In 1948, the World Health Organization defined good health as: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
This definition of health is as relevant today as it was in 1948. Although WHO has since changed its definition, the state of health for many today is deplorable. Diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease are on the rise all over the world, and no one seems to have a clue how to treat the disease other than treating it with drugs and surgery.
Ask anyone on the street and you’ll probably get the answer that for them, health means the absence of pain and disease. Many say that they are healthy even though they buy medicine and medicine from the pharmacy to feel that way.
Over the years, more and more people have adopted the Western-style diet, which consists of highly refined foods loaded with sodium, sugar, fat and chemical additives. Combined with high-stress lifestyles, bad habits such as smoking, and pollutants in food, air and water, it puts quality of life in serious jeopardy. Living longer is of little use if the extra years are filled with pain and sickness.
Today’s diseases are the result of poor lifestyle choices. Besides the fact that most diets are high in fat, many of the products on supermarket shelves are severely lacking in essential vitamins and minerals that were abundant in the diet of those who lived a hundred years ago. Today’s food is mass produced and comes from farms whose soils have been sterilized and demineralised. Food is made to look good and have a long shelf life, but not to promote health.
Today’s medical establishment reflects the idea that disease is a part of life and inevitable. As you get older, you will become sicker and need more medical attention. But the truth is that a healthy body does not get sick. A body with a strong immune system has many checks and balances that ensure good health. Even today, you’ll find centuries-old people who don’t need crutches to get around or wait to rot in a kindergarten, waiting for the bliss of death to take them away. Health is not entirely dependent on hereditary factors.
These centenarians do not have specific health genes to help them live very long. What they have is what is missing in the lives of the majority of people today. These healthy old people are active. They eat fresh fruits and vegetables, foods high in fiber and low in simple carbohydrates. They get fresh air and do not smoke excessively. You’ll likely find them living in their own homes and wandering around without a walker or a cane.
Maintaining health must begin with the belief that it is possible to be healthy and stay that way by making good lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, very few people have the incentive to make these changes. A stressful and hasty lifestyle does not allow many to stop and take inventory of themselves and their future well-being goals.
With everything we’ve discovered about the functioning of the body and its ability to heal itself, there is no excuse for continuing to lead an unhealthy lifestyle that shortens one’s quality of life. The true definition of good health is to completely change the lifestyle by eating a good diet, exercising regularly, living relatively stress-free, getting enough sleep, and quitting smoking and drugs. Doing so will reduce epidemics of today’s modern diseases and restore the balance and enjoyment life should be.