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Posted: September 7th, 2023

Health is physical, mental, and social well-being

Health is a State of Complete Physical, Mental and Social Well-Being (World Health Organization, 2022). It encompasses several interrelated dimensions including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial health. Optimal health is achieved when all these dimensions are in balance.
Physical Health
Physical health refers to the body’s overall condition. It depends on lifestyle factors like nutrition, physical activity, sleep, avoidance of health hazards and preventative healthcare (CDC, 2023).
A healthy lifestyle includes:
A balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to meet daily nutritional needs (USDA, 2022).
Getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise like walking or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise like running per week to maintain heart health and flexibility (WHO, 2021).
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep nightly for proper rest and recovery (National Sleep Foundation, 2022).
Avoid health risks like smoking, excessive alcohol and unsafe working conditions (NIH, 2023).
Stay up to date on vaccines and practice safe sex (WHO, 2023).
Maintaining physical health helps the body function optimally and reduces risks of chronic diseases (Mayo Clinic, 2022).
Mental Health
Mental health refers to one’s emotional, psychological and social well-being (NIMH, 2023). It impacts how we think, feel and interact with others.
Characteristics of good mental health include the ability to cope with stress, adapt to change, maintain healthy relationships and make constructive choices even during difficult times (CDC, 2022).
Poor mental health manifests as depression, anxiety, poor judgment and inability to enjoy life (NIMH, 2022). It is linked to physical health issues like weight changes, substance abuse and medical non-adherence (Mayo Clinic, 2022).
Promoting mental health involves stress management, social support, a balanced lifestyle and seeking help for mental illness (NIMH, 2023). Faith and spirituality also contribute to well-being (Cleveland Clinic, 2022).
Financial and Emotional Health
Financial health refers to security and freedom from excessive debt or worries about basic needs like housing and food (CFPB, 2022). It impacts stress levels and access to healthcare (Federal Reserve, 2022).
Emotional health involves effectively processing feelings and building self-esteem and resilience through secure relationships (CDC, 2022).
Overall, optimal health is a balance of physical, mental, social, financial, emotional and spiritual wellness. Maintaining this balance requires an ongoing lifestyle commitment. I hope this overview provides a helpful update on different dimensions of health. Please let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

Physical health is the most common type, as it can be easily accessed. Several signs indicate that a person has good physical health. Some of them are clear skin, bright eyes, healthy hair and nails, good posture, and normal body weight. However, physical health is not only determined by external factors but also internal ones. For example, a person with good physical health has a strong immune system that can fight off infections and diseases. They also have normal blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. They do not suffer from chronic pain or fatigue.

To achieve good physical health, one should follow some guidelines. First, they should eat a balanced diet that provides all the essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. They should also limit the intake of processed foods, sugar, salt, and saturated fats. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a healthy diet can prevent malnutrition and protect against many chronic diseases (1). Second, they should exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Exercise can improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, bone density, and metabolism. It can also reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. The World Health Organization recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week (2). Third, they should get enough sleep every night, preferably seven to nine hours. Sleep can help the body repair itself and restore its energy levels. It can also enhance memory, concentration, mood, and immunity. The National Sleep Foundation states that poor sleep quality can impair the body’s ability to fight infections and increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression (3). Fourth, they should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively. Smoking can damage the lungs and increase the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Alcohol can harm the liver and cause dehydration, hangover, addiction, and impaired judgment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that adults should not smoke at all and limit their alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men (4).

Good physical health is not only beneficial for the individual but also for society. A healthy person can contribute more to their family, work, and community. They can also save money on medical expenses and insurance premiums. They can enjoy a better quality of life and a longer lifespan.

(1) https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/
(2) https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity
(3) https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-lack-of-sleep-impacts-your-health
(4) https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/moderate-drinking.htm

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