Healthy Focus December 2022

A Fresh Start: Creating a Wellness Plan That Works for You

If you’re looking to make some changes in your life, a wellness plan may be just what the doctor ordered. A wellness plan helps you live a healthy life and increase your personal sense of well-being. By assessing your current health status, deciding what you’d like to change and establishing specific goals to work towards, you increase the likelihood your vision becomes a reality.

Many people make nutrition and physical fitness the cornerstone of their personal wellness plan. After all, if you’re not physically healthy, it’s challenging to improve other areas of your life. However, your wellness plan may also include goals to increase your social network, find a spiritual home, expand your intellectual pursuits, or secure your financial future. When you identify what’s important to you and then write it down, you are making a commitment to yourself.

Eight Dimensions of Wellness

Here are eight dimensions of personal wellness. They are not all equally important, and everyone will prioritize them differently. Take a few minutes to reflect and use the space to jot a few notes about your strengths and weaknesses in each area. What would you like to change? Are there other areas of wellness that are important to you? Jot down some specific goals that will go into YOUR personal wellness plan.

  1. Social wellness
  2. Emotional wellness
  3. Intellectual wellness
  4. Spiritual wellness
  5. Financial Wellness
  6. Physical wellness
  7. Vocational wellness
  8. Other areas of wellness important to you:___________________

What are YOUR long-term wellness goals?

Examples: Lose 25 pounds, run a marathon, quit smoking, prepare to get pregnant

Pick one long-term goal and set a few short-term goals to help you reach it.

Example: Lose 3-4 pounds a month until you reach 25 pounds

Pick one short-term goal and set a SMART goal.

Example: Pack a healthy lunch 3X/week for the next three months

Wellness Plan Components

  • Long-term goals (6 months or longer)
  • Short-term goals (3-6 months)
  • SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely

Your plan may include goals for physical fitness, weight loss, stress management, making stronger social connections, at­tending to your spiritual growth, being more financially secure, etc. Remember, everyone’s plan is different!

Four Stages of Changing a Health Behavior

  1. Contemplation
    I’m thinking about it; make a list of pros and cons.
  2. Preparation
    I’ve made up my mind; identify potential roadblocks and brainstorm solutions.
  3. Action
    I’ve started to make changes; track your behaviors, overcome roadblocks, reward yourself.
  4. Maintenance
    I have a new routine.

Let’s Get Started!

Now that you know the essential elements for creating a personalized wellness plan, the next step is to make an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss how to reach your goals. Don’t have a primary care provider? Find a list here, or contact Eagle Creek Clinic at 731-407-7013, Paris Pediatrics at 731-644-2747, or Transitions Health at 731-641-2707.

 

Fit: What Does it Mean for You?

We are constantly bombarded by advertisements and social media to persuade us to buy products, eat certain foods, and do specific exercises to stay fit. But is being fit the same for everyone? What does being fit actually mean for you, and how can you create a fitness plan that you can commit to long-term?

We are often told that staying fit is one of the most important things you can do for your health, and experts say that no matter your age, stage of life, or physical abilities, everyone can benefit from being fit. However, everyone’s fitness level and goals are different.

For some top athletes, being fit may mean successfully competing in a triathlon. For others, personal fitness can be achieved by taking a brisk walk with your dog

for several minutes throughout the day, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough rest.

No matter your current fitness level, being healthy should mean keeping up with your health screenings and check-ups. One way to track your fitness is to know

your important health numbers like blood pressure, glucose levels, and suggested weight so that you can stay in the healthy range of these numbers.

That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider to see how improving your fitness can benefit your overall health, and together discuss a plan for how you can reach your goals. Deciding what you think being fit and healthy means for you will help you stay motivated and on track to reach your goals.

Once this has been determined, it’s time to take action. Small changes are better than no changes, since you will be more likely to continue your fitness goals over the long term if you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Top Ten Benefits of Exercise

  1. Makes You Feel Better, Mentally and Physically
  2. Helps You Think More Clearly
  3. Can Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
  4. Reduces the Risk of Chronic Diseases
  5. Better Heart Health
  6. More Flexibility
  7. Less Risk of Falling as You Age
  8. Stronger Bones
  9. Maintain Healthy Body Weight
  10. Live Longer

Here are some tips to getting fit:

  • Find a fitness buddy to help keep you both on track
  • Prepare most of your meals at home to control ingredients and portion sizes
  • Make an effort to get more rest to keep your body and mind healthy
  • Try to maintain a positive mindset to make your new fitness goals fun and something to look forward to each day

If you are just beginning a fitness plan, stay motivated by thinking how good you will feel once you start to feel healthier and see results. Being fit should be fun!

Exercise Your Fitness Options

  • Move more and sit less
  • Some physical activity is better than none
  • Try to spread activity throughout the week
  • Create achievable goals
  • Mix up your routine
  • Exercise with friends
  • Find enjoyable ways to stay fit

Commit to Fit
Realize that fitness is defined differently by everyone, but you can receive immediate physical and mental benefits by committing to a fitness plan that works for you. Talk to your healthcare provider about what you can do to improve your fitness based on your individual health goals. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, HCMC is here to help you find one! Review a list of providers here, or contact Eagle Creek Clinic at 731-407-7013, Paris Pediatrics at 731-644-2747, or Transitions Health at 731-641-2707.