Physical wellness encompasses practices and behaviors that allow the body to function in the best possible condition. A state of physical wellness is a lifestyle and all of the elements of physical wellness must be cared for together.
Some of the components of physical wellness are:
- Physical activity: The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines any movement that requires energy expenditure as physical activity. Activities such as parking farther away to walk longer inside or walking to the mailbox would be considered physical activity. For individuals who have primarily sedentary roles, it is essential to ensure some physical activity throughout the day to promote positive physical wellness.
- Regular exercise: Exercise is different from physical activity, in that it is repetitive and intentional. According to the ACSM Exercise Guidelines, adults should aim to get about 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week.
- Nutrition: Unhealthy eating habits are overwhelming linked to a plethora of physical chronic diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. A person who is at a healthy weight can still have unhealthy eating habits that lead to illness or even death.
- Hydration: Each person’s hydration needs are different and numerous studies have proposed the “ideal” amount of water to consume. According to Mayo Clinic, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine proposed that approximately 12-15 cups of water a day would ensure that most adults are adequately hydrated. However, hydration needs vary on several factors, including weather, exercise, and body type.
- Sleep: Sleep is essential to good physical health and a person’s ability to function. During sleep, the brain consolidates the day’s information and energy is restored to the body. Growth hormones are also released during sleep. It is recommended that college students receive about seven to nine hours of sleep each night.