Health is a condition of mental, physical, and emotional well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. The four components of a healthy life namely physical health, mental health, social support, and bio-energetic health form the key ingredients to a long life. When any of these four components is affected due to any cause, the chances of premature death increase dramatically. Since time immemorial, man has been attempting to improve his living conditions by means of medical and lifestyle interventions.
The concept of “healthy” has various definitions. One commonly used definition is the definition of health as being fit, contented, peaceful, and mentally secure. Health is a complex phenomenon influenced by a number of factors. However, no single factor can be defined as the sole determinant of a person’s state of health and hence no single definition of health can be said to perfectly define health.
Since time immemorial man has sought to improve his living conditions by means of medical interventions and lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, this endeavor has resulted in a plethora of diseases and fatalities due to lack of knowledge and understanding of the etiology and consequences of the disease, its management and prevention and the ultimate impact on a person’s morale and self-esteem. With the advent of technology and the ever-advancing medical science, a plethora of diseases and fatalities have also been reduced to a great extent. Thereby, the scope of health services, research, and studies in the field of health has also widened appreciably.
There are various definitions of health that have gained wide acceptance among the people across the world. One such definition that defines health as a complex phenomenon resulting from the interplay of many factors is also accepted by most experts and all of them define health as a state of complete well-being irrespective of the total absence of disease or absence of death. This definition of health indicates that health is not just absence of any disease or death, but it is the state of total absence of illness and impairment that is caused due to the various causes and conditions.
The above definition of health implies that health is not a product of absence but is a product of presence. It is impossible for one to remain healthy without any kind of disease or disability, be it chronic or minor. Hence, to say that the absence of disease is the definition of health is to say that life course health is not affected by the absence of disease. The whole concept of disease management focuses upon this fact.
A healthy life course implies a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good habits and this is the basic need of everyone irrespective of their age. This diet should include food items rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber, which are effective in improving general health. Regular exercise is very necessary for all, as it aids in improving the body’s metabolism that causes fat and calorie reduction, thereby improving blood pressure and overall body condition. It is also necessary for older adults to engage in activities that are mentally stimulating and physically beneficial, like aerobics and stretching. These activities help in maintaining the healthy muscles, joints, and tissues that are necessary for good health and increase mobility of the Older Adult.