The hospital where I work provides free wellness check-ups every so often. It includes vital signs, height and weight, blood tests for cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and a questionnaire that is analyzed and results/commentary mailed to you. My results? Overall wellness score: 79/100, which is in between “doing well” and “excellent.” I am 27, but my “health age” is 22.2.
I want to be the healthiest person I can be. Why? First of all, I believe that God created my body, so I want to treat it with the respect that it deserves. Secondly, I want to live a long time for my family and friends, and to make a difference on the earth. Finally, I am convinced that health and wellness increase quality of life exponentially. My recent wellness profile was encouraging, but it also got me thinking about what I can do better.
But first, what I’m doing well:
- My vital signs and lab work are excellent.
- I don’t smoke and never have.
- I don’t drink any alcohol for personal reasons.
- I have an active lifestyle, and am constantly walking at my job.
- I maintain a healthy weight.
- I put sunscreen on my face every day and on the rest of my body if I know I’ll be outside a lot. I don’t tan or sunbathe.
- I moisturize my skin daily.
- I eat breakfast daily.
- I don’t snack.
- I don’t use excess salt.
- Most of the time, I do aerobic workouts 3 times a week.
- I get adequate sleep (usually 7 hours a night).
- I always wear my seat belt.
- I am generally happy, take time to relax, deal with stress well, and have good self-worth.
- I have an amazing social support system through my family and close friends.
- We have smoke detectors in our house.
- I always wear a helmet when I ride my bike.
- I try to use my legs for lifting and not my back.
- I do a monthly self-breast exam.
- I get a yearly pap smear.
- I see the dentist every 6 months.
- I have not used any sick days in the past year, and can only remember getting one mild cold.
- I am up to date on my vaccinations, including tetanus booster and flu shot.
Now, ways I can improve:
- Increase my fiber intake, and
- Increase my vegetable intake. I eat a couple fruits a day, but I hardly ever eat vegetables. I should also eat more whole grains.
- Take a multivitamin every day. I have some, but I am so bad about forgetting to take them.
- Do some strength training. Two workouts a week are recommended. I make the excuse that I’m not a member of a gym, but the truth is that you can do strength training without any weights. For example, push-ups and sit-ups achieve the desired goal.
- Stretch. I have a bad habit of NEVER stretching, even before and after a run. I have started to do a little yoga, but I need to do some straight stretching.
- Seriously stick to my 3-times-a-week aerobic workouts. For me this is mostly running right now, but could also include workout videos, biking, or swimming.
- Find a primary care physician and get a physical once a year. I also have a few moles that I would like looked at.
- Put my phone away when I drive. I don’t really text while driving anymore, but I still find myself looking things up.
- Transition to using all organic/natural products in my home and on my body.
What about you? What areas do you have mastered, and what areas do you need to improve in? Why is wellness important to you?