Why Staying Physically Fit Isn’t Enough

While staying physically fit is important, it is only one piece of the aging puzzle. (photo credit: Unsplash.com)

We’ve all heard about the benefits of staying physically active as we age, but is it enough to ensure we stay healthy into our later years?

Keeping a daily exercise regime can help to prevent falls, lower our risk of heart disease, dementia, diabetes, depression, and a load of other health related issues that present themselves as we get older. There is no doubt that continuing to exercise as we age is a key part to maintaining our wellness. However, if that is all you’re focused on then you may be setting yourself for disappointment down the road.

“To be a fully engaged Active Ager we must work on all seven areas of our wellness.” — Sandy Cooper

Humans are complex beings and as we age there are a host of changes that occur. Not only do our bodies start to respond differently to our environments but our social life changes, work life becomes retirement, our priorities get refocused, and we begin to see ourselves differently. In order to prepare for these changes and ensure we continue to be active and engaged citizens within our community, we must work on all seven areas of wellness.

Physical Wellness — Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and rejuvenating the body with rest and sleep.

Intellectual Wellness — A commitment to life long learning, nurturing our intellectual health through creative and stimulating mental activities.

Social Wellness — Showing respect to others and finding ways to contribute to your community to bring a sense of belonging.

Emotional Wellness — Willingness to be aware and accept a wide range of feelings in yourself and others.

Spiritual Wellness — A sense of meaning and purpose, seeking harmony between your internal self and the external environment.

Vocational Wellness — Involves the suitability of our work to our interests, skills, values, and the fulfillment we gain from our professions. This include both paid and non-paid ventures.

Environmental Wellness — An awareness of the earth and the effects our daily activities have on it.

The concept of wellness no longer follows a mindset based in the management of disease but rather one of prevention and proactive strategies. By embodying this philosophy you can better prepare yourself to live a full and healthy life in all seven areas of wellness.