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What does ‘Health’ mean?

This past year we’ve been discussing and writing about health and fitness in our province and what we can do to help our current situation. (123) What I’d like to do here is take a step back and ask ‘what is health? What does it mean to be healthy?’

Merriam Webster defines it as: ‘the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially :  freedom from physical disease or pain.’

From their book titled ‘Body by Science’, Dr. Doug McGuff and John Little define health: A physiological state in which there is an absence of disease or pathology and that maintains the necessary biologic balance between the catabolic (breakdown) and anabolic (build up) states.’

The World Health Organization defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’

Recently, I’ve read a blog in which the author, Chris Kresser, is asking this same question, “What is health?” Chris describes his incredible story of improving his quality of life in the face of chronic and crippling sickness. He then describes how he has evolved his definition of health and states: ‘how we frame and perceive our experience has tremendous power even the power to change it.’ Hope and persistence are powerful tools in overcoming any obstacle.

He ponders an alternative definition to health that he borrowed from Moshe Feldenkrais: Health is simply “the ability to live your dreams.”

I think that in order to address the issue of a healthier Nova Scotia, we should collaborate on what ‘good health’ means. We may find out that it is a very individual concept and, I believe that it is a question that needs to be considered and discussed if we are going to make a significant change to improve our health as individuals, as a community and as a province.

I highly recommend you read this article and then I’d like to ask YOU the same thing that Chris does at the end of his article: How do you define health? What does health mean to you? How do you feel about defining health as ‘the ability to live your dreams’? Let us know in the comments section of our Facebook post.

‘if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.‘ – Lewis Carroll

Thank you for reading.

Matt

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Bedford, NS B3J 3T1

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