{Wellness 101} Dimensions of Health and Wellness

Hello + Happy Wednesday! I am officially finished with coursework of my master’s program!!! The only thing left is my Capstone. In the midst my research project, I wanted to take a break and continue my blogging series about wellness. In my first post, I focused on my philosophy of wellness in connection to my personal well-being. Today, I hope to expand on the content of my initial post and provide a more concrete understanding of wellness by presenting an overview of the dimensions of health and wellness.

Dimensions of wellness


I believe the essence of wellness is an understanding that life is multidimensional, encompassing all aspects of life. Unfortunately, I believe this core concept is also one of the greatest misconceptions of health and wellness.

If you take a second to think about “health and wellness” and do a quick scan of how health is portrayed in our culture, you may see mental pictures of things like…Dieting. Working out. Running. Disease. Obesity. Diabetes. Being skinny. 

fitness - Wellness - Janelle Runs


You may even see a photo similar to the one above. If your mental list reads similar, don’t worry, you are not alone. It is common belief that health and wellness is singular and only connected to things like diet, exercise routines, presence or absence of disease, body weight, etc… While these things are vitally important to our well-being, they only represent a single aspect of life, our physical health. The danger of this limited belief is that by focusing only on one component, we neglect to recognize and nurture the other dimensions of life, which are equally as important. If you only take one point away from this post, I hope it is an understanding that true health and wellness recognizes, nurtures, and enhances each component of life.

WHO - Definition of Health

So what exactly are these dimensions I keep alluding to….Well, in my classroom I teach about seven dimensions of health and wellness: physical, spiritual, social, mental, emotion, environmental, and occupational wellness (future posts, will be devoted each component). However, there is no single consensus on the dimensions of wellness. Different health organizations and specialists provide differing lists (financial health a common and extremely valid addition). Ultimately, I think the most important thing to understand is that wellness is multifaceted, encompassing body, mind, and soul and how you divide up these three components is going to vary from person to person. 

Understanding that wellness is multidimensional is only half of the issue, The other half centers on recognizing the interconnected nature of wellness. By this I mean that we must also understand that each dimension powerfully impacts the others. I know this is a hard concept to grasp so I hope these examples make it a bit more clear:

  • Scenario #1: Let’s pretend you have high stress job that you strongly dislike. The stress and frustration you feel at the job is going to seep into all other aspects of your life. Your family may feel as though you work to much and as a result it is straining your home life. The impact of this job is profound! Although your occupation is only one component of life, the effect of this single dimension is deeply impacting your life as a whole.
  • Scenario #2: Let’s imagine that you decide to enhance your physical health by joining a gym. At the gym you attend fitness classes, participate in pick-up games, and join a running club. As you get involved in these activities not only are you boosting your physical health, you are also creating new opportunities to build and enhance social relationships. Additionally, as you increase your physical health you can also expand your mental and emotional health. 

Even though these are  fictional examples, I hope it helps explain the interplay between each component of health and wellness (you may even be able to empathize). And hopefully as this series continues and a greater understanding of each dimensions of wellness is gain, you will discover additional connections.

As I get ready to sign off, I hope that take away two things from this post:

  1. Health and wellness is multidimensional 
  2. The dimensions of health and wellness are interconnected 

Next time I’ll start diving into each component of wellness.

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{Fit Friday} Free Fitness Speedway Printable

Fitness Speedway - Title Photo

Happy Friday!

Today, I am sharing one of my favorite P.E. warm ups, Fitness Speedway. I love this warm up because it is easy for the kids to understand and keeps every student moving throughout the entire activity. Additionally, it is easily customizable. A major focus in my P.E. class is ownership of learning and empowering students with the knowledge and skills to live healthy lives once they leave school. This means giving the students the reins and letting them control the learning environment. Last year, I simply had the kids use white boards to write out four exercises. However, in the future I will laminate enough copies of this mini-poster for each pair and have students write the chosen exercises with vis-a-vis markers. If your students are not ready to create their our exercise routine, feel free to write four exercises on a white board or tell the students what to write on their poster.

Here’s the free Fitness Speedway printable. Just right-click + print!

Fitness Speedway - Janelle Runs-PE Warm Up

Using the Fitness Speedway printable in your classroom…

Step 1:

Save printable + Print on regular size paper – print one for every two students (i.e. if you have 30 students, make 15 copies)

Step 2:

Laminate or place in plastic sheet protector (I prefer laminating)

Step 3:

Have students write in four exercises using vis-a-vis markets. I generally have students do: 1 arm exercise (i.e. crab toe touches), 1 leg exercise (i.e. squat jumps), 1 core (i.e. Russian twist), and 1 total body (i.e. burpees). I try to emphasize the importance of a balance workout.

Step 4:

Go through the directions on the poster. I stress that the runner remains outside of the basketball court and that the stationary partner must exercise near the volleyball court.

Step 5:

Press play on the iPod and let the fun begin.

Step 6: 

Have students take + record heart rates, do a few cool down laps, clean posters, and be ready to transition to main learning activity.

**Disclaimer: Although I am a certified physical education teacher should you choose to do any of the workouts and/or training plans featured on this website, you do so at your own risk.**

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National Pancake Day: Fluffy Pancake Recipe

Happy Pancake Day!!! Yay for pancakes. This morning when I realized it’s Pancake Day I pulled up my favorite fluffy pancake recipe and enjoyed a delicious breakfast. I found this recipe on All Recipes  a few months ago and adapted it to be dairy-free. It is now one of my go-to recipes and I often use it a couple of times a week! I hope you find it as yummy as I do! Enjoy!

Fluffy Pancake Recipe - Janelle Runs

Step 1) Mix milk + vinegar to make a dairy-free buttermilk

Step 2) Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt)

Step 3) Add egg and butter/oil to the buttermilk

Step 4) Mix dry and wet mixtures + add vanilla

Step 5) Cook pancakes as desired + eat with your favorite toppings

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{Eats} Meal Planning

Here’s a quick look at this week’s meal planning:

Grab and Go Lunch: 

– Veggie Burgers


– Indian-Lentil Cauliflower Soup (Oh She Glows Cookbook, pg. 132)


– Quinoa + yummy toppings (red peppers, avocado, cucumbers, chick peas, etc)


15-minute Cream Avocado Pasta (Oh She Glows Cookbook, pg. 173)


– Baked Potatoes + Veggie Chilli


Broccoli & Cashew Cheese-Quinoa Burrito (Oh She Glows Cookbook, pg. 159

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{Fit Friday} On the Go Workout

TGIF!!! Here’s a quick On the Go workout. This bodyweight routine is perfect for working out at home or when traveling. When I was in Texas a few weeks ago, I just put on Netflix and got my sweat on:)


**Disclaimer: Although I am a certified physical education teacher should you choose to do any of the workouts and/or training plans featured on this website, you do so at your own risk.**

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