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Spokes of wellness

For those who are familiar with me, you undoubtedly have heard me talk about the components of wellness being like spokes of a bicycle wheel. In our metaphorical bicycle wheel, each of the five spokes represents components of wellness. These include: physical fitness (e.g. cardio and strength training), nutrition, and emotional health. Emotional health can be subdivided into numerous categories, but the one that most affects a person's health is stress and anxiety.

We all know that spokes help support the wheel. When one or more of the spokes are broken or missing, the wheel becomes wobbly, forcing the rider to slow down. He may eventually arrive at his destination, but it will take much longer than if all the spokes were in place and working in unison.

If too many of the spokes are broken or missing, the wheel will collapse and the rider will never get to his destination. In much the same way, achieving wellness in one's life is dependent upon all of the components (spokes) being in place.

But what exactly is wellness? Historically, it has simple been defined as the absence of disease. As researchers have learned more about the human body, wellness has been redefined. Wellness is now considered to be a multidimensional process that includes physical, nutritional, and emotional health. Wellness is not an endpoint in our lives, but is an active process we work on every day.

The bicycle wheel analogy is not only useful when discussing wellness as a whole, but also various aspects of health and wellness. For example, the components of weight loss are actually the same ones we used in describing wellness.

Physical fitness, nutrition, and emotional health all play a part in losing weight. If one of those spokes is missing, then just like our bicycle rider, there is a good chance that you will not get to your destination or goal.