Updated: Oct 2, 2020
World Health Organization defined Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It's possible to be free from disease and still not be healthy.
A healthy individual (physical health) should be able to mount defense response to minimize the potential for harm on the body or bring the body to normal when being faced with physiological stress. If this strategy is not put in place, damage(s) may result into illness.
In the attempt to provide answer to why some people, regardless of major stressful situations and severe hardships, stay healthy, while others do not, Aaron Antonovsky describes the “sense of coherence (comprehensibility, manageability, and meaningfulness)” of a difficult situation as a factor that contributes to a successful capacity to cope, recover from strong psychological stress, and prevent post-traumatic stress disorders.
Social health can be seen as an active balance between opportunities and limitation, the ability to participate in social activities including work.
Healthy lifestyle is essential for promoting health and there are roles that you can play to stay healthy. Let's dive straight away into what I refer to as "7 practices of healthy living"
For the body system to function properly, it needs adequate amount of food nutrients. These nutrient values may vary across gender, age and even some physiological conditions like pregnancy and some disease conditions like diabetes mellitus, hypertension and some genetic disorders like sickle cell disease. Foods rich in iron like red meat, beans etc are important dietary components for a pregnant mother but dangerous in high amount to sickle cell individuals.
Eat three healthy meal a day (quality is preferred over quantity here) and eat timely. Good part of your food consumption should consist of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
Physical activity and exercise are a major component of healthy living as they're good for both prevention, maintenance of healthy living and treatment of certain health conditions. Exercise is good for the maintenance of the overall wellness, it improves blood flow, controls blood pressure and sugar level, controls body fat, helps build up skeletal muscles. Moderate exercise plays a role on the immune functioning with decrease in the incidence of upper tract respiratory infections.
Exercise have numerous advantages important for healthy living but strenuous exercises should be avoided especially for individuals with failing heart, hemoglobinopathy e.t.c.
In Nigeria, alcohol is the most abuse substance and the second most abuse substance in the United states after tobacco addiction. Alcohol is a toxic and psychoactive substance and it contributes to 3 million deaths annually across the globe as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people. Heavy alcohol consumption has been implicated in many disease conditions ranging from short to long term health effects.
Alcohol is the cause of many road traffic accidents, sexual assault, stillbirth. In the long term, excessive consumption leads to chronic diseases and other health conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, mental health, weakening of the immune function, liver disease, cancer, digestive problems e.t.c.
Reduction in alcohol consumption to the barest minimum is essential for a healthy living.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 toxic chemicals, including at least 70 known carcinogens with over 6 million people dying from it use every year across the globe. Deaths from tobacco smoking are as a result of the respiratory, cardiovascular, immune function suppression. Effects could manifest as either lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, stroke e.t.c.
Practicing healthy living should devoid of smoking lifestyle because the average life expectancy of smokers is shorter than that of non smokers.
NB: The federal ministry of health (Nigeria) put a clear warning on cigarette pack that smokers are liable to die young.
Adequate rest and sleep are good and proper for brain functioning and maintenance of healthy living. Adequate sleep keeps the brain refresh and thereby enhancing memories. Stress and lack of sleep are major contributors to development of high blood pressure (hypertension) in many hypertensive patients.
Poor hygiene (Personal and/or environment) is the cause of many infectious diseases. Good hygiene lowers your risk for diseases and illnesses commonly spread through viruses and bacteria. Good hygiene and sanitation promote healthy living, enhance social and professional acceptance among other benefits.
Self medication and drug misuse is on the increase in the recent times and has posed lots of health challenges on humanity. One of such concern is the use of Ampiclox (Ampicillin + Cloxacillin) antibiotic as emergency oral contraceptives. Self medication is a very serious issue that has increased many health issues.
The dangers of self medication range from different forms of adverse drug reactions to death in some cases.
Many people today take one or two drugs for the purposes they're not intended to be taken for and/or for recreational purposes. This's most common with the prescription only medicine (POM) like the narcotics. Avoid self medication and drug misuse, live a healthy live.
Promote your health and practice healthy living and take your health serious today.