Book: Health and Fitness
Author: Nayma Nishat - Researcher, Health & Fitness
What does physical health mean to you, friends? I know you got short information about physical health from my previous writing, Types of Health. But most of us really don’t know why we should be careful about our physical health and how to maintain good physical health. So, let’s know more about it.
Physical health is the well-being of the body and the proper functioning of the organism of individuals, which is a normal condition for individuals of both physical, and mental condition who are not suffering from any type of sickness.
Traditionally, physical health might have been understood as your physical body being free of disease or disability but as our healthcare has improved and people have started living longer and living with many different conditions, this definition has really evolved to reflect that concept.
So, now the Physical health definition might be more focused on being able to live comfortably to do the things that you want to do. The more accurate definition of physical health could be ‘The ability to perform daily tasks and live comfortably in one’s body’.
Physical Health is correlated with Mental Health because good physical health leaves a better personal feeling in the long term.
The American Heart Association says, “Physical activity boosts mental wellness. Regular physical activity can relieve tension, stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. You may feel a good sensation immediately following your physical activity, and most people also note an improvement in general well-being over time as physical activity becomes a part of their routine.” 
Hope you all understand, health is a way of life and what does physical health mean actually. So, you have to choose to be healthy. But the problem is, we forget that our body is a magnificent creation of our creator. It is a house or a sanctuary for our spirit and our body is also as important as our spirit.
Unfortunately, we have the tendency to put the hyper-focus on the spirit only, but don’t focus on the thing that holds the spirit. People work for growing in spiritual formation but the things that hold their spirit is disintegrating. And only because of indulgence and neglect.
Let’s see the Leading Causes of Death as WHO puts,
Of the 56.9 million deaths worldwide in 2016, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. Among them, the top five causes of death are as follows:
Here we find that the first three of them are linked to physical health. If you can’t move your physical body, if you incapacitated or if you die prematurely for sickness because of your own neglect and indulgence, then your purpose is cut short in the earth. So what do you think? You should be careful about your physical health or not?
You should, because your body is the vehicle to handle and to fulfill your purpose. That is why your physical health is important which is interconnected with your overall health. So you have to care about your physical health and remember IF YOU DON’T CHANGE YOUR LIFE, YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE YOU.
Having a healthy body, a healthy lifestyle, a healthy diet, regular exercise, going to a doctor for screening tests, and proper sleep is essential.
A healthy lifestyle can help you to maintain your physical health. It can help you to feel good, stay at a healthy weight, and have plenty of energy for both work and play.
It also can lower your risk for serious chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. You can follow a few steps listed below to improve your physical health.
You can maintain your physical health by keeping a balanced diet. You should eat foods that contain vitamins and minerals. And the types of food contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and a source of protein. Balanced nutrition is really good for your health.
Foods are grouped because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients. For example, key nutrients of the milk, yogurt, cheese, and alternatives group include calcium and protein, while the fruit group is a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin C. It is also important to choose a variety of foods from within each food group because different foods provide different types and amounts of key nutrients. Choosing a variety of foods will help to make your meals interesting so that you don’t get bored with your diet.
To know more about nutrition, you can check my previous writing The Relationship between Nutrition and Health.
Physical exercise is really important to maintain good physical health. There are many benefits of regular exercise and maintaining fitness because it increases energy levels, improves muscle strength and brain function, it reduces the risk of many diseases and it can help you to maintain a healthy weight.
So we need to move our bodies. Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic- Arizona State University, says,
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
Researchers also found that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing numerous serious diseases like various types of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, etc.
Exercise helps you to maintain good physical health. Whatever stage of life you’re currently at, there are plenty of different exercise options to try. Exercise doesn’t just mean going to the gym or heading out for a run. It may be as simple as walking to and from the shops instead of getting in the car or getting off the bus a few stops earlier.
A screening test is used to detect possible diseases or health disorders in those people who don’t have any symptoms of the disease. It plays an important role because it is the best way to find the disease early.
American Cancer Society states that screening can find or even prevent about half of the new cancer cases. Secondly, screening tests reveal the risk factor which is a health condition or behavior that puts us at risk of developing the disease. If we know our risk factors then we can make certain lifestyle changes that ultimately prevent the disease or disorder that they may lead to.
Do you know not getting enough sleep is linked to fat? Lack of sleep is one of the largest risk factors in obesity. In a short study on sleep duration, researchers found that adults not getting enough sleep were 55% more likely to be obese worse than that, children were actually 89% more likely to be obese not getting enough sleep.
Besides this, Lack of good sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, tiredness, poor memory, anxiety, and depression.
So getting enough good quality sleep is crucial for all. How much sleep you need also varies from person to person but the following picture provides you a general guide.
|Age||Recommended Amount of Sleep|
|Infants aged 4–12 months||12–16 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 1–2 years||11–14 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 3–5 years||10–13 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 6–13 years||9–11 hours a day|
|Teens aged 14–18 years||8–10 hours a day|
|Adults aged 18–64 years||7–9 hours a day|
|Adults aged 65+ years||7–8 hours a day|
From the above discussion, we can know what does physical health means and its importance in our life. When people are in optimal physical health, they can perform various activities, promote well-being, and continue to develop or cultivate skills for their general health. Their body is solid and disease-free, so their mental and emotional health is also in good health. Now, it’s your turn to take wise decisions that are going to help your body and help you to feel Healthy, Strong, and Active.