Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical exercise, and sufficient rest.
Before the industrial revolution, fitness was defined as the capacity to carry out the day's activities without undue fatigue. However, with automation and changes in lifestyles physical fitness is now considered a measure of the body's ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist hypokinetic diseases, and to meet emergency situations.
Selected general articles
, or geriatric medicine
, is a specialty that focuses on health care of elderly people
. It aims to promote health
and treating diseases
in older adults
. There is no set age at which patients may be under the care of a geriatrician
, or geriatric physician
, a physician who specializes in the care of elderly people. Rather, this decision is determined by the individual patient's needs, and the availability of a specialist. It is important to note the difference between geriatrics, the care of aged people, and gerontology
, which is the study of the aging
process itself. The term geriatrics
comes from the Greek geron
meaning "old man", and iatros
meaning "healer". However, geriatrics is sometimes called medical gerontology
. Read more...
is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where) and determinants
of health and disease conditions in defined populations
It is the cornerstone of public health
, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice
by identifying risk factors
for disease and targets for preventive healthcare
. Epidemiologists help with study design, collection, and statistical analysis
of data, amend interpretation and dissemination of results (including peer review
and occasional systematic review
). Epidemiology has helped develop methodology
used in clinical research
, public health
studies, and, to a lesser extent, basic research
in the biological sciences.
Major areas of epidemiological study include disease causation, transmission
investigation, disease surveillance
, forensic epidemiology
, occupational epidemiology
, and comparisons of treatment effects such as in clinical trials
. Epidemiologists rely on other scientific disciplines like biology
to better understand disease processes, statistics
to make efficient use of the data and draw appropriate conclusions, social sciences
to better understand proximate and distal causes, and engineering
for exposure assessment
. Read more...
A 2007 assessment of harm from recreational drug use (mean physical harm and mean dependence liability)
, also known as drug abuse
, is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others, and is a form of substance-related disorder
. Widely differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, medical and criminal justice contexts. In some cases criminal or anti-social behavior
occurs when the person is under the influence of a drug, and long term personality changes in individuals may occur as well. In addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, use of some drugs may also lead to criminal penalties, although these vary widely depending on the local jurisdiction.
Drugs most often associated with this term include: alcohol
and some substituted amphetamines
. The exact cause of substance abuse is not clear, with the two predominant theories being: either a genetic disposition which is learned from others, or a habit which if addiction develops, manifests itself as a chronic debilitating disease.
In 2010 about 5% of people (230 million) used an illicit substance. Of these 27 million have high-risk drug use otherwise known as recurrent drug use causing harm to their health, psychological problems, or social problems that put them at risk of those dangers. In 2015 substance use disorders resulted in 307,400 deaths, up from 165,000 deaths in 1990. Of these, the highest numbers are from alcohol use disorders
at 137,500, opioid use disorders
at 122,100 deaths, amphetamine use disorders
at 12,200 deaths, and cocaine use disorders
at 11,100. Read more...
is a field of expertise practiced by a clinician
known as a speech-language pathologist
), also sometimes referred to as a speech and language therapist
or a speech therapist
. SLP is considered a "related health profession" along with audiology
, optometry, occupational therapy
, clinical psychology
, physical therapy
, and others. The field of SLP is distinguished from other "related health professions" SLPs are legally permitted to conclude to certain disorders which fall within their scope of practice. SLPs specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of communication disorders
and language disorders
), cognitive-communication disorders, voice disorders
, and swallowing disorders
. SLPs also play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder
(often in a team with pediatricians and psychologists).
A common misconception is that speech-language pathology is restricted to adjusting a speaker's speech sound articulation to meet the expected normal pronunciation, such as helping English speaking individuals enunciate the traditionally difficult "r". SLPs can also often help people who stutter to speak more fluently. Articulation and fluency are only two facets of the work of an SLP, however. In fact, speech-language pathology is concerned with a broad scope of speech, language, swallowing, and voice issues involved in communication, some of which include:
- Word-finding and other semantic issues, either as a result of a specific language impairment (SLI) such as a language delay or as a secondary characteristic of a more general issue such as dementia.
- Social communication difficulties involving how people communicate or interact with others (pragmatics).
- Structural language impairments, including difficulties creating sentences that are grammatical (syntax) and modifying word meaning (morphology).
- Literacy impairments (reading and writing) related to the letter-to-sound relationship (phonics), the word-to-meaning relationship (semantics), and understanding the ideas presented in a text (reading comprehension).
- Voice difficulties, such as a raspy voice, a voice that is too soft, or other voice difficulties that negatively impact a person's social or professional performance.
- Cognitive impairments (e.g., attention, memory, executive function) to the extent that they interfere with communication.
Comparison of male and female life expectancy at birth for countries and territories as defined in the 2011 CIA Factbook
, with selected bubbles labelled. The green dotted line corresponds to equal female and male life expectancy. The apparent 3D volumes of the bubbles are linearly proportional to their population. (In the SVG file
, hover over a bubble to highlight it and show its data.)
The word "longevity
" is sometimes used as a synonym for "life expectancy
" in demography
. However, the term longevity
is sometimes meant to refer only to especially long-lived members of a population, whereas life expectancy
is always defined statistically as the average number of years remaining at a given age. For example, a population's life expectancy at birth is the same as the average age at death for all people born in the same year (in the case of cohorts
). Longevity is best thought of as a term for general audiences meaning 'typical length of life' and specific statistical definitions should be clarified when necessary.
Reflections on longevity have usually gone beyond acknowledging the brevity of human life and have included thinking about methods to extend life. Longevity has been a topic not only for the scientific community but also for writers of travel
, science fiction
, and utopian
There are many difficulties in authenticating the longest human life span
ever by modern verification standards, owing to inaccurate or incomplete birth statistics. Fiction, legend, and folklore have proposed or claimed life spans in the past or future vastly longer than those verified by modern standards, and longevity narratives
and unverified longevity claims
frequently speak of their existence in the present. Read more...
is the practice of eating
food in a regulated and supervised fashion to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight, or to prevent and treat diseases, such as diabetes
. A restricted diet
is often used by those who are overweight
, sometimes in combination with physical exercise
, to reduce body weight. Some people follow a diet to gain weight (usually in the form of muscle
). Diets can also be used to maintain a stable body weight and improve health.
Diets to promote weight loss
can be categorized as: low-fat
, very low calorie
and more recently flexible dieting. A meta-analysis
of six randomized controlled trials found no difference between low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, and low-fat diets, with a 2-4 kilogram weight loss over 12-18 months in all studies. At two years, all calorie-reduced diet types cause equal weight loss irrespective of the macronutrients emphasized. In general, the most effective diet is any which reduces calorie consumption.
A study published in American Psychologist
found that short-term dieting involving "severe restriction of calorie intake" does not lead to "sustained improvements in weight and health for the majority of individuals". Other studies have found that the average individual maintains some weight loss after dieting. Weight loss by dieting, while of benefit to those classified as unhealthy, may slightly increase the mortality rate for individuals who are otherwise healthy. Read more...
Newspaper headlines from around the world about polio vaccine
tests (13 April 1955)
is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health
through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". Analyzing the health of a population and the threats is the basis for public health. The "public" in question can be as small as a handful of people, an entire village or it can be as large as several continents, in the case of a pandemic
. "Health" takes into account physical, mental and social well-being. It is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, according to the World Health Organization
. Public health is interdisciplinary
. For example, epidemiology
and health services
are all relevant. Environmental health
, community health
, behavioral health
, health economics
, public policy
, mental health
and occupational safety
, gender issues in health, sexual and reproductive health are other important subfields.
Public health aims to improve the quality of life through prevention and treatment of disease
, including mental health. This is done through the surveillance
of cases and health indicators
, and through the promotion of healthy behaviors. Common public health initiatives include promoting handwashing
, delivery of vaccinations
, suicide prevention
and distribution of condoms
to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases
Modern public health practice requires multidisciplinary teams
of public health workers and professionals. Teams might include epidemiologists
, medical assistants
, public health nurses
, medical microbiologists, economists, sociologists, geneticists and data managers.
Depending on the need environmental health officers
or public health inspectors
, and even veterinarians
, gender experts, sexual and reproductive health specialists might be called on. Read more...
is the maintenance or improvement of health
via the prevention
, and treatment
, and other physical and mental impairments
in human beings. Healthcare is delivered by health professionals
(providers or practitioners) in allied health fields
and physician associates are a part of these health professionals. Dentistry
, occupational therapy
, physical therapy
and other health professions
are all part of healthcare. It includes work done in providing primary care
, secondary care
, and tertiary care
, as well as in public health
Access to health care may vary across countries, communities, and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies
in place. Countries and jurisdictions have different policies and plans in relation to the personal and population-based health care goals within their societies. Healthcare systems
are organizations established to meet the health needs of targeted populations. Their exact configuration varies between national and subnational entities. In some countries and jurisdictions, health care planning is distributed among market participants, whereas in others, planning occurs more centrally among governments or other coordinating bodies. In all cases, according to the World Health Organization
(WHO), a well-functioning healthcare system requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately paid workforce
; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies
; and well maintained health facilities
and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies.
Healthcare can contribute to a significant part of a country's economy
. In 2011, the healthcare industry
consumed an average of 9.3 percent of the GDP
) per capita across the 34 members of OECD
countries. The US (17.7%, or US$ PPP 8,508), the Netherlands
(11.9%, 5,099), France
(11.6%, 4,118), Germany
(11.3%, 4,495), Canada
(11.2%, 5669), and Switzerland
(11%, 5,634) were the top spenders, however life expectancy in total population at birth
was highest in Switzerland (82.8 years), Japan
(82.4), France (82.2) and Australia
(82.0), while OECD's average exceeds 80 years for the first time ever in 2011: 80.1 years, a gain of 10 years since 1970. The US (78.7 years) ranges only on place 26 among the 34 OECD member countries, but has the highest costs by far. All OECD countries have achieved universal (or almost universal) health coverage, except the US and Mexico
. (see also international comparisons
.) Read more...
, or caloric restriction
, or energy restriction
, is a dietary regimen
that reduces calorie intake without incurring malnutrition
or a reduction in essential nutrients
. "Reduce" can be defined relative to the subject's previous intake before intentionally restricting calories, or relative to an average person of similar body type. Commonly consumed food components containing calories are carbohydrates
In preliminary research, some non-human species on calorie restriction diets without malnutrition may exhibit slowing of the biological aging process
, resulting in an increase in both median
and maximum lifespan
, but this effect is not universal. In humans, the long-term health effects of moderate caloric restriction with sufficient nutrients are unknown. Read more...
occurs when a person exceeds their body's ability to recover from strenuous exercise
. Overtraining can be described as a point where a person may have a decrease in performance and plateauing as a result of failure to consistently perform at a certain level or training load; a load which exceeds their recovery capacity. People who are overtrained cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength
. Overtraining is also known as chronic fatigue, burnout and overstress in athletes. It is suggested that there are different variations of overtraining, firstly monotonous program over training suggest that repetition of the same movement such as certain weight lifting and baseball batting can cause performance plateau due to an adaption of the central nervous system which results from a lack of stimulation. A second example of overtraining is described as chronic overwork type training where the subject may be training with too high intensity or high volume and not allowing sufficient recovery time for the body. Up to 10% of elite endurance athletes and 10% of American college swimmers are affected by overtraining syndrome (unexplained underperformance for approximately 2 weeks even after having adequate resting time). Read more...
is a branch of medicine
that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer
. A medical professional who practices oncology is an oncologist
. The name's etymological origin is the Greek word (ónkos
), meaning "tumor", "volume" or "mass" and the word (logos
), meaning "study".
Cancer survival has improved due to three main components including improved prevention efforts to reduce exposure to risk factors (e.g., tobacco smoking
consumption), improved screening
of several cancers (allowing for earlier diagnosis), and improvements in treatment.
Cancers are often managed through discussion on multi-disciplinary cancer conferences where medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists
, pathologists, radiologists, and organ specific oncologists meet to find the best possible management for an individual patient considering the physical, social, psychological, emotional, and financial status of the patient. It is very important for oncologists to keep updated with respect to the latest advancements in oncology, as changes in management of cancer are quite common. All eligible patients in whom cancer progresses, and for whom no standard of care treatment options are available should be enrolled in a clinical trial. Read more...
A dietary supplement
is a manufactured product intended to supplement the diet when taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid. A supplement can provide nutrients
either extracted from food sources or synthetic, individually or in combination, in order to increase the quantity of their consumption. The class of nutrient compounds includes vitamins
, fatty acids
and amino acids
. Dietary supplements can also contain substances that have not been confirmed as being essential to life, but are marketed as having a beneficial biological effect, such as plant pigments
. Animals can also be a source of supplement ingredients, as for example collagen
from chickens or fish. These are also sold individually and in combination, and may be combined with nutrient ingredients. In the United States and Canada, dietary supplements are considered a subset of foods, and are regulated accordingly. The European Commission
has also established harmonized rules to help insure that food supplements are safe and properly labeled. Among other countries, the definition of dietary supplements may vary as drugs
or other classes of ingredients used in supplement products.
Creating an industry estimated to have a 2015 value of $37 billion, there are more than 50,000 dietary supplement products marketed just in the United States, where about 50% of the American adult population consumes dietary supplements. Multivitamins
are the most commonly used product. For those who fail to consume a balanced diet, the United States National Institutes of Health
states that certain supplements "may have value."
In the United States, it is against federal regulations for supplement manufacturers to claim
that these products prevent or treat any disease. Companies are allowed to use what is referred to as "Structure/Function" wording if there is substantiation of scientific evidence for a supplement providing a potential health effect. An example would be "_____ helps maintain healthy joints", but the label must bear a disclaimer that the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) "has not evaluated the claim and that the dietary supplement product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease," because only a drug can legally make such a claim. The FDA enforces these regulations, and also prohibits the sale of supplements and supplement ingredients that are dangerous, or supplements not made according to standardized good manufacturing practices
(GMPs). Read more...
is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function
of part or all of an organism, and that is not due to any external injury. Diseases are often construed as medical conditions
that are associated with specific symptoms
. A disease may be caused by external factors such as pathogens
or by internal dysfunctions. For example, internal dysfunctions of the immune system
can produce a variety of different diseases, including various forms of immunodeficiency
and autoimmune disorders
In humans, disease
is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes pain
, social problems
, or death
to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person. In this broader sense, it sometimes includes injuries
, isolated symptoms
, deviant behaviors
, and atypical variations
of structure and function, while in other contexts and for other purposes these may be considered distinguishable categories. Diseases can affect people not only physically, but also emotionally, as contracting and living with a disease can alter the affected person's perspective on life.
Death due to disease is called death by natural causes
. There are four main types of disease: infectious diseases
, deficiency diseases, hereditary diseases (including both genetic diseases
and non-genetic hereditary diseases
), and physiological diseases. Diseases can also be classified in other ways, such as communicable
diseases. The deadliest diseases in humans are coronary artery disease
(blood flow obstruction), followed by cerebrovascular disease
and lower respiratory infections
. Read more...
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Followed for a millennium and a half, Galen (1st century) created the first coherent (although mistaken) theory of nutrition.
Proteins are chains of amino acids found in most nutritional foods.
Colorful fruits and vegetables may be components of a healthy diet.
Postage stamp, New Zealand, 1933. Public health has been promoted - and depicted - in a wide variety of ways.
A woman jogging at a beach in the U.S. to maintain/improve her physical fitness
Percentage of overweight or obese population in 2010, Data source: OECD's iLibrary, http://stats.oecd.org
An astronaut, Daniel Tani, working out with a short bar to increase his upper body strength while in a microgravity environment
Calcium combined with vitamin D (as calciferol) supplement tablets with fillers.
James Lind conducted in 1747 the first controlled clinical trial in modern times, and in 1753 published Treatise on Scurvy.
A bottle of B-complex vitamin pills
Summary of long-term adaptations to regular aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise can cause several central cardiovascular adaptations, including an increase in stroke volume (SV) and maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max), as well as a decrease in resting heart rate (RHR). Long-term adaptations to resistance training, the most common form of anaerobic exercise, include muscular hypertrophy, an increase in the physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) of muscle(s), and an increase in neural drive, both of which lead to increased muscular strength. Neural adaptations begin more quickly and plateau prior to the hypertrophic response.
Jack Drummond's single paragraph paper in 1920 which provided structure and nomenclature used today for vitamins
Running has become a popular form of exercise.
A lady washing her hands c. 1655
Hippocrates lived about 400 BC, and Galen and the understanding of nutrition followed him for centuries.
Swimmers perform squats prior to entering the pool in a U.S. military base, 2011.
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Linus Carl Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was an American quantum chemist and biochemist, widely regarded as the premier chemist of the twentieth century. Pauling was a pioneer in the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry, and in 1954 was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work describing the nature of chemical bonds. He also made important contributions to crystal and protein structure determination, and was one of the founders of molecular biology. Pauling received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962 for his campaign against above-ground nuclear testing, becoming only one of four people in history to individually receive two Nobel Prizes. Later in life, he became an advocate for regular consumption of massive doses of Vitamin C. Pauling coined the term "orthomolecular" to refer to the practice of varying the concentration of substances normally present in the body to prevent and treat disease, and promote health.
Pauling was first introduced to the concept of high-dose vitamin C by biochemist Irwin Stone in 1966 and began taking several grams every day to prevent colds. Excited by the results, he researched the clinical literature and published "Vitamin C and the Common Cold" in 1970. He began a long clinical collaboration with the British cancer surgeon, Ewan Cameron, MD  in 1971 on the use of intravenous and oral vitamin C as cancer therapy for terminal patients. Cameron and Pauling wrote many technical papers and a popular book, "Cancer and Vitamin C", that discussed their observations. He later collaborated with the Canadian physician, Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, on a micronutrient regimen, including high-dose vitamin C, as adjunctive cancer therapy.
The selective toxicity of vitamin C for cancer cells has been demonstrated repeatedly in cell culture studies. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  recently published a paper demonstrating vitamin C killing cancer cells. As of 2005, some physicians have called for a more careful reassessment of vitamin C, especially intravenous vitamin C, in cancer treatment.
With two colleagues, Pauling founded the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine in Menlo Park, California, in 1973, which was soon renamed the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. Pauling directed research on vitamin C, but also continued his theoretical work in chemistry and physics until his death in 1994. In his last years, he became especially interested in the possible role of vitamin C in preventing atherosclerosis and published three case reports on the use of lysine and vitamin C to relieve angina pectoris. In 1996, the Linus Pauling Institute moved from Palo Alto, California, to Corvallis, Oregon, to become part of Oregon State University, where it continues to conduct research on micronutrients, phytochemicals (chemicals from plants), and other constituents of the diet in preventing and treating disease.
Health and fitness news
"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."
- -- Mark Twain
"The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle."
- - Navy SEALs
"He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything." [Arabian Proverb]
"Human life needs superhuman health."
- - Leonid S. Sukhorukov
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
"Do not spend health to gain money, and then, do not spend money to regain health"
" Honour your Divine Body Temple"
- - Fitness Guru Derek Duke Noble
"To sit in a comfortable position or posture for everlasting period is called asana"
- - BirenDra ShaH
Health is very important for our life [kailash vishwakarma]
Things you can do
- Improve the see also reference sections in health articles
- Check the related topic lists for completeness
- Help change the articles on this portal at the beginning of each month
- See also: Biology (below)
Health – Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. this is a level of functional and (or) metabolic efficiency of a person in mind, body and spirit; being free from illness, injury or pain (as in "good health" or "healthy"). The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
- Death – cessation of life.
- Exercise – any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, and mental health including the prevention of depression. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the "diseases of affluence" such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity.
- Nutrition – provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary (in the form of food) to support life.
- Life extension – The study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend both the maximum and average lifespan.
- Health sciences – applied sciences that address the use of science, technology, engineering or mathematics in the delivery of healthcare to human beings.
- Medicine – science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness.
- Anesthesia – a way to control pain during a surgery or procedure by using medicine called anesthetics.
- Cardiology – branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the human heart. The field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology.
- Clinical research – aspect of biomedical research that addresses the assessment of new pharmaceutical and biological drugs, medical devices and vaccines in humans.
- Diabetes – a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar) above 200mg/dl, either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both.
- Dentistry – branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the mouth, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures (teeth) and their impact on the human body.
- Emergency medicine – medical specialty involving care for undifferentiated, unscheduled patients with acute illnesses or injuries that require immediate medical attention. Emergency physicians undertake acute investigations and interventions to resuscitate and stabilize patients.
- Obstetrics – medical specialty dealing with the care of all women's reproductive tracts and their children during pregnancy (prenatal period), childbirth and the postnatal period.
- Trauma & Orthopedics – medical specialty dealing with bones, joints and operative management of trauma.
- Psychiatry – medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities.
- Autism a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
- Psychiatric survivors movement – is a diverse association of individuals who either currently access mental health services (known as consumers or service users), or who are survivors of interventions by psychiatry, or who are ex-patients of mental health.