It is health that is the real wealth, not just pieces of gold and silver.
Our bodies are amazing machines. Every day we hear of amazing recoveries and new research findings pertaining to drugs, diseases, foods, or fitness. Despite significant health-related expenses, US residents have lower life expectancies and poorer health overall than sixteen peer countries, particularly in the areas of infant health, injuries and homicides, adolescent pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, drug-related deaths, obesity and diabetes, heart disease, and chronic lung disease. While differences among minorities explain part of these trends, poor lifestyle behaviors are also to blame. 
Why are we so unhealthy? It really boils down to a society that values financial wealth more than well-being. Many diseases and injuries occur needlessly because we have not sufficiently prioritized our health and safety. The Wellness Compass Travel Guide takes the stance that:
- it is our government’s responsibility to ensure laws and medical care are in place to protect public health and prevent disease,
- it is the medical establishment’s responsibility to provide cost-effective quality medical care, and
- it is the individual’s responsibility to assure his or her own health and the well-being of his or her dependents.
Furthermore, you are unique. Your environment, past history, age, genetic makeup, and self-care significantly affects your physical health. With so much variation, one-size fits all guidelines don’t work for everyone.What may be right, important or perceived as “standard” for others may not be the best for you. “Expert advice” specific to your individual needs and condition always trumps generic advice: seek experts proactively as soon as you realize they may be needed.
Highlights of the Physical Health domain of the Wellness Compass
The Wellness Compass Travel Guide focuses on assisting travelers in all walks of life in instilling the key lifestyle behaviors essential for ongoing physical wellbeing. It doesn’t attempt to be 100% inclusive, but rather starts with what is believed to be a universal set of “Healthy habits” that are not designed to be an exhaustive list, or official endorsement but rather a template from which individuals can broadly establish goals for their health in the context of overall wellness. Travelers are encouraged to adapt or edit this list to best reflect their own physical health needs.
2. Do not smoke or abuse any type of drugs or alcohol.
3. Be safe; intentionally aim to reduce your risk of injury or illness,
- Always wear your seatbelt and drive safely.
- Consistently wear sunscreen and quality sunglasses. Limit excessive sun exposure.
- Reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and products with harmful chemicals
- Keep your home safe; prevent falls, fires, and mold. Install fire alarms and extinguishers.
- Have a backup plan for emergencies. Practice or renew it annually.
4.Prevent the spread of germs with good hygiene and cleaning.
- Personal hygiene starts with regular bowel movements, bathing, and teeth cleaning.
- To reduce risk of infection, wash your hands well with soap and avoid people who cough.
- Wash your clothes, towels and bed linens weekly, your home bi-weekly.
5. Proactively use preventive and first-aid care.
- Know first aid and CPR. Maintain first-aid supplies at home. Call 911 in emergencies.
- Practice proactive health care with routine checkups appropriate for your age and gender.
- Use alternative providers, such as chiropractors and the like, proactively, not just reactively.
6. Get the quality sleep you need for full recovery and rejuvenation.
7. Drink 6+ cups of water each day,
8. Nourish yourself well by enjoying a variety of wholesome foods 3+ times a day.
- Select a diversity of minimally-processed produce, protein-rich foods, healthful grains and oils.
- Choose organic and local grown when affordable.
- Never binge, skip breakfast, or drink alcohol and drive.
- Keep added trans-fatty acids, sugar and sugar substitutes, salt, and alcohol consumption in check.
- Listen to body cues: Eat when hungry; stop when full. Limit portions as needed.
- Balance caloric intake with exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
10. Exercise is medicine; commit to physical activity six days a week.
- Aim for 150+ minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week.
- Do strength training exercises at least twice a week.
- Stretch daily to enhance flexibility, balance and to minimize pain.
To assist travelers in successfully navigating the maze of health and fitness related websites, phone apps and support groups, this chapter concludes with information the author perceives are credible and useful places to commence additional health related information.
Chapter 11. Cautious and Preventative, addresses health guidelines two through five with the goal of assisting travelers in minimizing risks and securing lifelong preventive health care. Greater focus was placed on the discussion of how to minimize the risk of chemical exposure, because it is important and is not consistently addressed in normal health care settings.
- Activity 11.1 Avoiding Chemical Exposure
- Activity 11.2 What do I value most?
- Activity 11.3. Preventative Care Self-assessment
Chapter 12. Committed to Self-Care, focuses on health guidelines six through nine, which focus on the critical aspects of self-care, including the value of discipline and topics related to general wellness (sleep, water, nutrition, and body composition). Since excess body weight plagues the majority of us, this chapter concludes by summarizing the best ways to assess body composition and dieting for weight loss.
- Activity 12.1 Building My Willpower
- Activity 12.2 My Body Composition Goals
- Activity 12.3 Self-Care Assessment
Chapter 13. Energized and Fit, focuses on how exercise is medicine, which is healthy guideline ten. It includes recommendations for exercises and includes a series of activities designed to help people review the benefits of exercise, overcome obstacles related to enhanced physical activity, and begin preliminary planning for goals related to increased fitness and weight loss.
- Activity 13.0 Fitness Resources and Considerations
- Activity 13.1 Overall Fitness Assessment
- Activity 13.2 Four-week Fitness Plan
- Activity 13.3 Presidential Fitness Test for Adults
Chapters 11-13 each include self-assessment exercises specific to the 10 habits that facilitate objective self-assessments, and assist travelers in design overcoming common obstacles and explore effective strategies. If you decide you are sufficiently motivated to establish a goal you are then encouraged to move on to the activities in The Wellness Compass Journey. Step 2. (chapter 21) to further refine your goal planning and implement your plans successfully
Related Blog Posts.
 J. Algazy, S. Gipstein, F. Riahi, and K. Tyron, “Why Governments Must Lead the Fight Against Obesity,” McKinsely Quarterly (2010), retrieved on June 8, 2016, from http://www.animate-eu.com/public/news/active/375/McKinsey%20quarterly_Why%20governments%20must%20lead%20the%20fight%20against%20obesity%20plus%20posts.pdf; W. F. Stewart, J. A. Ricci, E. Chee, and D. Morganstein, “Lost Productive Work Time Costs From Health Conditions in the United State: Results from the American Productivity Audit,” American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (2003): 1234–46.
 Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and the Institute of Medicine, “Report Brief. U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health,” 2003, retrieved on June 8, 2016, from http://sites.nationalacademies.org/cs/groups/dbassesite/documents/webpage/dbasse_080620.pdf.
 Expanded from Dr. Peeyush Bhargava, MD, “10 Commandments of Good Health,” American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (2013), retrieved on June 3, 2015, from http://www.abihm.org/10-commandments-of-good-health.
 Travelers seeking to enhance habit #1 are referred to chapters 2-5.
- Moderation is a key to good health and a healthy weight.
- Exercise is Medicine®
To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we can not be able to keep our mind strong & clear.
The three goals of the Physical Health dimension of wellness include
- Committed to Self-Care, focuses on critical aspects of self-care that are needed to be well and prevent chronic diseases (specifically obesity). Key topics discussed include sleep, water, good diet, body composition, and key concepts for maintaining weight loss. It ends with personal assessment of one’s weight, diet and personal self-care habits that can be an excellent starting point for a journey to enhance one’s nutrition or weight loss.
- Cautious & Proactive, aims to assist travelers in by minimizing risks, securing health care proactively and reducing chemical exposure
- Energized and Fit, focuses on how Exercise is Medicine®,. It includes recommendations for exercises and includes a series of activities designed to review the benefits, overcome obstacles related to enhanced physical activity, and commence preliminary planning for goals related to increased fitness and weight loss.
The Wellness Compass® Approach to Enhancing Physical Health
The Wellness Compass Travel Guide® takes the stance that
- It is our government’s responsibility to assure laws and medical care are in place to protect public health and prevent disease;
- It’s the medical establishment’s responsibility to cost-effectively provide quality medical care; and
- It is the individual’s responsibility to assure their own health and the well-being of their dependents.
Consequently each of us should be knowledgeable of ways to maintain health, apply public guidance, and should be able to secure medical attention when it’s needed. It’s not that difficult if you value health, have time and money. It’s a lot harder if you are poor, disabled or have so many responsibilities that you have little time to take care of yourself. Your environment, past history, age, genetics and self-care significantly affect your physical health. With so much variation, ‘one size guidelines’ don’t fit all. Likewise, we no longer rely on doctors who are General Practitioners, but rather on a whole array of specialists to treat and prevent both disease and injury. The Wellness Compass Travel Guide® acknowledges that the advice provided herein is general, not specific, and that expert guidance trumps general guidance.
 Algazy, J. Gipstein, S., Riahi, F., Tyron, K. (2010). Why Governments must lead the fight against obesity. McKinsely and company. Quarterly Review. Retrieved from http://www.animate-eu.com/public/news/active/375/McKinsey%20quarterly_Why%20governments%20must%20lead%20the%20fight%20against%20obesity%20plus%20posts.pdf
 Stewart, W.F., Ricci, J.A., Chee, E., Morganstein, D. (2003). Lost Productive Work Time Costs From Health Conditions in the United State: Results from the American Productivity Audit. American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2003: 1234-1246.
 National Academy and Institute on Medicine (2013). Report Brief. U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. Retrieved from
 For an overview of components of physical health that align with the Wellness Compass see Koshua, J. What is Physical Health? – Definition, Components and Examples. Retrieved from http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-physical-health-definition-components-examples.html
 Expanded from Dr. Peeyush Bhargava, MD (2013). 10 Commandments of Good Health. American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.abihm.org/10-commandments-of-good-health