Health is an ideology, not a cure. The ideology that health is something to be fought for, secured and maintained is the product of human wisdom and has been with us since time immemorial. Since the beginning of recorded history, the struggle to survive and carry on has motivated human beings to come out with many innovations to improve their ways of living. The pursuit of health has gone hand in hand with the evolution of mankind and now appears as one of the biggest challenges we face in today’s generation. Health is no longer seen as a commodity to be bought, sold and saved but as something to be gained and nurtured.
In the third definition of good health, we mean that being healthy means being able to live a productive and functional life in social well-being. Health is a state of total physical, emotional and social well Being where infirmity and disease are absent. This definition of health is not inclusive of people with chronic conditions, people with pre-existing conditions or other constraints in life such as financial need.
It is important to realize that wellness has much to do with the quality of life rather than the absence of disease or illness. While this statement may sound too simple, it is actually a very complex concept and encompasses a wide array of components such as, emotional well-being, physical well-being, social well-being and the quality of the lives we create for ourselves. Some might argue that the term “social well-being” would be more appropriate since this is an inclusive endeavor and not focused on any particular segment of society.
Healthy lifestyles, on the other hand, include behaviours and attitudes that promote the maintenance of physical well-being and optimal health. Healthy lifestyles include behaviours and attitudes that support the prevention of the development of serious health problems and their adverse effects, and the promotion of wellness throughout the entire population. A healthy lifestyle also encompasses the promotion of healthy nutrition, reasonable weight management, cessation of substance abuse and other related behaviours and attitudes, and the maintenance of a positive self-image and sense of worth. Studies have shown that behaviours that instil healthy lifestyle beliefs into people’s minds are more likely to maintain those beliefs going forward and can have a lasting effect on health, well-being and society in general.
The prevention and treatment of communicable diseases such as influenza, Hepatitis A, HIV and even some types of cancer is a challenge for public health officials and medical professionals. Ongoing research studies on the causes and cures for these and other diseases offer new hope for the millions of individuals living with mental wellbeing challenges. In many ways, the study of human culture and evolution reveals much about our innate characteristics and the forces that shape our choices in life. What we learn about ourselves can help influence the way we treat others, the way we deal with challenging situations and the way we cope with adversity. Understanding the interdependence of these various aspects of wellness can provide greater insight into how to improve overall health.
Health, disease and mental health are interdependent. Proper nutrition, exercise, social support, adequate sleep and a healthy lifestyle all have an effect on our emotional well being and our response to different kinds of challenges. It is important to address both health and disease concepts from a comprehensive perspective to reap the full benefits of improving our well being. The best way to do this is through a comprehensive system of preventive care that includes effective screening and evaluating current health risks, promoting healthy lifestyles through a well planned diet and regular physical activity, and implementing preventative measures for disease progression and prevalence. This coordinated approach is the only way to guarantee the sustained achievement of superior long-term health outcomes.