January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010
Happy Birthday Rob!

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and it is also my brother Rob's birthday. I will not say how old he is but he is older than I am. I hope he had a great one! My birthday wish for him is health, hope and happiness.

Unfortunately because of my current health problems, I was not able to go to Pensacola to celebrate it with him. Hopefully, next year I will be able to do so. Speaking of my health and wishing him good health, today I would like to talk about wellness.

The term "wellness" can be summed up best by the definitions listed below.

From Dictionary.com: 1) the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. 2) an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.

From the American Heritage Dictionary: the condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits.

There are several key points in these definitions.

1) Being in a state of wellness requires deliberate effort.

2) There is an emphasis not only on traditional treatment but also on prevention.

3) Good overall health requires good habits.

Most HIV providers will do a very good job of explaining the necessities of adhering to medication regimens, avoiding drugs, alcohol and smoking, and keeping routine appointments. However, other components of being well are sometimes overlooked or underemphasized. Since there is no time limit to reading this blog, let me use this opportunity to cover wellness in greater detail.


There are precious few data to suggest an ideal exercise regimen for HIV positive patients. In reality, there is no "one size fits all" approach to fitness, since people who are HIV positive range in age from infants to the very old, and from the very sick to fine tuned athletes in the peak of health. They live in every time zone in every climate. And perhaps most importantly, they range from the very well off financially to those struggling to get by day to day.

Many people falsely believe you need a fancy gym membership or a personal trainer to get any benefit from regular exercise. In fact, just about anyone can engage in a physical activity that will convey health benefits. What is most important about exercise and fitness is not whether you are doing the "right" exercise… it is that you do something and you do it consistently.

For you, taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood several evenings a week might be right. For someone else, mountain biking through a state park or canoeing down a nearby stream might work. For others, a regular regimen at a nearby gym is best.

What you will not see here is me telling you the best way to exercise. What I will tell you is that as long as you make the effort you will reap health benefits (such as lower blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes, a better state of mind, improved cardiovascular health, and lower cholesterol) .

A few tips will get you on your way to wellness

1) Stop procrastinating and making excuses.

2) Choose an activity you enjoy doing. If you are having fun, exercise seems less like a chore and more like something you will look forward to doing.

3) Get a friend or family member to exercise with you. You will enjoy it more and can encourage each other to stay motivated and be consistent.

For the next several days, I will be covering other items about wellness so check back each day.

I hope you have a great day. Remember to make the most of it.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab