According to the text, wellness is defined as an "integrated and dynamic level of functioning oriented toward maximizing potential, dependent on self-responsibility." It involves both preventive health behaviors and a shift in thinking and attitude. Wellness is a lifelong promise to oneself of growth and achievement in each of the seven dimensions: emotional, spiritual, physical, occupational, intellectual, environmental, and social. It means a lifetime of ongoing change and always striving toward higher levels healthy and successful living. This means, ultimately, that one must live a life that caters to each of those dimensions both individually and collectively. Not living a healthy lifestyle, can have damaging effects on both health and life, and not only yours but the people that are around you. An unhealthy lifestyle means more illness and more expenses to treat those illnesses. This means a bigger burden on an already challenged and over-budgeted healthcare system. Poor health also means more time lost at work, less quality recreational time, and shorter lifespans. Not to mention, the onset of major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes is said to account for nearly two of every three deaths in the U.S. Though there is a possibility of these diseases being prevented with a healthy lifestyle, there is no way to actually prevent the onset and progression of these conditions. Sadly, young children are being introduced to these unhealthy lifestyles and taking them right into adulthood; thus becoming walking billboards for the diseases. These diseases compromise health, shorten life expectancy, and cause enormous suffering, disability, and economic costs. While these diseases have an affect on each of the dimensions of wellness, physical wellness is the area that the diseases hit the hardest. According to the text "Physical Wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress." Research shows that there are four factors tied to reduced risks of these diseases: never smoking, having a body mass index (BMI) lower than 30, performing at least 3.5 hours per week of physical activity, and following a healthy diet.
1. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Approximately 30% of all deaths from cancer in the United States are attributable to active smoking.
2. Tobacco smoking is causally related to at...