Physical wellness involves aspects of life that are necessary to keep yourself in top condition. Optimal physical wellness is developed through the combination of beneficial physical activity/exercise and healthy eating habits. Elemental components of physical wellness include building muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular strength and endurance and flexibility.

Physical wellness is also concerned with developing personal responsibility for your own health care, such as caring for minor illnesses and knowing when professional medical attention is needed. Developing physical wellness empowers you to be able to monitor your own vital signs and understand your body's warning signs. You'll understand and appreciate the relationship between sound nutrition and how your body performs. The physical benefits of looking good and feeling terrific most often lead to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self-control, determination and a sense of direction.

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The Facts about Health and Wellness
Good health is of primary importance to adults in our society.

When polled about important social values, 99 percent of adults in the United States identified “being in good health” as one of their major concerns. Two other concerns expressed most often were good family life and good selfimage. The one percent who did not identify good health as an important concern had no opinion on any social issues.

Among those polled, none felt that good health was unimportant. Results of surveys in Canada and other Western nations show similar commitments to good health. Health varies greatly with income, gender, age, and family origin. Reducing health disparities among adults over 18 is a major national health goal. We have some distance to go in accomplishing this goal because health varies widely depending on income, gender, age, and family origin. Self-ratings of health have been shown to be good general indicators of health status. When asked to rate health as excellent, good, fair, or poor, more than a few adults indicated that their health was only fair or poor (see Figure 1). It is evident that many more people in poor or near-poor income groups are considered to be fair or poor in health as opposed to good or excellent. African Americans and Hispanics are more often classified as fair or poor in health than white non-Hispanics. Minority women are also likely to be classified as fair or poor in health. Though not indicated in Figure 1, there is good evidence that older adults are especially likely to report poor health and wellness. An important national health goal is to increase the number of healthy days people have each month.

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