions that can be taken to ensure
you are fulfilling all of your nutritional needs. Eating well requires some
planning. Here are some basic tips:
- Eat enough
calories for the day. Calories are the amount of energy or fuel you get
from each food you eat. There are general guidelines for how many calories
you need to eat each day in order to maintain your current weight. Eat
more calories than you need and you will gain weight. Eat fewer calories
than you need and you will lose weight.
- Eat a
variety of types of food. Even the types and colors of different fruits
and vegetables will help you maximize your nutrition daily overall.
- Eat enough
of the macronutrients that form the basis of your food. These are usually
known as Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat. While you can find many opinions
about how much of each category you need, the best general guidance is to
eat about 15-20% (or more) of your calories from Protein, 15-(no more
than) 30% of your calories from Fat, and 55-60% of your calories from Carbohydrates.
Less fat is better for your health; some fat is essential for your health.
Complex carbohydrates are good for you and should make up the majority of
things you eat each day.
carbohydrates, like candy, sugar, and corn syrup are non-nutritious. They
are considered empty calories or junk food because while they are fuel and
have calories, the calories are non-nutritious.
- If you are
eating enough variety of color and type of food and enough calories for
your body and enough macronutrients then you will usually get enough
micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
- Food is
also categorized by types of things that you eat, for instance meat,
dairy, grains, legumes, etc.
organic when you can so that you consume fewer chemicals and things used
to process and store food that is non-organic.
locally and seasonally for fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Choose a
lean cut of meat for protein.
- Use less
- Cook or
choose grilled or broiled meat or fish.
fried foods or cut down on how often you eat them.
- Try to
choose foods that have fewer ingredients if it comes packaged. For
instance, avoid long lists of ingredients that include things like
additives, preservatives, coloring, or things you don’t even know about.
- Eat no
less than twice a day. Eating more often is fine.
- Eat fruit.
Fruit is not only a healthy choice, but it makes for a convenient snack.
It's always offered in Leo’s and Vital Vittles and requires virtually no
advantage of dining hall options. Leo’s offers a variety of healthy
options, including the salad/wrap bar, stir fry bar, and vegan and
vegetarian options. Additionally, they provide calorie counts and other
nutritional information to help you make smart choices. Aim for a
colorful, balanced plate of nutrient-rich foods.
Hydration and Dehydration
It is generally
recommended that you drink at least eight servings (8 ounces each) of water
every day. This is in addition to any other beverages, like soda, sugary fruit
juices, or coffee that you may drink. In fact, if you regularly consume
caffeinated beverages (caffeine is found in regular coffee, many kinds of tea,
and several sodas), you should drink more than eight glasses of water a day.
This may seem excessive, but remember that your body can begin to suffer from
dehydration before you even feel thirsty.
You should also surpass the eight-serving requirement if your body is losing
water more rapidly than normal. This can occur when you exercise, perspire in
excessive heat, are vomiting, or have diarrhea.
The most common symptoms of dehydration are thirst, fatigue, and an especially
dark or bright yellow tinge to urine. Severe dehydration is potentially fatal,
as it can lead your body to go into shock and shut down vital organs.
of dehydration include:
- dark urine
- dry mouth
remember when you exercise:
Before, During, and After Workouts and Competition
is a common problem resulting when an athlete fails to drink enough fluid
to replace sweat lost through exercise.
- By the
time you are thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
fluid intake decreases fatigue and chance of injury.
- Drink at
least 8 oz. of fluid before sleeping in the evening and before exercise.
- Drink 8
oz. of fluid first thing in the morning.
- 2 hours
before exercise drink at least 16 oz.
- 1 hour
before exercise drink at least 8 oz.
long endurance exercise, e.g. marathon running, drink at least 4 to 8 oz.
every 15-20 minutes.
exercise drink at least 16 oz.
drink a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink as soon as possible after training
hydrating during training before trying anything new in competition. If you are
unaccustomed to consuming large amounts of fluids during exercise you may
experience gastrointestinal distress.
101 Health and Wellness Tips for College Students
proper portion size. To avoid eating
too much of even the healthiest foods, keep track of how much you're eating.
For most people, meat servings should be about the size of a deck of cards and
other servings vary by the type of food.
2. Vary your
meals. When the cafeteria has your favorite foods daily it can
be easy to return to those old favorites every day. Changing up your diet from
day to day is an important part of good nutrition so take advantage of the
variety of selections available to you.
breakfast. Start your day off right with a good meal when you get
up. Whether you're rolling out of bed at noon or up at the crack of dawn for
class, make sure you start your day with a balanced, healthy meal.
healthy snacks around. It's easy to eat
healthy if you keep the Cheetos at bay and stock your dorm room with fruits and
other healthy snacks. You'll be more likely to reach for these than junk food
if you keep them nearby or in your backpack.
moderately. While college students are known for their partying, you
can still have a good time without consuming all the calories that come along
with binging on beer, plus you'll avoid the hangovers and other negative
effects. Drink in moderation and you can have a good time without hurting your
fight stress by eating. It can be tempting
to reach for a bag of chips or some cookies when you're stressed out about an
impending exam. Eating won't help your stress go away, so avoid filling up on
snacks. Try working out or taking a break instead.
water. Drinking enough water can help boost your concentration
as well as keep you from overeating. Make sure to keep hydrated as you go
through your day by bringing water with you.
sugary and caffeinated beverages. Beverages may not
fill you up, but they sure can help fatten you up and have a detrimental effect
on your overall health. You don't have to completely give up soda and coffee,
but you should scale back in order to keep yourself in tip top shape.
9. Try to eat
fruits and veggies. Even if fruits and
vegetables don't comprise some of your favorite foods, try to incorporate at
least a few of them into your diet each day.
10. Limit junk
food. Junk food is fast and easy and many students end up
eating a lot of it while they're on the run to class or to work. While a little
fast food now and again won't really hurt you, make sure it doesn't become a
11. Make it
convenient to eat right. Don't make it hard
for yourself to eat right. Buy healthy foods and stock your fridge and room
with them to ensure they're the first things at hand when you get hungry.
12. Don't skip
meals. With so much to do, it's easy to forgo eating to run off
to class or the library. Don't skip meals. Set up foods you can eat on the run
so you'll have the energy to keep going.
every once in awhile. A little treat now
and then is a great way to reward yourself for eating a healthy diet. Give
yourself a break and indulge in a food you love but can't eat all the time.
vitamins. If you feel like you aren't getting the nutrition you
need from your diet, don't hesitate to supplement it with some multi-vitamins
to stay healthy and illness free.
15. Get help
for eating disorders. While many groups
focus on helping students lose weight, there are those who need help fighting
eating disorders as well. If you are worried you have an eating disorder and
want help, don't be afraid to reach out to campus resources for help
active on a regular basis can present unique challenges for busy college
students. When faced with a hectic schedule, students may overlook or forgo
exercise, even though it is a crucial component to optimal wellness. Did you
know that attention span and productivity have been shown to improve with just
ten minutes of physical activity? Exercise doesn’t have to mean running ten
miles on a treadmill; rather, it’s about finding activities you enjoy and
making them a regular part of your lifestyle.
strengthen your muscles (e.g., weight lifting, horseback riding) while others
improve your flexibility (e.g., yoga). "Aerobic" exercise improves
your body's endurance by helping your heart, blood vessels and lungs work more
effectively. Exercises that are aerobic are those in which your muscles use
oxygen to function - these exercises are also the ones that make you breathe
faster, sweat, and feel your heart pound. knowing what you want out of exercise
may get you motivated to begin. Some benefits of exercising include:
1. More energy
2. Improved self-image
3. Weight control without dieting
4. Control over appetite
5. Higher endurance or stamina - not being winded easily
6. Better conditioned heart and lungs
7. Less tension
8. Greater management of stress
9. Better ability to fall asleep and stay asleep
10. Less chance of injury
11. Toned muscles
12. Healthier cholesterol level
13. Quicker healing
Meditation and Relaxation
5 Benefits of
Meditation for College Students
Many people who go off to
college quickly find that they can become overwhelmed by all that they have to
do. Attending classes, studying, preparing for exams and that’s not even
considering things like work or a social life. It can be difficult to find an
effective balance in your life that will allow you to be successful at all you
do. More and more students are learning of the many benefits of taking some
time for meditation while in college. The following are just a few of the most
significant benefits many people enjoy:
Improved Concentration –
Meditation helps clear your mind of distractions and this can transition into
your other daily activities. Spending some time in meditation in the morning
can help you stay on task throughout the day. You’ll love being able to focus
on the task at hand until it is completed as this will often save you a lot of
time and energy compared with unfocused efforts.
Better Grades – Many
people have found that their grades improve when they begin daily meditation.
The overall improvements to one’s life that meditation can bring often
translates into better grades.
Reduced Stress & Anxiety – One
of the most significant benefits of daily meditation is the reduction of stress
and anxiety in all areas of life. Practicing meditation can not only help calm
you during meditation but also help you learn to deal with difficult situations
throughout your day. This is important for all students, especially during
those difficult times where you have exams coming up or other major projects
Better Sleep –
Whether you’re in college or not, meditation can help you get more relaxing
sleep. More fulfilling sleep is essential for success in school so this is a
big benefit for many people. Having a more effective sleep cycle will also
allow you to have more energy for the hours where you are awake. This can help
with those early morning classes or a late night party you want to attend.
Sharper Brain –
Meditation has been shown to help people have a sharper mind in a wide range of
different areas. This means you’ll be able to absorb information more quickly,
come up with the answers to questions faster and a number of other benefits as
well. It is clear that this is a very important benefit to college students who
are constantly loading their brain with new information.
As you can see, there are
many significant benefits to meditation for college students. Most students who
meditate were hesitant at first because they thought it was just another
activity which they had to spend time on, but the fact is it can actually help
them spend their time more efficiently. Meditation is not a difficult process
and once you learn some of the important tips and tricks you’ll be able to
quickly get into a meditative state and realize all the great benefits of this
MIT - community wellness downloads - a variety of