The Physical Dimension of Health is all about our physical bodies. This is the only body we get, so we need to take the best care of it possible! The way we treat our body is reflected in our appearance and physical health. The three pillars that I believe physical health is built on are: sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
Sleep is something that is very underestimated in the US. It is recommended that adults receive at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and this may not be enough for all individuals. Sleep aids in memory retention, learning, digestion, weight management, stress management, and so much more. Our bodies are designed to need rest and recovery. If you aren’t getting enough, make it a priority to greatly improve your life!
Exercise not just a tool to lose weight or make your body look better. It is proven to improve a person’s mental health by releasing serotonin, a “happy” chemical, into our brains that lifts our moods. It is even recommended by doctors as one of the first solutions to fight depression. In addition to this, it helps fend off or improve the symptoms of almost every kind of disease out there. It also gives us more confidence, helps with brain function, and increases our lifespan. Making it part of your daily routine shouldn’t feel like work.
When making exercise goals, make sure the exercise you are choosing: 1) is enjoyable, 2) is aligned with your goals, and 3) takes into consideration their body’s capabilities and limitations
The food that we eat is vital to help prevent disease, produce energy, and manage our weight. Food is what fuels our bodies and helps them function. The typical American diet is very carb-heavy and fails to meet our nutritional needs. Eating a variety of foods from a variety of food groups is the only way to ensure that our body is getting the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function properly.
When forming goals or looking at new diets, make sure the diet: 1) is filled with foods you enjoy, 2) will help you reach your nutrition goals, and 3) meets your specific dietary needs
Examples of goals I’ve set in this dimension:
- Lose 30 pounds in a year
- I blew this goal out of the water, but I did it by breaking it down into smaller goals. See my Goal Setting page for more info. (I’ll dedicate a post specifically to weight loss soon.)
- Participate in the Whole30 for 30 days
- I ended up doing it for 90. I loved it! It definitely worked for me, and I still use a modified version of this today. I’ll have a nutrition challenge soon and discuss this more in depth!