It is the state of being physically healthy and free from disease.
It is not just about how much exercise you get or the food you eat, but encompasses almost everything that impacts how our bodies feel and function – Good sleep, nutrition, regular exercise, avoiding substances and stimulants, mindfulness, and much more.
Improving and maintaining your physical wellbeing has many benefits including reducing stress levels and the risk of chronic disease, stronger bones and muscles, increased energy levels, improved sleep and mental health, and longer life expectancy.
However, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
- Only 65% of Australian adults meet the physical activity guidelines
- Almost half of Australian adults report experience problems that impact their sleep quality or duration
- Two thirds of Australians over the age of 18 are overweight or obese
With so many factors contributing to your overall physical wellbeing, it can be over whelming to know where to start.
Here are five small changes you can make today to improve your physical wellbeing.
1. Work up a sweat
It is recommended that adults do up to 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise or 2.5hours of vigorous intensity exercise a week (or a combination of the two).
Try to factor in 30 minutes of exercise per day – brisk walking, jogging, Pilates, yoga, dance class, a round of golf, swimming, cycling or weightlifting.
Keep it interesting and do something different each day so you don’t get bored!
2. Fuel your body
What we eat has a huge impact on our energy levels, productivity, and mood.
A balanced diet is key to fuelling your body to get the most out of it.
Use the rule of ‘everything in moderation’ – eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, protein, healthy fats and wholegrains.
Avoid excessive consumption of food or drink that is high in saturated fats, salt and sugar but don’t feel guilty when you do eat these – it’s all about balance.
3. Get some rest
A good night’s sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing. Most adults need 7-8 hours sleep each night and children need even more.
Create a night-time routine to help your body wind down – avoid sugary or caffeinated food and drinks, have a warm shower, stop your screen time an hour before you want to go to sleep, practice meditation or mindfulness.
This will signal to your body that you’re getting ready for sleep and will help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality.
4. Have some ‘me’ time
Mental and physical wellbeing are intrinsically linked and impact each other.
It’s just as important to exercise your body as it is to look after your mind.
Take time out for yourself regularly to look after your mental wellbeing.
Self-care looks different for everyone and should change depending on what you need – some days it might be getting a massage, facial or taking a relaxing bath, it might be reading a good book or watching a movie, it could be going for a long walk or getting some exercise, it might be catching up with friends or family for more social connection.
Whatever your self-care needs are, make sure you are making time for yourself to take care of your mental wellbeing.
5. Avoid substances and stimulants
Smoking, alcohol consumption, drugs, and excessive consumption of caffeine and sugar can all have a detrimental impact on physical health and wellbeing by increasing your risk of chronic disease and other health problems.
There are many online and in-person resources available if you need help reducing or eliminating substances and stimulants.
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