What’s the secret to good health? The truth is, good health is tied to many factors. We’ve put together this list of 7 components of good health, to help you identify key areas where there’s room for improvement, and provide resources to help you start feeling healthier.
If you’re ready to get healthier now, you’ve come to the right place! Since you are the expert on how your own body feels, assessing your own personal wellness is a great first-step toward setting and achieving health and fitness goals.
Here's our list of 7 components of good health.
1. OVERALL HEALTH
What makes an overall healthy person? Living a well-balanced lifestyle that combines physical fitness, healthy nutrition and adequate rest can manage, control and even eliminate illness and disease. Think of your overall health as the big picture, made up of several contributing factors. Your overall health will suffer when any of these areas is out of balance including:
- Lack of exercise
- Poor nutrition
- Inadequate rest
- Increased stress
- Social isolation
Let’s explore some of the contributing factors to overall health including body weight, exercise, energy, sleep, mental health and sex.
2. BODY WEIGHT
Being overweight can actually contribute to the likelihood of developing serious illness and disease.
When your body achieves and maintains a healthy weight, several other areas of wellness also improve. There are many factors that contribute to success or failure to maintain a healthy body weight including nutrition, hormones and exercise.
Nutrition affects your body in ways we don’t always think about until a serious health issue develops. Your diet not only affects your body weight, it affects blood glucose levels, energy levels, mood, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water are the general components of nutrition.
Eating healthy sources of protein helps your body build muscle. Healthy proteins include: lean meats, fish, eggs, tofu, grains, nuts and some vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower.
Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for the body. But not all carbs are created equal, especially when it comes to weight loss. Good carbs include black beans, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.
Examples of healthy fats include, vegetable spreads, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, and fish.
Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs. Good sources of minerals and vitamins include green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, carrots, broccoli, berries, kiwi, papaya, apples and whole grains.
Perhaps the most important component of healthy nutrition is water. We can’t live without it! Staying properly hydrated helps with weight loss, improves digestion, eliminates toxins, hydrates skin and relieves fatigue. Your body needs 2-3 liters of water a day plus 1 liter for every hour of physical activity.
The TeleWellnessMD™ Supplement Guide provides an overview of the benefits and uses of various supplement types.
Hormone imbalances can also affect your weight. When you daydream about food or grab a snack you really don’t need, your hormones are most likely the culprit. In many cases the key to weight loss is understanding how hormone imbalances can affect your weight, not just calories.
Hormones are the messengers that tell the body whether to: burn or store fat; feel full or hungry; have cravings or not; feel energized or fatigued. Hormones even impact your mood and motivation to exercise.
People respond to weight management and exercise programs differently and often need a more comprehensive approach. As we know, body shapes are different and so are the internal hormone systems that drive these body shapes.
With unique hormonal variations it is easy to see that there can be more to weight loss than diet and exercise. Combining traditional diet and exercise with more unique weight management strategies such as hormone optimization, inflammation reduction and nutrient replenishing, can really make a difference for people who have struggled in the past.
People respond differently to diets based on their individual nature. In cases where people have not succeeded with dieting, addressing the hormones first may be the best approach.
Hormone balancing can reduce hunger, control cravings, elevate energy, and boost metabolism. Reducing calories is still a must when attempting to lose weight, but a low-calorie diet in the context of balanced hormones can be the real solution in many cases.
Do you exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week? If not, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that 70% of the population does not exercise regularly.
Getting regular exercise is a key component to wellness. Over time, consistent exercise can increase your energy, improve sleep, balance hormones, and maintain a healthy weight – all of which are keys to healthy living. It only takes 30 minutes a day to be effective.
Whether you’ve exercised regularly your entire life or you’re just starting out, if you create a routine that you don’t enjoy, can’t afford, or can’t squeeze in, chances are good that you won’t stick with it. Ideally you need a mix of both cardio, strength training and stretching.
For beginners, lifting weights at the gym can be a little intimidating. Outdoor activities and even household chores can be a great way to start exercising. Some of these activities can get you started:
- lawn mowing
- vigorous cleaning
If you’re beginning a new fitness routine, it’s important to start slow and build the intensity as time progresses and your body adapts. Start with 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week and after a few months, increase your workout days and time.
Do you feel physically strong and energized? When you are feeling weak, especially if it is progressive, consider your lifestyle choices. Often it is the combination of nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalance that promotes muscle loss and weakness.
Every system and process in the body relies on energy and more specifically, metabolic energy.
When the body does not have the necessary energy to power these processes, the body will start to malfunction. You can think of this at every level of body function. If the brain does not have necessary energy, there will be signs of malfunction such as memory impairment, sluggish cognition, and decreased focus. If the gastrointestinal system does not have enough energy it will result in bowel irregularities and other disease. These are the basic fundamentals in the importance of metabolic energy.
Any one or combination of unhealthy lifestyle habits such as poor eating, obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, drug abuse, increased stress, and medication overuse can result in metabolic dysfunction and increase risk of disease. Factors that result in poor metabolism open the door for a cascade of events that throw people into a dangerously vicious cycle that is difficult to break.
Weight management issues, low energy and fatigue are just a few indicators of metabolic stress.
Correcting a depressed metabolism is a vital step towards better overall health and wellness.
Do you sleep well? Sleep is an extremely important component of health and wellness. Your body needs between 7-9 hours of sleep every day. Sleeping well has many health benefits including:
- Increased mental sharpness
- Lower stress
- Decreased inflammation
Sleep is nature’s restoration period and significantly affects your overall physical and mental health. While you sleep your body restores your immune system, your nervous system, and even your muscular and skeletal systems. Certain hormones and brain-related proteins also restore while you sleep. So if you don’t sleep well or enough (or both), your body doesn’t get the time it needs to rejuvenate itself, and it slowly lags behind in its optimal ability to function—over the long haul, you function less than optimally with many systems affected.
If you sleep well, you wake up refreshed and energized. If you don’t sleep enough, sleep too long or the quality of your sleep is compromised, you wake up grumpy, sluggish and unproductive which affects your health, relationships and your work.
If you don’t sleep well, you can count on a higher risk of obesity, increased stress, and lower mental acuity.
Poor sleep causes these issues because of hormone imbalance, tissue inflammation, decrease immune function, and sluggish metabolism. Hormone changes commonly seen are increasing cortisol and decreasing growth hormone (GH). Changes in these hormones can lead to hormone imbalances that can cause a host of other health issues.
Lack of sleep causes stress on your body and can lead to immune dysfunction and disrupted hormone regulation which can result in long-term problems with chronic stress. Chronic sleep deprivation effects can lead to disease such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, premature aging and anxiety disorders.
Learning to recognize abnormal sleep patterns and employing good sleep hygiene techniques can result in better overall health.
The TeleWellnessMD™ Nutrient Injection Guide explains why nutrient injections are the most effective form of nutritional therapy.
6. MENTAL HEALTH
If you’re overly stressed, socially isolated or have low self-confidence, it takes a toll on your well-being.
Stress can cause many adverse health effects including:
- Premature aging
- Slow wound healing
- Increased risk of disease including: cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and mental decline
- Increased risk of infectious disease
- Increased risk of chronic inflammation
- Reduced immune response to vaccines
- Re-activation of latent viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus
Stress can lead to adrenal fatigue and can cause unwanted symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, indigestion, weight gain, reduced tolerance to stress and irregular sleep cycles.
Although a little stress is normal in life, constant negativity can make you feel anxious, depressed and bitter. It can wear away your self-esteem and perpetuate a pattern of self-destructive behaviors. Some negative thoughts that can have negative effects on a positive attitude include:
- Worrying about what other people think about you: Studies show that most of the time, other people aren’t thinking about you at all, except to wonder what you think of them.
- Preoccupation or obsession with stressors: Although thinking through problems can be beneficial, constantly brooding about stressors produces only one thing—more stress!
- Dwelling on the past and things you can’t change: you can learn lessons from the past, but constantly thinking about “what might’ve been” is unhealthy and unproductive.
- Self-criticism: Self-improvement is fine; putting yourself down isn’t. After all, the world has enough people who feel the need to criticize, so why would you do that to yourself? You’re your own best cheerleader, and you deserve the same respect and compassion from yourself that you give to others.
Are you satisfied with your sex-life? Healthy sexual activity has positive effects on hormones, immune function, endorphins, and muscle strengthening which can result in the following benefits:
- Reduced risk of heart disease. Research shows that men who had sex three or more times a week reduced their risk of heart attack or stroke by half.
- Increased sense of well-being. Levels of the hormone oxytocin increase during intercourse and in turn releases endorphins, which can give a sense of well-being and can even reduce pain because of the action of the endorphins and the pain receptors.
- Boost immune system function. People who have sex weekly have higher levels of an immune system when fighting infections.
There are several factors that can influence satisfaction with sex-life including self-confidence, energy and hormones.
If your libido is not healthy, you may benefit from having your hormones tested. Hormones that can affect libido include testosterone, DHEA, estrogen, and progesterone. Other factors that can influence libido are fat percentage, sleep, exercise, and medications.
TeleWellnessMD™ practitioners often recommend lifestyle therapies to improve issues with sexual performance and sex drive. The TeleWellnessMD™ Lifestyle Therapy Guide explains the benefits of these therapies.
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