Health and wellness is important to us since it enables us to function properly. It is important to have the right knowledge on how to remain healthy because some of us unknowingly engage in habits that put our health at risk (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 27). This paper will give an overview of health and wellness, self management, health benefits of physical activity and self planning for healthy lifestyles. The use of tobacco and diabetes will also be discussed. Health and wellness are critical for the success of any society.
Health and Wellness
Health and wellness play a major role in our daily lives. Many people believe that being healthy means being free from diseases. Health is more than being well since it also implies high levels of mental, social and emotional well being. On the other hand, wellness can be described as the reflection of our sense of well being (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 3-5).
Health and wellness have five dimensions that include emotional-mental, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual dimensions. Emotional-mental health means being free from some mental illnesses for instance, clinical depression. Intellectual health means having a healthy brain and other systems in the body that allow individuals to learn. Physical health means being free from any sickness that might affect physiological systems while social wellness is our ability to interact with others successfully and create good relationships. As for spiritual health and wellness, both mean the ability to create a value system and act on it (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 5).
There are six factors that influence health and wellness. Among the six, we have little control over heredity. Other uncontrollable factors that may influence health and wellness are age and disabilities. Old age prevents us from functioning well in life. However, societal efforts enable us to function in the society despite our limitations thus even disabled people can function well. Health care systems help us to overcome the illnesses we suffer from. Moreover, environmental factors can influence health and wellness. The final factor that influences our health and wellness is our personal actions and interactions (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 9-11).
Self-management skills are the skills that we learn to help us take on healthy lifestyles and stick to them. There are five stages of lifestyle change namely pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 22-23).
The first stage is pre-contemplation. At this stage, we do not normally think about changing our lifestyle. As soon as we think of having some changes in our lifestyle and to be active, we move to the second stage which is contemplation. The third stage where we get ready to make the change is called preparation. As soon as we start the activity, we move to the fourth stage which is action. The final stage is maintenance which is the highest level that can be reached. At this stage, the implication is that we exercise normally for at least six months (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 22-23).
Certain categories of factors upgrade lifestyle change. The first category is personal factors such as age and gender, which are related to a healthy lifestyle but cannot be controlled. The second category is predisposing factors that enable us to adopt healthy lifestyles in such as involvement in regular physical activities in our normal routines. The third category is enabling factors that help us carry out our healthy lifestyle plans while the final category is comprised of reinforcing factors that support us in maintaining healthy lifestyles (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 23-27).
Self Planning for Healthy Lifestyles
The first step in self-planning involves clarifying the reasons why we want to change our behaviors. This means giving concrete reasons why behavior change is important for us.
The second step is where we identify our needs. It is important to conduct self assessment in order to establish personal needs, plan our programs, and evaluate our progress (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 27).
The third step involves setting our goals. In order to achieve our ambitions of lifestyle change, it is important to clearly state what we wish to accomplish. Setting realistic goals forms the basis of our self-planning (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 29).
The fourth step involves selecting program components. There is a wide range of program components that allows us to make a choice in order to meet our goals. The components are chosen on the basis of our program goals.
The fifth step is writing our plan. It is important to prepare a written plan in order to improve our adherence to the set plan. Research has shown that when we write our plans on paper, we are likely to follow them strictly (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 31).
The sixth step involves evaluation of the progress which is done through self-assessment and self-monitoring. This confirms the effectiveness in sticking to the program.
Health Effects of Tobacco
Use of tobacco is associated with several health effects. The sidestream smoke produced from tobacco is not filtered through the lungs of the smokers hence it is dangerous to their health. Second hand smoke makes women and children vulnerable to diseases such as heart problems and diabetes. Studies have also revealed that there is a link between second hand smoking and breast cancer. It also affects pregnant women in that it may lead to the birth of premature children (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 384).
There are various strategies that we can apply to break from the habit of smoking since it is harmful to our health. The first one is using the media to spearhead anti-tobacco campaigns. The second one is the use of lawsuits against the tobacco industry which reduce smoking rates drastically. Policies also play an important role in fighting the use of tobacco. For example, taxes reduce the rate of smoking. Finally, smoking can be controlled through public health campaigns and bans on indoor smoking (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 384).
Health Benefits of Physical Activity
Physical activity contributes towards optimal health and wellness in three major ways. The first way is that it reduces the risk of hypokinetic diseases and other medical conditions. The second one is that it stimulates positive changes with respect to other risk factors and creates shortcuts for controlling chronic diseases while the third one is that it alleviates the symptoms and facilitates rehabilitation of hypokinetic conditions. The fourth benefit is that it is important in meeting the health goals of the nation through promoting health and wellness. The fifth one is that it reduces the effect of inherited diseases (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 64-65).
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the level of sugar is abnormally high in the body. The first type of diabetes is known as pre-diabetes which occurs when the sugar level ranges from 101-125 using the FPG test. The second type is known as type I diabetes. We suffer from this type of diabetes when we cannot produce enough insulin which is used to regulate glucose in the blood while the third type is referred to as type II diabetes (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 443).
The first problem of diabetes is that the lifespan of people with the disease is usually very short. The second one is that the disease is a risk factor for heart diseases and high blood pressure while the third problem is that individuals who suffer from diabetes exhibit high rates of kidney failure, blindness and high chances of lower limb amputation. Finally, diabetic women suffer from many pregnancy complications (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 443).
There are various methods used in prevention and control of diabetes. The first one is screening for pre-diabetes and diabetes. The second one is seeking medical treatment immediately the disease is identified. Some lifestyle changes of controlling the disease include maintaining the right levels of blood sugar, eating well, doing regular exercises and checking the level of body fats. Finally, it is important to adhere to medication in order to prevent other infections associated with the disease (Corbin et al, 2009, p. 444).
Health and wellness are important for our proper functioning. For us to remain healthy, it is important to have the right information on how to do this. This essay has focused on various aspects of health and wellness including its dimensions and factors that influence the concept. Self management has also been discussed. Use of tobacco has numerous health effects to the users hence it is important to adopt ways of fighting addiction. We can engage in lifestyle plans that assist us to avoid some health conditions such as diabetes which are caused by particular lifestyles.
Corbin, C., Welk, G., Corbin, W., & Welk, K. (2010). Concepts of fitness and wellness: a comprehensive lifestyle approach. Boston: McGraw-Hil.