The word “health” refers to a state of complete emotional and physical wellbeing. It is the physical, mental and social wellbeing and as a resource for living a full life. It is not the absence of disease, but the ability to recover and bounce back from illness and other problems. Healthcare exist to help people maintain this optional state of health.
Factors of good health includes; genetics, environment, relationship, education etc.
A healthy diet, exercise, screening for disease and coping strategies can all enhance a person’s health.
TYPES OF HEALTH
Mental and physical health are the two most commonly discussed types of health. Others includes spiritual health, emotional health, financial health among others. These have also been linked to lower stress levels and mental and physical wellbeing.
- Physical health involves pursuing a healthy lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease. It is when the body functions are working at peak performance due to regular exercise, balanced nutrition and adequate rest and abstinence from illegal drugs. This can protect and develop the endurance of a person’s breathing and heart function, muscular strength, flexibility and body composition.
- Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social and psychological well being. It is not the absence of anxiety, depression or any other disorder. It also depends on the ability to;
- Enjoy life
- Achieve balance
- Feel safe and secure
- Bounce back after a difficult experience
- Achieve your potential
- Adapt to adversity etc.
All these can affect the weight and body function of a person.
FACTORS OF GOOD HEALTH
Health depends on a wide range of factors. These can be summarized into the following;
- Socioeconomic environment: including how wealthy a family or society is.
- The physical environment: including parasites that exist in an area or pollution level.
- A person’s characteristics and behavior: including the genes that a person possess and their lifestyle choices.
According to WHO, the higher a person’s socioeconomic status (SES), the more likely they are to enjoy good health.
However, people with lower socioeconomic status are more likely to experience stresses related to daily living such as; financial difficulties, mental disruption and unemployment, as well as social factors, marginalization and discrimination. All these add to the risk of poor health.
Cultural issues can also affect health. The tradition and culture of a society and a family’s response to them can have a good or bad impact on health.
How a person manages stress can also affect health. People who smoke, drink or take drugs to forget their problems are likely to have more health problems later than someone who combats stress through a healthy diet and exercise.
The best way to maintain good health is to preserve it through healthy lifestyle, rather than waiting until we get sick to put things right. This state of enhanced wellbeing is referred to as “wellness”.
Wellness promotes an active awareness of and participation in health, as an individual and in the community.
STEPS THAT CAN HELP US MAXIMIZE OUR HEALTH.
Good health isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise, it’s also about having a positive attitude, a positive self-image and a healthy lifestyle. Heath is wealth they say and so it is important that we stay conscious of things we should do to help us stay healthy. The following are a few ways to maintain a good health.
- DRINK MORE WATER: Most people don’t drink enough water every day. Water is essential for our bodies to function. Research has proved that over 60% of our body is made up of water. Water is needed in the body to carryout functions; remove waste and carry nutrients and oxygen round the body. Since we lose water daily through urine, bowel movement, perspiration and breathing, we need to replenish our water intake. Drinking water helps in losing weight. A health study carried out on overweight or obsessed people prove that water drinkers lose 4.5Pounds than control group. This is because drinking water helps fill your stomach, making you less hungry and less likely to over eat.
The amount of way we need is dependent on various factors such as humidity, physical activity and weight. Generally, we need about 2.7 to 3.7 liters of water intake per day. Since food intake contributes about 20% of our fluid intake, we just need about 2 to 3 liters or 8 to 9 glasses of water daily.
One way to tell you are hydrated; your urine should be slightly yellow, if it’s not, like it’s dark yellow or even orange, you are not getting enough water. Other signs include dry mouth, and a little urination. Go drink some water first before you continue this article.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP: When you don’t rest well, you compensate by eating more. Usually, it’s junk food. Also, lack of sleep causes premature aging and insomnia (restlessness due to lack of sleep).
- EXERCISE: Research has shown that exercising daily brings tremendous benefits to our health including an increase in life span, lowering of risks of disease, higher bone density and weight loss. Choose walking over transport for short distances, climb the stairs instead of taking lift. Join aerobics classes or dance class. Pick a sport of your liking.
- EAT FRUITS: Fruits have a load of vitamins and minerals, consume vitamins and minerals through your diet rather than through pills. I eat variety of fruits every morning and they energies me. Apple, grapefruit, pomelo, mango, orange, peach, banana, strawberry are good examples.
- EAT VEGETABLES: Vegetables are a source of many nutrients and minerals like folates, vitamins A and K, manganese and potassium. There are two types of vegetables; starchy vegetables e.g potatoes, yam, pumpkin etc and non starchy vegetables e.g spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, mushroom etc.
- CUT DOWN PROCESSED FOODS: Processed food is not advice able because most of the nutritional value is lost in the creation of these foods. It also contains high amount of salt which leads to high blood pressure and heart diseases. Go for less processed foods such as baked potato over chips, fresh fruits over canned fruits, and intact grains over white bread.
- PREPARE YOUR MEALS: Whenever I can prepare my meals, I do. Cooking and eating at home can make you maintain a healthy diet. It is Cheaper, fun and much healthier than eating out.
- DON’T SMOKE NOR DRINK ALCOHOL: Smoking is detrimental to health, it increases the risk of lung cancer, heart attack, kidney cancer and more. If you are a smoker, quit not just for yourself but for your family and friends. If you don’t smoke, stay away from people that smoke to avoid passive smoking ( breathing in air from smokers). It causes same long term diseases as in direct smoking. Alcohol on the other hand is a diuratic ( drains water from the body). Alcohol consumption can lead to abnormal functioning of the brain, liver, lungs and other major organs.
- GET REGULAR CHECK UPS: Some diseases don’t show up as symptoms until it is too late. Get regular blood and urine test to know the status of your health.
- HANG OUT WITH HEALTHY PEOPLE: You are the average of the 5 people you spend time with, so the more time you spend around healthy people, the better it is. Dine with people who are health conscious and get workout buddies, it makes healthy living more fun.
- GO ORGANIC: Organic food is food without synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers that does not contain generally modified organisms and that is not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or chemical food additives. Eating organic food helps reduce the of consuming these chemicals that stand as a threat to our health.
This is to mention but a few of the things we should do or not do to maintain a healthy life. Health they say is wealth, being poor is not a barrier to living a healthy life. Let’s educate ourselves so we can minimize the rate at which our health is being challenged due to ignorance.
EAT HEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY.