Health

Preserving and maintaining good health

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Health is the overall state of mental and physical wellbeing, a constantly changing balance between ourselves and the environment which can be preserved and enhaced through simple "healthy" habits.

Keeping physically active, mentally engaged, socially and emotionally connected and eating a balanced diet are some ways towards better health.

And this is something that can be done at any age. It is never to late to work on your health, so start now.

This page looks into what health is and what we can do to maintain it or improve it. It also links to many health-related resources.

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.

Health is both physical and mental wellbeing

Types of Health

The definition mentions three: physical, mental and social wellbeing:

Physical health

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.

Mental 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.

allegory of perfect balance: woman doing yoga pose at sunset
Health, a perfect balance of mind, body and soul

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:

On Health...

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

Vitamins are essential to health, they keep us alive and free from deficiency diseases. But, do we need supplements? What are the recommended intakes? and the natural sources?

More...

A to Z of Health Conditions

An A to Z guide of health conditions and illnesses. A brief summary of the main diseases and issues that can affect your health.

More...

Keep Healthy

Tips and advice on staying healthy: information on lifestyle changes, health benefits and risks. Learn about keeping healthy and living a better life.

More...

Health News

Here is the latest news on health, exercise, diet, nutrition, fitness, diet, wellbeing and healthy living. Scientific papers, reports and articles for a healthier and better life.

More...

News by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

 

. ©2018. Health. Patagonia Wellness, 23 Oct. 2018. http://www.patagoniawellness.com/health/health.html

Tags: health, mental health, physical health, wellbeing, healthy habits

Subject: Healthy. What is health? Mental and physical health, keys to preserving and enhancing health.