Health is wealth. How many times have you heard this phrase? It may sound pretty trite due to the number of times that it has been uttered by our moms, our first grade teacher and any other sensible individual that just happens to know better than us.
Now that we are at the proper age not to take Kahlil Gibran-like aphorisms from anyone, it suddenly occurs to us, in our sickbeds, that, jeez, those geezers were right. A healthy lifestyle is indeed, wealth and it would take clogged arteries, hole-ridden lungs, a lost kidney and a depleting bank account due to scandalous medical bills to tell us that.
Contrary to popular notion, health is not just the absence of sickness. As some medical experts believe, it is more dynamic than that. Using a holistic approach, a healthy lifestyle can be described as a total well-being of the whole body. The World Health Organization’s definition of health sums it all up best. According to WHO, health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
If we are to define health using this perspective, then most people seem to be healthy, in truth, they are not. The steady endeavor of science to discover new diseases is proof that the human body is like a time bomb. A slight imbalance or variation the body’s physiological patterns may trigger disharmony that will result to disease.
Health therefore is the body’s constant effort to adjust and adapt to the constant changes in its environment. This includes natural coping mechanisms that fine-tune its particular responses to stress. The aim is to achieve an inner equilibrium which scientists and health experts refer to as Homeostasis.
An important factor that greatly affects how our body maintains a healthy balance is the food that we consume. We are what we eat, as that old word of wisdom goes. But it is pure common sense, when we come to think of it. Garbage in, garbage out. If we eat junk, our body will absorb pure junk and nothing at all. That is the reason why a healthy diet is very necessary to achieve optimum physical and mental condition. And this is not even about the amount of food we consume or how often we eat. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more about the quality of food that we put in our body on a regular basis.
Remember the basic food groups that they teach us when we were kids? Go, glow and grow foods. Yes, indeed. All we ever needed to know, we failed to learn well in kindergarten. That also goes with our health.