The WILD in WILD 5 Wellness is an acronym for Wellness Interventions for Life’s Demands. The 5 in WILD 5 Wellness are the five wellness elements - Exercise, Mindfulness, Sleep, Social Connectedness, and Nutrition.
We know life can be stressful and negatively impact your overall well-being. The WILD 5 Wellness Program is a scientifically- based program that has been rigorously studied. The study data indicate that the Program's 5 elements, when practiced together, results in increased levels of well- being.
WILD practices are ancient wellness practices that date back to our ancestors who lived thousands of years ago. These wellness interventions are nothing new, as they were an important part of our ancestors’ daily lives. In the words of our colleague and dear friend, Charles L. Raison, MD, who is the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children and Families, School of Human Ecology and Professor, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the wellness elements contained in the WILD 5 Program truly are:
"Ancient practices for modern times!"
Below are a few examples of how ancient societies practiced WILD 5 Wellness:
Exercise: One had to expend energy to hunt and forage for food. It wasn’t as simple as hopping into a car and swinging by a local drive-through. Exercise was part of their daily routine and a necessary component of survival.
Mindfulness:Hunter-gathers had to be fully present, engaged, and aware of their surroundings, moment-to-moment, to avoid being killed by a predator or rival group.
Sleep: When the sun disappeared beyond the horizon and darkness fell, sleep was a natural response. There were no distractions like television, Facebook, online gaming, and smartphones to saturate their eyes with unnatural light and disrupt their circadian rhythms.
Social Connectedness: Family units equaled more people to hunt and forage resulting in a better chance of survival. There was safety and power in numbers. Groups stayed together to survive and prosper.
Nutrition: Ancient societies, particularly those from Mediterranean cultures, were known to eat foods rich in green leafy vegetables, fish, fruits, nuts, and olive oil. These eating practices supported optimum physical and mental health.