What is physical health, and how do we support it? “Physical Health” and “Health” are often used interchangeably. However, these two terms do not mean the same thing.
Health, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the state of being free from illness or injury.” Health encompasses your physical, mental, and emotional state of being.
Physical health represents only one measure of a person’s overall health. That measure is the physical body and how well it is performing. Maintaining good physical health is extremely important as it reduces the risk of developing serious diseases and allows you to explore your life through movement and touch. To live our life to the fullest, we should do our best to support our physical health. Below are five choices you can make in your daily life to support your physical health.
1. Exercise Regularly
Exercising regularly is key to supporting our physical health. This allows you to build strength and endurance. The Physical Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association recommendations are as follows:
- 5 hours (150 minutes) of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity
- Muscle strengthening exercises 2x per week
- Being active at least 5 hours per week (300 minutes)
2. Eat & Drink a Balanced Diet
Maintaining a balanced diet is another way to support your physical health. The old saying, “You are what you eat”, couldn’t be more accurate. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the benefits of eating healthy include increased immunity, muscle support, and increased lifespan. Eating a balanced diet does not mean you can’t enjoy a night out or a special occasion. It means understanding and giving your body what it requires to live and thrive.
3. Good Hygiene
Keeping good hygiene is another way to support your physical health. It keeps you looking and feeling good. It keeps your surroundings clean. It also helps prevent illness for you and others.
4. Regular Health Check-Ups
Scheduling regular health check-ups is another way to support your physical health. When you regularly see your doctor or other health care provider, early detection is possible for diseases and other health concerns. Preventative care should be prioritised to target potential problems before they become operational.
5. Avoid Being Sedentary
Avoiding being stationary is another way to support your physical health. A 2017 paper published in the International Journal of Behavior and Physical Activity by the SBRN (Sedentary Behavior Research Network) defines sedentary behaviour as any activity involving sitting, reclining, and lying down with deficient energy expenditure.
Ways to decrease sedentary behaviour include getting up and moving while watching television and setting the alarm on your phone to walk to the bathroom or water fountain every hour at work. Staying in one spot for too long can cause injury and pain and engage a low productive attitude.
You can compare your body to that of the vehicle you drive. You want your car to be in tip-top shape so you can easily be transported from one location of your life to another. What would physically happen to your vehicle if you barely turned it on, used cheap gas, never cleaned it, ignored routine maintenance, and left it in the yard day in and day out through all types of weather?
If you did that, your car would become a piece of useless metal. The same can be said for how we treat our physical bodies. Remember, the best way to support your physical health is to exercise regularly, keep a balanced diet, maintain good hygiene, have regular check-ups, and avoid being stationary.