Health is a multifaceted and dynamic state of well-being encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects. It is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity but rather a holistic condition that allows individuals to function optimally and enjoy a high quality of life. Various definitions and perspectives on health exist, and here are some examples:
- World Health Organization (WHO) Definition: The WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition emphasizes the comprehensive nature of health and the importance of mental and social aspects in addition to physical well-being.
- Health as a Continuum: Health is often seen as a continuum, where individuals may fall anywhere from excellent health to poor health. It’s not a static state but rather a dynamic condition that can change over time.
- Holistic Perspective: Many holistic approaches to health consider it as a balance between physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This perspective acknowledges that health is influenced by factors like nutrition, exercise, stress management, and social connections.
- Functional Health: Functional medicine views health as the optimal functioning of the body and mind. It seeks to identify and address the underlying causes of health issues rather than just treating symptoms.
- Positive Health: Some definitions of health focus on the presence of positive attributes beyond the absence of disease. For example, health can be seen as the ability to adapt and cope with life’s challenges, maintain resilience, and experience happiness and fulfillment.
I was a Civil Engineer before becoming a Chiropractor and Board-Certified Holistic Health Coach and it was an absence of health that led me to make a change. I understand the importance of a solid foundation that is needed for a sustainable structure. Just look at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Without a good foundation, you have an uninhabitable structure. The same is true for your body. A poor foundation of health will lead to an unhealthy body structure. A healthy lifestyle is built on a foundation of various interconnected habits and choices that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmary. Here are some key elements to consider when establishing a foundation for a healthy lifestyle:
- Balanced Diet: Eat a variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Limit processed foods, sugar, and excessive salt intake. Proper nutrition provides essential nutrients for your body to function optimally.
- Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay adequately hydrated. The amount of water needed varies from person to person but aim for about 8-10 cups a day.
- Limit Alcohol: If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Mindful Eating: Pay attention to portion sizes and eat mindfully, savoring your food and recognizing hunger and fullness cues.
- Regular Exercise: Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with strength training exercises at least twice a week.
- Adequate Sleep: Prioritize quality sleep by aiming for 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night. Sleep is crucial for physical and mental recovery.
- Mental Health Care: Prioritize your mental health by seeking help when needed. This may include therapy, counseling, or other forms of support.
- Stress Management: Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or yoga. Chronic stress can negatively impact your health.
- Social Connections: Maintain healthy relationships and social connections. A strong support system is vital for emotional well-being.
- Positive Thinking: Cultivate a positive outlook on life, practice gratitude, and challenge negative thought patterns.
- Time Management: Balance work, leisure, and personal time to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
- Safety: Take precautions to ensure your physical safety, whether at home, work, or during physical activities.
- Education: Continuously educate yourself about health-related topics and stay informed about the latest research and recommendations.
- Avoid Harmful Substances: Avoid or limit the use of recreational drugs and the misuse of prescription medications.
- Avoid Smoking: Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke as they are harmful to your health
- Environmental Awareness: Be conscious of your environmental impact and make eco-friendly choices when possible.
- Proper Hygiene: Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Being clean is taking away the advancement of opportunistic germs. It does not mean being antiseptic. Doing so can lead to an increase in stress and set take away your body’s natural defenses.
- Properly Functioning Nervous System: The nervous system controls and coordinates all the organs and structures, and relates the individual to his/her environment. (Grey’s Anatomy, 30th American Edition)
- Goal Setting: Set achievable health and wellness goals to motivate yourself and track your progress.
- Consistency: Remember that a healthy lifestyle is a long-term commitment. Consistency in your healthy habits is key to success.
Remember that what works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to personalize your healthy lifestyle choices to fit your individual needs and preferences. This is where a Board-Certified Holistic Health Coach helps you create the lifestyle that will fit your needs.
I will be discussing further the key elements of a healthy foundation in the subsequent months. If you would like to know further how a health coach can help you create your own positive healthy lifestyle, schedule a 45 minute complimentary Discovery call with the link below.