Health is a condition of mind and physical well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. We need to respect our health by eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in some form of activity for at least 30 minutes each day. Health is important because it determines the strength of our character, the quality of our relationships, and the future success of our lives. This includes the ability to attain goals and live up to expectations. The ability to take care of our bodies also contributes to our mental well being.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, “an optimum health status is the result of favorable biochemical, physiological, and behavioral changes that promote optimal functioning and maintain people’s health.” What this means is that we have to keep our well-being in mind and not rely on healthcare to make us feel as if we are healthy. When we rely on healthcare, we lose focus on what is important to health promotion and instead begin to identify with the preoccupation of how to stay alive. The definition of well-being has changed over the years as new scientific discoveries are made, but the basic idea remains the same.
People need to be reminded that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In some instances, there are gaps in physical health that might seem minor but could be indicative of bigger health problems down the line. One example would be the absence of a needed lung function. Lung capacity directly affects the capacity to inhale and exhale; if you have poor lung capacity, it means that you can’t take in as much air and that you’re likely to suffer from shortness of breath more often than people with better lung capacity. The definition of good health also includes the absence of disabilities caused by sickness, injury, or disease.
Illness is another important element of the definition. This element can be equated to the absence of disease. Disease, as the definition points out, is something that occurs without prior information or preexisting condition. Without the presence of such information, the presence of disease is considered incurable. We can cure many illnesses and diseases today and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the number increase over the next few decades. However, even with the best treatments available today, the disease may still be prevalent because of some individuals who are either unwilling to take the necessary precautions or they have the wrong mindset about health.
Another element of the definition is the care provided through an integrated health system. Health care systems are characterized by several characteristics including common procedures and standardized procedures, coordinated service delivery, and accurate and reliable data collection. The care provided through these systems can vary significantly from one organization to another and can also differ according to social class, geographic region or even by one household.
Developed countries with a higher level of physical well-being tend to have a higher level of chronic disease as well as fewer incidences of life-threatening occupational cancers and heart attacks. These differences in medical culture and practice are likely to be attributed to social norms, social services and health education and awareness programs, varying lifestyles choices, enhanced diagnostic and treatment capacity and the ability to manage multiple risk factors. It has been found that even though people in developed countries live healthy lives, they have fewer opportunities for developing habits that promote good health. The responsibility of everyone in industrialized societies is to promote healthy lifestyles by ensuring access to quality healthcare and promoting physical well-being.