Social Media’s Bad Impact On Health

Social Media is having a bad impact on our food choices. It seems the more time you spend on social media, the worse your food choices.

I found this on the Food Network’s own blogs:

“A cross-sectional study of about 9,000 middle- and high-school students conducted by Canadian researchers and published in the British Journal of Nutrition concluded that the more time teens spent on social media sites – like Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter – the more likely they were to make poor nutritional choices, like not eating breakfast or drinking sugary beverages and energy drinks. Teens who used social networking sites for less than one hour a day had a 67 percent higher chance of drinking sugary beverages, while those who used them for just under two or five hours had a 90 percent and a 3.3-fold increase, respectively, in the odds of doing so, according to the researchers.”

This echos similar studies of adults. The more time on Facebook and Pinterest, especially, equaled more poor food choices.

So, why is this?

Well, the social media culture is all about instant gratification. They want entertainment now and are willing to go where it is. This now translates to all aspects of life: relationships, jobs, pets, and yes, food.

Good food takes time and effort. But, in the instant gratification culture, time isn’t something people want to give up.

Notice I say give up. They have the time, they just want to spend it on social media.

So, rather than make whole wheat pasta, they opt for white pasta, or worse: the instant pastas that are now coming out. It’s partially cooked and filled with preservatives.

Rather than fresh fruits and vegetables, they are choosing frozen vegetables and pre-cut up ones in the stores. The cut up veggies are often the old, partially bad vegetables they can’t sell.

Rather than making a meal, they go out or buy it nearly make whole. Instead of the farmers market, they opt for 1-stop shopping at a huge box store.

Plus, statistics show that you are 200% more likely to opt for a microwave meal than making something on the stove if you spend more than 1 hour on social media per day.

What can we do about it? It turns out it, all our choice. We can opt to spend less time on these time wasters called social media. We can spend more time making good healthy foods.

I saw all this knowing you most likely found me on a social media site. Well, now make your choice: good healthy foods or lazy computer surfing.

Sicko and Bill Clinton on Health and Wellness Trends

Have you watched Sicko already? It is very worth doing so.

In order to help put the health problem we are living in better perspective, let me share now some of the insights and advice that Bill Clinton gave us in San Francisco recently at the Healthetc event sponsored by California Pacific Medical Center and KCBS.

Some of the speech highlights:

1) Clinton’s great overview of key comparative data:

* 16 vs 10-11: % GDP spent on health care in the US vs. other industrialized countries. This percentage difference equals around $800 billion annually!

* 84 vs 100: % population with some form of health insurance in the US vs. other countries

* 34 and 37: ranking of the US system as measured by health outcomes and life expectancy, respectively

* 34 vs 19: % health care costs spent on administration in the US vs. other countries

2) President Clinton then outlined the 3 main problems with US Healthcare as follows, empathizing that any serious, long-term solution needs to address these 3 elements as a whole:

* immoral unequal coverage, where a large percentage of citizens lack access to quality care

* inefficient system: we pay more for less, as you could see in Sicko

* we still focus more on disease than on health. But he is hopeful about an increasing focus on wellness, absolutely necessary to alleviate future cost pressures

3) Now, let’s reflect on couple of (approximate) quotes with profound wisdom

* “I am a testimonial for the best of American medicine. Given my heart problems, it is a miracle I am here with you today. These days I cannot stay more than 5 minutes in a bad mood, because I remind myself how fortunate I am simply to be alive”

* (when people were clapping and cheering to easy “sound bites” while he was still trying to make a complex point) “Please stop. I don’t want you to boo or cheer, simply to think on your own”

Amazing words.

In the afternoon, after his speech, we spent some time talking with health providers and attending some panels, such as the one put together by the Alzheimer’s Association on ways to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s.

We were surprised at the amount of education still needed to make the medical and health community incorporate science-based advice on lifelong learning and mental stimulation on top of “traditional” advice around nutrition and physical exercise. The Alzheimer’s Association is being one of the pioneers with their “Maintain Your Brain” campaign, suggesting a comprehensive set of health and wellness guidelines we should all follow:

1) Stay mentally active: “Mentally stimulating activities strengthen brain cells and the connections between them, and may even create new nerve cells.”

2) Remain socially active: “Social activity not only makes physical and mental activity more enjoyable, it can reduce stress levels, which helps maintain healthy connections among brain cells”

3) Stay physically active: “Physical exercise is essential for maintaining good blood flow to the brain as well as to encourage new brain cells. It also can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes, and thereby protect against those risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

4) Adopt a brain-healthy diet: “Research suggests that high cholesterol may contribute to stroke and brain cell damage. A low fat, low cholesterol diet is advisable. And there is growing evidence that a diet rich in dark vegetables and fruits, which contain antioxidants, may help protect brain cells.”

No doubt, Bill Clinton would agree with the importance of these guidelines to ensure Baby Boomers can age in a healthy way and prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed with Alzheimer’s related costs.

Let’s watch with attention what the presidential candidates propose to deal with this situation.

Copyright (c) 2007 SharpBrains

How Your Social Skills Boost Your Health!

Honestly, do you feel comfortable to talk to complete strangers? How about talking in front of an audience, do you feel just a little nervous or are you running for shelter? Well, a little shyness seems perfectly normal and not spontaneously talking to strangers may just be considerate. Then what does my innate preference to socialize have to do with my Health, if anything?

“Social Health” is one of the 6 constituents that amount to the “whole health”, or Holistic Health of a human being; and it has to be correlated in an assessment with the Physical-, Mental-, Emotional-, Spiritual- and Intellectual elements – when we want to forestall future loss of Health and Vitality, such as in Predictive and Preventive Health-care.

While the state of Physical Health is assessed and expressed by consensus by medical sciences, of what and how to include Biomarkers into a numerically normative standard – “Social Health” is ambiguous in terms and flatly ignored in contemporary Health assessments. It is noteworthy, however that the pharmaceutical industry is all but overlooking Social Health as revenue generator of significance. In order to prescribe medicine a disease condition must first be identified, thus we are now referring to “Social Anxiety Disorder”, and of course the “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD).

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder is an anxiety disorder in which people fear social situations where they might be embarrassed or judged. When put in a social situation where they might become anxious sufferers have symptoms such as a racing heart, trembling, blushing or even sweating. This anxiety disorder is not uncommon by any stretch of the imagination – some sources say it affects more than five million Americans any given year. (Source: SocialAnxietyDisorder.net).

But that’s not the only “Social Pathology” that we know, there is Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Trichotilomania, various Phobias and others. Some common drugs that are typically prescribed in the Social Health arena are: Zoloft (Sertraline), Paxil (Paroxetine), Lexapro (Excitalopram Oxalate), BuSpar (Buspirone), Xanax (Aprazolam), Effexor FR (Venlafaxine), Adapin (Doxepin) and Prozac (Fluoxetine).

What about Depression?

Depression may come either as a cause or the result of a Social Health condition. A depressed person is typically not interested in socializing, but that doesn’t mean a non-gregarious person is also depressed. Depression is also a common Drug side effect; for example the stimulant drugs prescribed for abating ADHD, such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine can cause depression, in addition stimulant medication are well known to lead to nervous tics, hallucinations, and bizarre behavior – which seems to run counter to remediation of Social.Health.

Social Competence and Skills

We consider Social Competence to be the antonym of Social Anxiety: a person that is not afraid of meeting with strangers and impromptu interactions with others. An individual having the ability to adapt to a specific audience and influence it to act according to his or her will, can certainly be described as socially competent. Social skills can be learned from early childhood throughout adult life (for example: Toastmasters.org). Social competence is an elusive concept however, when we try to define it within the individuals whole Health or Vitality. How is it measured and weighed against the highly intertwined Spiritual-, Emotional-, and Mental Health elements? Even if we could assess Social Health on its own, we would have to agree on some numerical normative standard, such as we use for cholesterol and blood pressure.

However vague the concept and the absence of a scientific paradigm and benchmark, it seems obvious that a “totally healthy individual” is also a socially competent person; while a socially phobic person is not completely healthy, even though the condition may be fixed with simple lifestyle adjustments such as balanced nutrition. Social competence and skills are not delivered or restored by any drugs, this is evidenced by the fact that none of the prescription drugs is known to cure the condition, they just depress the symptoms. The best therapy and enrichment in life may come from training and practicing social skills, interacting with Others positively impacts the Spiritual-, Emotional- and Mental Health elements and ultimately prevents the Body from developing disease symptoms.

Social Interactions and Mental Health

According to recent studies, mental functions drastically improve after certain types of social interactions. Psychologist Oscar Ybarra – a researcher at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR), who headed such a research – says, “This study shows that simply talking to other people, the way you do when you’re making friends, can provide mental benefits.”

This is a fact that even reputed treatment centers anywhere in the country would corroborate. So, “friends with benefits” is a real thing! Apart from all the benefits we enjoy in a friendship, the mental health angle can definitely be called the fringe benefit.

Let us take it with a pinch of salt to what late Lebanese-American writer Khalil Gibran said: “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” Jokes apart, our social quotient has a direct bearing on our mental health to a great extent and it is always good to have a great social circle.

How does our social interaction help us in improving our mental well-being? An active social life offers oodles of other benefits apart from being in comfort among friends. Let us see some of the benefits of being a socially active person.

Cognitive enhancement: Any social interaction, however brief it may be, brings in the goodness of mental stability. Studies have revealed that even brevity of our social interaction has not failed in enhancing working memory, self-monitoring and problem solving abilities in us. People who frequently engage in social activities have a greater ability in solving issues in their lives. They are less perturbed by problems in their lives, whereas socially aloof people become timid and nervous when faced by similar situations.

Executive function: Ybarra also said “we believe that performance boosts come about because some social interactions induce people to try to read others’ minds and take their perspectives on things” and “we also find that when we structure even competitive interactions to have an element of taking the other person’s perspective, or trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, there is a boost in executive functioning as a result.” People with frequent social interactions become more adept in handling responsible jobs and manage others.

Physical benefit: Socially active people are more sporting and do not shy away from physical activity. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that young adults who exercise and socialize regularly reported better mental health than peers who didn’t. According to the researchers, few of the mental benefits associated with exercising may be due to the social aspect of it. So, this also affirms a co-relation between social interactions and a sound mental health.

Mental health centers in the country, be it the mental health centers definitely support this view and forming groups among the inmates is one of the reasons why they do it.

Worksite Wellness In The Age of Transcendence (The Age of What?)

Society today has traversed through various periods of time that have come to be called ages. And you do want to align your worksite wellness program with the current age we are in, right?

Our society has gone through different periods of time and development such as: the Stone Age, the Industrial Age and most recently, the Information Age. Some are now suggesting that we are entering the Transcendence Age.

The Age of Transcendence can be described as a cultural shift from the physical, materialistic view to a more meta-physical, subjective view. This shift is also resulting in a lessening of the “dominance of scientifically grounded certainty,” (Sisodia, Sheth and Wolfe) while subjective perspectives, how people feel, are gaining greater acceptance in society.

The aging of the world’s population in developed societies is said to be a causative factor in this shift. Since 1989, most adults in the U.S. were age 40 or older for the first time in this country’s history. With the onset of midlife, a person’s focus shifts from materialism to being more about meaning, purpose, experience and legacy.

So what does the Age of transcendence mean for worksite wellness? While an individual employee’s physical health will always remain a program core, there is emerging an opportunity for an expanded view of health and wellness.

For the past 30 – 40 years, the focus of worksite wellness has been on employee physical health, driven by the employer’s desire to control employee related healthcare costs and society’s desire to address chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But as they say, the tide is turning.

Employers are finally recognizing that a sole focus on employee health risk reduction cannot by itself, significantly address employee health related costs. At best, a strategy of health risk reduction will only help to avoid future health costs through a reduction in the demand for future services. Employers are also recognizing that the issue of employee engagement is a bigger cost driver for them than employee health alone.

Employers are recognizing that employee engagement is a competitive advantage and not just about controlling costs. Health, wellness and wellbeing play a huge, but not exclusive role in employee engagement. In the Age of Transcendence, employees are looking for work that provides a psychic, as well as a monetary income. Employees want work that gives them purpose, that is meaningful, that engages them wholly and fulfills their emotional and social needs. This all adds up to psychologically rewarding work and workplaces.

Worksite wellness programs need to expand from an almost exclusive focus on physical health, to an expanded view of wellness. Wellness is a whole person, multi-dimensional concept that encompasses social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and occupational dimensions, in addition to the physical health dimension. In addition to expanding programming to these other dimensions, worksite wellness programs need to address organizational health, as much as they address individual employee health.

In the Age of Transcendence, worksite wellness programs will address the whole employee and more commonly reflect the multi-dimensional models of wellness as they were conceived and designed by the early founders of the wellness field.

Reference:

Sisodia, Raj. Sheth, Jag. Wolfe, David. Firms of Endearment, 2nd Edition. 2014. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Social Health and Healthy Ageing

You are beautiful at any age: The Bible says, “Even though our outward (wo)man is perishing, the inward (wo)man is being renewed day by day.”

When I read it, my personal interpretation was that we are beautiful at every age. But, many people may disagree and may have a divergent view, too. I believe, these might be the ones who grow sad as they see the gradual loss of their youthful beauty, and continuously invest in beauty procedures to remain swaying in the high tide of youth again. They trim and tone their bodies to postpone the inevitable.

It is undoubtedly a good procedure that they follow. This is not a debatable topic because this regimen preserves and restores the natural firmness, and normal functioning of body organs in health. And, by doing these workouts they target legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms, core and full body, and keep these parts in control. However, according to Ben Franklin, “You may delay, but time will not.” So, staying true to yourself brings you to a realization that you will age, no matter what.But given a healthy foresight and acceptance, and embracing the conscious wisdom one gains with age, I believe one remains beautiful at any age.

Health and Healthy Ageing: According to World Health Organisation, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition entered into force on 7th April 1948 and has not been amended since. It is very relevant and has a lot of significance in today’s times. The key component of overall health which is included in the definition according to me is “social” health. This word struck me as very progressive. It is this aspect of health which promotes a well-rounded lifestyle. Evidences and researches suggest that elderly people might delay cognitive decline by being socially engaged.

Even though there is a lot of emphasis on exercise, mobility and its awareness for forty plus group. And, it is indeed extremely important to keep us fit and trim, but according to Patrick P. Coll, director, U Conn Health Centre, ”social activities and mental wellness have important roles as well.” September is designated as Healthy Aging Month. It is a national campaign designed to highlight the many ways, individuals can avoid declines in physical, mental and emotional health as they age. Healthy aging is not just about exercise and staying fit. Mental and social well-being too, is vital component of living well. It is the importance of this ”workout” that I would like to talk about here. I refer to it as ”Express Workout.”

1. Social Health: At this point many may not seem pleased with what I just said, but they will surely do, when they know its benefits especially in the afternoon of life – the life after 40. Let us see social health as a supplement to various therapies in keeping our body trim and toned.

Your best health is essential in all aspects of your life-from your body to environment around you. When we talk about environment it means friends, family, relationships, all these affect our health indirectly. This is our social health. According to me, much of our body’s agility depends upon this.

Our physical well-being is the key to enjoying a healthy life. We should always try to get the needed rest, exercise and nutrition to maintain. However, the environment that we get by staying in close contact with family and friends; enjoying a hobby; learning a new language; musical instrument; keeping up with current events; taking a class; doing brainteasers, and socializing cannot be undermined.

Appreciating and enjoying these healthy connections is paramount. As life comes close to an end it is the experience of these wholesome socially rich environment that seem to matter much more than personal possessions.

Our children fly to their new formed nests. And, life does not remain what it used to be. No matter what exercises and regime you undertake during these moments, it is very crucial to keep your social health blooming. If we are able to achieve this, our lives brim with bimini – what is termed as the fountain of youth!

2. Supplementary Tools: The benefits of looking good are feeling good, healthy and strong. No one can make a difference to your body. Only you can.

1. Celebrate: Getting up off the bed to get into “fitness mode” can be a mammoth feat in itself. I congratulate you if you have come this far! Below are some tips to help get you started with your own personalized express workouts. You are no more a sleepy head. Smile and catch up!

2. Do something: This could be any activity you find interesting. Whether it is reading, writing, photography, swimming, dancing, cooking, pot-making or gardening, it does not matter. You need to just do it.

3. Find a BEST: This defines: Buddies who Encourage Success and Truth. This is very important not only in fitness regime, but in every sphere of our lives. Keep a good mix of a counselor, listener and fix-it, and at least one who makes your ribs tickle to make you wash off your worries and laugh along the way. Learning or doing anything through fun is most invigorating. Prioritize your activities and create a definite niche to fit it in your fitness schedule.

4. Dump the downer: You guessed right -it is the weighing scale! You constantly get into the obsession of it. Why I could not weigh what she weighs. This will lead to your unhealthy state of mind. Limit the use of scale sparingly. It would rather be wise instead, to go in for body-fat index tests on half yearly basis.

5. Calm your nerves: Follow your fitness schedule like a marathon and not like a sprinter. Slow down! Do not burn out or hurt you along the way. Increase cardio time and weight training gradually.<

6. You are different: Do not compare yourself with others who do intensive work out and training. This will discourage and make you envious or depressed. We should compare us with ourselves. Keep your eyes on your goals and not what others are doing.

7. Enjoy every process: Remember one should enjoy the journey and not only look for the destination all the time. Talk, breathe have fun with your best buddy while doing. Do not grab an intensive level. Be yourself and follow comfortably.

8. Do not despair: Nothing is the end of the world. If you could not be regular because of some pressing matter -personal or official. Just get back on track, board the train and chug along!

9. Get into an autopilot mode: We feel we do not need to work on our bodies. Many a times we feel we are fine without it. We lax and coil ourselves in the myth of ”all is well” kind. For this legion of women, a word of caution: Whether you do, or you do not, it is wise to accept exercise (any form) similar to essentials like breakfast or taking a shower.

10. What to/how to: Hire a trainer to help you with a system. They are masters in this domain. Their knowledge is no exception. Use it to nurture and nourish your body.

11. Learn with fun: The importance of focus and any kind of learning when done with enjoyment brings out the best in terms of performance. When enjoyment is decreased, performance also decreases. A cycle ensues which prevents performance from ever reaching its potential. So, to ensure consistent fun and crazy spark keep widening your circle of friends. This helps new ideas generation, re-evaluation and new perspectives in your life.

12. STOP: When working is not fun anymore. Take a STOP. This is the most important of all the tools! I am sure you thought I asked you to stop. “No. This is not a full stop!” On the contrary it is an indirect tool to your mobility with a renewed vigour. This is an acronym inspired tool which means Stop, Think, Organise your thoughts and Proceed. Got it? This tool is very crucial in our mobility because after a burn out, this is the only tool, that if applied will help us achieve our full potential. This is required to make a conscious change. It can be of any duration. It may be only for a few seconds, at the beginning and end of each work day, and at the beginning and end of any work project.

13. Stay beautiful ever after: As the boomer generation (a person born during the demographic Post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964), is quickly reaching the high side of fifty, the majority expects to live to 85. So, plan to stay fit to enjoy coming years as much as possible.

With this list in mind, growing old would be easier and healthier. They say, ‘at 20 years of age, the will reigns, at 30 the wit, at 40 the judgment.’ So, by 40+ you will have gained enough wisdom and judgment as to how to stay healthy and fit past 50 with these resources of express workouts.You will feel yourself beautiful forever after. Good luck and take care!

Wellness Coordinators: Are You Addressing the Positive Side of Health? (Start Today)

The focus of health and wellness professionals today is on disease and problems – in other words, what’s wrong (negative health). Wouldn’t you rather be focusing instead on positive health, or in other words, what’s right?

Health Today

Health today has a disease focus – a focus on risk reduction, avoidance, prevention and treatment of disease, infirmity and disability. This focus stems, no doubt, from medicine and its focus on pathogenesis, which is the study of the origin of disease. In a pathogenic model – health is measured by the incidence of disease or health related problems. Success in the pathogenic model is measured by the avoidance or elimination of problems, diseases and premature death.

Health is often depicted as being a continuum, with one end being premature death and the other end being wellness. The mid-point of the continuum is often described as being a neutral point where no discernible illness or wellness can be detected. If success in the pathogenic model is the avoidance or elimination of problems or disease, then success in this case this does not create a state of wellness, but instead a point there is no discernible illness or wellness. The betterment of health or the movement towards wellness would then require that deliberate, specific concrete actions to be taken.

The necessity of taking deliberate, concrete action to achieve optimal health, positive health or high level wellness would be consistent with what researchers have found in other areas. Researchers have shown that eliminating negatives alone does not, in and of itself, create positive conditions. Some examples that demonstrate what I am saying would include:

• Herzberg who showed that eliminating dissatisfaction does not create satisfaction

• Compton who showed that eliminating depression does not create joy

• Seligman who showed that mental health was not the mere absence of mental illness

• Becker and colleagues who showed that ending disease does not create positive health

Instead of aiming for a return to neutral or the status quo, a focus on positive health moves our focus towards outcomes that exceed our expectations, in other words, our idealized outcomes.

Positive Health

Positive health has its roots in the salutogenesis model. Salutogenesis provides a focus and methodology to discover and develop the causes or origins of positive health. Salutogenesis complements pathogenesis by working to optimize health and well-being through continuous and never-ending improvement. Salutogenesis is about how to add positive actions, opportunities, conditions and outcomes to move us beyond the neutral point to higher, positive levels.

Positive health is a deliberate consciouly created dynamic state. Positive health has also beed described as well-being, thriving or flourishing.

To achieve and continually improve positive health, a supportive, nurturing and encouraging environment must be consciously and thoughtfully developed and continuously improved. This supportive and nurturing environment is a necessary ingredient in the behavior change process.

Positive states are created through deliberate, conscious effort and action. To create positive states, specific efforts must be taken that go just beyond the elimination of health risks and problems. These specific efforts need to be supported through the use of following 9 Es and 1 C:

  • Engagement
  • Education
  • Empowerment
  • Effectiveness
  • Enablement
  • Evaluation
  • Emotions
  • Energy
  • Expectations
  • Comprehensive

Use these 9 Es and 1 C in your worksite wellness program to help your employees achieve positive health.

If you are interested in reading more, consider these references:

Antonovsky, A. (1979) Health, stress and coping. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Becker, C. M., Dolbier, C.L., Durham, T., Glascoff, M. A., & Adams, T.B. Development and preliminary evaluation of the validity and reliability of a positive health scale. (2008). American Journal of Health Education, 39(1), 34-41.

Becker, C. M., Moore, J., Whetstone, L., Glascoff, M., Chaney, E., Felts, M., & Anderson, L., (2009). Validity Evidence for the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). American Journal of Health Behavior, 33(4), 455-465.

Becker, C., Glascoff, M., & Felts, W. (2010) Salutogenesis 30 years later: Where do we go from here? International Electronic Journal of Health Education, 13, 25-32.

Compton, W. C. (2005). Introduction to positive psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Dunn H. L. (1961). High-level wellness: A collection of twenty-nine short talks on different aspects of the theme “High-level wellness for man and society.” Arlington, VA: R.W. Beatty Co.

Herzberg F. (2003). One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review, 81(1), 86-96. (Original work published 1968).

Seligman, M. E. P. (2008). Positive health. Applied Psychology, 57(s1), 3-18.

Social Health

Social health, along with mental and physical health, is one of the key aspects to determine the general well-being of a person. The importance of social health has not been a big focus when people talk about health. However, experts say that the social well-being of an individual is just as important. Social health refers to the ability of an individual to thrive in the society and interact with other people, a form of mental health. This incorporates different elements of a person’s character, personality and social skills. A healthy person should be able to function in society and reflect social norms. Social health could also refer to the general health of society, taking into consideration how people behave and treat one another. A healthy society is also a requirement for a person to function socially. The existence of governing law, wealth distribution, levels of social capital, and the public’s access to decision-making processes are some of the indicators of a healthy society.

According to studies and research, social interactions play an important role in improving mental and physical health. It is not enough that a person exercises every day, eats a balance diet and goes to some spa to relax. A healthy individual also socialize with the people around him and forms different kinds of relationships. A healthy person is able to keep friendship, intimacy or other personal relationships. A bond between a person and the people around them provides a positive attitude towards life and makes it easier for to cope with stress. That’s why a healthy person knows how to call their friends and ask for some advice in times of need. Popular studies also show that a person overcomes illness better when surrounded by a support group of families and friends. Isolation on the other hand can lead to mental illness. A person, who is already suffering from depression, needs people to understand what they are going through and help them recover. Being alone only aggravates the condition.

These are only a few reasons why social health have been receiving more and more recognition as a vital determinant of one’s general health. Health includes healthy social relationships for complete mental health.

Types of Health and Wellness Businesses and Their Contribution to Society

The health and wellness market is a booming industry. People are buying health products such as targeted vitamins and minerals and wellness services such as massage and acupuncture so as to ensure physical wholeness and overall good health. The motivation comes from the improved knowledge that the modern man has about his body and environment.

The public has obtained access to health education and promotion through various media, and as a result, there is a rapid transformation on how we have looked at health and wellness these last 30-40 years. A few decades ago, the house-call doctor who had a strong educational background but an equally strong intuitive knowledge went the way of the dodo, to be replaced by institutionalized “Big Health” that has proven over the years to be faceless, uncompassionate, and ridiculously expensive.

In the meantime, we as a people have been exposed to theories of health and wellness from the Far East and our own ancient times, and we’ve come to recognize that perhaps there’s more to staying healthy than popping pills and getting broken bones set.

Health and wellness products have indeed been in demand over the last few years, and this is due in part to the exposure they have received through the media. We see health issues addressed in internet websites, magazines, books, newsletters and even on television, where Oprah’s ‘Doctor Oz’ now has his own show, and ‘The Doctors’ is a common daytime panel show about health and wellness.

Health journals are cropping up, even major news magazines such as Time, Newsweek and Focus have contributed a lot of articles, editorials and special issues to nutrition and wellness.

Economists in the United States suggest that in the years to come, the wellness business will be one of the leading contributors of economic growth. In fact, in this country, the sales of this industry have already reached $200 million and will soon match the sales of the ‘traditional’ health care sector!

The health and wellness industry is all about selling wellness products and services which improve the health of their customers. Since there is a wide range of products and services included in this scope, we can divide them into a variety following types of health and wellness businesses. Here’s a partial list:

  • Voluntary medicine – examples under this type are lifestyle drugs and plastic cosmetic surgery.
  • Wellness resources – these are the information segment of the society, or media informing the people regarding wellness products and services.
  • Wellness insurance – financial resources for a large number of wellness services and preventative medicines, including chiropractic care and even acupuncture.
  • Nutritional services and products – including vitamin supplements, nutritionist, local organic food stores, etc.
  • Fitness services and products – including massage therapists, spas, chiropractor, etc.
  • Preventative health care – treating, modifying or controlling health risk factors
  • Alternative health care – this includes meditation, yoga, herbalism, homeopathy, hypnosis, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy, etc.
  • Health and wellness tourism – characterized by customers who would use traveling expenses to look for medical tourism hubs across the globe, offering products and services for these health and wellness seekers.

As you can see, the health and wellness industry has grown significantly, thanks to the huge support it has obtained from several other sectors. New opportunities have opened for health and wellness initiatives, whether it be on the side of selling products and services or in the dissemination of valuable health and wellness information.

The industry is indeed a huge network of products and services, all together with a common theme of being the answer to the sicknesses and diseases that are growing rampant in our society today. Many of these are caused by industries that sell unhealthy goods and commodities. All the types of health and wellness businesses have blossomed in order to come to our rescue.

Because of all of this blooming and blossoming, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business, a health and wellness business is an excellent choice — the competition might look stiff, but it’s an industry where the consumer is trained to be suspicious of success and look for the local, ‘little guy’…which is exactly where you could fit in!