Health is a condition of mental, physical, and emotional well-being where sickness and infirmity are completely absent. The definition of “health” can be interpreted in many ways; for instance, when viewed from a philosophical viewpoint it implies the absence of pain and suffering, whereas in more practical and contemporary usage the term is understood to mean a general well being. It is however the state of being well and health that is most commonly associated with the concept of health.
There are many theories surrounding the concept of health and their relationship to human beings. One of them is that being ill is due to a total breakdown in the equilibrium between body and mind. According to this view illness arises as a result of the interaction of a number of environmental factors. These factors are usually beyond our control, and can therefore not be prevented, but can only be modified or delayed.
Although philosophy maintains that we cannot prevent illness, it also admits that we can control some of its outcomes. The primary means by which this is possible is by regulating our behavior and dietary choices. This has been seen to lead to a decrease in the occurrence of physical illnesses, and an increase in the likelihood of psychological ones (as well as those that are caused by technological or economic barriers). It also makes the person more healthy mentally, leading to an enhanced quality of life. This lifestyle choices are the basis of good health.
A second theory that underpins good health is that differences in health and illness are the result of differential exposures to disease. It is postulated that differences in health and illness might be the result of historical events or socialization patterns, such as gender, race, ethnicity and place of origin, or even a combination thereof. In this view, people who live in areas experiencing higher levels of violence, have higher levels of poverty, have greater exposure to environmental toxins, or are subjected to lesser educational opportunities have a greater likelihood of becoming ill and of dying than others. This has been shown to be true not only for physical illness but also for mental health.
Finally, a third theory highlights the necessity of regular and appropriate exercise for physical well being and mental well being. The logic goes that if people with lesser access to exercise have greater chances of becoming ill or of dying from the disease, it follows that those who have easier access to such activities have a better chance of preventing such diseases or of recovering from them when they do happen. It is not that physical activity is inherently good for you, but that it is important for your long term health. And for the avoidance of disease, it is important for routine tasks to be done in moderation, and physical activity should take precedence over leisure time.
It is true that there are many factors affecting health, and they are not necessarily all negative. The above explanations provide a starting point for understanding and improving the way people live and for maintaining good physical well-being. Of course, every person has individual needs and there is no right or wrong way to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, it has been proven that lifestyles that promote physical well-being are more likely to be the most successful ways of leading a healthy lifestyle.