What Does Health Really Mean?
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What Does Health Really Mean?
By Jennifer Kenny
1 What do you think of when someone says he or she is healthy? Most people would answer that question by saying they are not sick. That usually means they are free from disease. Today, though, health needs to take into account lifestyle as well as infection. What does that mean?
2 Well, in the 1800s, most people died from infections that were passed from person to person. These infections included polio and pneumonia. Therefore, when a person considered himself healthy, it means he wasn't suffering from these infections or many others like tuberculosis or the flu.
3 Today most of these infections are under control because of advances in medicine and advances in prevention. Many of the factors that affect our health nowadays are lifestyle ones. Lifestyle diseases such as some kinds of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are huge health problems in our society. They are caused partly by unhealthy actions and partly by other things.
4 There are risk factors associated with any health problems. What are risk factors? Risk factors are things that increase your chances of injury, disease, or any other health problems. There are different kinds of risk factors. Some are controllable; others are not. The difference between the two is obvious.
5 A person can do something about controllable risk factors. For example, heart disease is a huge problem in modern times. Being overweight, not exercising, smoking, and eating poorly are all controllable risk factors. To decrease the risk of heart disease, a person can choose to exercise, not smoke, lose weight, and eat nutritious meals.
6 Unfortunately, a person can't do anything about uncontrollable risk factors. These risk factors can't be changed. Uncontrollable risk factors for heart disease are age, race, gender, and heredity. Older people are more likely to have heart problems. However, no one can change how old he or she is. More men have heart problems than women. However, you are what you are.
7 Therefore, it is obvious; there isn't much a person can do to change uncontrollable risk factors. Changing those risk factors which are controllable needs to happen, in order to maintain good health, especially in this day and age.
8 You are still young. The leading cause of death for children is motor vehicle accidents. So why should you be concerned about risk factors? Well, the leading cause of death for those between 19 and 65 is cancer; older than 65, the leading cause of death is heart disease. Stopping risk behaviors early in life can help ensure a healthy future.
9 As young as you are, you are quite powerful! Protect yourself from these common teen risk factors: sedentary lifestyle, alcohol and drug use, sexual activity, injury-causing behaviors, smoking, and poor eating.
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