Wellness: What It Means and How To Reach It

In this article we will talk about well -being , focusing first on the meaning of the term – more precisely, of our interpretation – and then on the methods useful for achieving or maintaining it.

To many readers the subject may seem trivial, but it is not at all. Feeling good, another way of conveying the concept of well-being, requires a global and constant commitment.

The search for well-being is therefore always “active”, training the mind (on a psychological and emotional level) as much as the body (in terms of functionality and integrity), two aspects closely linked to each other.

On the other hand, the commitment must not turn into “fatigue”. Instead, the goal is precisely to “make an effort not to make an effort”, which implies a certain capacity for self-listening and introspection.

Recognizing the boundary between positive and negative stress is not at all easy, as this line is extremely changeable.

Well-being is therefore an essential aspect, a sort of precursor, of what we would call total functionality (to which we have dedicated an article in its own right).


Definition of well-being

Wellness is a noun that can take on different but always positive connotations, depending on the context in which it is inserted.

It is no coincidence that the Anglo-Saxons use very similar terms, but not the same, to convey the concept of well-being in different contexts: well-begin (socio-economic well-being), wellness (well-being induced by psycho-physical training), welfare (social intervention of amortization) etc.

For us at my-personaltrainer.it, the condition of well -being corresponds to one:

general state of health, based not only on the absence of pathologies, but also on the essential physical prowess, and on a psycho-emotional balance that tends towards positivity”.

Let’s now look at the elements that, according to the definition cited above, are indispensable for well-being proper.

Essential Elements

As anticipated, the condition of well-being implies some fundamental requirements:

  • Absence of non-hereditary pathologies, or acquired by one or more lifestyle mistakes;
  • Essential and / or advanced motor function, due both to the degree of motor training and to the total quality of the diet;
  • Psycho-emotional balance (as the term suggests, it corresponds to the union between the management of emotions and psychological mechanisms of another level);
  • Positive attitude, that is what we would define “attitude” to the vicissitudes of everyday life (some believe it is an innate characteristic, but it is not so) – its importance as a “presupposition” is such that it should stand above all others …


Absence of pathologies and well-being

To gain the feeling of well-being it is essential that no pathologies persist.

Most readers will be commenting: “Of course!”. But no, and for several reasons.

First of all, the evolution of the very concept of well-being that took place in the last century or so.

What was meant by well-being in the past ?

Basically ease , availability and prosperity. In two words: abundance and comfort, which are the main factors responsible for obesity, related complications – especially metabolic pathologies and increased cardiovascular risk – reduced quality of life, disability and reduced life expectancy.

It is therefore no coincidence that metabolic diseases, ie insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, primary arterial hypertension, hyperuricemia and gout, are still defined as ” diseases of well-being “.

Secondly, some diseases are completely asymptomatic, starting directly with some specific complications, or remain so up to a high level of severity – think, for example, of arterial hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, decline in renal function, etc. 

Therefore, a person may believe that they are fine but still be affected by various types of physical discomfort, even severe. This requires:

To keep yourself checked periodically – for example with haematological tests once a year, monitoring blood pressure etc. – regardless of the “belief” of being well, overcoming the (widespread) fear of “finding something wrong”, or overcoming the laziness (equally common) of booking a medical check-up.


Physical performance and well-being

What is meant by essential motor function ? Simply the ability to maintain the so-called basic / basal performance / performance.

And what would the “essential” level be? In practice, the one that allows you to perform all natural gestures and movements for the human being, respecting subjectivity (age, sex, pathologies or hereditary conditions or independent of environmental factors, etc.).

A basic level of performance necessarily implies that:

  • Each joint respects the physiological range of motion (range of motion or ROM ) and boasts relative stability ;
  • Each bone segment has the ability to withstand normal compression, bending and twisting without breaking;
  • Each muscle retains the ability to contract by developing strength and resistance to it, but also to stretch without being damaged;
  • The central nervous system (CNS) demonstrates the ability to plan movement, coordinating , adapting , etc .;
  • The peripheral nervous system (PNS) exercises the ability to transmit motor signals , both descending from the CNS and reflexes;
  • The cardio-vascular and respiratory systems adapt to the level of general physical activity; if low, they will be ineffective and efficient, and vice versa. However, the “average” human should be able to withstand basic exertion, such as a light jog or walk on an incline or a gentle climb.

However, we know that some parameters, first of all sex and age, influence the performance level of certain motor skills.

Men tend to develop more muscle mass, which tends to make them stronger in absolute terms.

Once the development is finished, after a few years of plateau, the organism begins to age and undergoes a decline in all its motor functions.

The only way to develop and maintain basic or essential motor function is to train properly .

In fact, it has been shown that:

  • Those who have practiced sports in childhood and adolescence retain a higher athletic base than sedentary;
  • Those who continue to practice sports have an extremely higher motor level than those who are sedentary;
  • Those who have a sports past and present can delay the decline of general motility for decades; it is no coincidence that some sixty-year-olds have apparently maintained a state of form for forty-year-olds.

At the end of the speech, the principle continues to be valid that general physical activity, and especially sport proper, constitutes a fundamental means for achieving and maintaining general well-being.

Importance of diet for well-being

Diet and fat mass

Diet is a crucial aspect of athletic prowess and psycho – physical well-being.

This is because too many calories lead to an increase in fat mass, favoring overweight and obesity (at the base of many wellness diseases).

Only by managing nutrition can we establish an adequate energy balance , that is: the result of the algebraic sum between the calories we consume with food and those spent to survive and live:


How can the energy balance be classified?

  • Neutral : allows to keep the weight constant ;
  • Negative : allows you to reduce weight (especially by losing weight );
  • Positive : it allows you to gain weight (especially by gaining weight ).

Diet and other balance parameters

Other factors such as:

  • the nutritional breakdown of macro energy (percentage of calories of proteins, carbohydrates and fats);
  • the intake of minerals and vitamins ;
  • the level of all other factors such as water, fiber etc.

Attention! an inadequate diet is unable to support the metabolic increase due to exercise, thus becoming a limiting factor rather than an improvement in the achievement of well-being.


Psycho-emotional balance and well-being

Psychological and emotional balance is a very important factor for well-being.

However, the two terms are not synonymous.

  • The psyche is a “gigantic” construct; in this context, we mean above all the branch of perceptions and thoughts ;
  • Emotions , on the other hand, are “signals” that are necessary for a “change of state”, a sort of “label”, which we attribute to external and internal experiences.

Perception, thought and emotions influence the construction of feelings, and therefore the way of experiencing events or conditions.

Psychophysical well-being can be pursued in the first place by conquering a greater level of awareness , overcoming certain attitudes that we know would have negative repercussions and recovering – if necessary – a certain degree of self- esteem , finally reaching an increase in self esteem.

Already upstream of the discussion, therefore, for many who “do not recognize themselves” in what has been said above, it will be clear how useful the service of a psychologist can be, not necessarily for a therapy, but also only for an evaluation.

Secondly, greater psychophysical well-being can be achieved with mindfulness means , such as autogenic training and transcendental meditation . But be careful, these cannot replace the intervention of a professional, but support the program or optimize an “already normal” condition.

Even sporting activity, in itself, has a global therapeutic capacity on psycho-emotional balance. In fact, it is no coincidence that motor activity is used as a behavioral therapy for: anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, drug addiction, gambling, some types of sociopathies (depending on the case), etc.

We emphasize again that, with a considerable level of discomfort , the pursuit of psycho-emotional well-being should be supported by the intervention of an analyst or therapist.

Positive attitude and well-being

A positive attitude is essential, concretely preparatory, to psycho-emotional well-being.

First of all, the best intentions , but also a ” non-pessimistic ” vision of life, contribute in the first place to the change of ourselves.

Without the right conditions, especially in terms of attitude, it is completely impossible to change!

For this reason the improvement must always start from oneself; no professional will ever be able to do this for us.

Previous articleAdult education, key to development and progress
Next articleFinance for new financiers: what training to choose based on your profile, according to Esade