To understand what health is, one needs to understand the fundamental principle adopted by WHO to define health. It is stated by the WHO that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Even today this phrase is used as a complete definition of health. The word health itself translated to the general condition of the body and/or mind with reference to soundness and vigor. The defining factor of this would be that in this time and age there we have been made aware of the important influence of the genome in disease, through new knowledge and experimentation of disease. Now we know that there is no absoluteness in health. Even the greatest of health advocates have to admit that everyone is just as vulnerable as the other and that a complete form of health cannot be achieved.
There are factors that can help a person with maintaining a good healthy lifestyle that will make you more resilient to the common germs on a physical spectrum. These factors may also help in strengthening positivity in an individual and contribute to a healthy mental state.
The types of health
1. Physical Health
Traditionally a person’s physical health or wellbeing would have been determined by them not being struck by a serious illness. With the advances in the medical field, we can now define physical health with components ranging from the absence of disease to fitness levels in a person. Some components that are commonly considered in measuring a person’s physical wellness are:
- Physical activity -this includes strength, flexibility, endurance, and a person’s stamina.
- Diet and nutrient intake – this includes nutrient intake, fluid intake, and healthy digestion. A healthy diet can help a person overcome the majority of illnesses.
- Limited intake of Alcohol and drugs – this includes abstinence from or reduced consumption of these substances. Large amounts of alcohol intake can lead to an addiction that can also harm a person’s mental state. Drugs work in a similar manner. Therefore, if a person strays clear of these substances he/she can avoid potential health risks in the future.
- Prompt self-care – this includes addressing minor ailments or injuries and seeking emergency care as necessary. Knowing when to see a doctor is essential for maintaining good health. Doctors and physicians are there to serve the people.
- An appropriate amount of rest and sleep – this includes periodic rest and relaxation, along with high-quality sleep. It is essential for the human body and the brain to rest. Overworking your body and mind can lead to physical ailments and in the long run can also turn into mental/emotional illnesses.
2. Mental Health
The idea of a sound mind is quite skeptical. Determining a person’s mental wellness is a complicated matter. The concept of mental health includes a stable emotional state and psychological stability. The defining factor of a mentally unstable person is the inability to function or live out their mundane life.
The concept of mental wellness has come a long way from the time of Freud. Now psychologists and psychiatrists have a far more advanced understanding of hormones (chemical imbalance) and psychological factors.
In this time and age, mental health is as important as physical health. There are a variety of organizations, solely designed to help people cope with their emotional baggage.
Psychologists promote the ideology that if a person is healthy physically, then his mind would also be healthy. Therefore, mentally unstable people are asked to look after their physical health as well.
3. Social Health
Social health is a contribution of one ability to form satisfying interpersonal relations with others socially. It is related to an individual’s ability to adapt to a new environment with ease and comfort. It is making space your own without difficulty.
The relationships that we build can be a solace for the other person. It can be a source of comfort in their difficult times. The art of nurturing and building prosperous relations plays a vital role in our journey in keeping well. The social role that an individual plays has an immense effect on the mental state of the social circle as well as himself.
Although this may not always be an easy task to carry out or maintain, it is a fundamentally important part of building a positive and prosperous society.
Factors that may affect health
There are many factors that affect a person’s good health. The most prominent ones are the innate factors and environmental factors.
There are in some circumstances of mental or physical health that we may have ailment from birth or an illness that may have been inherited due to genes.
A human body is also very sensitive to the environmental aspects. It is important to realize that the environment plays a vital role in human development. These environmental factors include a person’s living conditions, his eating habits, his upbringing, and the type of education he received.
It has been found that both nature and nurture are equally as effective in health. It has been found that nature has a 49% effective on health whereas nurture has 51%.
However, in terms of physical illness or disease, nature takes the lead. In a research conducted by Harvard Medical School and the Australia’s University of Queensland to find the proportionate value of nature vs nurture in terms of diseases. They discovered that nearly 40% of the diseases in the study had a genetic component. While 25% of the diseases had spread as a result of external factors (conditions from sharing the same household, social influences, etc.)
This in fact speaks for both the physical and mental states of a person. Both factors have a considerable effect on a person. However, whatever illness or ailment that your parents, grandparents, siblings, and other biological family members may have, does not necessarily mean that you will inherit it, but the likelihood increases.
Maintaining good health
As it is declared in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948.
‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control’
All humans equally deserve to lead a healthy life, this in terms of free medical care, education, and a safe living environment is the state’s responsibility. Apart from that, a person himself is responsible for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
For maintaining good health a person has to stick to certain basics:
- Punctual routine – Following a punctual routine helps in carrying out tasks with effective time management.
- Diet and nutrition – If a person takes a balanced diet, that itself solves a lot of health issues.
- Regular exercise – If you make a routine of regular exercise or even basic stretches, that makes your body more resilient against common health issues such as seasonal flu or cold.
- Controlled intake of alcohol and drugs – Controlling the intake of additives can help a person in maintaining a good immune system.
- Getting regular check-ups – Almost all western states encourage their citizens to get regular health check-ups, especially if you already have health conditions that involve your heart, blood pressure, blood sugar (diabetes), etc. They have set up their system to facilitate people with immediate medical assistance. And they have also eradicated the need for money, which may cause patient distress about medical bills. This in turn would prevent the patient from seeking medical assistance.
Being cautious about one’s health can help prevent future developments. If a person has difficulty maintaining or regulating their lifestyle, they can seek help from life coaches or nutritional experts that can work with them and help them in developing a routine that suits them and is also healthy.
Apart from that families should work together to lead a healthy lifestyle so that the environmental factors can play a lesser role in the contribution of mental or physical disease or condition.
Sometimes things cannot be controlled, however, there are preventative measures for a person that would lower the likelihood of developing a disease or condition. Encouraging a positive attitude and reducing fear is the first step to a good healthy life.