What are the Factors of General Health?


heart shape by various vegetables and fruitsMany of us spend countless hours every week working out at the gym, doing yoga or recreational activities, and eating specific diets to achieve or maintain good general health. It is very likely, that most of us just continue with these rituals we have become accustomed to, knowing the result leave us feeling better overall.

We all know that food, water and shelter are required to meet the basic necessities for life. After these basic needs are met, we are constantly attempting to obtain a higher level of overall general health. In addition to diet and exercise, there are a few factors that contribute to general health that may get overlooked. Let’s dig deeper into all contributing factors of overall general health:

  • Diet/Nutrition-a proper, well balanced diet that consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Within those groups you can also include vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Water is also considered part of this category as our bodies are made up of approximately 50-75% of water.
  • Exercise-burns excess calories, conditions muscles and vital organs such as the heart and lungs, regulates metabolism and bodily processes, helps combat and prevent diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, increases stamina and blood flow, and increases natural chemicals in the brain that promote a better mood.
  • Rest-a good night’s rest definitely makes you feel better. When deep sleep is reached, the health benefits of regular sleep can include improved memory, reduced inflammation (inflammation can contribute to heart disease, arthritis and diabetes), sharpened attention, and reduced stress.
  • Spirituality/Religion– Spirituality or a practice of organized religion can improve one’s well-being by providing purpose, a general guideline of positive living and a greater sense of meaning amongst life’s challenges.
  • Avoiding Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs-these items are classified as Psychoactive Drugs, which means that they are known to alter the mind. They are highly addictive and can damage multiple body systems, as well as potentially contribute to impaired judgment and accidents. While some doctors recommend an occasional glass of red wine for the antioxidant properties which have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, remembering that consumption in moderation is still the key.
  • Socialization-humans are social beings and interacting with others is very important for general health. Humans have always assembled in groups and tribes while sharing/organizing responsibilities for survival. Studies have often shown a strong correlation between physical and mental health problems of those humans who are not actively social with others.

General health contains a broad spectrum of both physical and emotional contributing factors. Striking a balance of all factors is required for the achievement of optimal health and well-being.  For example, if one focuses too much attention to exercise and does not replenish the body with nutrition and rest, the body cannot rebuild itself and will most likely result in lowered immunity or physical injury.  Developing a harmonious balance is essential for general health.

Physical health can be improved by assessing your current health status with a visit to your medical health care provider (for a general physical), dentist (for your oral health examination) and scheduling a therapeutic massage (for stress reduction). Boosting your emotional health can include seeking spiritual meaning, or adding more socialization in your life.  Participating in a hobby or recreational activity, joining a small group at a church, or volunteering can easily assist on meeting new people and filling a socialization void.  Lastly, prioritizing more rest will recharge you physically and mentally.

Do you have the desire to assist others with improving their general health? Are you interested in the medical field?  Careers in Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting and Massage Therapy can be very rewarding by working with physicians and patients on a daily basis. Contact Arizona College today to learn more about our Allied Health diploma and degree programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.

Information in this blog post is accurate as of October 1, 2014.