Health is an important aspect of life. People who are healthy have a greater ability to cope with daily stress, live longer and enjoy their lives more fully. Healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet and getting enough sleep help to maintain good health. People who are not healthy may have a harder time handling stress and can develop more serious health problems, such as heart disease or depression. This is why it is important to keep up with regular healthcare and to be aware of signs that indicate when someone is not healthy.
Generally, health is defined as the absence of disease or illness. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health more broadly as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’, a concept that takes into account both psychological and social factors. This is known as the biopsychosocial model.
A major criticism of this definition is that it is unachievable for most people – few people will have complete physical, mental and social wellbeing all the time, so focusing on this as an ideal can contribute to the overmedicalisation of society by pathologising normal life events that many of us experience from time to time.
The word ‘health’ encompasses both physical and psychological well-being, so it is important for people to take care of themselves in both ways – by consuming nutritious foods and exercising regularly, as well as keeping their mind strong through meditation or other spiritual practices. It is also crucial for people to have a positive outlook on life and to develop healthy relationships with their friends and family.
Being unhealthy can make it difficult to achieve happiness and even lead to a reduced life expectancy, as well as causing emotional and financial difficulties. People who are healthy, on the other hand, have a greater capacity to enjoy their lives and appreciate the little things.
Those who take their health seriously often practise healthy lifestyles, such as exercising on a regular basis, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep. They are also more likely to visit a doctor if they think something is wrong with them. They are also more able to deal with daily stresses and do not feel depressed easily.
If a person does not practice good health, they can lose their independence and their confidence and may struggle to manage their daily tasks. The good news is that it is never too late to start doing the right things. The key to maintaining good health is starting early and establishing a routine. The earlier in life that one starts a healthy lifestyle, the better it is for them. However, there are still some groups of people who do not have the opportunity to do what is required to be healthy. These groups need to be targeted with policies, laws, systems, environments and practices that are designed to reduce inequities in the opportunities and resources necessary for health.