Health is a multidimensional concept that encompasses an individual’s physical, mental and social well-being. It is a dynamic process rather than a state of being, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
As modern science continues to make advances in understanding how diseases work at a molecular level, it has become increasingly clear that there is no such thing as risk-free health. Instead, a healthy individual is one who has the ability to adapt to new challenges and infirmities as they arise.
To achieve the best possible health, it is important to maintain a balanced lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, good nutrition and adequate sleep. It is also important to avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as excessive alcohol use and smoking, which can lead to many serious diseases.
While it may seem difficult to find time in a busy schedule to exercise and prepare nutritious meals, making these choices will pay off by promoting overall wellness and improving quality of life. Here are some simple ways to get started:
Getting enough sleep is critical for physical and mental health. Ideally, adults should be sleeping between 7-9 hours per night. Aim for this goal and try to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up routine. It is also important to limit caffeine and avoid screen-time before bed, as these can interfere with the body’s natural sleep cycle.
It is important to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins and minerals. Choose lean meats, fish and poultry, and a variety of whole grains. Limit sugar and salt, and be sure to include fruits and vegetables in your daily meal plan.
Aim to be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. This can be achieved through a variety of activities, such as walking, sports, dancing, yoga and running. Increasing your level of daily movement will help improve your heart and brain health, strengthen your immune system and decrease stress levels.
Make healthy eating a priority by cooking at home and packing your own lunches for work or school. This will help reduce the amount of sodium, added sugars and saturated fats that are often found in restaurant foods. When dining out, choose healthier options like chicken or vegetable based dishes and skip the fries or appetizers. Make an effort to spend more time with friends and family, as studies have shown that social interaction can enhance mood and happiness. In addition, spending more time with loved ones can help you feel more connected which can lower stress levels. A great way to increase your social interactions is to join a group activity, such as a dance class or hiking club. This can help keep you accountable and make the experience more fun!