Your Health- Fitness and Well-being are essential to a healthy quality of life

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Physical activity and nutrition play key roles in a person’s health and well-being.

According to healthypeople.gov, having good nutrition and physical activity can help decrease and individual’s risk of developing serious health conditions.

Musculoskeletal issues are one of the conditions that can be reduced as a risk with nutrition and fitness.

“Physical activity is the hallmark and focus of our treatments as we get people to use their muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments as they are suppose to. If you do not use those parts of your body they are going to naturally shorten or contract and become stiff and painful,” said Dr. Greg Kelley, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician for Princeton Spine and Joint Center. “That is not beneficial to your overall musculoskeletal health and well-being. It can also lead to future injuries.”

He said physical activity and fitness are essential to not only musculoskeletal health, but overall health.

Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“We try to get everyone, especially our older patients, regular exercise and resistance training,” Kelley said. “Two main types of exercise that we recommend for most people are cardiovascular and aerobic training designed to elevate your heart rate; the second type of exercise is resistance weight training, which has shown to increase bone density and muscle mass.”

Kelley said 30 minutes of cardiovascular and aerobic training exercises for four to five days a week is ideal and has great side affects.

Fitness is also an important aspect of a person’s lung health, especially for those with lung diseases, according to Dr. Diana Kolman.

Kolman is an interventional pulmonologist and director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Capital Health.

“Patients with lung diseases have a difficult time breathing. Their quality of life is not the best, because of their significant decline,” Kolman said. “When you do anything with fitness, and specifically for patients with lung diseases, we are looking to exercises with low and high intensity. This will improve their respiratory status and muscles.”

She said the exercises help patients get a little stronger and improve their stamina.

“Breathing and strengthening exercises also help improve a patient’s quality of life. All of these exercises improve the patient’s quality of life,” Kolman said. “They do not treat the underlying disease, but definitely gets patients over the hump. Along with diet and not smoking patients can be healthy overall.”

She said taking care of your lungs is an important part of your overall health and well-being.

“A lot of people do not pay attention to the changes in their respiratory status. For older patients some think it is just due to getting older in age,” Kolman said. “There are always underlying diseases that could be diagnosed. I always encourage patients to get checked if they have been experiencing the change, especially over time.”

When it comes to nutrition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states in its latest report that the typical American diet exceeds the recommended levels for calories, refined grains, sodium and saturated fats.

Kelley explained that nutrition plays an important role in fitness and well-being, especially with a person’s protein intake.

“Protein is essential in maintaining and increasing muscles mass. If you are not including enough protein in your diet, you are not fueling your body appropriately,” Kelley said. “One other aspect of nutrition for me is focusing on vitamin D and tends to be one of the more deficient vitamins we come across in individuals.”

For individuals trying to care for their well-being, staying positive and motivated also help in making healthy food decisions and staying active.

A person’s mentality is a crucial part in regards to fitness and well-being and helps to improve an individual’s quality of life, according to Kelley and Kolman.