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What is Your Definition of Health?

By HERWriter
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Adult Living related image Photo: Getty Images

There is an old Spanish proverb that goes something like this: ʺAnyone who is too busy to take care of their health is like a mechanic who is too busy to take care of his tools.ʺ

Translation, a mechanic’s tools are required for the maintenance and future use of the car. If you neglect your tools, you are neglecting your future. If you don’t have the right tools to change the oil, your car will break down, so get ready to spend some serious cash for a new engine.

Our bodies are like cars. We have to fuel our bodies properly. We need regular check-ups to see what is going on under the hood. And, we have to conduct regular maintenance (exercise, check the various pressures, etc.) on our bodies as well as spirit.

Over our lifetime, we view our health differently. For example, before we reach our late teens our parents are mainly responsible for our health. Our responsibility during these years is to tell our parents and doctors where and what type of pain we may feel.

When we are in our teens and 20s, we think we are invincible and take our health for granted. We experiment with our body and its limits. In our 30s, we realize our recovery rate is longer and wish we were in our 20s again. In our 40s, we become content with our bodies.

In our 50’s and later years, well, I will let you know when I get there. But I hear, we may visit the doctor more frequently and we thank our bodies daily for carrying us through the day.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the definition of health is ʺa state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.ʺ

I think of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter, and Professor Stephen Hawking, writer and cosmologist, who were betrayed by their bodies. But this betrayal turned them into incredible forward thinking individuals. The betrayal of their bodies built their character.

On a daily basis, survivors of life-threatening illnesses like cancer show us that they are not their disease but their disease is just a speed bump of life.

Thankfully, technology and advances in medicine have stamped out some diseases. And advances in medicine have shown us what we need to do to keep our bodies in good shape.

As we continue to evolve, so will the advances of medicine. In the immediate future, there will be a cure for cancer, the common cold and the other bad buys of illness.

In the meantime, raise a glass of orange juice to your health. But, also raise your glass to the dedicated men and women who work behind-the-scenes to improve our health.

These scientists and medical professionals work countless hours to find cures, tend to the sick and eradicate disease. We need these ʺmechanics and their precision-tuned toolsʺ to help us live a healthy harmonious life.


Definition of Health. Definition of Wellness - Dimensions of Wellness. Retrieved January 17, 2012, from http://www.definitionofwellness.com/dictionary/health.html.

Definition of Health. World Health Organization. Retrieved January 17, 2012, from

Reviewed January 17, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Human body also wears and tears. Its gets old and becomes formidable to all kinds of illnesses. This is why we need constant maintenance for it. Great article.

May 25, 2012 - 1:22pm

Nice article and it makes good sense. I heard some where when I was younger and I am in my fifties now "you are what you eat" and other similar sayings that I live by to make me think and to remind myself to keep healthy. I have been taking time out to cook everything from scratch like soups,brown rice and stir frys,I am also drinking pure juices and vegetable juices. It is ashame people don't take time out to care about themselves even for 1/2 a day just to find some time to think about how they are feeling or to start doing something about it. I have worked many years as a nurse and seen so many health issues that could have been prevented instead it is always to late. Remember for those who are parents please do your best to take care of yourself your childern especially will be the ones that suffer the most what would they do with out you.

January 18, 2012 - 11:47am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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