Health is more complicated than people think. It encompasses physical, social and mental well-being. It has a different meaning to each, depending on their situations. It is something that people strive for. Using resources to improve physical capabilities, exercise the mind and reach personal goals. Health and well-being are one in the same as attributes that people want to attain.
The Definition of Health
The definition of health is hard to narrow down because of the multi-faceted nature of the beast. One also realizes that there is a difference between good health and bad health that complicates the definition further. Poor health can simply be the presence of illness and disease, but good health encompasses so much more than just their absence. Well-being is inherently good health but on a wider scale, covering mental and social health as well.
Health and disease can be considered the two end poles with a large amount of matter between them. Scientists, epidemiologists, medical professionals and economists have all provided their definitions, but sadly they miss the fuller spectrum of what health is. The social environment impacts the health of a person or community, medical care provided and behavioral choices. There are so many factors that affect health and well-being that no one profession can adequately define it. The best they can do is provide a description based on the knowledge they have from their field. This does, however, leave the definition open to interpretation. People can then define it according to their needs and situations.
What is Health Care?
Health care involves the prevention, treatment, and management of diseases and preserving mental and physical well-being. Through the services of medical professionals as well as personal choices, the health of a person changes. Our upbringing, as well as our physical environments to advertising and social relationships, also influence our overall health. One is considered healthy when they can increase longevity and lead happy, satisfied lives. One is also able to use their resources (mental, physical and spiritual) to benefit those around them.
The process of staying healthy is an ongoing one, involving the upkeep of both the mental and the physical. Individuals have to regulate diet, exercise, and emotions to create the delicate balance between mental and physical health. Most people are aware of the need to take care of mind and body, but emotions get ignored. This can be a damaging effect on a person’s overall state of well-being.
You Are What You Eat
Longevity is influenced by many factors, one being food and nutrition. Endless studies produce results for the best foods and supplements to include in your diet. The direct link between food, health, and prevention of certain diseases is continually studied. You need vitamin C for your immune system and fiber to ward off colon cancer. A proper diet supports exercise both in providing energy and aiding in recovery. Overall physical performance can be enhanced with simple nutritional changed or additions.
No matter how many studies there are and how many professionals give their opinions, the one thing that rings true is the need for a balanced diet. Diet in the sense of maintaining a healthy weight. Using the term ‘diet’ to infer losing weight is not accurate. A more precise perception is to eat balanced meals and maintain a healthy weight. This will involve losing weight for some and gaining weight for others. The information we hear changes daily, regarding diet regimes and exercise programs, giving many people misguided views. The main point is simple; what you eat and drink determines your health. The key to your well-being lies in the balance.
An even mix of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins, and vitamins are how you achieve balance. You can be the most dedicated person to exercise, but without proper diet, your health will suffer. You do not need to worry about counting calories and dieting fads, by eating small healthy portions, weight loss will occur naturally. The important thing is that it will be done in a way more natural for your body. Not everyone has access to the same nutritional choices, and poor health is correlated to poor diet. This provides further support for the need to have the right nutrition to have the best health.
Stay Active, Stay Healthy
The benefits of exercise are far reaching regarding overall health. Ideal weight, strong bones, muscles and joints, enhanced immune system and reduced risk of surgery are to name a few. For increased muscle density and improved cardiovascular performance concentrate on an aerobic exercise like running and swimming. To increase muscle mass and strength, you need weight training and other anaerobic exercises. Any activity needs to be accompanied by rest to allow your body to recover and replenish. Without recovery, your body can become injured and negatively impact your well-being. Injuries can also occur with misinformation, lack of motivation and even psychological problems such as eating disorders.
Always work with a professional to design an exercise program for you. Your goals and definition of well-being are not the same as the next person. Physicians, therapists, and personal trainers will all be able to help. You can always make time for exercise; there are no excuses. Small workouts can be done at any time of the day so long as you create a break in your schedule. It is advantageous to find a partner to work out with; the mutual support and accountability keep you motivated. Having an active lifestyle delivers many benefits; improved performance, flexibility and energy levels, healthier joints and reduced weight. Imagine how much more you can accomplish when you have so much more energy and drive.
Check Your Emotions At The Door
As stated before, many people are not aware of the effect their emotions have on their state of health. Mental health is not only important to longevity, but to every individual stage of your life. The way we think, feel and act all impact our lives, and under continued duress, immune systems and other necessary body functions can deteriorate. Our well-being feels the strain of sadness and the pressures of anger. Emotions are a part of our lives and expressing them is healthy, but we need to be consciously aware of them. If they get away from us, we will ultimately suffer both physically and mentally.
The mental health of children is of particular importance because without the proper attention their lives as adults can be severely and negatively impacted. Children are sponges and soak in everything from their environments. This makes them more susceptible to mental diseases like depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, and ADHD to name a few. You want to give your child the same things you give yourself. Proper diet, exercise, regular doctor, and dental checks as well as a loving home.
The sad truth is that two-thirds of young people who have mental illness are not getting the treatment they need. Left untreated children can face school problems, substance abuse, delinquency, violence and even suicide. Be sure to consult with professionals, both medical and at the schools, to understand what signs to look for. Your diligence in this will be the best way to keep their mental development and well-being on the positive spectrum. You want your kids to have the best opportunities and identifying mental problems early will ensure they can still have them.
Mental health is strongly associated with emotions. Stress is an inevitable part of life, but you can control how it affects you and your well-being. Stress increases blood pressure which increases your chances of heart disease. The best defense is to remain calm and keep stressful situations from getting to you. Anger is an ugly disease that eats away at you from the inside, so learn to control it. Practice yoga and meditation or simply make time for activities you enjoy. The mind benefits from you taking the time to enjoy life and relaxing with your favorite past-time. Your mind and body will thank you, and you will appreciate the longevity you are rewarded with.
Society today is run by convenience; food is served fast and, everything is done by smart phones. With the world in a rush, you need to remember to slow down. Constantly on the go in a state of alert awareness raises stress levels and your well-being is what suffers. If there is never down time or relaxing to counteract this, your body and mind begin to suffer. You can start to experience psychological, physical and social problems. Financial situations also compact stress. Many people struggle with money on a daily basis, and this slowly tears the body down from the inside. The only thing to help with this is a positive attitude.
The Difference Your Perception Can Make
The struggles of daily life are real. We work hard and somehow it always never seems to be enough. Making ends meet is a harsh reality for some people let alone saving for that new car or vacation. Our solution is to work harder; more hours means more money, but it also means more stress. When we throw ourselves that heavily into work, we miss out on life, family, friends, and fun. At that point, you have to ask yourself if it is worth it. Is the little bit of extra money you get worth missing out on happiness, life, and overall well-being?
This is where the attitude comes into play. If you change your mind set to where you no longer want so much, you will end up needing less. With that comes the ability to reach goals because they are now more attainable. Success leads to happiness, even if the targets are small ones. The positive impact feelings have on your mind and body are tremendous. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot and be satisfied with the things you have. Find joy in what is around you instead of jealousy for what others have. Be positive even in the face of adversity, because your outlook is a powerful thing. The most negative situation imaginable does not have to end your world, as long as you give it the right spin.
For some this enlightened path is not easy to follow. Some people want the alcohol and drugs and do not want to exercise and eat right. The bad choices they make for their body and longevity will not be long lasting. If this is the case, then you need to enjoy life while you can, because it will most likely be cut short. Unhealthy minds and bodies have a way of checking us out earlier than we plan. If you choose to live a short life and well-being is not a top concern, then at least be happy with it because it is better than a long miserable life.
Individual health is a personal matter and highly subjective. Most cultures commonly associate health with contentment which is easy to understand. To be truly content our minds and bodies are at peace, and this will usually entail healthy habits. The problem is that many people who have it all take it for granted and this is when health begins to suffer. Feeling invincible leads to reckless choices and behavior. The science behind health is promoted and maintained by professionals and practiced by those who make a choice. Individuals have to choose the right attitude, to enable them to balance physical, spiritual, emotional, social and mental health.