Five Ways to Make Your Wellness Well-Rounded

Think healthy living is just about eating carrot sticks and getting your downward dog on in Yoga class? While those elements can help, my experience at the 2012 Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference in Denver over the past few days reminded me there’s a whole lot more to the equation. In the spirit of sharing and caring, here are five ways to make your wellness more well-rounded:

1)      Eat wisely.  According to MarketData Enterprises, the number of American dieters is going to soar to 108 million in 2012; yet 95% of those individuals will regain lost pounds and then some. A big reason is deprivation eating: people taking in a ridiculously low amount of daily calories or other extreme practices until they snap like a rubber band and eat all sour cream and onion potato chips within a two mile radius. Most nutrition experts I’ve spoken with advise aiming for a 90/10 balance of healthy eating choices with occasional spikes of planned treats. I’m happy to report that the Conference managed to serve foods that lovingly blended both attributes. Hungry when the trade show started, I immediately darted to the Refuel With Chocolate Milk booth to chug a yummy low fat sample for a protein boost before becoming obsessed with snack squares from goodness knows.  Other delicious, nutritious treats included portion-controlled dried cherry packets and anytime maple energy squares.  Sure beats the stale Danish rolls served at the corporate conferences I’ve attended in the past!

2)      Move often.  I’m not talking about renting a U-Haul and plying friends with beer to cart furniture around. You’ve got to move your own body to enjoy prime health.  As wellness rock star Dr. James Hill said during the conference, “Exercise is the one proven thing you can do to fight aging.” The conference provided us with access to the state-of-the-art  Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and instructor-led stretching breaks between sessions.   How can you add more movement to your daily life?

3)      Connect. My favorite part of this experience was the camaraderie.  Spending time with lovely, like-minded souls in person nourished my spirit and mind. Instead of constantly pushing yourself to stay late at work or schedule an extra run, it may do you even more good to spend quality time with a friend. Kymberly from Fun and Fit and Tamara from fitknitchick blew off the evening exercise sessions yesterday so we could shoot the breeze and it was a blast.

4)      Share. Lots of friends from the healthy living community wanted to attend the conference and couldn’t make it this year. So our group decided to make this experience as inclusive as possible by tweeting frequently with the #FHBC12 hashtag. Yesterday morning, our conference was one of the top trending topics on Twitter. Make sure you share any tidbits of wisdom collected in your personal healthy living journey with others who would appreciate it.

5)      Rest. I bombed out on this last point Stayed up way past my normal bedtime talking to new friends while the early-riser internal body clock kept waking me up before the butt-crack of dawn.  With so many interesting things to experience and learn, I didn’t have a moment of downtime during the days either. Yet true wellness is also about knowing when to rest and recharge. So my next big priority is SLEEP.

Disclosure: ReFuel With Chocolate Milk provided me with a scholarship to attend the 2012 Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference. However, all opinions are my own!

How can you make your wellness more rounded? Have you implemented any changes or new practices  recently to bolster your healthy living journey?


  1. Hold on while I jot down my fave new phrase: “butt-crack of dawn.” Did you make that up? AHh aha ha Your post really captures the key aspects of the conference. It’s all about balance! And right now I am balancing how sad I was to say good-bye to you and our other “new” friends with how happy I am to have attended and be able to return home. MISS YOU ALREADY! Thanks for the nice mention in your post. BTW we got Rock Star Intellectual, Dr Hill to get on twitter. @Drjimhill

    • Kymberly, I haven’t heard anyone else say “butt-crack of dawn” but for all I know it has a trademark register somewhere. :) Feel free to use it to your heart’s content. My favorite part of the trip was being with ya’ll (see there’s the proof that I’m not actually from NYC after all). thanks for the scoop on Dr. Hill being on Twitter!

  2. Baby, I’d blow off a lecture to hang with you any day. Next year I”m switching color groups so I can be with you crazy chicks! Very well-written post.

    • And I look forward to spending more time with you next year too! Thanks for the compliment on the copy; I tried to use some of those great tips you and your sis shared during your presentation on Friday morning. :)

  3. Wonderful tips for any conference, vacation or really everyday life. I can’t wait to be there with you all next year!

  4. Sounds like it was a great time from the little I saw on Twitter.

    • Thanks so much, Karen! I would love to see you in person – any interest in coming to Fitbloggin in September or the FHBC conference in Denver next year?

  5. Sounds like a fabulous event! I love the 90/10 rule—all things in moderation! People love to hear that they don’t have to be perfect in order to get in shape. And isn’t that a good thing, considering that none of us are perfect?

    Would love to have heard Dr. Hill. I have long been fascinated by the National Weight Control Registry, which he and Dr. Rena Wing established.

  6. Fabulous tips Shira! And love how you cite sources as our dear experts prodded us to do ;). Your writing is stellar and now we have the added benefit of seeing your vlogs. I so enjoyed our time together at the conference. Hope to see you at Fitbloggin!

  7. Great recap of a fabulous weekend!

    I especially like how you point out the value of spending time with friends to overall health and wellness! That’s one of the cornerstones of happiness (according to Gretchen Reuben’s book ‘The Happiness Project’).

    And it looks like you’ve already made some changes to the face of your blog; I love it!

    Lots of love aimed in your direction!

  8. Great summary :D These rules cover how to live a balanced LIFE too! It occurs to me that for points #3 and 4, was can also include the advice to use fitness apps! I forget Ted’s exact statistics but it was clear from them that those who engage on social media in conjunction with using a fitness or weight-loss app are FAR liklier to see progress and stick with it!