What Is Physical Health?
Physical health refers to the well-being of the body. A healthy lifestyle can help us maintain our physical health. People with a healthy lifestyle often feel good, maintain a healthy body weight, and have plenty of energy for both work and play. They can also lower our risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, and can even make us feel more positive and happier.
How do you maintain good physical health?
A healthy diet, sufficient physical activity and good sleep are key to good physical health.
Maintain a healthy diet
Food is the fuel our bodies need for energy, to grow and to keep us strong and healthy.
A healthy diet includes a balanced variety of foods which contain the nutrients our body needs. Nutritious foods should include starchy foods like potatoes, bread and cereals; vegetables and fruits, dry beans, peas, lentils and soya; chicken, fish, meat and eggs; milk, maas, yoghurt; fat and oil; and water. No single food will contain all the nutrients you need, and your food choices might also depend on your personal taste, but it’s important to try and include a balance and variety of foods on a regular basis.
Fast foods, sodas, and packaged foods contain large amounts of added sugar, trans fats, and sodium. This makes these foods high in calories while offering little to no nutritional value. We should try to avoid these and instead choose foods that are less processed and more nutritious.
Be physically active
Physical activity includes all types of bodily movement and is much more than just planned exercise or sports. To stay healthy, it is recommended that children and adolescents are active at least 60 minutes per day and 30 minutes for adults.
Being physically active can help us take care of our body and mind! It boosts our mood and helps us manage stress, can lead to better sleep and helps us burn the extra calories so that we can keep our body fat at a healthy level.
There are many ways to be active. Here are some ideas!
- Walk or bike instead of taking a vehicle
- Take the stairs instead of an elevator
- Take a dance or walking break when doing work or studies
- Work out on your own or try a YouTube/TikTok/Instagram workout video
If you prefer group activities, you can consider:
- Exercise classes in your community (yoga, pilates, cycling or dancing)
- Joining a sports team, running club or organized sports with friends
- Street or environment clean up
If you are not used to it, you can start by doing small amounts of physical activity, and gradually increase the frequency, intensity and duration over time.
Get enough rest
Good sleep is also important for our health. The amount of sleep we need changes with our age. Younger children need more sleep than adolescents and adults. If you are 6-12 years you should try to sleep between 9 and 12 hours per day, 8 to 10 hours if you are 13-18 years and 7 or more hours if you are older than 18 years.
Sleep quality is also important. You can improve your sleep by having a consistent routine in which you going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, making sure your bedroom is dark and relaxing, removing electronic devices from the bedroom, avoiding big meals and coffee just before going to sleep and being physically active during the day.