Health is a condition of mental, physical and social wellbeing where infirmity and illness are absent. It also includes physiological conditions such as body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature, and food and nutrient intake. Mental health refers to a person’s ability to live his life satisfactorily and contribute to his community. It is necessary for psychological health as it affects a person’s thought process, emotional state, behavior, and sense of motivation. A person’s ability to have social relationships, to make friends and to be a good timekeeper are indicators of his mental health. Health, on the other hand, encompasses aspects such as the ability to make good decisions and decision-making and to achieve goals and objectives.
The concept of the two concepts has some exceptions. Health and well-being are not the same; in fact they are often used interchangeably when referring to the promotion of health and fitness. Health and well-being may involve aspects of the individual’s lifestyle that address aspects of both physical and mental well-being. These include diet, exercise, stress management techniques, and other similar aspects of an individual’s lifestyle.
Individuals in developed countries have longer life expectancy than individuals in other developed countries. However, even in these countries there are individuals who live with poor health and are unable to lead a quality life, due to a combination of factors such as smoking, inactivity, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Developed countries also have high rates of major illnesses and diseases, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
Health, on the other hand, has more to do with an individual’s ability to cope with physical illness and disability, or his ability to function productively in a given setting. Poor health conditions can lead to more serious consequences. These consequences may range from increased morbidity to disability and in extreme cases death. Individuals with poor health conditions are more likely to become depressed and less able to adapt to changing circumstances and challenges, which impair their capacity to work and live life to the fullest. Life quality is affected by illness and disability.
The ultimate goal of public health is the maintenance of good health. It seeks to create a balance between individual freedom and public responsibility, emphasizing prevention and early detection, treatment of diseases and physical disorders, and the promotion of wellness. Prevention refers to the overall care of the body, including weight management, diet, exercise, and nutrition. Early detection refers to timely screening for potential physical conditions, including pregnancy, diabetes, and regular exams for heart, blood pressure, and skin cancer.
The best way to improve your health status is to make positive lifestyle changes. These changes may include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, watching your weight, and making appropriate changes to your diet. You should also identify and reduce sources of stress in your life, such as major events in your history (receiving an education, changing careers, changing your housing), work/school routines, high emotions, and high levels of financial worry. These sources of stress can weaken your immune system, increase the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.