Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is ‘a condition of full physical, mental and emotional well being and not just the absence of illness and disease’. A wide variety of other definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. The most common definition today is that of the Universal Health System, which provides a model for an integrated approach to achieving health for all. The approach builds on the notion of physical, mental, and emotional wellness and these are interdependent and intertwined in a way that affects the entire body and creates a sense of well being.
Developing a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle contributes significantly to overall health and its prevention or treatment. It is important to develop a healthy lifestyle for several reasons. Firstly, people who live an unhealthy lifestyle are more likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Secondly, living a poor healthy lifestyle makes an individual more prone to acquire a range of diseases like asthma, depression, and other mental illnesses.
The third reason why developing a healthy lifestyle is important is that it can reduce the prevalence and incidence of many health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. This can also minimize the costs related to treating these diseases. A healthy diet and a regular exercise program are the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. There are many public health measures that focus on promoting a healthy diet and keeping people physically active. These include nutrition education, dietary research, and promotions of healthy choices among the general population.
People suffering from mental illness are often deprived of the opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle, and in most cases, their illness is mild to severe. However, a good health and well-balanced diet can improve the physical well-being of people who suffer from mental illness. People with mental illness are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, including substance abuse and unprotected sex. Moreover, a well-balanced diet promotes overall wellness, a greater sense of well-being, and better self-care.
A fourth reason why a well-balanced diet defines health is that it can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are the two most common indicators of poor health. A diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber, and nuts can help to reduce these indicators. A complete physical examination reveals the presence of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Thus, a well-balanced diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Lastly, drug use can negatively impact one’s health. Drug use can significantly contribute to the development of heart disease or certain cancers. Thus, it can be concluded that drug use can negatively impact a person’s mental health. Drug use also contributes to the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Therefore, drug use should be considered as a major cause of some common illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease.