Your Wellness Profile
Consider how your lifestyle, attitudes, and characteristics relate to each of the six dimensions of wellness. Fill in your strengths for each dimension (examples of strengths are listed with each dimension). Once you’ve completed your lists, choose what you believe are your five most important strengths and circle them.
Physical wellness: To maintain overall physical health and engage in appropriate physical activity (e.g., stamina, strength, flexibility, healthy body composition).
Interpersonal/social wellness: To develop and maintain meaningful relationships with a network of friends and family members, and to contribute to your community (e.g., friendly, good-natured, compassionate, supportive, good listener).
Intellectual wellness: To pursue and retain knowledge, think critically about issues, make sound decisions, identify problems, and find solutions (e.g., common sense, creativity, curiosity).
Environmental wellness: To protect yourself from environmental hazards and to minimize the negative impact of your behavior on the environment (e.g., carpooling, recycling).
Spiritual wellness: To develop a set of beliefs, principles, or values that gives meaning or purpose to your life; to develop faith in something beyond yourself (e.g., religious faith, service to others).
Emotional wellness: To have a positive self-concept, deal constructively with your feelings, and develop positive qualities (e. optimism, trust, self-confidence, determination).
Financial wellness: Your ability to live within your means and manage your money in a way that gives you peace of mind.
Your Wellness Profile Photo Gallery
Next, think about where you fall on the wellness continuum for each of the dimensions of wellness. Indicate your placement for each physical, emotional, intellectual, interpersonal/social, spiritual, environmental, and financial by placing Xs on the continuum below.
Based on both your current lifestyle and your goals for the future, what do you think your placement on the wellness continuum will be in 10 years? What new health behaviors will you have to adopt to achieve your goals? Which of your current behaviors will you need to change to maintain or improve your level of wellness in the future?
Does the description of wellness given in this chapter encompass everything you believe is part of wellness for you? Write your own definition of wellness, including any additional dimensions that are important to you. Then rate your level of wellness based on your own definition.
Using Your Results
How did you score? Are you satisfied with your current level of wellness overall and in each dimension? In which dimension(s) would you most like to increase your level of wellness?
What should you do next? As you consider possible target behaviors for a behavior change program, choose things that will maintain or increase your level of wellness in one of the dimensions you listed as an area of concern. Remember to consider health behaviors such as smoking or eating a high-fat diet that may threaten your level of wellness in the future. Below, list several possible target behaviors and the wellness dimensions that they influence.
Any list of the benefits of physical activity is impressive. Although people vary greatly in physical fitness and performance ability, the benefits of regular physical activity are available to everyone. Much of the increased health benefits from exercise occur when going from no activity (sedentary) to some moderate-intensity activity (Figure 2.1) . Further health benefits occur when exercising harder or longer. The relative risk of death from all causes and the risk of heart disease decrease by as much as 65% when comparing the least and most active men and women. In Figure 2.1, relative risk of death refers to the risk of death per year of sedentary people compared to people in various activity levels.
This chapter provides an overview of physical fitness. It explains how both lifestyle physical activity and more formal exercise programs contribute to wellness. It also describes the components of fitness, the basic principles of physical training, and the essential elements of a well-rounded exercise program. Chapters 3-6 provide an in-depth look at each of the elements of a fitness program; Chapter 7 puts these elements together in a complete, personalized program.