Think of health as being made up of the following five "pillars".
Physical health refers to our physical fitness, lack of disease, strength and general vitality. Posture and nutrition are aspects to consider when thinking of physical health.
Mental health relates to ones emotional state and their ability to resolve problems, make decisions and find contentment within the decisions made.
Social health relates to actions and behaviours and looks at how you interact and maintain relationships with others.
Spiritual health is about ideals, purposes and aspirations for life. It links to goal setting and having confidence to take risks, to use imagination and have ambition.
Cultural health involves being a responsible citizen with respect for others. This also involves having active contribution to society and community affairs, volunteering or support worthwhile charities and events.
TAKE RESPONSBILITY FOR YOUR OWN HEALTH
By making the decision to learn about the health and fitness industry, you have proved to yourself you care about health. Although you may go on to be a fitness coach or work in the health industry where you offer others advice, guidelines and positive suggestions to improve their health, you should fully acknowledge that individual people are solely responsible for their own state of health.
Of course, everyone is free to make lifestyle choices which affect their health. For example, if someone chooses to smoke, they choose to damage their heart, arteries and lungs (there are extensive areas of damage throughout the body as a result of cigarette smoking, these are only the major organs affected), whereas if someone makes the decision to not smoke they are managing their state of health in whichever way they can – avoiding risk.
Some of the ways in which a person can manage their state of health through lifestyle choices are outlined below.
Everything consumed by humans should contain molecular components which are required by the body for cellular and/or tissue function, this becomes complex a good nutrition depends on a number of variables, including cultural and personal background. Be aware of misinformation and misrepresentation from food manufacturers. We need to eat from each of the 5 food groups to provide the body with the nourishment it needs – these groups are considered to be bread and rice (carbohydrates); fruit and vegetables (vitamins and minerals); meat, fish, poultry, eggs and legumes (proteins); milk and dairy products (proteins); and butter, margarine and oils (fats).
Eat mostly: breads and rices, vegetables and fruits, ensuring you opt for complex carbohydrates and, dark green leafy vegetable and bright coloured fruit and vegetables with low natural sugars.
Eat in moderation: dairy products and meat products, fish, eggs and legumes.
Eat least: sugar, butter, margarine and oil
Consider food processing activities when trying to ascertain if food consumed is nutritionally beneficial.
Drink pure water.
Water in urban areas has a high possibility of being contaminated with chemicals and heavy metals from industrial and environmental pollution. Contaminants routinely infiltrate into our water sources exposing people to the risks which can cause short and long term ill health. To emphasise this point, consider news reports of synthetic hormones found in our blood supply. It is thought that our lifestyle choices such as use of the contraceptive pill, now shows up in water testing results. A good filtration system set up within the home is necessary in order to prevent ingesting harmful chemicals into the body whilst drinking.
Some water filtration or purification systems are so effective; they remove 90-99% of all contaminants from the water supply.
Put simply, water is essential for life. Effective dehydration from water has been proven to help alleviate symptoms of disease and illness; and works to maintain the good health of many body systems and organs:
This list is by no means exhaustive. Let’s put it this way, if you think about any body system or function, water plays a role in its maintenance, health or recovery.
Some examples of the function of water include; detoxification of impurities and toxins in the blood and tissues, the production of mucus and lubricating fluids, it eases symptoms of constipation (which if experienced chronically, can lead to further gastro-intestinal disorders), keeps the numbers of bacteria within the bladder down, helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones (crystallised proteins and a build-up of bacteria). The health benefits of drinking purified water go beyond the physical benefits.
Exercise must be varied: aerobic, stretching and resistance forms.
Stretching keeps joints supple.
Cardiovascular exercise keeps the cardiac muscle of your heart strong – like any muscle, we need to exercise it to make it strong.
Weight training keeps your body strong
Consider the mental benefits of exercise – the feeling reward, the physical hormonal boost, social aspect, the pleasurable side of participating in a sport of choice, the time exercise enables you to dedicate to something you enjoy, gives time to clear your mind.
Develop healthy sleeping patterns and learn how to relax. A regular pattern of sleeping and relaxation should be undertaken. This allows the body to restore and repair, and mental stresses to be analysed and dealt with.
Actively prevent disease, visit health professionals. through personal hygiene and good habits e.g. use ‘barrier’ contraceptives to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Visit a doctor, have health check ups and enjoy therapies. Visit a dentist. Visit a physiotherapist.
Develop a positive mental attitude. Hypnotherapy and visualisation techniques. Learn how to deal with emotions.
Positive thinking and a positive mental attitude create calmness, confidence and security which help you feel able to cope with life stresses better and therefore eliminate potential damage to the body. Speak with a counsellor at times or in the aftermath of a trauma.
Be sociable and get outdoors. Breathe in fresh air and enjoy sunshine as oxygen is essential for life and body functioning and the internal production of Vitamin D from sunlight exposure encourages the uptake of essential minerals from food, amongst other things. Development and strengthening of personal relationships.
Exercise, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle