Jan 09

The Concept of Wellness

More and more physicians are concentrating on the promotion of wellness as opposed to the treatment of disease. Wellness is more than just the absence of illness. Wellness is an active practice that involves intentionally making healthy choices. It means taking active measures to build and maintain good health.

There is no better way to start your own wellness program than to take a brisk walk. We have cited the arithmetic of calories, walking and weight control before. Of course the figures will vary with the pace and body weight of the person involved, but an average figure of 100 calories per mile is widely accepted. That means that you have to walk 35 miles to shed a pound. It does not sound too impressive, but doing that mile every day means walking off a little more than 10 pounds in a year.

Walking is a good way to start your own wellness program. Several studies have demonstrated the positive effect walking has on mood and outlook, even among people who dislike physical exercise. This mood elevating effect is particularly important in patients who are trying to lose weight, because it contributes to a “can-do” attitude. Walking will strengthen your heart and vascular system, help build stronger bones, reduce blood pressure, help to maintain balance, and it can improve your overall outlook and feeling of wellness.

Obese patients who have difficulty sticking to a walking program before or after weight loss surgery may find value in a supervised program in a bariatric clinic environment. The Advent Health Daytona Beach Health & Wellness Center may offer help. Taking part in an organized program in a bariatric clinic can improve the compliance rate and help achieve wellness goals.

Wellness programs can also involve practices like yoga and meditation. While these activities do not directly use excess calories, they help to concentrate the mind and focus effort on a difficult task. While the value of yoga for losing weight should not be overstated, it can still play an important part in a weight-loss program by emphasizing awareness of oneself and by reducing stress eating. Yoga can certainly aid you in your effort to lose weight and make it more likely that you will be able to maintain that weight loss. People who practice yoga and other forms of meditation seem to eat more mindfully – that is, they simply pay more attention to what they eat and the amount of food they consume.

Water aerobics is one more wellness activity that is easily available to people in our area. Water aerobics has several advantages. Water’s buoyant effect on the body means that far less stress is placed on knees, hips and the spine. Resistance exercises, in which muscles are worked against an opposing force, build strength and endurance. Water offers resistance to movement, not as great as that supplied by training weights, but still considerable. The balance support that water provides makes it possible for people who are at risk of falling to exercise in safety.

All of these activities can help put you on the road to wellness.  In fact, we have mentioned them in the past. If you are particularly interested in any one of these programs, click one of the links below:

There are abundant opportunities to engage in wellness activities here in the central and coastal areas of Florida. As mentioned above, the Advent Health Daytona Beach Health & Wellness Center brings the most advanced equipment and wellness services to our patients in the Daytona-Volusia area. You can view some of their services by clicking their link.

As always, if we can answer any questions you have, ranging from insurance coverage to appointments to technical information about general surgery, you can contact us at Contact Dr Birkedal or by phone at (386) 210-9794. Our office is now part of the Advent Health network.

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