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What Does Good Health Mean to You?

With the advancements in science and technology, the average life expectancy has grown over several decades. Cures for diseases are being discovered and treatments for illnesses have made day-to-day life activities more manageable. Recently, it has been reported that the death rate in the United States has risen and the life expectancy has fallen for the first time since 1993. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), the average life expectancy is 78.8 years, and the majority of these deaths are attributed to heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicide. Along with depression, eating habits contribute to why the death rates are so high. Many Americans work in high-demanding careers with odd hours and long days. This can affect how people eat, what they eat, and when they eat. Especially if the majority of the influence on food choices is derived from scheduling and location. Sometimes, you can eat certain foods or engage in unhealthy behaviors without feeling like they are a hazard to your health. Sometimes, your weight can be above normal limits, but you don’t have any diagnosed illnesses. Does that mean you are healthy or you just feel like you’re in good health?

It is recommended that individuals see a physician once a year for an annual physical. This preventative measure can help determine if you are at risk for certain illnesses or predisposed conditions. In addition to yearly examines, eating an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables along with regular exercise, can keep major chronic diseases from forming. Some conditions have the advantage of letting the body know that they forming by giving early warning signs. These early symptoms can be great indictors of a problem that can have long term consequences. Healthy eating habits are essential to healthy living, such as limiting foods with high fat and sugar content, and alcohol. Consuming at least 8 glasses of water a day helps keep your body hydrated, well functioned and more prone to productivity, which is helpful in completing tasks. Studies have cited that the nutrients contained in fruits and vegetables help people become more focused, energized, motivated, and creative. Moreover, eating foods low in sugar help stabilize the blood sugar levels in the body. When we tend to gravitate towards high sugar foods such as candy, pastries and chocolate, the body’s blood sugar levels spike, causing glucose levels to rise and the sugars to broke down quickly. This creates a short-term boost in energy, but later creates a feeling tiredness. Consuming fruits and vegetables contain sugars that breakdown more slowly in the body, maintaining sustainable energy levels.

Aside from the physical aspect, health is a state of mental and emotional well-being. Enduring long term stress can have a negative impact on the body’s ability to fight foreign agents. Stress can manifest into physical forms, such as weight gain, sleep deprivation, loss in concentration, anxiety and depression. Other symptoms of stress can include behavioral changes such as mood swings, loneliness, becoming overwhelmed, self-esteem problems, and difficulty relaxing. More than just what we eat and how much physical activity we endure, having good mental and emotional health comes from how we feel and what activities are we engaging in. Are we surrounding ourselves with like-minded people? Do we feel satisfaction in our personal and professional lives? Do we have problems that are controlling our daily lives? Are we seeking help for issues that are negatively altering our behaviors? These questions help us evaluate if we are mentally stable, level-headed, thinking rationally, and are cognitively aware with how our outside surroundings affect us. Most importantly than knowing how certain situations affects us is implementing positive strategies that bring productive solutions.

Health is a universal term that has different connotations for different people. Factoring in culture, socioeconomic status, education and physical environment, health as many dimensions, which is why it is perceptive differently from person to person. Allowing yourself to be open to input about where you fall on the spectrum, will provide you a new perspective about health and wellness. Being connect through all facets of health puts people in a good position to thrive in all areas of their lives. You might find more stamina in your workouts, becoming more alert at work, willingness to engage in social situations and being happier in your relationships. Even with all the knowledge and steps that has been outlined, this goal of good health is not achieved overnight. It is a balancing act that requires determination and sometimes sacrifice. But in the end, the work is worth the reward.

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