by Joseph D. Tabora, M.D.
This article starts below.
Being healthy involves at least three aspects of health: physical health, nutritional health, and medical health.
The three components of physical health, or physical fitness, are strength, flexibility, and cardio-pulmonary capacity. To be physically healthy, you must do exercises that address these three components. Weight training develops strength, stretching improves flexibility, and aerobic exercises enhance cardio-pulmonary capacity.
Jogging for two hours every Sunday and neglecting physical activity for the rest of the week is not the way to be physically healthy. The way to physical health is to allot time for this goal. A full body workout can be done in an hour. Thirty minutes of brisk walking can do wonders for your heart. Stretching of major muscle groups can be done after a full body workout and after walking. Do these exercises three times each week and you'll be on your way to physical health.
Nutritional health involves eating a healthy amount of calories at a healthy proportion of macronutrients and micronutrients to maintain a healthy weight.
To become nutritionally healthy, you first need to know your daily caloric requirement. Once you know this, learn the healthy proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that will provide your daily caloric needs. Pay particular caution with diets that exclude any major food group, like low carbohydrate or low protein diets, or focus on selected kinds of food, such as oatmeal-only diets. These diets are not healthy and not sustainable. The way to becoming nutritionally healthy is to eat a variety of food with a healthy proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that will give you adequate calories daily.
Medical health involves the avoidance of preventable diseases. Most medical conditions have symptoms that allow us to recognize their presence. Unfortunately, there are some conditions that are silent at the onset but deadly at the advanced stage. These conditions include hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, breast cancer, colon cancer, and cervical cancer.
True medical health involves actively seeking out these conditions in an effort to prevent complications and initiate early treatment. Likewise, medical health includes vaccinating against preventable infections like hepatitis, influenza, and pneumonia.
Being truly healthy is a daily activity, not something you do on weekends or when you feel like it. Consistency and commitment are the necessary ingredients to becoming, and staying, physically, nutritionally, and medically healthy.