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Poverty: A Holistic Definition- Physical Poverty

Updated on February 5, 2012

As we continue to look at poverty from a holistic viewpoint, we will now turn and look at physical poverty. Too often we see only the financial results of poverty, but fail to look at it's roots. So many people live in financial poverty due to physical problems. These problems make the individual unable to work. Therefore, they end up in poverty. Many people living on disability or other government assistance could easily work if they were in good health. While there are people who have no control over their disabilities, many would not have the physical problems they experience if they took care of their body. Instead, due to ignorance or carelessness they have allowed their bodies to break down to the point that they can no longer work, so they are now living in poverty.

Physical poverty happens when an individual either lacks the resources or in other ways end up in such physical shape that they are unable to live life to the fullest. While all people reach this point due to old age, many reach this point even while they are young. We will look at causes of physical poverty and then will look at how to overcome it.

What do you think are causes of poor physical health?

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Causes of Physical Poverty

While some people cannot help the physical problems they experience, many can help it and can overcome their problems with some help. As we look at the causes of physical problems we will not look at birth defects or other uncontrollable problems. We will look specifically at those problems that are in our control.

I too want to make it clear that I am not a doctor, but have done much research of my own. Even as you consider the things said in this article, you should do your own research.

1. Poor diet

One cause of poor physical health is poor eating habits. What we put into our bodies is what comes out. If we eat junk then we can expect junk. Fast food, candy, and processed foods will result in poor health. We will experience lack of energy, frequent colds, flu, and other diseases if our diet consists of these types of food. If we eat healthy, natural foods then we can experience better health.

2. Lack of Education

By this I do not mean lack of a college degree. What I mean is not being educated on your health. You need to take ownership of your health. Too often we trust and rely on doctors to tell us what we need. You need to take your health seriously and educate yourself on how to be in good physical shape. Read, research and find out what the truth is on food and medicines.

3. Advertising

One big source of physical poverty is the advertising industry. We are made to believe that foods we are eating are good for us, when in fact they are contributing to our death. When the box says no sugar added, we believe there is no sugar. The fact is that there is probably much sugar, but the marketers are allowed to put those words on the box, though it probably isn't true. You should get in the habit of ignoring the front of the box, and reading the back to see what the ingredients really are.

4. Carelessness

So often we are guilty of just not caring for our bodies until it is too late. Just as a car needs routine maintenance to run good, so our bodies need to be maintained if we are to enjoy good health. We should get out of the habit of waiting until we break down to go to the doctor.

Dr. Oz on living longer

How to Enjoy Physical Health

Now we will look at how to enjoy physical health. If you are in bad health I encourage you to get serious and take ownership of your health.

1. Eat well

Learn to eat well. Avoid foods that come in a box, and begin making foods from scratch. Throughout human history people made their food, but in the last 100 years we have gotten lazy and buy food from the shelf and the results have been deadly. Here are some simple rules for good eating:

- eat organic foods when possible

- eat unprocessed foods

- avoid chemicals in your food- food coloring, preservatives, etc.

- eat only foods that have few ingredients, and that have ingredients you can pronounce

- eat what comes from nature, not what comes from the factory

- eat a balanced diet- protein, variety of fruits and vegetable- all the colors they come in

2. Drink plenty of water

Water helps flush toxins from your body, thins your blood naturally, and has other benefits. A rule to follow for how much water to drink is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. So, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink 50 ounces of water per day.

Also, try to avoid tap water. Purified water is the ideal. If you choose to get a filter for your water, get one that is pressurized for best results.

3. Avoid manufactured medications as much as possible

While pharmaceuticals are necessary sometimes, they are not needed on the scale that we use them. Much of what our bodies need for healing can be found in nature. Drugs have serious side effects, while herbs and supplements do not.

4. Move around

We can tend to be stagnant as we sit in our car, sit at the desk, sit on the couch and so on. You need to get in the habit of moving your body through walking, exercise and other ways if you want to maintain good health.

5. See the doctor

Seeing your doctor once in a while to have a good check up to make sure all is working well will give you guidance into how to maintain good health. I go to a naturopath. They are able to look in detail at my body to understand where I am lacking. Though we can do much to aid in good health, a good doctor can help keep us on track.

6. Take your supplements

While eating well can help our health, the fact is, our organic foods are depleted due to poor farming habits. So, it is necessary to take good, plant based supplements to help strengthen our bodies. You can find these supplements at a local health food store.

7. Maintain good relationships

Good relationships bring joy and peace to our lives. Hugs help our blood pressure remain stable. Laughter reduces our stress. When we have broken relationships, it causes stress and other problems which lead to break down in our health. Maintaining good relationships helps in maintaining good physical health.


So, there you have it. This is by no means exhaustive. You need to educate yourself on your own health. No one knows your body like you do. I encourage you to take your health seriously if you want to enjoy life to the fullest.


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    • Michael Davis profile image

      Michael Davis 5 years ago

      saif113sb- Thanks

    • saif113sb profile image

      saif113sb 5 years ago

      Very interesting and informative hub.

      Read more:

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 5 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Everything you say here is true, there is just one problem and that is many of us cannot afford to eat well. We cannot afford more than absolutely the basics (in South Africa it is bread and porridge, "mieliepap")It is also not possible to grow our own vegetables because of lack of space as well as water, as well as the costs involved as water is expensive. This is where the physical poverty comes from real financial poverty.