Medical professionals would like to answer this question as ‘being disease-free’. But it is neither the complete answer nor objective. To me, good health means that a person has four attributes –
Physical Health, or physically stout and active body
Intellectual Health, or Intellectually analytic, thoughtful and creative brain,
Resilience of body and brain,
Agility of body and brain
Out of these, the first two attributes work beneficially for current existence of the person while the latter two are his/her safeguards for future health. It may be argued that if the health at all the current times is ensured, there is no need for any consideration for the future. It is true, but all the whole lifetime of a person doesn’t remain the same for two universally present circumstantial factors of unforeseen adversities and ageing of the person. These two factors may damage health in the future of a person in-spite of his/her current sound health. The latter two attributes of health are to take care of these possibilities in the future.
Physical health of a person is not a mere consideration of his/her physical appearance. There are millions of persons appearing to be hale and healthy from an outer appearance but suffering from many internal diseases and incapable of leading active lifestyles. In the modern age of fast moving vehicles, many so-called healthy persons are unable to walk a little distance for their being out of practice without a motor-vehicle. Such persons develop many other diseases in their respective bodies due to their inactive lifestyles.
An active body means good health of mind of the person for the mind residing as neural network spread all over the body and taking care of internal and external activities of the body. So, when we say ‘active body’, we mean active mind also of the person. Therefore, physical health includes mental health but not the intellectual health of the person. The mental health is related to activities of the body organs under control of the mind of the person, while intellectual health is related to sound functionality of the person’s brain including soundness of his/her memory, analytic thinking capability, and imaginative creativity.
Final parameter of a person’s intellectual health is his/her tangible creative outputs, or creation of things or thoughts not existing so far. Although every person has creative talent but most of the persons are not using or finding opportunity to use their creative talents. As a result of this non-use of talent, it vanishes in three generations through genetic modifications. Those using their creative talents improve upon it through generations.
For this reason, humanity is on the verge of dividing itself in two distinct segments of productive and creative peoples. The productive people would be good at mass producing things through their physical health, while creative people would be developing new things through their intellectual health. It may be that in future, these two classes of people be recognized as humans and super-humans, respectively. So far, medical profession has paid no attention to intellectual health of humanity for its preoccupation with physical health only.
Resilience of a functional system is its ability to continue functioning well even under adverse situations. This concept applies equally well to organic and inorganic systems, organizations and health of individual living-beings. In case of individual health, resilience is not related to stoutness of body but to its adaptive capability to circumstantial changes.
Globalization has put a new challenge to health of a huge number of individuals required to move globally to meet their career and business aspirations. Their health needs more resilience than those staying in unitary climatic zones. Ecological damages too tend to bring about unforeseen climatic changes needing people to be tolerant to these, hence resilient health-wise.
Medical profession has not paid any attention to this health issue also, so far creating more patients to them due to failure of people’s health in being adaptive to changes in circumstances which are now more common than before.
Resistance of a person’s body and brain to effects of ageing is termed as his/her agility. Thus, an agile person remains equally hale and healthy throughout his/her lifetime irrespective of his/her age. This attribute of health has a higher demand now for the medical profession’s success in improving longevity of people, thus creating a huge number of old sick persons in the world to be taken care for by the healthy people. Unless, people wake up fast to attain agility with or without assistance from the medical profession, the whole of healthy humanity will be plagued with carrying aged and sick people on their shoulders.
Agility is more of an individual’s concern than that of the society or the medical profession. With taking selective and locally and organically grown seasonal foods, more of vegetables and fruits, and less of sugars, flour-products, and fats, an individual can attain a good amount of agility, though its attainment in full is still a long-distant dream.