What does it mean to have good physical health?

Good physical health is a state of complete physical well-being and not just the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a holistic concept that encompasses various aspects such as physical fitness, mental well-being, and nutrition. Good physical health enables individuals to perform daily activities with ease, have enough energy to enjoy leisure activities, and have a longer life expectancy. It is important to maintain good physical health as it can prevent chronic diseases and improve overall quality of life. This topic explores the various dimensions of good physical health and the measures individuals can take to achieve it.

Quick Answer:
Good physical health means being in good overall condition, both mentally and physically. It involves having a healthy body that is functioning well and is free from illness or injury. This can be achieved through regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management. Maintaining good physical health is important because it allows individuals to participate in daily activities and enjoy a high quality of life. Additionally, good physical health can also reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases and improve overall mental well-being.

Defining Good Physical Health

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Physical health refers to the condition of the body and its ability to function effectively and efficiently. It is a state of being free from illness or injury, and it is characterized by physical fitness, strength, and endurance.

Physical health is an important aspect of overall well-being, as it enables individuals to perform daily activities and participate in leisure activities without limitation. Good physical health is achieved through a combination of regular exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and avoidance of harmful habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Good physical health is also associated with a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It can also improve mental health and reduce the risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Achieving good physical health requires a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and stress management techniques. It is important to remember that good physical health is not just about physical appearance, but rather it is a state of overall well-being that includes physical, mental, and emotional health.

Characteristics of Good Physical Health

Having good physical health means being in good condition and free from illness or injury. It involves having a body that is capable of performing daily activities with ease and without any limitations. The following are some of the characteristics of good physical health:

Fitness level

Being physically fit means having a body that is capable of enduring physical activity without getting tired easily. This involves having a good cardiovascular system, strong muscles, and good endurance. People who are physically fit are able to perform daily activities with ease and are less likely to get sick.

Mobility and flexibility

Good physical health also involves having good mobility and flexibility. This means being able to move around freely without any pain or discomfort. People who have good mobility and flexibility are less likely to suffer from joint problems and other injuries.

Strength and endurance

Having good physical health also means having enough strength and endurance to perform daily activities. This involves having strong muscles and bones that can withstand physical activity without getting damaged. People who have good strength and endurance are less likely to get tired easily and are more likely to be able to perform physical activities for longer periods of time.

Healthy body weight

Having a healthy body weight is also an important characteristic of good physical health. This means having a body weight that is appropriate for your height and age. Being overweight or underweight can lead to various health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and bone problems.

Healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels

Having good physical health also involves having healthy levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. High levels of these can lead to various health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It is important to maintain healthy levels of these through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Adequate sleep

Getting enough sleep is also an important characteristic of good physical health. This means getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can lead to various health problems, including weight gain, mood disorders, and a weakened immune system.

Good hygiene

Finally, good physical health involves good hygiene practices. This means washing your hands regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, and taking regular showers or baths. Good hygiene practices help to prevent the spread of illness and keep your body healthy.

The Importance of Physical Health

Good physical health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a fundamental component of overall well-being and is essential for individuals to live their best lives. Physical health is crucial because it enables individuals to perform daily tasks and activities, participate in leisure activities, and contribute to their communities.

The importance of physical health cannot be overstated. Physical health plays a significant role in an individual’s overall well-being and affects almost every aspect of their life. Poor physical health can result in chronic diseases, which can have a profound impact on an individual’s quality of life, including their ability to work, participate in leisure activities, and maintain relationships.

One of the most significant benefits of good physical health is the reduced risk of chronic diseases. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, are responsible for a significant portion of the global burden of disease. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and avoiding unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can significantly reduce the risk of developing these chronic diseases.

Good physical health is also associated with improved mental health. Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on mental health, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and improving overall mood. Regular physical activity can also improve cognitive function, reducing the risk of developing conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

In addition to the benefits for an individual’s physical and mental health, good physical health is also associated with increased life expectancy. People who engage in regular physical activity and maintain a healthy lifestyle are more likely to live longer than those who do not. This is because physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body weight, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and improves overall physical function.

In conclusion, good physical health is crucial for overall well-being and affects almost every aspect of an individual’s life. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and avoiding unhealthy behaviors can significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, improve mental health, and increase life expectancy. It is essential for individuals to prioritize their physical health to live their best lives.

Factors Contributing to Good Physical Health

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Having good physical health means being in good condition both mentally and physically. It involves being able to perform daily activities without any limitations and having the energy to engage in physical activities. Here are some factors that contribute to good physical health:

Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the most important factors that contribute to good physical health. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, improves cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and boosts the immune system. It is recommended that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with strength training exercises at least twice a week.

Diet

Diet also plays a crucial role in maintaining good physical health. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide the body with the necessary nutrients for optimal health. It is important to limit intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated fats, which can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

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Sleep

Getting enough sleep is also essential for good physical health. Sleep plays a vital role in recovery and repair of the body, and lack of sleep can lead to a range of health problems such as fatigue, poor concentration, and increased risk of chronic diseases. It is recommended that adults get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Stress Management

Managing stress is also important for good physical health. Chronic stress can have negative effects on the body, including increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems. Engaging in activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Overall, having good physical health involves a combination of regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management. By incorporating these factors into daily life, individuals can maintain optimal physical health and reduce their risk of chronic diseases.

Key takeaway: Good physical health is a state of overall well-being that includes physical, mental, and emotional health. It is achieved through a combination of regular exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and avoidance of harmful habits. It is important for individuals to prioritize their physical health to live their best lives, as it reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases, improves mental health, and increases life expectancy. Factors contributing to good physical health include regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, stress management, and avoiding unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Access to green spaces, safe and accessible physical activity options, availability of healthy food options, and workplace wellness programs are environmental factors that contribute to good physical health.

Lifestyle Choices

Regular exercise is an essential component of good physical health. Engaging in physical activity on a regular basis can help to maintain a healthy body weight, improve cardiovascular health, and build and maintain muscle mass. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with strength training exercises at least twice per week.

A healthy diet is also crucial for good physical health. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide the necessary nutrients for optimal health. Limit intake of processed foods, added sugars, and saturated and trans fats. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential for overall health and well-being.

Adequate sleep is vital for good physical health. Adults should aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night to allow for physical and mental restoration. Sleep plays a critical role in regulating hormones, metabolism, and the immune system, and lack of sleep can have negative effects on overall health.

Stress management is also an important factor in maintaining good physical health. Chronic stress can have negative effects on the body, including increased risk of heart disease, anxiety, and depression. Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help to reduce stress and promote overall health and well-being.

Finally, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is essential for good physical health. Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide and can lead to a range of health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses. Limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels, defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of liver disease, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Environmental Factors

Having access to green spaces, safe and accessible physical activity options, availability of healthy food options, and workplace wellness programs are all important environmental factors that contribute to good physical health.

  • Access to green spaces: Exposure to natural environments, such as parks and forests, has been linked to various health benefits, including improved mental health, reduced stress levels, and increased physical activity. Access to green spaces can also encourage social interaction and community engagement, which can further contribute to overall well-being.
  • Safe and accessible physical activity options: Engaging in regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining good physical health. Having access to safe and accessible physical activity options, such as walking paths, bike trails, and sports facilities, can make it easier for individuals to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines.
  • Availability of healthy food options: Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods is essential for maintaining good physical health. The availability of healthy food options, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can make it easier for individuals to make healthier food choices.
  • Workplace wellness programs: Many individuals spend a significant amount of time at work, making the workplace an important environment for promoting good physical health. Workplace wellness programs, such as fitness classes, healthy snack options, and stress management resources, can help employees maintain healthy habits and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Overall, these environmental factors can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to maintain good physical health. By creating environments that support and encourage healthy behaviors, individuals are more likely to engage in activities that promote physical health and well-being.

Genetic and Biological Factors

  • Inherited traits
    Inherited traits play a crucial role in determining one’s physical health. Genes are passed down from parents to offspring and contain the instructions for making proteins that perform various functions in the body. Some genes influence the risk of developing certain diseases, while others affect physical characteristics such as height, eye color, and hair texture.
  • Hormonal imbalances
    Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, growth, and development. Imbalances in hormone levels can lead to various health problems, such as weight gain, mood swings, and fatigue. For example, an underactive thyroid gland can result in weight gain, while an overactive adrenal gland can cause anxiety and stress.
  • Chronic health conditions
    Chronic health conditions are long-term illnesses that persist for more than three months, such as diabetes, asthma, and arthritis. These conditions can affect physical health and quality of life, and require ongoing management and treatment. For instance, people with diabetes must monitor their blood sugar levels, while those with asthma need to carry inhalers to manage their symptoms.

Mental Health and Physical Health

Having good physical health is not just about maintaining a healthy body; it also involves taking care of one’s mental health. Mental health and physical health are interconnected, and a healthy mind can contribute to a healthy body. Here are some ways in which mental health can impact physical health:

The mind-body connection

The mind-body connection refers to the idea that our thoughts and emotions can affect our physical health. For example, if we are feeling stressed or anxious, our body may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, or stomach pain. On the other hand, if we are feeling relaxed and content, our body may feel more at ease. By taking care of our mental health, we can improve our overall physical well-being.

Managing stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety can have a significant impact on our physical health. Chronic stress can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and digestive problems. Therefore, it is essential to find ways to manage stress and anxiety, such as through meditation, exercise, or talking to a therapist. By reducing stress levels, we can improve our physical health and overall quality of life.

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Maintaining a positive outlook

Having a positive outlook on life can also contribute to good physical health. People who have a positive attitude tend to have better coping skills and are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors such as exercising and eating a balanced diet. A positive outlook can also help reduce stress levels and improve overall mental well-being. By focusing on the good things in life and adopting a positive mindset, we can improve our physical health and overall quality of life.

Assessing Your Physical Health

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Good physical health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Assessing your physical health involves evaluating your overall health status, identifying areas of improvement, and developing a plan to achieve and maintain good physical health.

To assess your physical health, it is important to consider several factors, including:

  • Physical activity: Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining good physical health. It helps to improve cardiovascular health, maintain muscle mass and bone density, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
  • Nutrition: A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for good physical health. It provides the body with the necessary nutrients and energy to function properly and maintain optimal health.
  • Sleep: Adequate sleep is important for physical health. It helps to improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress, and support the body’s natural healing processes.
  • Stress management: Chronic stress can have a negative impact on physical health. It can increase the risk of chronic diseases, affect immune function, and lead to unhealthy behaviors such as overeating and smoking.

To assess your physical health, it is important to consider these factors and develop a plan to improve and maintain good physical health. This may involve regular physical activity, a balanced and nutritious diet, adequate sleep, and effective stress management techniques.

Self-Assessment Tools

Self-assessment tools are a valuable resource for individuals who want to evaluate their physical health without the need for professional assistance. These tools provide an objective measurement of various aspects of physical health, which can help individuals identify areas that require improvement. In this section, we will discuss some of the most commonly used self-assessment tools for evaluating physical health.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a commonly used tool for assessing an individual’s body fat based on their weight and height. BMI is calculated by dividing an individual’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered healthy, while a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

While BMI is a useful tool for identifying individuals who may be at risk for obesity-related health problems, it has its limitations. For example, it does not take into account muscle mass, which can result in individuals with a high level of muscle mass being classified as overweight or obese. Additionally, BMI does not provide information about the distribution of body fat, which can be an important predictor of health risks.

Fitness level assessments

Fitness level assessments are tools that are used to evaluate an individual’s cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, and body composition. These assessments can be conducted using a variety of methods, including treadmill tests, weightlifting tests, and body composition analysis.

Fitness level assessments are useful for identifying areas where an individual may need to improve their physical fitness. For example, an individual who performs poorly on a treadmill test may need to improve their cardiovascular endurance, while an individual who has low muscle mass may need to engage in resistance training to improve their strength.

Screening for chronic diseases

Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Self-assessment tools can be used to screen for these diseases by measuring various biomarkers, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels.

Screening for chronic diseases is important for identifying individuals who may be at risk for these conditions, which can allow for early intervention and prevention. For example, an individual who has high blood pressure may be able to reduce their risk of heart disease by making lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthier diet and increasing their physical activity levels.

In conclusion, self-assessment tools are valuable resources for individuals who want to evaluate their physical health. These tools provide an objective measurement of various aspects of physical health, which can help individuals identify areas that require improvement. While self-assessment tools have their limitations, they can be a useful starting point for individuals who want to take control of their physical health.

Seeking Professional Help

Maintaining good physical health requires regular check-ups and consultations with various healthcare professionals. Seeking professional help can provide valuable insights into your current health status and offer personalized recommendations for improving your overall well-being.

Primary care physicians

Primary care physicians are typically the first point of contact for individuals seeking medical attention. They are responsible for providing preventive care, diagnosing and treating acute illnesses, and managing chronic conditions. Regular check-ups with a primary care physician can help identify potential health issues early on and ensure that you receive appropriate medical care.

Physical therapists

Physical therapists specialize in treating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. They can provide personalized exercise programs, manual therapy, and education on injury prevention techniques. Consulting with a physical therapist can help improve mobility, reduce pain, and enhance overall physical function.

Registered dietitians

Registered dietitians are trained to provide nutritional guidance and develop personalized meal plans based on individual health needs and goals. They can help individuals manage weight, improve digestive health, and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Consulting with a registered dietitian can provide valuable information on healthy eating habits and ensure that you are meeting your daily nutritional requirements.

Mental health professionals

Mental health professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, play a crucial role in maintaining good physical health. Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression can have negative effects on physical health, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disorders. Consulting with a mental health professional can help individuals develop coping strategies, manage stress, and improve overall mental well-being.

In conclusion, seeking professional help from various healthcare professionals can provide valuable insights into your current health status and offer personalized recommendations for improving your overall well-being. Regular check-ups with primary care physicians, consultations with physical therapists, registered dietitians, and mental health professionals can help ensure that you are maintaining good physical health.

Improving Your Physical Health

Physical health refers to the overall condition of your body and its ability to function effectively. It is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Good physical health is essential for overall well-being and can help improve the quality of life. Here are some ways to improve your physical health:

1. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good physical health. It helps to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, increase flexibility, and improve overall energy levels. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. This can include activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming.

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is also important for maintaining good physical health. A balanced diet should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It is important to limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated fats. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is crucial for overall health.

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3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours per night. Lack of sleep can lead to a variety of health problems, including weight gain, mood disorders, and decreased immune function.

4. Manage Stress

Stress can have a significant impact on physical health. Chronic stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, headaches, and digestive issues. It is important to find ways to manage stress, such as through meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

5. Preventive Care

Preventive care is important for maintaining good physical health. This includes regular check-ups with healthcare providers, getting vaccinated, and screening for potential health problems. Early detection and treatment of health issues can help prevent more serious problems from developing.

In conclusion, improving physical health requires a combination of regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, stress management, and preventive care. By incorporating these habits into your daily routine, you can improve your overall physical health and well-being.

Setting Goals

Having clear and achievable goals is an essential part of maintaining good physical health. Short-term and long-term goals help to keep you motivated and focused on improving your health. It is important to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. This means that your goals should be clearly defined, measurable, achievable, relevant to your overall health, and have a specific deadline.

Short-term goals are typically goals that can be achieved within a few weeks or months. These goals can include things like increasing your daily water intake, going for a daily walk, or eating more fruits and vegetables. Short-term goals are important because they help to build momentum and provide immediate feedback on your progress.

Long-term goals, on the other hand, are goals that may take several months or even years to achieve. These goals may include things like running a marathon, losing a certain amount of weight, or improving your overall fitness level. Long-term goals are important because they provide a sense of direction and purpose for your health journey.

It is important to note that setting both short-term and long-term goals is important because it helps to keep you motivated and engaged in your health journey. When setting your goals, it is important to be realistic and to set goals that are achievable. It is also important to remember that progress is not always linear, and setbacks are a normal part of the process. By setting SMART goals, you can ensure that you are making progress towards your overall health goals.

Developing an Action Plan

Assessing current habits and behaviors

The first step in developing an action plan for improving your physical health is to assess your current habits and behaviors. This includes identifying what you are currently doing well and what areas you need to improve upon. It is important to be honest with yourself about your current lifestyle, as this will help you to identify realistic goals and create a plan that is tailored to your individual needs.

Identifying areas for improvement

Once you have assessed your current habits and behaviors, the next step is to identify areas for improvement. This may include increasing your physical activity levels, improving your diet, or reducing stress. It is important to set specific and measurable goals, such as increasing your daily steps or reducing your intake of processed foods.

Creating a personalized plan

With your goals in mind, it is time to create a personalized plan for improving your physical health. This plan should include specific actions that you will take to achieve your goals, as well as a timeline for when these actions will be taken. It is important to make your plan as specific and detailed as possible, as this will help you to stay motivated and on track.

Seeking support and accountability

Finally, it is important to seek support and accountability as you work to improve your physical health. This may include enlisting the help of a friend or family member, joining a fitness class or support group, or working with a healthcare professional. Having someone to support and encourage you can make a big difference in helping you to stay committed to your goals and make lasting changes to your lifestyle.

Monitoring Progress

Tracking physical activity and diet

Monitoring progress is a crucial aspect of improving your physical health. One way to do this is by tracking your physical activity and diet. This can include keeping a log of your daily exercise routine, including the duration and intensity of each workout, as well as the types of exercises you perform. Additionally, tracking your diet can help you identify areas where you can make improvements, such as consuming more fruits and vegetables or reducing your intake of processed foods.

Regular check-ins with healthcare providers

Another important aspect of monitoring progress is by having regular check-ins with healthcare providers. This can include scheduling appointments with your primary care physician, as well as seeing specialists such as a nutritionist or a physical therapist. During these appointments, your healthcare provider can monitor your progress, assess your overall health, and provide recommendations for further improvement.

Celebrating milestones and progress

Finally, it’s important to celebrate milestones and progress along the way. This can help to maintain motivation and provide a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s reaching a specific fitness goal, losing a certain amount of weight, or simply feeling better overall, taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate progress can help to keep you on track and motivated to continue making improvements to your physical health.

FAQs

1. What is physical health?

Physical health refers to the condition of the body and its ability to function effectively and efficiently. It encompasses various aspects such as physical fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, and overall well-being. Maintaining good physical health is essential for leading an active and healthy lifestyle.

2. What are the benefits of good physical health?

Good physical health provides numerous benefits, including increased energy levels, improved immune function, better sleep, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and improved mental health. Regular exercise and physical activity can also help maintain a healthy weight, improve cardiovascular health, and increase muscle strength and endurance.

3. How can I maintain good physical health?

Maintaining good physical health requires a combination of regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and adequate sleep. Engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week is recommended. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources can also contribute to good physical health. It is also important to get adequate sleep each night to support overall health and well-being.

4. What are some signs of poor physical health?

Signs of poor physical health can include fatigue, frequent illnesses, unexplained weight loss, and chronic pain or discomfort. Other indicators of poor physical health may include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and abnormal blood sugar levels. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms or if you have concerns about your physical health.

5. Is good physical health the same as being physically fit?

Good physical health encompasses more than just physical fitness. While physical fitness is an important aspect of good physical health, it also includes other factors such as overall well-being, mental health, and the ability to perform daily activities without difficulty. Being physically fit is a component of good physical health, but it is not the only factor.

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