According to the Mosby’s Medical, Nursing, & Allied Health Dictionary health is defined as a condition of physical, mental, and social well being and the absence of disease or other abnormal conditions. It is not a static condition; constant change and adaptation to stress result in homeostasis.
Rene Dubos has been quoted in nursing education as saying “The states of health or disease are the expressions of the success or failure experienced by the organism in its efforts to respond adaptively to environmental challenges” (1994). According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are three components of health that need to be addressed including a person’s physical, mental, and social well-being (Kozier, B., Erb, G., Blais, K., 1997).
I define health as the best possible physical and mental state that an individual is able to obtain. If someone has an illness or disease process their best possible state of health is going to in turn be lower than that of a “normally” healthy person who has had no previous disease process or illness to deal with. My wife’s perspective on health is “to eat right and exercise, and also have a keen sense of your surroundings (B.L. Sollowen, personal communication, December 30, 2005).
The issue of health is looked at differently by many different people mainly dependent on their own personal beliefs. There I feel that the way we are able to promote our own health is largely dependent on our motivation to succeed in attaining our health goals. Some ways that we are able to do this are through the promotion of healthy living with health maintenance activities. These are practices that a person incorporates into his/her lifestyle to promote healthy living (Estes, M.E.Z., 1998). Included in the list of health maintenance activities are: ·Sleep
·Diet·Exercise·Stress management·Use of safety devices·Health check-upsI have recently been trying to make some changes in my lifestyle in an attempt to become a healthier individual. Two behaviors that I consider to be healthy in my current lifestyle are my diet, most of the time, and safety.
I have been working on my diet in trying to incorporate all low fat or fat free foods rather than the chips and soda that I use to eat a lot of. I also try to stay away from greasy foods. Every once in awhile I get a craving for some and end up with a stomach ache later as my punishment. I have a family history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol so I know it is important that I start to pay attention to my diet now that I am in my middle thirty’s rather than waiting until it is too late.
I feel like I am a part of the era that has been brought up on fast food and boxed food so it is hard to try to make such drastic changes, but I feel that I have made a lot of progress and will continue to do so. My wife goes along with whatever I decide to do for meals; she isn’t picky, which works out well. I also feel that I am a very safety conscience person. This promotes health by averting any physical harm to my body. I always wear my seatbelt when traveling; along with my children. My wife and kids also wear theirs.
I have also become a very good defensive driver after living in the cities. Safety on the road is a large concern for me. When it comes to work, I always use universal precautions when caring for my patients. This not only protects my health but also the health of my family. I feel that I am always looking out for the safety of my self and others. When I asked my wife what she felt I did that was a healthy behavior the first thing she said was that I was always washing my hands and making sure that she and my son’s wash theirs, which she also believes in, as important.
Two behaviors that I consider to be unhealthy in my current lifestyle include exercise and sleep. I joined a health club and everything and I still can’t get up the motivation to go the twenty minutes that it takes to get there. You can call it lazy or just that I feel I have more important things to do than spend almost two hours of my day en route to and from, and working out. I know I need to at least walk around the block or do sit-ups at home but I just keep putting it off and saying I will get started “tomorrow”.
I realize how important exercise is, I preach to my patients all the time and yet I have trouble with it myself. I also do not feel like I have a healthy sleep pattern. With working different shifts and being on call it becomes hard to get the adequate amount of sleep each day. I get sleep whenever I can, many days I will be up for at least 36 hours before I get any sleep. I feel like I am always playing catch up. I feel that both of my unhealthy behaviors go hand in hand.
Maybe if I felt more rested I would feel more like exercising and maybe if I exercised I wouldn’t feel so tired and lazy all of the time. I am going to be working nights and taking call at least a couple more years yet and I need to start exercising now while I am younger, it is just a matter of getting that jump start that I need. My wife tries hard to motivate me but I like to see results now from the working out, I am not a patient person.
I feel like I know what I need to work on in order to become a healthier individual; it is just a matter of doing so. I have also come to the conclusion that we all have our own perceptions and beliefs when it comes to defining our own health. We need to make a decision regarding where we want to be ten years down the road and make the needed adjustments in our lifestyle in order to get there. It is all up to the individual.
ReferencesAnderson, K.N. (Ed.). (1994). Mosby’s medical, nursing, and allied health dictionary (4th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.Estes, M.E.Z., (1998). Health assessment & physical examination. Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers.Kozier, B., Erb, G., Blais, K. (1998). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives. (3rd ed.). Menlo Park, CA: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.