Raj Rani Sharma, program manager, used my years of experience
organizing and developing major health-related Blog to direct the planning, implementing, and producing of this Blog.
What you Learn Through This Blog
Today, threats to our health and the health of our planet dominate the media and affect our daily lives on a regular basis. Looming water shortages, poor air quality, food safety concerns, chronic and infectious diseases, and other concerns have us wondering about our ability to survive and thrive. We are advised to watch what we eat, lose weight, exercise more, reduce our stress, sleep more, have healthier relationships, be vigilant against a host of threats, and do our part to protect ourselves, our communities, our resources, and our planet. The issues often seem so huge, so far-reaching and overwhelming, that you may wonder if there is anything you can do to make a difference—to ensure a life that is healthy and long and a planet that is preserved for future generations. You are not alone! Getting healthy and staying healthy is a challenge for many, but the
good news is that you can do things to improve your health and the health of others. Regardless of your age, the environment you live in, or the challenges you face, you can be an agent for healthy change for you, your loved ones, and the greater community. It can start now, and it can start with you!
After years of teaching and working with students of all ages and stages of life and careers, I am encouraged by the fact that so many young adults are working hard to change their own health futures and the health of their families and communities. The problem is that with so much “talk” about health on so many platforms, sifting through the “junk information”
and making the right choices based on good science and good sense, can be difficult.
My goal in writing Health:
Examine some of the important issues and controversies about health today, and motivate students to become “actively engaged in health”
at all levels. As part of the process, we have worked hard to provide
students with essential tools and technologically sound resources to empower them to take a careful and realistic look at their health risks, to examine their behaviors and the factors that contribute to those behaviors, and take the steps necessary to prioritize health in their lives. Although prioritizing individual and community health is a priority of this text, it
is important to recognize that our health is increasingly connected
to the health of the global community and our planet. As such, my aim is to challenge students to think globally as they consider health risks and seek creative solutions, both large and small, to address complex health problems. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for health. You can do it your way—whether that means starting slow with “baby steps” designed to change deeply engrained behaviors or gearing up for major changes that all happen at once. Remember, we didn’t develop our behaviors overnight. Being patient but persistent with ourselves is often part of the process.
This Blog is designed to help students quickly grasp the information, focusing on key objectives that have relevance to their own lives, both now and in the future. We provide the most current, comprehensive, concise, and scientifically valid information about each health topic, put a wealth of technological tools and resources at students’ fingertips to assist in
decision making, encourage students to think about the issues, and help students answer these questions: What is the issue and why should I care? What are my options for action? When and how do I get started?
With each new edition of Health: The Basics, I am gratified by the overwhelming success that this book has enjoyed. I am excited about making this edition the best yet—more timely, more relevant, and more interesting for students. Let’s face it: Our world faces unprecedented challenges to individual and community health. Understanding these challenges and having a personal plan to preserve, protect, and promote health will help ensure our healthful future!