Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “the condition of being fit and wholesome; a state of well-being with respect to physical, mental and emotional health and not just the absence of illness and infirmity”. A wide variety of definitions have likewise been used over time for various purposes. In today’s culture, however, the focus tends to be on wellness, and this definition includes a comprehensive approach that takes in not only healthy living but also proper nutrition and exercise. There are now numerous books, journals, and websites devoted to the subject. Many professionals define health in much the same way as the WHO, however many others believe that wellness should be viewed from within rather than externally.
There is some debate about what constitutes good health and how to measure it. Healthy behaviors such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, consuming enough fruits and vegetables, and getting sufficient sleep are all considered important aspects. Those who smoke or drink excessively, for example, often suffer serious consequences but do not consider them to be part of their good health because they do not view it as part of their physical well-being.
Nutrition is becoming a major part of the public health conversation. With more people concerned about their diets and more people living longer, the issue of diet and nutrition is now more important than ever. It has become essential for adults to develop a healthy diet and to learn about nutrition and health in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage chronic disease. Many organizations and schools are now offering a nutrition education program for students of all ages, as well as adults, in an effort to promote physical, mental, and social well-being.
Mental health is a relatively new term, but is beginning to become an increasing focus in the US. In recent years, society has become increasingly stressful, and the result has been an increase in the number of adults with both mental illness and depression symptoms. According to the American Psychological Association, one in five adults suffer some level of anxiety or depression at some point during their lifetime. Although some mental illnesses are curable, untreated depression can lead to physical health problems and even death. Depression can be treated through psychotherapy and medication, but proper management is always important to prevent the recurrence of the disorder.
Many adults also experience physical illness but do not think about it as being part of their mental health or illness. This can include common conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and arthritis. These conditions sometimes do not become serious, but can cause debilitating pain or other complications if left untreated. Likewise, physical illnesses can leave people fatigued, weakened, or otherwise unable to function properly. When these illnesses go untreated, the consequences can be worse than the initial illness, so proper management is absolutely critical.
Managing depression and anxiety will improve a person’s overall health, but they are only part of a comprehensive plan to achieve good health. Healthy diet and regular exercise, sleep well, and getting regular medical checkups should all be considered when it comes to achieving good health. People need to realize that they have control over their health and are able to reach full mental health and physical health by making simple lifestyle changes. With proper care, people can enjoy the benefits of improved health and continue to live healthy and happy lives