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Working Towards Wellness

“Wellness” has become a buzzword of late, but do you know what it really means? According to the The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), wellness as “an active process that promotes health and enhances quality of life.” But what does that mean for you?

One step towards wellness may be adjusting your attitude. Changing how you deal with life’s ups and downs can have a huge impact on your health. Dr. Scott Bautch, a chiropractor from Wasau, Wisconsin, says “research is showing that coping skills and the way that people deal with stress can be huge factors in whether or not someone is well.”

If you’re typically a negative person, look for things that boost your mood: that might include a walk outdoors in nature, looking for humor in things that go wrong, or listening to music to relax you and relieve stress. You should also work on building a support system you can turn to in times of trouble or stress, as a recent study found that only 26% of people with emotional support said their overall stress had gone up in the past year, compared to 43% of those who said they had no support.

The next step is start moving. Americans today typically work at sedentary office jobs and don’t get the 150 minutes of exercise recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) each week. “Adding more motion to your life can be a huge step toward living well,” Bautch says. If you can, take a 30-minute walk each day. If that’s not possible because of your work hours or other commitments, try to fit more activity into your day - get up from your desk and stretch and walk around every hour or so, and try a pedometer to see how much activity you’re getting. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and fit in some quick exercise in the ads breaks of your favorite TV show.

The final step is to address your diet. Making just a few key changes, including drinking enough water, consuming enough fiber and eating more raw or organically grown foods can have a huge impact on your overall wellness. If you want to go further, consider a diet that’s anti-inflammatory in nature, like the popular Mediterranean and paleo diets. These diets focus on quality food, lots of fresh produce, and avoiding foods that trigger inflammation - all things that will improve your wellness.

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