Physical wellness is such a large topic that it can be hard to keep track of where you stand. After all, not all of us have advanced diagnostic equipment and the latest health textbooks at hand all the time.
Fortunately, you don’t need all of that to have a basic understanding of how you’re doing. Here are 5 signs of Good Physical Wellness that you can monitor from home.
1. How Do You Feel?
The first sign of physical wellness may seem obvious but it may be something that you take for granted. It’s how you feel?
The body isn’t a black box, it communicates with us when things are going poorly.
If you regularly have a stomach ache, headache, or general aches and pains, it could be time to talk to your healthcare provider.
It could be something minor like needing to drink more water but it
could also be something more drastic, like a food sensitivity or intolerance.
2. Can You Perform Basic Tasks?
Another sign of good physical wellness is the ability to perform basic tasks easily.
Many of us these days live fairly sedentary lives and while you don’t need to be an athlete to be healthy, too much sitting around is bad for you.
If you have a hard time climbing the stairs when the elevator is down, or sprinting to your car when it’s raining out, you might want to start incorporating more light exercise into your routine.
3. Do You Smoke?
A big sign of good physical wellness is whether you smoke. Smoking takes its toll on your respiratory system but it can also damage your heart.
Even if you smoke and don’t have other symptoms of poor health, it is likely to catch up with you one day.
If you smoke, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about resources to help you quit and to improve your physical wellness.
4. How Much Do You Drink?
A similar metric is how much alcohol you drink? Unlike smoking, it is possible to drink in moderation and some studies have even found that some degree of drinking is good for you.
For example, red wine contains healthy anti-oxidants (though you can also get those from other fruit juices) and beer contains healthy bacteria that can help your digestion (though you can also get those from pickled foods).
However, too much alcohol too often can damage just about every part of your body but particularly your brain and your liver, who affect your physical wellness.
Your liver is one of the organs responsible for filtering bad things out of your body, so if your liver is damaged it can be hard for your body to keep you healthy.
Healthy drinking is usually defined as one drink per day for women or up to two drinks per day for men.
- If you don’t drink that much, however, don’t feel like you have to catch up.
- And if you drink a little more than that, try to cut back.
- If you drink a lot more than that, you might want to talk to your healthcare provider.
5. What Shape Are You?
Another good indication of good physical wellness is what shape you are.
That’s not the same as the question of what shape you are in.
Some people naturally carry more weight than others and can be a little larger without it being a serious health risk.
The difference is in terms of weight distribution. Experts have separated this into whether you are “apple-shaped” or “pear-shaped.”
Apple-shaped people have more fat around their middle and less in other areas of their bodies.
This kind of fat, called “abdominal fat” is an indicator of poor health in part because it can keep your organs from working the way that they are supposed to.
Pear-shaped people, on the other hand, tend to carry more weight around their hips.
While this may not be the kind of look that you are going for and you can still try to lose this weight, people who carry weight around their hips instead of around the bellies are usually healthier and you might not need to be so worried.
6. Can You Cook?
It may seem like a strange sign of good physical wellness but it’s important.
Fast foods, a lot of the foods served in sit-down restaurants, and the prepared foods in the freezer section often have questionable ingredients like artificial sweeteners, refined grains, and high levels of fat and sodium.
While most of these things can still creep into home-cooked food, it’s still better for you to eat homecooked food than pre-packaged or prepared foods.
While it’s good to be able to keep track of your physical wellness from home, it’s important to keep a good relationship with your doctor.
Your doctor will have more powerful and accurate tools to address more specific aspects of your health, such as lung capacity, blood pressure, and other metrics that it is hard to check on from home.