The Truth Behind Having “Good” Health

You see questions all the time when taking surveys in a doctor’s office asking how you would describe your health. You then realize that it’s not an easy topic to answer. That’s when you start to question, “what is good health?” Is it your diet? Does it relate to how much you exercise? The reality is that everyone has different standards for “good” health. Some are more egregious, while others might be more relaxed with their standards of health. Good health is also achievable for anyone, and once you deemed you have achieved good health, the difficult task is maintaining it. So how does one measure if they have good health? Health is separated into three categories: physical, mental/cognitive, and emotional health. You can be a healthy individual by being exceptionally healthy in one category while being of average health in the other categories. There’s always room for growth when it comes to health, and requires some dedication in order to improve.

Often people directly correlate those who are in good physical condition to being healthy individuals, but this isn’t necessarily true. While physical health is vital to your overall health, mental and emotional health are just as if not more important. Physical health is easier to improve, but takes longer to notice a substantial improvement in physique, whereas mental health is harder to improve but more noticeably easy to see positive results. So if one were to improve their physical health, how should they approach doing so? For starters, understand that everyone has different beginning points and aspirations of what they picture their endpoint to look like. However, there are universal things every individual can do to improve their physical health. These include dieting or demonstrating some resistance to total food intake, eating a nutritionally balanced diet, stretching, and partaking in some kind of aerobic or anaerobic exercise. Stretching is crucial to maintaining good physical health since it relieves tension in your muscles, which reduces your chance of pulling them if they get too tight. Another important key to physical health is learning to recover when setbacks due to injury occur. When asked what things she did to help her speed the recovery of her ACL reconstruction, Aubrey Long, a Pennridge High School senior shared, “PT helped me recover…, and stretching and taking care of my body on a regular basis.” The body is designed to naturally heal itself when given the time and rest to do so. Physical therapy can also be used to stimulate muscle activity if you suffer from a severe injury that required you to be off your feet for an extended period of time. Physical health requires the most dedication in order to improve but often gives most a satisfactory appeal in themselves which is always encouraging.

Mental health, although stigmatized, is very real and arguably most vital for the functionality of a person. It is the driving force behind our motives for carrying out certain actions. Someone who is more strong-willed and dedicated will be more adept at finding success in improving their physical health compared to one that has a more stubborn or lazy mindset. Mental health also experiences influxes every day that can elevate or drown out somebody’s day. These influxes can be based on the environment one places themself in, or recent events that left an imprint on the affected person’s life. Although it has been a focal point lately due to quarantine from the Covid pandemic, mental health needs to continue to draw more prioritization to allow people to have better ease in improving it. This is because it truly is okay to fall apart, but then learn to build yourself back up whole again and gain experience and wisdom through this trial.
Although not as big of a priority as the other categories, emotional health is nonetheless still important for one’s overall health. Teenagers undergo multiple changes in hormone concentration, so it is important for them to understand that they can take measures to control their feelings and regulate any irregular chemical imbalances of hormone levels. Emotional health can also be affected by human relationships and bonds one forms. Strong emotions tied to friendships can change in the face of a struggle between two people, so it is important to understand that emotional hardships can occur and that there is a way to overcome them.

In conclusion, the term good health varies from person to person. There is no set-in-stone definition of what is deemed good health, but rather it’s opinion-based. Sure there are logical suggestions as to what makes an individual healthy, but it all revolves around your physical, mental, and emotional health. There are always measures that can be taken in order to improve your overall health, but it requires a strong will that demonstrates the ambition to want to be a healthier individual. No matter what setbacks occur that negatively affect your overall health, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and you can always find a way to rise above it and be a greater version of yourself.