Physician and scientific wellness pioneer Dr Molly Maloof explains why wellness is about more than just health and shares her five tips for optimal living.
This article is contributed by our partners at Chōsen Experiences.
Too often we associate “being well” with only physical health (and medical practitioners, like myself, are as guilty of this as anyone) but any true, holistic sense of wellness must take into account the health of the mind and spirit, as well as body.
I regularly meet people who are very physically healthy but far from “optimally well” – they can keep up with anyone in the gym but they struggle to cope with stress at work, or they have a good diet but they still feel unsatisfied and that their life is lacking in some significant way.
That’s why my approach to wellness – which I refer to as “scientific wellness” – aims to address not just the physical but create higher states of health for mind, body and spirit.
Generally, I look at everything from my client’s micronutrient levels and metabolomics to their personal biochemistry to identify key areas that we can work on to optimize their health. But I also ask them about what hobbies they have, how fulfilled they are in their professional life, how they deal with anxieties and stress.
Of course, everyone has to focus on different facets of their lives to achieve optimum wellness, but generally, there are certain lifestyle adjustments that I prescribe time and time again.
So here’s a shortlist of my top five tips for optimizing your overall wellness.
1) Eat right
Fill your body with foods that truly fuel your body and mind, rather than empty foods that don’t offer anything more than a few seconds of pleasure. Really listen to your body when you put food into it. What is it telling you after an hour, three hours, a day? If something goes wrong, course correct and learn from any mistakes. Try to meal plan ahead to stay on track and, if possible, source your foods from a local farmers’ market or organic grocer – local, organic produce is much higher in vitamins and minerals than store-bought goods.
I consider meditation to be the most transformative thing I do regularly to optimize my health and wellness. I wake up each morning and start my day by drinking some water and then meditating for 15-20 minutes. This helps me stay grounded and focused throughout the day and is one of the best ways to combat stress.
Regular exercise is incredibly important for both physical and mental well-being. I don’t have a lot of time to devote to lengthy workout sessions, so I focus on doing a quick one hour in the morning and then make sure I keep moving throughout the day, that might be by jogging to work instead of driving, or going for a walk while I take business calls.
4) Get quality sleep
Getting enough sleep – and enough of the right kind of sleep – is extremely important to maintaining optimal wellness. Keep your circadian rhythms in check by developing an evening routine and try to go to bed at the same time each night. Limiting your evening screen time is another really good way to prep your body and mind for sleep so both are better able to recover and recharge while you slumber.
5) Take supplements
In my opinion, supplements are a necessary complement to healthy diet and lifestyle. If they are of pharmaceutical-grade quality and taken appropriately and regularly they can make a huge difference to your health. But unfortunately, most people take them haphazardly and so never see true results. I plan out my supplement regime at the beginning of every month and keep an up-to-date spreadsheet that explains what I’m taking, why, when and in what dose. If you’re really serious about optimizing your health, I would recommend finding an experienced, reputable supplement provider. They can order laboratory tests to look at your genetics, micro nutrients, hormones, and clinical chemistry markers and then use all that info to build you a custom supplement plan that addresses your own deficiencies and concerns.
Chōsen Experiences create small group transformative travel experiences that combine wellness coaching and pro-athlete fitness training with adventure activities and entrepreneurial workshops. Each 7-day Chōsen Bali retreat is an active vacation designed to challenge and stimulate participants to optimize their mental and physical performance. These are holistic wellness holidays taken to a whole new level.
Dr Molly Maloof is a physician and personalized medicine pioneer who helps shape the nutrition and wellness program of each of Chōsen’s travel experience weeks. She is leading a one-week Chōsen week with a focus on Food as Medicine in Guatemala in November.
*Terms and conditions apply: offer valid for bookings made by 31 July 2017 and is subject to availability and restrictions.