Chapter 3: Physical and Mental Health
What you’re doing now in terms of personal health will have a significant influence on your academic performance, and, via setting healthy habits early, on your long-term health.
Considerable research has demonstrated that the basic elements of good health—nutrition, exercise, not abusing substances, stress reduction—are important for preventing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases, known to be the causes of nearly two thirds of deaths worldwide (The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60648-6). The key risk factors for these non-communicable diseases are high blood pressure, smoking, high BMIs, low physical activity levels, alcohol consumption, and poor diet.
Wellness is more than just avoiding disease, however. Wellness involves feeling good in every respect — in mind and spirit as well as in body. Good health habits also offer the benefits of increased energy; better focus; less stress; more resilience; less lost time due to colds, flu, infections and other illnesses; more restful sleep; and improved mental health.