What Does It Mean to "Be Healthy"?
If you were to take a picture of your current state of health, how would it look? How are you feeling? Are you well rested? Are you ready to take on whatever challenges the day holds in store for you? Is your outlook positive? Do you get along with family members, teachers, and peers? What about yesterday? Did you eat well and get plenty of sleep?
Your answers to these questions provide a picture of your general level of health. If this surprises you, the reason may be that, like many people, you think health is the abstinence of sickness. Health, however, is so much more than that. Health is the combination of your physical, mental and emotional, and social wellbeing. Your health affects everything about you, including how you look, how you feel, and even how you act. It affects your attitudes and performances in school, work, and recreation. It affects how you feel about yourself, how successful you are in your relationships, and helps to determine some of your goals and aspirations.
Be aware that health is not an absolute state, being healthy doesn't mean that you will never be sick. Instead, being healthy means striving to be the best you can be at any given time.
Physical health is the way the parts and systems of your body work together. It means your body has the ability to cope with the stresses of normal daily life. It means having the strength and energy to pursue physical, mental, emotional and social challenges and changes.
To gain or maintain physical health, you need to have proper nutrition, regular physical activity, and enough rest and sleep. You need to practice good hygiene to prevent disease, and get regular medical and dental checkups and treatments when you need them. Good physical health also includes paying attention to what you put into your body. It means resisting tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.
Mental and emotional health includes your feelings about yourself, how well you relate to others, and how well you meet the demands of daily life. Mental health also calls for a person to use his or her mind to develop thinking skills. People with good mental health enjoy learning, and they know that striving for information and understanding can be an exciting, lifelong process. They see mistakes as opportunities to learn, grow, and change. They accept responsibilities for their actions and stand up for their beliefs and values.
A person with a good emotional health is in touch with his or her feelings and expresses them in appropriate, healthful ways. This type of individual can usually deal with the problems and frustrations of life without being overwhelmed by them. People with good emotional health avoid dwelling on negative thoughts. Instead, they consider their situation and then use positive thoughts and actions to move them through the challenge.
Social health involves the way you get along with others. It includes your ability to make and keep friends and also work and playing cooperatively, seeking and lending support when necessary. It involves communicating well and showing respect and care for yourself and others.
After years of studying many groups of people, experts have identified seven habits that make a difference in peoples' overall health, happiness, and longevity-or how long they live. People who regularly practiced these important habits tend to be healthier and live longer. These habits are called lifestyle factors. Some important lifestyle factors are getting between 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, eating nutritious foods from the various food groups each day, refraining from smoking and using tobacco products, eating breakfast daily, doing 20 to 30 minutes of nonstop vigorous activity a minimum of three times a week, not using alcohol or other drugs, and maintaining your recommended weight.
Practicing good health habits involves much more than just knowing what to do. Attitudes also affect how are you take care of...
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