What makes you feel “well”? Is it an intangible feeling or a measurable habit? For some people, it’s hitting a PR in a workout, adhering to a food plan that helps them feel their best, or getting eight hours of sleep at night. For other people, wellness means keeping a chronic condition under control. Still others may think of weight loss or fitting into certain clothes when they hear wellness.
At Kroger Health, we believe wellness is different for each person but that it is multifaceted. Wellness isn’t just “one thing” like taking medication as prescribed or eating foods that have a certain nutrition score. As you start your new year, pursuing what wellness means for you, here are some ideas to help you make simple changes that improve your wellness from several different angles:
Food is an essential part of daily life. Food permeates through our lives and relationships: family meals, holiday gatherings, lunch meetings, and on-the-go snacks. However, food can be medicine – helping you prevent chronic disease before it starts, reversing chronic disease that’s already started, or supporting your efforts to feel your best every day. Yes, food can be medicine…but it can be hard to know where to begin. One simple way to help you achieve your nutrition-related goals in 2020 is to download the free OptUP app! You can select dietary tags that are meaningful for you, from Keto-Friendly, to Diabetes-Friendly, to Paleo, to Heart-Friendly. Then, the app will help you select Better For You options for the items you already buy.
Movement is another angle to master wellness. National guidelines recommend adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. That may sound daunting but incorporating 30 minutes of movement 5 days a week may be an easier way to look at it. Exercise contributes to wellness in many ways: boosted mood, weight loss, and sleep improvement are some of the most noticeable benefits. Choose a group class, a solo walk, a daily swim, or even active play with your kids to start to realize these benefits!
Improve overall wellness by implementing a mindfulness practice. In this busy world, finding peace and being present takes effort but can center your thoughts as you chase wellness. Consider starting a meditation practice – there are tons of apps you can download that will guide you through meditations. Some research suggests meditation may help with chronic disease or insomnia. Or, decide to put away electronic devices during meals and before bed to bring your awareness to yourself, your loved ones, and what’s happening right in front of you.
Lastly, I’m a pharmacist, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the way medicine contributes to wellness and a tip to get the most out of your medicine. Stay adherent to your medications. C. Everett Koop, a former U.S. Surgeon General, said, “Drugs don't work in patients who don't take them”. Make a resolution to consistently take your medication as prescribed. Perhaps set a daily alarm, enroll in Sync Up, or create accountability with someone important in your life to support you. Your pharmacist can help recommend solutions that will help you stick to your medication!
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.