Physical wellbeing

Physical wellbeing is not just the absence of disease. It includes lifestyle behaviour choices to ensure health, avoid preventable diseases and conditions, and live in a balanced state of body, mind, and spirit.

It’s no mystery that taking care of your physical wellbeing is extremely important to your health and happiness. There is a lot of complicated information out there about the latest health and fitness trends, but managing your health can be made easy if you break it down into these five important areas of physical wellness.

1 Sleep

Most people need eight hours of sleep a night to stay healthy and alert. We have specific guidance related to sleeping that may be helpful if you are struggling. 

2 Eating well

Eating healthily doesn't mean feeling hungry all the time - or eating nothing but salad for the rest of your life. Much like sleep, your body likes consistency when it comes to what and when you eat. Regularly eating healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grains will give you the nutrients that not only support your body’s vital functions but can balance your mental wellbeing as well. Eating too much when you aren’t hungry or making yourself skip meals can have metabolic consequences that can upset your physical and mental health. Don’t forget that drinking plenty of water goes hand in hand with eating right.

3 Be active

Exercise can conjure up a plethora of unpleasant images from drill sergeant personal trainers to dreaded school PE lessons. Not all physical activity has to be a painful endeavour endured only for the sake of health. While the long-term benefits of exercise are indisputable, many struggle to make it a part of their daily life. The key to sticking to an exercise routine is to find an activity that you like. 

  • British Heart Foundation has 10-minute exercises you can do from the comfort of your own living room
  • York Sport has one site on each University of York campus, each with a range of facilities. Discounted memberships are available for University of York and YCL staff.
  • Check out our cycle scheme, which allows you to save money when you purchase cycling equipment through salary sacrifice payments or attend a free upcoming Bike Doctor Session on campus

4 Hygiene

Hygiene is defined as any action taken to maintain health and prevent disease. This can pertain to the daily practices of showering, washing hands, brushing teeth and flossing. Personal hygiene won’t just keep you healthy but it can even boost your mood, which can be especially helpful for those living with a mental health disorder like depression.

5 Relaxation

Relaxation is commonly thought of as only a mental exercise with only mental benefits. That is simply not true. Tension can build up in muscles causing headaches or back pain and stress hormones can cause a variety of nasty symptoms including adrenal fatigue. In modern times, everyone packs their schedules full of events and puts pressure on themselves to get ahead. While ambition is admirable, scheduling time to simply relax and enjoy yourself is important to your overall health. Whether it is getting a massage, staying home with a good book or playing your favourite sport, some 'me time' does everyone good.