Find Out What Wellness Really Means

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Good health is tangibly definable: When you eat well, work out often, and sleep accordingly, you’re much more likely to be healthy compared with someone who lacks those important lifestyle factors.

Wellness,” though, is a bit more murky– but that doesn’t make it any less of a goal in regards to achieving proper health. You should always be aiming to improve your well-being, feel good each day, lower pain, decrease symptoms, and reduce stress! Though the notion of wellness certainly sounds beautiful, it probably seems like little more than a dream without a definable path for achievement for lots of us.

That being said, there’s some great news: wellness is not a myth. You simply need the proper understanding of it with the right tools. Gary Kaplan, DO, wrote the novel Total Recovery and also spoke at Prevention magazine’s Prevention R3 Summit for wellness, and offers some reasons regarding why so many of us aren’t reaping the full benefits of good health in relation to improved personal wellness– including what we need to do to change that.

What Does ‘Wellness’ Mean?

Dr. Kaplan understands wellness: it’s something that deals with your personal life situation, your abilities, and your shortcomings. Optimal wellness, Dr. Kaplan believes, is all about engaging fully in what you do in life. You might even still have certain disabilities or pain symptoms, he admits, but as long as you’re at the top health level you can be at, that means the health you’re accomplishing for yourself gives tangible meaning to your life.

Why Do We So Often Lack It?

When we focus on our own personal limitations, it sets up a clearer picture regarding wellness. If running is a meaningful activity to you but you suffer from arthritis, Dr. Kaplan offers, you can still achieve the wellness necessary to keep running—but only when you invoke a plan addressing (rather than ignoring) your pain.

Ignoring the clear signals our bodies send us is the primary reason many of us fail to achieve our personal bests, Dr. Kaplan continues, even though our wellness definition should already involve our personal shortcomings. That pushes you to take tons of anti-inflammatory drugs so you can push through the pain and do what you want your body to be able to do on its own– rather than listening to your body and taking it easy, Dr. Kaplan goes on. Besides, you’re actually hurting your body in cases like that, as consistent use of anti-inflammatory medications leads to ulcers in people’s intestines!

“It’s about not pushing through,” Dr. Kaplan finishes, “but paying attention.”

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Michael Chrobak

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