Physical health is a critical requirement for the overall wellbeing of any human being and is the visible component of the two main dimensions of health, which also includes social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and environmental health.
Some of the most profound and severe symptoms that we are unhealthy usually appear physically. Addressing physical health is very important for anyone to sustain overall health and wellness. Let’s start by defining the term correctly.
What is Physical Health?
The most common definition of physical health before the onset of modern medicine simply considered a person to be physically healthy if that person was not plagued with a serious illness. With the present-day modern medical innovations, life spans have increased, which now changes the way we define physical health.
Today’s definition considers everything about our health and wellness, ranging from the absence of infirmity or disease to personal fitness levels.
Physical health is a broad term that consists of many components, but we will be focusing on a brief list of critical areas that must be addressed before a person is deemed as having good physical health:
- Physical activity, including a person’s strength, flexibility, and endurance.
- Nutrition and diet, including a person’s daily nutrient intake, fluid intakes, and healthy digestion profile.
- Alcohol and drugs usage, including whether an individual practices abstinence from or reduced consumption of intoxicating substances.
- Self-medication, including how an individual addresses minor injuries and ailments or seeking professional medical care when necessary
- Rest and sleep, including an individual’s sleeping habits periodic relaxation, along with high-quality sleep.
Components of Physical Health
Below you can find the ways that each critical area of our physical health can be addressed through making lifestyle choices.
Most healthy adults and children need to be active on a daily basis. This activity can be a mix of both leisure physical activities and daily exercises. Some examples of leisure physical activities are bike riding, hiking, jogging, and walking. Examples of daily structured exercises are running, strength training, bodybuilding, and sports.
What time is best for exercising?
Many people do not know what the best time for exercising is. Is it better to do it in the mornings, by noon or in the evening? There are some pros and cons for each of these options. Knowing whether these advantages and disadvantages apply to you is a topic for another discussion. Everyone is unique and therefore have different preferences. The main thing is for you to have a time when you are comfortable enough to exercise.
It’s more important that you exercise than what time you do the exercise. If you are used to exercising in the mornings, but someday you find that you can’t do it, then it is better to exercise at noon, or in the evening than not to exercise at all.
You should strive to remain consistent with your exercising. The time you do is not so important for most types of exercise. It doesn’t matter whether you walk in mornings, at noon, or in the evening. The choice is yours.
When Your Body is Adjusting
Your body will try to adapt to the situation. If you exercise daily at the same time as the day before, your body will get accustomed to this routine over time. This is because your body is aware of your general exercise time, so it saves all your calories in the period before the exercise, so you have enough strength for your workout. Your body has been prepared for the coming activity.
Science has proven that on the issue of when to exercise, everyone is different. No two bodies are the same, so what works well for you may not work well for someone else. The best time to exercise is when you have no commitments, a good amount of energy and maximum concentration. This moment varies for everyone.
Nutrition and Diet
A balanced diet must contain all the necessary nutrients for health and well-being, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and mineral. Restricting our specific nutrient needs must only be done under strict supervision by a licensed medical professional.
Fluids, in the form of fresh, clean water must be consumed regularly. In-between meals and snacks can be consumed throughout the day, but the portion sizes should be sensible to avoid the risk of getting overweight. Consider including the following foods in your diet.
Eating more green beans, and other foods high in fiber can help you in preventing weight gain or promote weight loss, without dieting new research in The Journal of Nutrition suggests. Researchers found that women who included more fiber in their diets generally lost more weight, while those who decreased fiber content in their diets gained more.
Scientists traced the findings to a single weight-loss formula: increasing fiber content by 8 grams for every 1000 calories you consumed results in losing around 4 and a half pounds of weight. If you’re currently consuming up to 2000 calories daily, aim to increase fiber content by 16 grams.
When you eat just under one cup of mixed berries (example: red raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries) daily for up to eight weeks, you increase your level of good, HDL cholesterol and lower your blood pressure level, two important criteria when it comes to heart health, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The wide range of polyphenol, the health-promoting plant compounds, including anthocyanins, Ellagic acid, contained in the mix of berries was said to be likely responsible for the observed results.
Research proves that eating fruits that are full of water, like watermelons can help keep you satisfied for longer periods, decreasing your calories intake. With 92% water content, watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C.
When you have the red variety (Watermelon can be orange in color), it also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that helps to protect against heart diseases and certain types of cancer. Some other foods having high water content include cucumbers (95%), strawberries (91%) and salad green. (90%)
Vitamin-C Rich Fruits
Eating vitamin-C rich fruits like oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli is a secret to clearer skin. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that consuming more vitamin C-rich foods gives you clearer, more youthful skin.
Findings say that a higher intake of vitamin C from fruits and foods can prevent wrinkled skin and skin dryness in women over 40. Vitamin C has youthful effects on the skin, and this may be due to antioxidant properties, which protect the skin against ultraviolet rays.
ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
Substances that intoxicate alter our moods or other body processes should be limited, or avoided, if possible. People prone to addiction or other health issues should consider total abstinence from these types of substances.
You can purchase essential items like bandages, lozenges, and over-the-counter pain relief drugs and store them at from home. If you notice any prolonged coughing, fever, or other ailments, you should report it to a qualified medical doctor. You may seek emergency treatment when the signs and symptoms increase or become life-threatening.
Self-medication can cause serious over or under dosage, because you are simply unsure of what the problem is, and you are attempting a trial-and-error method. Self-medication is a potentially dangerous approach to maintaining your health and wellbeing. Always seek proper medical evaluation and treatment no matter how familiar the symptoms may seem.
Risk of Dangerous Drug to Drug Interactions
Not all drugs should be taken together. If you self-medicate, you may choose to combine drugs by yourself, and there is a risk of a drug to drug interactions that sometimes be potentially fatal.
Drugs may potentiate the effects of other drugs, increasing the blood level above a safe limit, for example Ciprofloxacin combined with Theophylline (Used to treat asthma) and lead to an increase in Theophylline blood levels, causing toxic effects on your body organs with symptoms like headache, dizziness, hypertension, hallucinations, and seizures.
Some drugs can also inhibit the action of others when you use them concurrently. This might lead to treatment failure. For example, antacid drugs (Used to relieve ulcer pain) can significantly hamper the efficacy of many other medications (e.g., antibiotics and heart medication) when you take them together.
As a word of caution, do not use other drugs within an hour of antacids use. Also, be careful with your use of herbal products and supplements.
Risk of adverse reactions
Practically every drug has a side effect, but some drugs can cause adverse and serious reactions in some specific people. Common examples are the Sulfa drug for example, Fansidar, Septrim, etc.
Drug hypersensitivity can also cause serious fatal skin conditions (Like Steven Johnson syndrome). If you heard the story of a Nigerian lady that got burnt from head to toe, and beyond recognition, after she took Septrim tablets purchased from a nearby chemist, that is the gravity of the issue we are talking about.
Simple guidance from a qualified pharmacist or medical doctor could have saved her life.
The fact that you have an elevated body temperature doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the malaria parasite in your blood. A fever is one of many symptoms of malaria, and can also be a symptom of many other diseases.
When you decide to take antimalarial drugs by your self-prescription for every fever or a headache without undertaking medical tests. It can mask a far more serious condition which can turn chronic and complicated over time.
As an example, you may get the feeling of a headache as a result of elevated blood pressure for malaria symptoms. Elevated blood pressure left unattended can lead to complications like Stroke, heart attacks, and death.
There is always a high probability that an individual will abuse drugs when they practice self-medication. Drug abuse can be defined as using a drug when it is not medically prescribed as necessary or an excessive intake of drugs or chemical agents. Some examples of drug people frequently abuse include pain relief drugs, antimalarial drugs, antibiotics, and controlled drugs, e,g Morphine.
Drug abuse can over time lead to dependence, especially with drugs that are strongly addictive. When a doctor prescribes a drug due to lack of sleep, and you choose to buy it every time on your own that is drug abuse. When you are unable to sleep anymore without taking that drug, then you could have an addiction problem.
Another very common issue that affects the health, even of people who don’t self-medicate is drug resistance. Most people don’t bother to complete the dosage of their medication especially when they no longer feel the symptoms and have a little relief.
This is an especially common issue for the use of drugs of the antibiotics group. Resistance to antibiotics occurs when bacteria evolve to become resistant to the antibiotics used in treating infections.
For the sake of your physical health and well-being, you should never take antibiotics without a prescription. Fail to finish a dosage prescribed for you. Use leftovers or share your antibiotics with other people to avoid antibiotic resistance.
ADEQUATE REST AND SLEEP
We are busier people than ever in the new millennium. However, the importance of a good night’s rest cannot be over-emphasized. While regular activity can improve your overall physical health, allowing time for the body to rest is equally important.
Practice spending more time relaxing, or take short naps to help rejuvenate your body. Sleep should be taken in a quiet and dark environment and should last for at least 7-9 hours.
If you find yourself sleeping consistently for a much longer or shorter time than this number of hours, you may need to consult a medical doctor.
The importance of being in good health as an athlete cannot be overemphasized. Physical and mental health are two branches of the same tree. One must not be overlooked in favor of the other. You might want to commit to a new healthy routine that will influence the lifestyle and psychological changes to ensure that your overall health is in tip-top shape at all times.