As a community, we define health in different ways. When it comes to the individual, you, health is more specific than one area such as nutrition, fitness or mental health. The fact is that when we break down our day, we expose health in its true form; a vast matrix of wires tangled together, working together. So, if health when viewed under a microscope appears disorganized, which end should we grab of hold of first?

This is the first article of a new column in the Standard-Examiner. The purpose is to provide help addressing your personal health questions to begin investing in your health now. However, knowing which health wire to grab a hold of first begins with you, the reader. What questions do you have about your health or that of a friend or family member?

At first thought, questions related to diet and exercise may come to mind. These are certainly important, but only make up one of the seven, yes seven, dimensions of health and wellness defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Among diet and exercise, or physical wellness, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, environmental and occupational wellness dynamically work together to achieve a complete health profile.

The WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This statement is very important as it highlights that even under situations of short-term or long-term disease, we are capable of achieving a high level of health. For example, consider a young child with type I diabetes (a disease of the pancreas). Although their health can be compromised at times as a result of complications from the disease, when managed properly a child can live a very healthy life. They can engage in sport, participate in academic and social activities and travel with their family to see new places. Disease does not define the child. And, disease does not have to define you.

I am excited to share more health information with the community. However, this column is really about you and the questions you have about health. Submit one or multiple questions to letters@standard.net, providing as much detail and background as necessary to understand your question as it relates to you. You can also submit questions via mail.

As a health care provider and researcher in the field of physical activity and public health, I am passionate about personal, community, state and nationwide health and wellness. Together, let’s invest in our health today.

Alysia Cohen is an Assistant Professor of Athletic Training at Weber State University. She brings an extensive background in athletic health care, strength and conditioning, and public health via personal and population-based approaches to improving health.

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