What is Health?
The typical dictionary's definition of health is: (this one is from Merriam Webster):
the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit
especially : freedom from physical disease or pain
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as: "State of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity"
So health is not only being free of disease, but being in an overall state of wellbeing.
Health is dynamic, it changes as the body adapts and adjusts to the internal and external environmental changes.
Types of Health
The definition mentions three: physical, mental and social wellbeing:
This is pretty straightforward: our body works in harmony, efficiently, free of pain and distress.
There are many factors involved in maintaining good health, genetics is one, but a balanced diet with adequate intake of nutrients, regular exercise, proper rest are the key elements (safe sex, healthy lifestyles - avoiding alcohol, drugs and not smoking are other factors that promote great physical health).
External aspects interplay with these factors and may alter the physical health balance: virus, germs, accidents and injuries, fungal infections can create tensions on our physical health. It is here when we may require treatment to maintain this balance.
So access to decent medical care is also important in maintaining good health.
Our psychological wellbeing is paramount in our internal balance, our social interactions and our emotional balance. Mental health is as important as physical health.
One usually associates mental health with conditions such as mental disorders, depression, anxiety, emotional distress, but mental health is (as mentioned further up) the absence of mental disorders, to the contrary it is the presence of positive elements such as those listed below that contribute to good mental health:
- The ability to adapt to changes and deal with stress
- Feeling safe, centered and secure
- Confidence, self esteem
- Build and maintain healthy relationships
- Resilience: bounce back and recover from life's adversity
- The capacity to live, laugh, enjoy and have fun
- Good balance between work and play
- Having a purpose in life, emotional ties and fulfilling activities
Mental and physical health are intimately linked, one can affect the other. A Holistic (considering the "whole" instead of the "parts" separately) approach to health must consider both aspects, the body and the mind.
Preserving Good Health
To live a long and active life with a feeling of wellbeing and bringing out the best of ourselves, we need to preseerve our health.
Our website covers the key elements that contribute towards a healthy life:
- Actively life a healthy lifestyle
- Work towards enhancing your wellness (social, mental, intellectual, physical, spiritual)
Advice for maintaining optimal health
We can't avoid disease completely, but we can be proactive, and right now start building healthy habits:
- Eat a healthy diet with balanced nutrients and adequate energy for our body weight.
- Maintain a healthy body weight and body fat levels
- Exercise regularly.
- Screen for diseases, visit your physician or health care professional periodically for regular checkups
- Build healthy habits (don't smoke, use drugs, drink alcohol in moderation, practice safe sex)
- Enhance wellbeing through social, communal and interpersonal relationships.
- Adopt and work on the positive mental health factors (love, resilience, confidence, ability to change and adapt).
Read more on our resources below:
Each of the following pages has links to many resources covering subjects such as vitamins, health conditions, staying healthy and the latest health news:
Vitamins & Supplements
A to Z of Health Conditions
A. Whittall. ©2018. Health. Patagonia Wellness, 23 Oct. 2018. http://www.patagoniawellness.com/health/health.html
Subject: Healthy. What is health? Mental and physical health, keys to preserving and enhancing health.