REAL Wellness

A new term for advanced health has recently come into existence.  It is called REAL Wellness.

REAL wellness is a positive approach to living designed to enhance quality of life.  It is positive in that the motivation for making choices is well-being for its own sake, not avoiding weight gain, lowering risks of illness or extending longevity.  It entails an active pursuit of vigorous exercise and fitness, sound nutrition, stress management and positive perspectives.  But these are just for starters.

REAL wellness is not a product, a healing remedy or a medical service.  It’s not something someone else (e.g., a chiropractor or medical doctor), a clinic, spa or fitness center can deliver or administer.  REAL wellness is an approach to the way you choose to think and act.

REAL is a modifier for the term wellness.  It’s an attempt to rescue the term from a great deal of woeful misuse.   REAL wellness is an acronym that highlights four vital wellness qualities usually  neglected, even ignored entirely, by those who use the word to promote a product, a healing remedy, a medical service or some other distracting misuse of the word.

REAL stands for nothing less that reason, exuberance, athleticism and liberty.  It has four distinct qualities:

  • It is evidence-based (reason), rational and consistent with science – not testimonials or anecdotes of effectiveness.
  • It encourages joy, pleasure, fun and delight – not coping.
  • It promotes and entails maximum choice, freedom and liberty – not rules and restrictions.
  • It focuses on advances  in quality of life – not risk reduction, illness management or life extension.

Based on increasing levels of desirability and significance, five kinds of wellness can be identified.

  1. Wellness as pampering and pleasure.  That’s spa wellness.
  2. Wellness as healing and rehabilitation.  That’s medical wellness.
  3. Wellness as a weight loss program.  That’s problem amelioration wellness.
  4. Wellness as fitness testing and prescriptions.  That’s risk reduction wellness.
  5. Wellness as explorations of reason, exuberant living and expanding personal freedoms, all in the service of increasing quality of life.  That’s REAL Wellness.
Suggested resources for more information on REAL Wellness:
  • REAL WELLNESS – It’s What’s New in Wellness Today written by Donald Ardell, PH.D.
  • Aging beyond Belief – 69 Tips for REAL Wellness written by Donald Ardell, PH.D.