Staying Well – No Simple Task!

Do you have a dog? If so, you will both benefit from the walk and you may even make some new friends in the neighborhood. You don’t have to go to a gym or purchase expensive equipment to burn calories and increase your fitness level. No matter how old we are, ideally we want to keep well. Obviously, we can’t control our family genetics, but we can control or modify our behaviors to help create our optimal state of health and wellness. Some factors are easier than others, such as doing more exercise, even the simple things like walking around the block.

Couple walking

No matter your age or gender, I encourage everyone to take a strong look at their own state of health or illness and consider what you can do to make it better. Drastic changes don’t always last, but if you make some small, minor changes and see success, then you are well on your way.

Depending on where you look for the definition, wellness can be an absence of disease OR it can be a state of health – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and socially. It is quite a mouthful, for sure…. but I think most agree that wellness means you are not “sick”. At the same time, someone can be living with a chronic condition such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), they may be on oxygen, but still are not “sick.” If you ask that person if they are well, they may just say “yes.” Like beauty and art, wellness may just be in the eye of the beholder!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, there is a national obesity rate of 35.7%, which varies by state. The medical costs related to obesity continue to rise. Health problems linked to obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and even cancer. These are pretty serious conditions that affect not only the individual, but their families, their ability to earn a living, and even their life expectancy.

Do you routinely walk the dog around the block for your exercise? What else can you do to find ways to stay well?


Author: Cheryl A. Acres RN, CCM


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