by Ron Kurtus (revised 24 October 2013)
Health is the overall condition of a living organism at a given time. It is the soundness of the body, freedom from disease or abnormality, and the condition of optimal well-being. It is when the body is functioning as it was designed to function.
Note that we are talking about physical health, as opposed to mental or emotional health.
People want to be healthy, but environmental forces can attack the body or the person may have genetic malfunctions. The main concerns in health are preventing disease and healing damage caused by injuries and biological attacks.
Questions you may have include:
- How does health relate to the function of the body?
- What about getting sick or injured?
- How is healing related to health?
Functioning as designed
Each one of us was born with a body that is a highly complex mechanism. It is amazing that it operates as well as it does. Good health is really defined as being able to function according to the way the body has been designed to function.
No one is perfect
Unfortunately, no one is perfect and many people have defects in their bodies. Some people have defects that can be life threatening. Fortunately, the body can compensate for defects and a person may easily live a long life with a body that is only partially functioning. An example is how a blind person or crippled person can compensate for the handicap and simply turn it into a challenge.
Not only should the all the body parts work well and work together, they also need proper nutrition for energy, as well as to continue to operate effectively. In general, humans and animals seem to be able to tell what foods their bodies need to function properly and to be healthy.
Unfortunately, there are foods that can be harmful. Soem can fool the brain in saying they are good for you. At the extreme, there are addictive drugs. There are also salty, fatty, and sugary food that both humans and animals love, but that can be harmful to the health and nutritional needs of the being.
The human body was made to be physically active. The heart needs to pump rapidly occasionally to keep its muscle tone. Your lungs need exercise to function the way they were made to function. Exercise and using the body is important to maintaining your health.
Being attacked or injured
It is a fact that our bodies are constantly under attack from our environment. Sometimes it is under attack even from ourselves. The body has defenses against these attacks.
Germs, bacteria, molds, and viruses may attack parts of our bodies, trying to infiltrate and use the body as a home or source of food. Not only can they destroy your cells, but also they often may release poisons that can harm your whole being.
Cleanliness is one defense against disease. In addition, the body creates internal defenses against specific bacteria and viruses. In fact, because the body builds up these defenses, there is a question whether being too clean is actually good for you, because you may then not develop the natural defenses needed to maintain your health.
Injury to parts of our body can come from attacks by animals or other people, or they can occur through an accident.
Caution is the best defense against injury. Carelessness or ignorance often results in injury.
Ingesting the wrong material can poison a person. Sometimes poisons are subtle parts of the environment, such as smog or drugs.
Being aware of potential poisons is an important defense. Sometimes environmental poisoning is unavoidable, since you may not even realize it is happening to you. In many communities, people spread poisons on their lawns to kill insects and then let their children play on the lawn, often resulting in problems years down the road.
A major part of health concerns healing. After you have become sick or injured, your body will fight the disease and then attempt to heal the wounds. Although there are some drugs that can relieve pain, the major part of healing is natural.
Protecting against further attacks or injury and being in good health helps the healing process.
Health is when your body functions as it is supposed to function. You need nutrition and exercise to maintain your health. Your body defends against illness and disease, but you must use caution to avoid injury and poison. If you are healthy, you will heal quicker.