What Does Healthy Mean?

Health in balance: When you look at health as more than diet, exercise, & body size, knowing what healthy means becomes easier

At Balanced Healthstyles, we take a balanced approach to the definition of what healthy means. It may look a lot different than you are used to.

Being healthy means creating an environment you can thrive, where all elements of health are in sync, rather than just physical health.

When using thriving as the basis for defining health, it is important to lean into the concept that healthy does not have a universal definition.

Are you ready to expand your view on what it means to be healthy? If so we encourage you to comment below.

We want to hear your feedback. Health is do-able for everyone.  How do you create a healthful lifestyle?

Health is:

  • Individual
  • Inclusive
  • Accepting
  • Diverse

The goal of health is to promote an overall sense of quality of life.

You may be surprised to know that when you look at healthy as more than just your body size, what you eat, and how you workout, healthy becomes easier. It allows you to see the big picture, rather than a moment in time. It gives you the freedom to find ways to fit healthy into your life and make it work for you long-term.

Nutrition and Fitness Coaches reflect on what it means to be healthy.

You may be used to hearing strict definitions of health from the medical community and the media.

Emerging schools of thought are looking at the definition of health in a broader, more useful context... Deep Health.

One outlook: Health is a continuous journey

If you define health as something you can achieve or measure, it creates health as a goal.  An outcome. But then what?

Health is a continuum. Health is a series of choices on a lifelong journey. When you think of health as a continuous journey - anyone and everyone can be on a healthy lifestyle journey.

Wise words, let’s take a closer look.

Deep health means thriving in many aspects of your life, not just how you look or any single number.

When you take away the need to define health by

... it eliminates the need to define health as a comparison between current reality and some vague idea.

Comparison often opens the door to guilt and shame.

“I will never look good in my clothes.”

“He always has his eating plan figured out; there is no way possible I could ever be like that.”

“The only reason they invited me to go out to eat with them is so they could make fun of me afterward.”

“When I lose the weight, then I will be able to find more friends.”

“I wish I could be like him.”

Releasing comparison allows you to be a unique individual who can form your own health path in a way that meets the needs of your real life. When you meet yourself where you are right now, it creates a sense of acceptance for what is.

That doesn’t mean that acceptance is your “get out of jail free card,” rather it sets the tone to clear the path for realistic, goal-setting expectations. This means you can confidently move forward with your health goals.

Another outlook: Stop defining health by what health is not

Health is how you handle stress, the activities you choose to do, the foods you enjoy consuming, the relationship you have with others, the way you choose to rest and recover, and knowing that you have a purpose in life.

Stop defining health by what it is not.

How sad is it to think that we tend to define health in the negative?

no one likes to be called out for not being healthy

What we are told is NOT HEALTH:

What is a Healthy Mindset?

It might seem logical to not worry much about health if you look healthy, meaning that you might not take an active interest in doing things to stay healthy. But that could point you in the wrong direction.

Health orientation: winging it or taking your health seriously

Health orientation is a fancy term to talk about whether you believe that the things you do for your health make a difference. It can also be called active and passive views on health.

How does your mindset and behavior directly influence your health?

It's not just what you do - like eating vegetables or going for a walk - but how you approach doing these things and how you work them into your everyday life.

A Positive Health Orientation reflects a growth mindset, that you are facing the direction of wellness, regardless of current health status. When you take purposeful action, that is giving you a sense of control and empowerment about your health… a “healthy mindset”.

Or you can take no action and see what happens.
When you decide to take no action, you are leaving things to "come what may." A negative mindset may leave you feeling helpless or disinterested, and could potentially lead to being unhealthy and even illness.

What does it mean to be healthy?

When you expand the definition of healthy, others see a change in you. They see a calmness, a steadiness, a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

(That feeling is awesome and doesn’t come close to the temporary feeling of a certain number on a scale.)

When looking at it from all sides, health is about balance. It's what allows you to thrive as a whole person in your whole life.

Health in balance includes:

  • The food you eat
  • The exercises you do.
  • Genuinely resting
  • Breathing clean air
  • Clean water
  • Real human connection
  • Sincere emotional expression
  • Living with purpose and joy
  • Being a healthy human encompasses all aspects of life.
healthy is happy

Health is a resource that supports you.

reflecting on deep health

What to do next

Look at how you define health. Is it a destination, or is it a journey?

When asked, what ideas come to your mind:

  • How do you approach health?
  • When it comes to health, which ideas do you value?
  • What is your definition of health?
  • Which types of health are there?
  • What is your role in your own health?
  • How does health benefit you?
  • Do you consider yourself a healthy person?
  • Do you feel your everyday life is healthy?

It is ok if you don’t have an answer. At Balanced Healthstyles, reflecting on such questions gives you time to ponder your perspective. When it comes to the definition of health, you may find yourself moving from defining it as what it is NOT to what it IS by your unique standards and how it works in your life.

Ready to find out more?

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If this article inspired you, we encourage you to share it with others and comment below. Health is empowering and we want to hear your health story.

Michelle Johnson Jerome is an expert on busting through perfectionism. She is passionate about helping others live life with purpose and joy. By drawing on her extensive experience as a nutrition coach, personal trainer, and yoga instructor she helps develop a realistic approach to goal setting that allows you to make progress and stop obsessing over mistakes.

Find other articles written by Michelle on her coach profile. Discover your "easy button": learn how to manage life's unpleasant parts so you can move forward, reach your goals, and live your best life.

  • FabOverFifty says:

    This article inspires me to start where I am with the resources I have… that I can feel good about myself now, about what my body can do now, and not wait until I’m some future perfect version of myself, which may or may not even be possible.