Health is often defined thus: “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Most people have a general idea of what should be done to live a healthy life, such as eating healthy and working out, but what many lack is the understanding of how eating certain types of food, exercising a certain way impacts us, or what we should do in order to live healthily.
We live in a world that is advancing at an extremely quick rate, and along with that, people are getting more opportunities to live better lives. In the past fifty years, the life expectancy of human beings has increased by about thirty years thanks to the safer environment and the healthcare facilities we have now, but have the majority of the people who have been alive for over eighty years living happy and easy-going lives? The answer: not completely. The number of people who are over eighty years old and have some sort of disability or disease has increased by around 77% over the past fifteen years. About eight in every ten people over fifty years old have some kind of chronic disease and almost seven in every ten people have more than one. As a result, a big portion of the medical industry focuses on treating and caring for the elderly.
Besides diet and exercise, your state of mind largely contributes to your health as well. According to Gallup, the five pillars of wellbeing include mental or emotional, social, physical, financial, and career wellbeing.
Not paying attention to your mental wellbeing can be very harmful. For example, constantly being stressed can lead to heart ailments which results in blood pressure. Social wellbeing also relates to mental wellbeing as it is about how happy you are with the people you surround yourself with. Exercise and physical wellbeing is spoken about a lot, so most people know that keeping your body physically active is important as you grow older. Financial wellbeing can often be misunderstood as having a lot of money when it’s actually about being able to manage your economic life and being stable. Last is career wellbeing, which is a pillar that many people tend to ignore. Sometimes as people grow older, they start to dislike what they do for a living. Career wellbeing is about whether you enjoy what you do on a day-to-day basis and how much time you spend on it.
Exercising and eating healthy diets will not protect you from every disease. A part of getting older is accepting that you won’t be as strong as you were when you were younger, so your body might not be able to protect you as well as it did before. But if you didn’t practice healthy habits when you were younger, such as if you smoked or drank excessively, then it is never too late to start healthy habits. If you start exploring ways to stop unhealthy habits and start taking care of yourself, then your body will heal itself over time. The best time to start healthy habits is at a young age, but the next best time is now. A twenty-year-old who exercises frequently and has a varied and healthy diet will most likely age well without facing too many hardships, compared to a person who might not have exercised or eaten well much growing up, but if you have the dedication to start healthier habits, it will have a profound effect on your health. If more people were to understand and try to live a healthier lifestyle, many people would live more comfortable lives as they age and grow older.
Article by Meera, as a part of student project.
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Understanding and applying Nutrition Series. Edited by Candok Editorial Board, Candok Lifestyle. Live Life, Naturally!