Physical health is critical for overall well-being and is the most outwardly visible of the three primary dimensions of health. Some of the most obvious and serious signs that we are unhealthy appear when physical health deteriorates.
Of course, addressing physical health issues is crucial for anyone suffering from chronic ailments and wanting to regain and maintain overall health and wellness. It is important to understand that the lifestyle choices we make every day have the biggest impact on our state of physical health.
Factors Influencing Physical Health
Physical health is maintained as a result of balance in several key areas:
- Physical activity - including strength, flexibility, and endurance. It is essential to be active on a daily basis, with a mix of both leisurely physical activity such as hiking, biking and walking and/or more structured forms of exercise such as strength training, running, and sports.
- Nutrition and diet – encompassing nutrient intake, hydration and healthy digestion. A well-balanced diet should contain carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. In general, meals and snacks should be consumed throughout the day, and portion sizes should be sensible. And, of course, it is important to drink fluids, ideally clean water, throughout the day as well.
- Rest and sleep - includes periodic rest and relaxation, along with high-quality sleep. Allowing the body to rest and repair is just as important as getting regular activity. Periodically relaxing, meditating or taking short naps throughout the day allows your body to rejuvenate. And, ideally, you should sleep for 7-9 hours a day in a quiet, dark environment to maintain your physical health.
- Medical self-care - includes addressing minor injuries and seeking emergency care whenever necessary. Basic healthcare items should be easily accessible at home and it makes sense to carry a standard safety kit when traveling by car. You should seek immediate emergency treatment whenever you experience significant adverse health or life-threatening symptoms. And, of course, you should address long-term or chronic signs of poor physical health such as persistent coughing, fevers, pain or other ailments.
- Avoiding toxic and other detrimental substances – including s the abstinence from or reduced consumption of these substances. Substances that alter mood or other bodily processes should be limited or avoided. Those with addictive tendencies or other health risks should consider complete abstinence from these substances
There are numerous signs of poor physical health that should alert you to seek professional help.