Let us define first the word HEALTHY.
According to several dictionaries, here are some definitions:
(1) Free from disease of pain.
(2) Showing physical, mental, and social well-being
(3) Anything beneficial to one`s physical, mental, and social well-being
(4) Prosperous; Flourishing
One of the best definition of HEALTHY came from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, which is a state of “complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
But then, its definition was further revised and clarified by WHO in 1986, which is that HEALTH is “a resource of everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities”.
This means therefore, that health is a resource to support in an individual`s function in the society. BEING HEALTHY provides the means to lead a full life.
Added to this, is also the being healthy is the body`s ability to adapt to new threats and infirmities. This has connection to the evolution of modern science which has dramatically increased human awareness of diseases and how they work in last decades.
A person who experiences physical health, bodily functions are working at peak performance, due not only to a lack of disease, but also to regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest. We receive treatment, when necessary, to maintain the balance.
Physical well-being involves pursuing a healthful lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease. Maintaining physical fitness, for example, can protect and develop the endurance of a person’s breathing and heart function, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.
Physical health and well-being also help reduce the risk of an injury or health issue. Examples include minimizing hazards in the workplace, practicing safe sex, practicing good hygiene, or avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
The category of Mental health is a very wide. It refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Thus being mentally healthy should be capable of coping up with emotions, has a social capability, and having an acceptable psychological well-being. Mental health is as important as physical health to a full, active lifestyle.
But it is harder to define mental health than physical health, because, in many cases, diagnosis depends on the individual’s perception of their experience. With improvements in testing, however, some signs of some types of mental illness are now becoming “visible” in CT scans and genetic testing.
Being mentally healthy is also the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder.
It also is the state of having the ability to enjoy life, to bounce back after difficult experiences, able to achieve balance, can easily adapt to adversity, feel safe and secure, and has the capacity to achieve one`s potential. As I have mentioned, mental health is a very broad subject of a person`s overall emotional and social capacity.
Other Types of Being Healthy
There are other types of Being Healthy but the most important are the physical and mental health. Another type is being “SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY”. This type refers to the belief and faith of an individual. If a person is spiritually healthy, it can be shown to his/her physical and mental health. But, this is dependent on the acceptance and understanding of the surrounding people.
Another type of being healthy, is “FINANCIALLY HEALTHY”. This type may be attributed to the social and mental factors of an individual because basically, it is having the thought of security and freedom that the person feels so as he feels very healthy.
Factors of Being Healthy
A person`s health is basically influenced by several factors:
1. HEREDITARY FACTORS: A person is born with a range of genes, and in some people, an unusual genetic pattern can lead to a less-than-optimum level of health.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS play a role. Sometimes the environment alone is enough to impact health. Other times, an environmental trigger can cause illness in a person who is genetically susceptible.
3. PHYSICAL HEALTH ENVIRONMENT: Including parasites that exist in an area, or pollution levels.
4. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS: A person’s characteristics and behaviors, their lifestyle choices. According to the WHO, the higher a person’s socioeconomic status (SES), the more likely they are to enjoy good health, a good education, a well-paid job, afford good healthcare when their health is threatened.
People with a lower socioeconomic status are more likely to experience stresses related to daily living, such as financial difficulties, marital disruption, and unemployment, as well as social factors, such as marginalization and discrimination. All these add to the risk of poor health. A low socioeconomic status often means less access to healthcare.
5. OTHER FACTORS: People in developed countries with universal healthcare services have longer life expectancies than people in developed countries without universal healthcare. Cultural issues can affect health.
The traditions and customs of a society and a family’s response to them can have a good or bad impact on health. For example, around the Mediterranean, people are more likely to consume high levels of fruits, vegetables, and olive, and to eat as a family, compared with cultures with a high consumption of fast food.
How a person manages stress will 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 healthful diet and exercise.
Men and women are prone to different health factors. In societies where women earn less than men or are less educated, they may be at greater risk than men for poor health.
How to Maintain Being Healthy
Maintaining optimal health is a lifelong, daily commitments, but possible to achieve. There are steps that can help us maximize our health include:
(1) a balanced, nutritious diet, sourced as naturally as possible
(2) regular exercising
(3) screening for diseases that may present a risk
(4) learning to manage stress
(5) engaging in activities that provide purpose and connection to others
(6) maintaining a positive outlook and appreciating what you have
(7) defining a value system, and putting it into action
Being healthy will be different for each person, and how you achieve wellness may be different from how someone else does.
It may not be possible to avoid disease completely, but doing as much as we can to develop resilience and prepare the body and mind to deal with problems as they arise is a step we can all do.
Are you being healthy? Feel free to leave a comment.