What Is Health?


Written by Meriden McGraw of CincyStateofBeing.

Molly and I write about health. We research health. We work in health. We talk about health. We try and practice “good” health. So we know that the word health is multifarious and the concept is a complex one. Health means different things to different people based on culture, income, race, geography, knowledge, stage of life, medical history, and so on. I find it extremely interesting to ask people what health means to them. It’s always a very individualized answer colored by the lens with which they view the world. This week I asked the question to a wide range of Cincinnatians of all different backgrounds and ages. Check out their responses below.


Health is eating lots of protein, sometimes bananas, and going to school on time.

Health is…

something that is taken for granted

until there is a problem

and then,

it becomes the most important thing.

Health is feeling safe...

feeling safe in my neighborhood,

being able to take my kids to the park without danger,

knowing I am loved.

Health is having a grocery store I can get to that sells food I can afford.

Health is mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

Health is BALANCE.

goetta and green smoothies,

Skyline as a snack after a run,

bootcamps and breweries.

Health is getting enough sleep.

Health is loving my body regardless of the scale. Health is the muscles in my thighs. Health is carrying my babies with strong arms; getting an annual pap.

Health is growing really tall.

Health is community.

coexisting in harmony,

supporting others,

working together.

Health in Cincinnati is The Flying Pig.

Health is being able to pay your bills.

eating fruits and veggies,

having an organic section to choose from,

being able to afford health insurance,

never having to choose between food or the doctor.

Health is environment...

knowing I’m breathing clean air where I live.

Health is being able to run outside

Cincinnati’s parks.

Health is accountability. Empowerment. Fun.

Health is getting up before the sunrise to get in a good workout.

Health is discovering your purpose.

Health is happiness in all aspects of life. Health is quality of life.

Health is listening to your grandmother’s advice.

Health is what makes your heart sing.

Love CincyStateofBeing? Check out their past columns and stay tuned for more on the last Saturday of every month! Have a topic you'd love to see CincyStateofBeing write about? Email Kiersten with your ideas.