What is Health? | Understanding Health

What is Health?

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  There are three clearly identifiable aspects to health:


1. Emotional or Mental Health:

Healthy thoughts and attitudes. Our emotional health, which is sometimes referred to as emotional intelligence, plays an  enormous, and often unrealized, role in someone’s overall health and fitness state. If someone  is suffering from mental health difficulties, they may attend counseling or psychotherapy to ‘unlock’ previous emotional turmoil and then actually use their past  emotional trauma in order to grow and develop their emotional intelligence, thereby improving their overall emotional health.



2. Structural Health:

The health of the body is structurally sound ‑ the bones, muscles, organs etc. are physically in good condition and not damaged – performing the functions they should perform. Structural or physical health may be determined by considering someone’s height/weight ratio, their body mass index (BMI), their resting heart rate and recover time after exercise. Note – the lower the resting heart rate, the healthier the heart is as this indicates the strength of the heart muscle is in good condition for pumping blood around the body.


3. Chemical Health:

The chemicals in our body are correct ‑ there are no toxic chemicals ‑ the tissues are made up of the appropriate balance of nutrients etc. Chemicals, both naturally occurring and man-made, often get into the human body. We may inhale them, swallow them, or in some cases, absorb them through skin. Often the body is able to breakdown chemicals or excrete them, thus reducing the accumulation of chemicals and the often harmful consequences of ‘toxic overload’. Human health is affected depending on the frequency and/or duration of exposure, patterns of exposure and of course the properties of the chemicals themselves. Some chemicals damage or kill cells and tissues, whereas others, may affect genetic material (DNA) directly, altering it and causing cancer as a result.

Some people are more susceptible to health issues than others.Some people have physical or mental susceptibilities that others don’t have; for example:
  • One person may be intolerant to gluten or sugar, while others are not.
  • One person may need more sleep than others
  • One person may suffer allergies to certain plants; which others do not.

We all need to recognise the differences that exist between us, This may, for example, mean:

  • When one member of a work team or family is sensitive to a particular perfume (or other scent); others in the group may need to avoid that fragrance in order to sustain good health in the one.
  • If one person in a family needs to modify their diet for health reasons; it may be dangerous for others in the family to modify to the same diet, if they do not have the same health issues.


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