The physical component of wellness encourages the balance of regular physical activity, building healthy eating habits, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Regular Physical Activity
Physical activity is any voluntary body movement which burns calories. You may not realize it, but you participate in some physical activity every day. This may include: carrying groceries, making your bed, going up the stairs, or even vacuuming.
But, what are the recommendations for being considered physically active? The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults should perform:
- Moderate-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 days a week. A total of 150 minutes.
- Vigorous aerobic activity for a minimum of 25 minutes, 3 times per week. A total of 75 minutes.
- Moderate-high intensity muscle strengthening activity at least twice per week.
Now that you know the physical activity recommendations, it’s now important to understand if you’re working out at the right intensity. Click on the link from the American Heart Association which provides examples and information of how to measure intensity.
Healthy Eating Habits
As a student, you live an on-the-go lifestyle with going to class, doing homework, studying for tests, and possibly a job. Therefore, it may be difficult to eat the right foods and make healthy decisions. However, in order for your body to perform everyday tasks, it needs to be given the necessary fuel.
The following tips can help you get started with developing healthy eating habits:
- Always eat a good breakfast
- Keep healthy snacks on hand
- Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day
- Make smart nutritional meal choices
- If you eat out, choose your food wisely
If you want to know more about healthy eating visit Chapter 4: Nutrition which offers detailed information regarding nutritional facts, pre and post tips, and caloric intake.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
The final component of physical wellness is maintaining a healthy weight, which is achieved by a combination of regular physical activity and eating healthy. However, it is also important to understand what your ideal weight looks like and how to measure it.
One method to determine a healthy weight is by measuring your Body Mass Index. Below is a tool to help you calculate your BMI and longer-term weight goals. BMI is calculated using only your height and weight.
Keep in mind…
Since many of you are not growing anymore, BMI can be tricky. If you develop muscle and lose fat, you could still weigh more because muscle weighs more than fat. An increased weight, even if due to muscle, will increase your BMI. Thus, percent body fat becomes more important.
Check out the link to access a tool by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to assess your BMI and weight goals!