Physical wellness is an important factor in overall health. Three main areas contribute to physical wellness: Staying active, eating well, and taking care of oneself.
Physical activity is important in all stages of life. It helps combat health conditions and diseases, maintain weight, and improve mood just to name a few benefits of exercise. But as we get older, staying active becomes even more important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults especially can benefit from strengthening exercises that help to improve strength and stability and protect against falls.
“Staying active doesn’t require hours in the gym,” said Greta Huseman, Director of Wellness at Concordia Village, a Lutheran Senior Services Life Plan Community in Springfield, Illinois. “It’s about intention and choosing to move more.”
At Concordia Village, Huseman and her wellness team organize activities for all abilities and levels of fitness. She focuses on a mix of activities to help residents find one that resonates with them, whether it’s yoga, tai chi, water volleyball, walking, or even boxing.
“We want to provide the types of activities that are going to keep our residents coming back and maybe even challenge them a little,” said Huseman. “So anytime there’s something they want to try, we do what we can to make it happen.”
Physical activity is a key part of physical wellness, one of the dimensions of wellness. Wellness continues to be sought after. It’s defined as an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence. This is done by addressing wellness in all its forms. Other aspects of wellness include social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional.
While physical activity is important when it comes to wellness, there are other considerations in this area. Eating well and taking care of yourself are also vital to physical wellness.
Making healthy eating choices can be difficult. But by eating right most of the time – meaning more vegetables and lean protein and less fatty foods and sweets – you can treat yourself every now and then. It’s all about balance!
“Senior living communities provide dining choices with menus that are often marked show healthier selections and options that meet dietary needs such as gluten-free or heart healthy,” added Huseman. “In addition, at Concordia Village and other LSS communities, we have a wellness clinic on campus to give residents convenient access to healthcare professionals.”
It’s also important to get enough sleep to give yourself time to physically and mentally recharge. Staying on top of your doctor appointments and following instructions from health professionals are also important to taking the best care of yourself that you can.
By being intentional about these three areas: Activity, eating, and selfcare, you’ll be on your way to achieving physical wellness.
Greta Huseman is the Director of Community Wellness at Concordia Village, a Lutheran Senior Services Life Plan Community located in Springfield, Illinois. With more than 20 years of experience, Ms. Huseman instructs a variety of classes at Concordia Village including boxing, balance, circuit weight training, aquatic classes, and stretch for all levels. She is certified in Exercise for Parkinson’s Training, Drums Alive, and SCW Water Instruction. Ms. Huseman also holds certification from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. She has a bachelors degree in Exercise Science/Instruction from Western Illinois University.