Would you like to:
- Look healthy?
- Feel well?
- Avoid sickness?
- Decrease your risk of disease?
- Keep your body functioning efficiently throughout your life?
If so, you are likely interested in your body’s health.
Health has been defined the state of being free from illness or injury. This is a traditional and narrow definition of health. With the advent of modern medicine with its innovations and increased life span, the way we look at health has also changed. Health is not merely being free from debilitating conditions. Rather, health is seen as having many components ranging from the lack of sickness to the body’s fitness.
This change in perspective on health prompted the The World Health Organization (WHO) to defined health in its 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
While health has many components, a brief list includes the following:
- Physical activity
- Nutrition and diet
- Alcohol and drugs
- Medical self-care
- Rest and sleep
Physical activity: Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Whether it is leisurely activity such a riding a bike or walking, or structured activity such as running or lifting weights, being physically active promotes a stronger and healthier body. Regular physical activity can strengthen your bones and muscles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Nutrition and diet: You’ve probably heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” That’s still true today. If you fill your body with a well-balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, you are well on you way to good health. Eating lots of junk food will result in low energy and fatigue and even being in poor health.
Alcohol and drugs: Using and abusing drugs and alcohol can lead to many medical issues, including lung or cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and mental disorders. If you have any addictive tendencies or other health risks, you should consider complete abstinence from these substances.
Medical self-care: Self-care includes all health decisions people make for themselves. Self-care is also taking care of minor ailments such as a cut or a headache with basic items, such as bandages, lozenges and over-the-counter pain-relieving medications. Long term conditions or one’s own health after discharge from a medical professional also fall within the meaning of self-care.
Rest and sleep: Allowing the body to rest is just as important as regular physical activity and is essential for physical health. Not only does sleep makes you feel better, but adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep and rest and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.