What is health? For some, being healthy means not being sick. But health is much more than that.
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (WHO) 
A high school course literature for health and social care (from Norway) states:
“A holistic view of humanity means that we see the human being as a whole with physical, mental, social and spiritual needs.” 
Health is life living to the fullest: physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. While we do not have full control over disease, accidents and hardship, we can make choices that can empower our health, reducing the risk for many diseases.
Empower Health aim to help you living life to the fullest. We want to give you some tips and tools how you with simple principles can live a good and healthy life, which also will help you to live longer. Here are 8 simple but powerful and practical keys to health.
1. Key to health: Nutrition
We eat food several times a day, and undoubtedly it affects us. Indeed we are what we eat.
The state in certain countries is recommending to mostly eat plant based foods, and cut down on animal products. A plant based diet was the human diet from the beginning, according to the first book of the Bible.
The department of health in Norway says that: “A well composed vegetarian diet is nutritionally adequate and may have positive health effects in terms of prevention and treatment of several diseases.”
Studies also show that eating a plant based diet leads to living longer, and lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It even gives you a better mood. 
2. Key to health: Exercise
You were designed to be active. It helps strengthen your heart, muscles and bones.
Doing exercise at least 30 minutes per day is a good aim. Whatever you do, start exercising slowly and then gradually increase time and intensity. Try to do something that will make you breathe deeply. Fast walking, running or biking are all excellent ways of making your heart to pump, which gives you the benefits of exercise. A good exercise session will make you unable to sing, but still able to talk. If you are completely out of breath, while exercising, it’s too much.
Exercise has many benefits, such as strengthening the immune system, lowering the blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart and coronary disease, and other diseases. It does good for your mental health too, reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and gives better quality of sleep and concentration.
Try to do something that you enjoy, and do it together with friends or family. If you have health problems, your doctor can tell you what kind of exercise that is appropriate for you.
3. Key to health: Water
Your body is made up mostly of water. It is vital for the kidney function, body temperature and necessary processes. During the day you lose fluid constantly through sweat, urine, feces, and even through the lungs as you breathe.
Fresh water is really the best thirst quencher. For your body to function optimally and to avoid getting dehydrated, it is important that you make up for all the fluid that you lose. Coffee is not recommended as it is diuretic and can make you addicted. Soft drinks are high in sugar or artificial sweeteners, so it’s best for your body to drink fresh water. Research shows that drinking more than 5 glass water a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – the same effect you don’t get from any other beverage.
4. Key to health: Sunshine
When sunshine hits your skin, it produces vitamin D, which helps to develop and strengthen your bones. A low level of vitamin D may contribute to the development of several chronic diseases, hypertension and cancer.
Sunlight is effective against depression and helps you to feel good. Those who live in a place of the world where it gets real dark during the winter, have seen the contrast of what lack of sun can do to people’s mental health.
Sunshine also helps to strengthen the immune and nervous system. But be careful of too much (and too strong) sunshine, as this may increase the risk of skin cancer.
5. Key to health: Temperance
Do not let anything control or destroy you. Temperance does not mean “everything in moderation”, but a right combination of what promotes good health, and completely avoid that which is harmful. Take distance from alcohol, smoking and drugs! This is poison for your body and will not only hurt yourself, but people around you as well. Addiction creates an endless cycle that can be hard to get out of.
The right balance will give you a quality of life, and a happy life for you and those around you.
6. Key to health: Air
We cannot live without air. All the cells in the body need oxygen. If the air is polluted with exhaust or smoke, it can damage your lungs and make you seriously sick.
When working inside for a while, you might have felt that you are unable to work as efficiently as you did to start with. You may get a headache, or become drowsy. Open a window, take a break and get some fresh air.
The best quality of air, you of course find in the nature. Many people find it refreshing, relaxing and getting more energy by spending time in nature with the fresh air. Particularly in an environment with moving water, for example waterfalls, the ocean, after a storm, etc.
7. Key to health: Rest
An active life is good, but your body also needs rest to function optimally. Sleep is very important to renew your mental and physical health every day. Anyone who has experienced a night of bad sleep, knows how it affects the mood, concentration and performance the next day. Long-term sleep problems can trigger mental disorders, especially depression.
The need for sleep varies with person and age, but if you feel refreshed and you wake up easily, you’ve probably gotten enough sleep. Teenagers need about 8-10 hours of sleep, and adults 7-9 hours. You may think that you can manage with less, but sleep deprivation is a serious problem in our society.
One of the longest living groups on this earth, takes a break each week. The Seventh-Day Adventists take a whole day off (Saturdays), which is important for the health and wellbeing.
8. Key to health: Trust
Holistic health is not complete without the spiritual part.
Research tells us that there is a correlation between being religiously active and living longer. Several studies even show that faith in God can be a strength both in prevention of lifestyle disease and coping with a chronic illness. In fact, research shows that those that are religiously active have a higher sense of well-being – even more than other factors such as social support can provide.
Research on Christians shows that religious faith is very good for both your mental and physical health. There is a lower incidence of depression, while several have hope and a meaning with life, and can handle stressful situations better. 
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They . . . will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).
 Liv og helse – Helsefremmende arbeid s.12 (Helse og oppvekstfag Vg1)
 Handbook of Religion and Health (Oxford University Press, 2001)
 Handbook of Religion and Health (Oxford University Press, 2001)