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Healthy Living and Wellness



Contributed by Ruth Reichmann

To understand wellness travel you first must understand, the meaning of wellness. What is it? As of today's writing, there are over 13,000,000 hits on Google using the key words" definition of wellness.” Often wellness is associated with the phrase "mind, body and spirit.” There are many definitions and models of wellness, some of which are broader in breadth and scope than others.

Wellness is such a vague term, that the Presidential Council on Physical Fitness and Sports attempted to create a uniform definition of wellness in 2001. According to the Presidential Council, wellness is not synonymous with fitness, nor alternative medicine. They adapted from several sources to create the following definition.

Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.

Dictionary.com offers the following definition of wellness:

The state or condition of being in good physical and mental health:

      Stress affects every aspect of wellness.

The American Heritage Medical Dictionary offers the following:

The condition of good physical, mental and emotional health, especially when maintained by an appropriate diet, exercise, and other lifestyle modifications.

The World Health Organization offers the following:

Wellness is the optimal state of individuals and groups. There are two focal concerns: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually and economically, and the fulfillment of one's role in family, community, place of worship, workplace and other settings.

IHC's new Even Hotel brand offers the following:

Wellness means different things to different people, and ranges across a wide spectrum from performance and self-improvement to healthy fun and restoration.


More than physical health, nutrition or exercise, wellness involves taking responsibility for the quality of one's life. According to Don Ardell, Ph.D., wellness "begins with a conscious decision to shape a healthy lifestyle. Wellness is a mind-set, a predisposition to adopt a series of key principles in varied life areas that lead to high levels of well-being and life satisfaction." Dr. Halbert Dunn, who wrote, "High-Level Wellness" in 1961, describes wellness as including good health, self-knowledge and creative expression.

It's been widely agreed upon that an essential element to wellness, is having self-directed, conscious, ongoing effort to live in a healthy, holistic manner. Wellness is a lifestyle. The Six Dimensions of Wellness is an interdependent and inter-related model including social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and occupational aspects. Developed by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWl). Wellness Tourism Worldwide has adopted Hettler's model of wellness, with the addition of environmental wellness as an important aspect of total well-being and this model is used widely today in hospitals, universities and health promotion programs.

"Whole person wellness" was created by John Travis, MD, MPR, who advocated finding balance in all dimensions of life. Adapted by the Wellness Inventory, the 12 dimensions are: self-responsibility & love, breathing, sensing, eating, moving, feeling, thinking, playing & working, communicating, intimacy, finding meaning and transcending.

Wellness & Heritage Tourism

League of Women Voters to Sponsor

A Vision 2020 Community Conversation on 
Wellness and Heritage Tourism

In this community conversation we brought together the various wellness and heritage components discussed in three community conversations in the Fall 2011. They focused on 1. Brown County's many natural assets, the State Park, Hoosier Forest, lakes and forested landscapes with trails, waterways and outdoor adventure and 2. Its cultural and historic assets, Nashville with 70 historic structures, including the Historic Courthouse and Pioneer Village, with the T.C. Steele, artist galleries and studios, stores with arts and crafts and more.

To be truly well you need a healthy lifestyle and then participate in all those activities that provide enjoyment: family and friends, food, recreation and life-time sports, walking, hiking, swimming, historic sites, arts, art galleries, museums, theaters, stores with local or Indiana products, entertainment, restaurants with local specialties. Community wellness and a rich and inspiring environment will lead to a healthy economy and will benefit those living there as well as visitors to the area.

The consensus reached with the 2011 conversations was that we needed an Inventory of our many Brown County assets.  In 2013 with the help of a group of Kelley School of Business students, the League did an "An Assessment and Inventory of Brown County's Rich Heritage: Natural, Historic, Cultural."  

The National Trust’s definition of cultural heritage tourism is “traveling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes historic, cultural and natural resources."

SRI International
defines wellness tourism as all travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being. The wellness tourism economy includes all expenditures made by tourists on these types of leisure and business trips, including lodging, food and beverage, activities/excursions, shopping and transport. 

"According to the Global Wellness Institute Wellness Tourism is an explosive new travel category that exists at the powerful intersection of two of the world’s largest markets—the US$2-trillion wellness economy and the US$3.2-trillion global tourism industry."


Linking Brown County’s many and varied resources can do more for the local economy than promoting them separately. Brown County can leverage its natural, historic, cultural and human assets to attract tourists to stay for a vacation or a get-away, and at the same time contribute to a quality of life that enhances the Brown County experience. 
Based on the consensus reached with the 2011 conversations: 
 An Assessment and Inventory of Brown County Aug 17 2014 updated by Ruth.pdf

Please contact Ruth Reichmann at reichman@indiana.edu
for additions or corrections.



Health Report

Health Report on Brown County 

During the fall semester of 2012, the IU Kelley School of Business assigned four graduate students to work with Brown Countians for Quality Health Care.  The students interviewed many local health providers and decision-makers to try to determine the barrier to full health coverage in our county and suggest solutions. 

The Brown County League of Women Voters fully supports this effort, in keeping with the state and national positions on health care.  Several of our League members are also part of Brown Countians for Quality Health Care.

Click HERE to view/download a copy of the Final Report.

The League of Women Voters of Brown County supports the Indiana League of Women Voters position, which can be read at the link below.  This is also a reflection of the national position.

Click HERE to view/download a copy of the State Position on Health Care.