Health, nutrition and fitness are the three interrelated areas that determine an individual’s sense of happiness and well being.
Health involves the physical, mental and spiritual levels of the individual. A physically healthy person is one who can carry out normal daily physical activities and respond to emergencies with out undo fatigue or pain. The health part of health, nutrition and fitness is achieved through a balanced program of good nutrition, healthy physical activity, continuous education and mental activities, and social and spiritual activities. Your choices of the food you eat and your physical activities affect both your short term and long term health (how you feel now and in the future). You may be getting plenty to eat, but if it is not a proper balance of choices from all five of the basic food groups you may be adding fat to your body without generating the energy to burn the calories and energy to the cells to carry out their functions. Healthy physical activity helps burn off any excess calories you consume, and keeps muscles and joints flexible and strong. Your efforts of continued education (reading, attending seminars, as well as attending formal education classes), and spiritual activities (social activities, attending devotional services, meditation, etc) provides you with a sense of accomplishment and well being. An important part of good health is being physically fit and maintaining proper body weight. Maintaining good health requires following a nutritional diet, and exercising to build and maintain muscles, and to burn of any excess calories.
The nutritional health part of health, nutrition and fitness deals with the food we consume to maintain our health and provide energy to carry on our daily lives. Nutrition is the process of nurturing or being nourished; the total of all the processes that a plant or animal uses to take in and process food substances to maintain a healthy life. A healthy nutrition life style requires a balanced diet of food selected from the five basic food groups, fruits, vegetables, naturally calcium rich dairy products or calcium enriched products, whole grains, and protein (lean meat fish, peas and beans). Other nutritional factors should also be considered. Most fruits and vegetables are better if they are consumed raw because heating destroys some of the healthy nutrients. Steaming and broiling food is better than boiling or frying foods. Preparing fresh fruits and vegetables is better than processed or prepared foods.
The prepared foods generally contain more salt (sodium) than necessary and other flavor enhancing substances. Some of these additives do not add any nutritional value to the food and may even be harmful to your health. More nutritional factors to consider are the variety of the fruits and vegetables in our diet. Nutritional data shows that dark green vegetables (romaine lettuce, kale, broccoli, etc.), and orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and summer squash) provides more nutritional value than some of the less colorful vegetables. Here are even more nutrition facts. Some foods contribute to burning fat. Green tea contributes to fat burning by increasing the body’s metabolism and increasing energy level. Foods high in protein are more difficult to digest so they require more calories in the digestive process. Good nutrition practices may not be sufficient for some people they may require unique supplements such as CoEnzimeQ10 or others.
Physical fitness part of fitness, health and nutrition is the ability to carry out daily activities, enjoy leisure activities and have a healthy immune system to resist disease and infection. Developing and maintaining good physical fitness requires a balance of good nutrition and varied physical exercise. There are there elements to physical fitness: specific fitness the ability to perform daily functions related to work or recreation, general fitness the ability to enjoy leisure time and a sense of peace with the environment, preparedness the ability to over come or avoid emergencies.
There also three factors in achieving good physical fitness good nutrition, physical exercise and restful (sleep). The nutrition maintains the health of the cells and provides the energy to perform the exercises. Physical exercise may be used to accomplish work to earn a living, participate in athletic events, develop and maintain healthy cardiovascular system, or control body weight. Physical fitness and how physical fitness is achieved varies depending on individual. If a person is involved in an occupation that requires vigorous activity and has good nutrition possibly no other exercise is needed to maintain a fit body.
However, even people who are who work hard at their occupation may need additional cardiovascular exercise to keep their heart and blood vessels in optimum condition. People whose profession does not require vigorous physical exercise special effort is required to achieve and maintain physical fitness. A good nutritional diet is the obvious starting point. Some easy things are use stairs rather than elevators, park a little farther from the office or store entrance, throw away the television remote, change channels the old fashion way, and walk to near by offices or neighbors rather than using the telephone. These efforts will help, but more vigorous physical exercise is needed for good physical fitness.
For cardiovascular health a routine of physical exercise over a period a minimum of 20 minutes three times per week is required. The best and generally most convenient cardiovascular exercise is walking. Another good cardiovascular exercise is swimming. Swimming will also help in building and toning muscles. The other factor in developing and maintaining physical fitness is strength exercise to build and tone muscle and to burn fat. Strength exercises are good for weight management because they stimulate muscle growth even after the exercise has been completed. This means that the body continues to burn fat for an extended period of time.
Mental health, as it applies to health nutrition and fitness, is the way we think, how we feel and how we act as we interact with our surroundings. Our mental health contributes to our relations with other people, how we make decision, make choices and how we cope with stress. People with good mental health are able to control their emotions, feelings and behavior. Keeping the mind active through reading, playing games, and an active social life contributes to good mental health.
Spiritual Health Spirituality can be defined as sensitivity or attachment to religion, or as a state condition of being spiritual. Some people ignore or overlook the importance of spirituality in relation to health nutrition and fitness, because they relate spirituality only to religion. Through out history man has struggled with the concept of spirituality. Basically spirituality is the struggle to become the most perfect person or individual. The path to achieve this goal may be through seeking external help through religion of some form, or internal through meditation and study of both present and past human interactions. The above is based on personal study, experiences and observations through out my life.
James E. Smith is a retired electrical engineer, and life long jogger and walker. He has carried over his engineering inquisitiveness and his passion for physical fitness into his website. Visit his website: [http://www.jemssolutions.com]
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