Your Health Matters

YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS MATTERS

A Healthy Lifestyle And The Attainment Of Wellbeing

This site promotes fitness, health and the attainment of wellbeing through a healthy lifestyle. To get fit and healthy requires adequate exercise, a proper diet and sufficient rest. Here we take “health and fitness” to not only refer to the body, but to the entire “makeup” of the human being, including the mental, emotional, psychological and “spiritual” elements. The site will therefore try to facilitate the advancement of “health and fitness” in the broadest sense.

Physical Health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Lately, this statement has been modified to include the ability to lead a “socially and economically productive life”.

In the Wikipedia, “the concept of the “health field”, as identified in the Lalonde report, is considered to be composed of four interdependent fields determined to influence individual’s health. These include:

Biomedical: all aspects of health, physical and mental, developed within the human body as influenced by genetic make-up;

Environmental: all matters related to health external to the human body, over which the individual has little or no control, including the physical and social environment;

Lifestyle: the aggregation of personal decisions (i.e. over which the individual has control) that can be said to contribute to, or cause, illness or death;

Health care organization: includes medical practice, nursing, hospitals, nursing homes, medical drugs, public health services, ambulances, dental treatment and other health services”.

The practice and science of medicine foster good health, but, individuals can take steps to assist the process of attaining and maintaining good health, by the following steps:

Physical fitness
Weight loss
A proper diet
The management of stress
Refraining from substance abuse such as alcohol and tobacco.

Physical Fitness

Although the verdict is still out on what physical fitness means, there is mostly a general agreement on the components of physical fitness. They are:

§ Cardiovascular Fitness, which, during prolonged physical activity, determines the capability of our heart, lungs and vascular systems to supply blood which is enriched in oxygen, to the muscles where blood oxygen is being depleted.

§ Muscular Endurance which is defined as the muscle’s ability to continuously perform certain movement activities over and over again, or, to remain in certain positions for lengthy time periods.

§ Muscular Flexibility which measures the extent to which a particular muscle can be extended.

§ Muscular Strength which measures the amount of force a muscle can develop to resist an external strong force.

§ Body Composition which defines the ratio of body fat to its lean mass (e.g. bones, muscle, organs, etc.)

These allow us to develop physical fitness routines around them and so achieve a high level of fitness and health which result from regular physical activity, proper diet and nutrition, and proper rest for physical recovery. However, in addition to physical health, many people consider mental and emotional health to be important elements of overall fitness.

Mental Health

According to Medilexicon’s Medical Dictionary, mental health is “emotional, behavioral, and social maturity or normality; the absence of a mental or behavioral disorder; a state of psychological well-being in which one has achieved a satisfactory integration of one’s instinctual drives acceptable to both oneself and one’s social milieu; an appropriate balance of love, work, and leisure pursuits”.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. It was previously stated that there was no one “official” definition of mental health. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how “mental health” is defined.

According to the Wikipedia, mental health “describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Mental health is an expression of emotions and signifies a successful adaptation to a range of demands”.

Most recently, the field of Global Mental Health has emerged, which has been defined as “the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving mental health and achieving equity in mental health for all people worldwide”.

According to MedlinePlus, “mental health is how we think, feel and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood”.

“Mental health is a positive and pleasant state of being when to us, life seems good. We feel confident in ourselves and in life in general. Here the healthy mind is as an efficient instrument capable of both clear rational and idealistic thought, with good memory, understanding of ethics and moral codes and capable of generating creative ideas. A healthy mind is enthusiastic about life and living and open to constructive activities and interests”. (mentalhealthandfitness.com/blog/About Us).

Some products, which are available through this site, can provide a means to achieving a high level of mental health.

Mental Fitness

“Mental fitness is….a state of mental comfort, without stress or psychological disturbance, and an ability to participate in intellectual exchange and activity…… it is a state where all mental faculties are functioning well, and the mind is productive of vital rational thought…. it is a condition where the mind is also free of fear, violence and moods of depression. The owner of such a mind knows no inward mental or emotional disturbance and finds his/her inner world comfortable.

Mental fitness is displayed in intellectual ability, common sense, emotional control, kindness, co-operative, who displays a sense of humor, and which is decisive, discriminatory, and self motivated……One of the most valuable attributes indicating a healthy mind, is the quality and application of “common sense”- the essence of Mental Fitness” (mentalhealthandfitness.com/blog/About Us).

Emotional Health

According to Online Psychology Self Help Book, a useful definition of “emotional health is the ability to express all emotions appropriately. Those who have this ability are surely mentally healthy. Being emotionally stuck is often the best indicator of current lack of emotional health”.

The SAMARITANS in Lesson Plans define emotional health as “part of our overall health concerned with the way we think and feel. It refers to our sense of well-being, and our ability to cope with life events. Emotional health is about our ability to acknowledge and respect our own emotions as well as those of others. People are not born with good or poor emotional health, it depends on the circumstances they grow up in, as well as the knowledge and skills and experience they collect throughout life and how they use those. …… Emotional health is like a toolkit which equips you to get the most out of life”.

According to Emotional Health, Emotional Wellness and Emotional Intelligence,
“emotional health is defined by the degree to which you feel emotionally secure and relaxed in everyday life. An emotionally healthy person has a relaxed body, an open mind and an open heart. The more emotional health you possess, the more self esteem you have”.

Emotional Fitness

The John Mark Ministries describe emotional fitness as “the ability to deal with life’s challenges in a positive way. It means taking control over your choices and actions, having the inner strength to be who you want to be. Becoming emotionally fit is important, because it enables you to live at peace with yourself and those around you. By becoming emotionally fit, you will be able to resolve conflicts faster and avoid the sand traps of self-condemnation, anger, and resentment.”

In the CrossFit Journal (May 25, 2010) emotional fitness “is defined as the state wherein the mind is capable of staying away from negative thoughts and can focus on creative and constructive tasks. Being emotionally fit is the key to success in all aspects of life. Negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, sadness and distress can prevent success and drain the energy needed to be productive in your daily routine and activities”.

Special Information Page

This site, which promotes running as the exercise of choice for fitness and health but is also strongly committed to the attainment of overall fitness, health and wellbeing, receives information and material in the form of publications, newsletters, etc, on all aspects of health, and plans to share with our readers, as much of this information and knowledge as possible. In this respect therefore, relevant material will be made available through this special information page which will be devoted to this subject matter.

Articles, publications, etc, on health and fitness matters, and including proper dieting and nutrition, will be posted here when available, and will allow our readers to find the relevant material in one place instead of having to search all over the internet in general and over our website in particular. Also in later archiving, this material would be out of immediate view – and memory (out of sight, out of mind)! It is appreciated that it will not be possible to post everything we receive on this matter, and therefore we will make some selections we think appropriate and try to provide as much information as possible to as wide a range of our readers as possible and in as wide a subject area as possible.

For this purpose, material will be classified and made available under three broad categories, namely:

Ø Physical Health

Ø Mental Health

Ø General Health.

These form sub-pages under the general page heading of “Your Health Matters”.


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