Living a Healthy Life
Your Health and Wellness
Promoting a Healthy
Your Behaviour and
Reducing Health Risks
How Much Do You Know About
Health and Healthy Behaviours?
Health information--and misinfor-
mation--is everywhere. Which of these
statements do you think is a fact? A
myth? Record your opinion for each.
1. Teens need more sleep than
2. Being an effective communicator
can improve your overall health.
3. The health decisions you make as
a teen have little impact on your
health as an adult.
4. Two 10-minute walks provide nearly
the same health benefits as a
continuous 20-minute walk.
5. Water is a nutrient.
6. Setting goals can only help you
achieve long-term accomplishments,
such as establishing a career.
7. Acne flare-ups are a result of eating
chocolate and greasy foods.
8. Tanning beds are safe because
they do not cause burns.
9. All stress is negative and should
10. The relationships you have with
family, friends, and peers do not
affect your physical health.
Using Visuals. Each day you make decisions
that affect your health. What you choose to eat, www.mcgrawhill.ca/links/health
your level of physical activity, how you manage To learn more about your health
stress, and the types of relationships you have all status, go to the Web site above for
influence your overall feeling of well-being. Make Health: First Canadian Edition to
a list of five decisions you've made this week see where to go next.
that have had a positive effect on your health.
Your Health and Wellness
KEY TERMS EXPECTATIONS
health Learn about Health Canada's goals and objectives.
Develop criteria for evaluating health information.
health education Discuss the importance of health literacy for achieving and
Health Canada maintaining good health.
On a sheet of paper, complete the following statement:
When you have good health, you . . .
Spending time with friends
is an important part of
health. Give an example
S uppose someone asks whether you are healthy. How would you
answer? Would you consider only your physical health? For
example, would you think of how often you are sick? Throughout
of how relationships can
have a positive impact on this course, you will see that health is much more than just the
health. absence of disease. A state of well-being comes from a balance
between the physical, mental/emotional, and social aspects of your
life. In this chapter you will look at ways to achieve and maintain
The Importance of Good Health
W hat is your usual response to the question,
"How are you?" A true description of your
health would require much more than a simple "fine"
or "okay." Health is the combination of physical,
mental/emotional, and social well-being. Being healthy
doesn't mean that you will never be sick or that you
will be guaranteed a position on the basketball team.
Instead, being healthy means striving to be the best
you can be at any given time.
4 MHR Chapter 1 Living a Healthy Life
The Health Continuum
Health is dynamic, or subject to constant change. For example,
you might be the top performer for your basketball team on
Tuesday and sick in bed with the flu on Wednesday. Think of your
health at any moment as a point along a continuum. This contin-
uum spans the complete spectrum of health from chronic disease
and premature death to a high level of health. Along the contin-
uum are many points where your health could be located at any
given time. This point changes from day to day and year to year.
Changes along the continuum may occur suddenly, such as
when you get injured playing a sport. At this time of your life, it's
even common for your emotions to shift suddenly from moment
to moment. Knowing that these emotional shifts are normal can
help you maintain a healthful balance as you move along the
Changes may also be so gradual that you're not even aware that
you're moving from one side of the continuum to the other. Take
a look at Figure 1.1. Where do you fit on the health continuum
right now? Where would you like to be in a month? A year?
A person with a balanced life is said to have a high degree of
wellness, an overall state of well-being, or total health. It comes from
a way of living each day that includes making decisions and prac- When you feel your best,
tising behaviours that are based on sound health knowledge and you will perform at your
healthful attitudes. Achieving wellness requires an ongoing, lifelong best. How might maintain-
ing a high level of wellness
commitment to physical, mental/emotional, and social health.
help you reach your goals?
T HE H EALTH C ONTINUUM
The continuum shows that your health can be measured on a sliding scale, with many degrees of health and
wellness. Name three behaviours that would help you move toward the right side of the continuum.
Premature Loss of Health Improved Health High Level
Death and Wellness and Wellness of Health
Chronic Lack of energy, Free from aches Moderate level Optimal level
disorders inattention, minor and pains of energy of energy, feeling
aches and pains of well-being
People on this side of the continuum Many people People on this side of the continuum usually
usually do not take responsibility function below exhibit a high degree of responsibility, discipline,
for maintaining their own health. the wellness and positive direction in life. They accept
midpoint. responsibility for maintaining their own health.
Lesson 1 Your Health and Wellness MHR 5
Promoting Your Health
T he decisions you make each day have an impact
on your health. What you choose to wear, eat, and
do can have personal health consequences that you
may or may not have considered. For example, not
wearing the proper safety gear when participating in
a physical activity increases the chances of serious
injury in the event of an accident. Eating high-
calorie snacks can result in unhealthful weight gain.
Making responsible decisions about health and
developing health-promoting habits is crucial to
achieving and maintaining wellness.
Experts have identified habits that affect people's
overall health, happiness, and longevity--or how long they
live. These habits, or lifestyle factors, are personal behaviours
related to the way a person lives. They help determine his or her
Research has shown that
teens need more sleep than
level of health. Certain lifestyle factors are linked to specific
adults do. Establishing a diseases--for example, smoking and lung cancer. Other lifestyle
regular sleep schedule can factors promote good health. These include:
help you get enough sleep getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
each night. What are two
other actions you can take starting each day with a healthy breakfast.
to ensure that you get an
eating a variety of nutritious foods each day.
adequate amount of sleep?
being physically active for at least 20 minutes a day, three or
more days a week.
maintaining a healthy weight.
avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.
abstaining from sexual activity before marriage.
maintaining positive relationships.
practising safe behaviours to prevent injuries.
Fitting these health-promoting lifestyle factors into your life will
help ensure a high level of wellness.
Wellness and Prevention
A key to your wellness is prevention--practising health and
safety habits to remain free of disease and injury. Wearing seatbelts,
applying sunscreen, and avoiding unsafe areas are just a few exam-
ples of preventive measures. What other actions could you take to
prevent illness and injury?
6 MHR Chapter 1 Living a Healthy Life
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