What are Wellness and Fitness?
Wellness is in and from the beauty parlors throughout Europe. But what is Wellness? The word itself was coined 50 years ago by an American physician, Halbert L. Dunn in High-Level Wellness. Wellness was a combination of the words well (being) and fitness. Wellness was primarily the search for a balance, both mentally and physically, in a hectic society. Dunn thought that everyone had their own responsibility in this.
Dunn and Wellness
Voor Dunn was Wellness: “an integrated method of functioning which is oriented toward maximizing the potential of which the individual is capable. It requires that the individual maintain a continuum of balance and purposeful direction within the environment where he is functioning.”Wellness was a choice for Dunn for a successful life in society. Especially that choice was a fairly new approach. That conscious choice for a healthy lifestyle would make people function better, make healthier and happier. Own responsibility was what Dunn advertised and what he always insisted on. Own responsibility in nutrition, fitness, stress management, spirituality, meaning, health, humor and relationships. Get rid of self-pity, work on yourself!
Wellness in every area
Wellness is a very broad concept and has an increasing effect on every aspect of life.
- Social wellness means that someone knows how to build healthy and meaningful relationships and to play an active role in relationships with others.
- Physical wellness is fitness, healthy food and a good awareness of your own health.
- Emotional wellness has to do with stress management, personal growth and optimism.
- Spiritual wellness is the way in which a person can give direction and purpose to his life.
- Intellectual wellness is the will to learn a lifetime, to develop itself and to think outside the safe framework.
- Social wellness, last but not least, the will to participate in society but also to be involved in this. On the barricades for the preservation of natural beauty is a form of social wellness.
The terms overlap here and there but in general, the above distinction is used.
Wellness is wellbeing and fitness
Wellness is different for everyone, one will point to a healthy diet to the other on daily fitness exercises. In its entirety, wellness is the choice for a healthy way of life, a healthy way of exercise and mental well-being. This healthy way of living and thinking must lead to a stress-free, healthy and harmonious life. The dichotomy is already clear: relax and exert. Relax in the sense of visiting a sauna, a massage or a face mask. Exercise during fitness, Zumba or a long walk in the woods. It seems that today’s consumers have picked up these concepts and will not make a choice, which was exactly what Dunn meant. Both ‘relaxing’ and ‘exerting’ are extremely popular.
Wellness is relaxation and effort
Wellness as relaxation
As can be seen from the above, wellness is more than relaxation but is more often associated with relaxation and ‘de-stressing’. The ‘therapies’ are numerous and although not all uncontroversial, at least creative. Many forms of wellness are old, the 21st century has given it a modern look, but that does not detract from the anchoring in folk medicine. Some more or less proven ways for a wellness treatment below.
- Floating: floating is floating on warm, salt water. You float in a special cabin that is sound and light-tight. It is also called REST, Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy. External stimuli are completely excluded and the whole body floats, allowing all muscles to relax.
- Caldarium: the Romans already used it in the bathhouses. A caldarium is a kind of heating room, the floor, benches and walls are warm. The temperature is around 50 degrees and the humidity is high. Usually, in the caldarium, there is a special smell of, for example, eucalyptus.
- Bach Flower Therapy: Perhaps reasonably popular due to its relative simplicity in use. The therapy was launched by Dr. Edward Bach. The therapy works with 38 different blossoms combined in drops. The different combinations relieve stress, fears and other ‘inconveniences’ and bring people back into balance. Bach flower drops bring a body back into balance.
- Thalasso: seawater for therapy. There are several therapies that use seawater, but mainly bubble baths, massage baths and light baths are offered. In some cases, fragrant oils are added to the water.
Wellness as effort
- Fitness: fitness goes in three directions: strengthening muscles, improving fitness and losing weight.
Fitness is usually associated with gyms and equipment, but some of the exercises can also be done at home.
- Zumba: fitness on Latin American music. Zumba was ‘invented’ by Alberto Perez, a dancer and choreographer.
- Spinning: cycling on an exercise bike with music. The bicycle can be placed on different resistances. Everyone can also set their own level in group classes at the gym.
Wellness as effort and relaxation
The Romans and the Greeks already knew several spas for them. The thermal baths were mainly visited for health reasons. Hippocrates wrote around 370 BC. that physical exercises kept a person healthy, were less likely to age and become more energetic. In the course of the years, the baths grew into social meeting places and were expanded with hairdressers, masseurs and eateries. There was less emphasis on the healthy. But it is not only Italy that enjoys the water sources. In Germany, France and even in far England, bathing became popular.
The medieval left the cures almost completely go along. There were other things at the head. The church was not very charmed by its use and it was not until the end of the Middle Ages that the richer bourgeoisie began to become interested in the therapeutic effect of a bath. Incidentally, bathing in the different hot springs in Eastern Europe remained important over the years.
In the centuries after the Middle Ages people gradually began to recognize the healing effects of water. Although due to the inadequate hygiene and various infectious diseases it was not always healthy to visit a bathhouse. But the onset was given. France and especially Germany set up spas where it is not always about health but often also about entertainment.
Only after World War II does a Wellness Industry begin to develop as we know it today. Hotels and spas that offer different possibilities for sports, baths and springs, massage, diets and relaxation.
The emphasis on health may not be as strong as in the past. Wellness is the search for the perfect balance in this hectic society, both psychologically and physically, this ‘cures’ probably fits better with this time.
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