Defining Health

Probably one of the most important aspects of a person's life is their health. When a person is in good health, everything about their life is good, because they are able to enjoy whatever in life they want. However, when a person is in poor health, everything in life seems like a burden and things take on the magnitude of hardness and stress.

But how do you define good or poor health?

The answer is not quite so clear cut as some may imagine it to be. For many people, how they define their health will be influenced by their own inbuilt ideas on what they should be feeling and experiencing on a physical and mental level. It can often be a subjective answer that you will get from different people and each will be correct as far as they may be concerned.

Good Health

To generalize, good health is being free from illness, enjoying a decent level of physical fitness, being at the correct weight in relation to height and build according to accepted definitions and having a similarly correct body fat to muscle ratio. It is being able to move freely without any pain and to be able to walk, run, jump and perform a variety of physical activities with no ill effects.

It is being able to eat a wide and varied diet without any ill effects such as indigestion or heartburn and being free from any joint pain such as that brought on by arthritis or gout. It is being able to breathe easily and freely and having a strong heart beat that rises naturally when the body is exercised and returns to its "at rest" rate quickly once exercising ceases.

It is also being able to exercise for a prolonged period without becoming unduly fatigued in line with current testing benchmarks and having "normal" blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

This is the kind of health that people should naturally experience as long as they are leading healthy lifestyles, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of fluids daily and get plenty of exercise on a daily basis and do not smoke or drink excessive alcohol or take recreational drugs.

Bad Health

To generalize, bad health is the opposite of good health. This means a person on bad health is prone and susceptible to a wide variety of illnesses, experiences poor physical fitness levels, can be over- or under-weight with a high body fat to muscle ratio. It is experiencing aches and pains especially when moving and particularly in cold or damp weather and partially restricted in movement. It is being restricted in what can be eaten with allergies to certain foods and a susceptibility to diseases such as arthritis, gout, asthma, diabetes, hypertension etc. It is being unable to exercise for any length of time without getting out of breath.

Bad health can be brought on by prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke, long term bad diet comprising mostly junk or processed foods with little or no fresh fruit or vegetables, drinking excessive alcohol or recreational drug use, constant state of dehydration through not drinking sufficient fluids or only drinking soda and caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and brands of cola.

Why Is Good Health Important?

Having good health is something that many people take for granted and only realize that it has left them when they start to experience the symptoms of ill health creeping up on them. It can take many years of leading an unhealthy lifestyle for bad health to actually catch up to a person, but when it does, it can often be devastating in nature.

Imagine being an active, happy-go-lucky person who is suddenly struck down with painful arthritis in the joints which severely restrict movement and rob a person of their free mobility. Or being suddenly diagnosed as diabetic and having to radically their diet and often their lifestyle along with it.

Such changes to health are unwelcome as they are degrading to life and often will catch people unawares, especially if they have been leading unhealthy lifestyles and fallen into the habit of believing that "it'll never happen to me". Unfortunately, in many cases it is the norm to suffer ill health after living for several years in the mistaken belief that burning the candle at both ends will not catch up with you!

The best way is to observe as healthy a lifestyle as you can manage. The better your lifestyle and the longer you keep it up, the longer into middle and even old age you can go enjoying good health, vitality and peace of mind. The choice is not one for anyone else to make, as it rests purely and squarely on each person's own shoulders.