There is an old popular song in Spanish that says: “There are only three things in life: health, money, and love”. The composer of the song chose health to lead the list, knowing that it is of foremost importance for Spaniards. Health and sickness are common topics of conversation in Spanish. No wonder, then, there are many medical Spanish phrases that are used in everyday life to talk about health.
Spanish is a language which is fond of metaphors and comparisons. Here and there we find popular Spanish expressions which feel almost like poetry, and it is a joy to be pleasantly surprised by them and to discover how deep is the lyrical spirit rooted in the Spanish essence.
In the field of health, when one is strong and in good condition, we use to say that he/she is like an oak (él/ella está como un roble). Oaks are known for their robustness, the shade they provide, and their long lives. Who would not want to be like one of them?
Other medical Spanish phrases similar to the previous one are being healthy like an apple (él/ella está sano como una manzana), and being like a rose (él/ella está como una rosa). Apples are healthy fruits (remember that one apple a day keeps the doctor away), and so are people with “appleish” health. The second expression, being like a rose, is used both when one someone is healthy and when one someone is fresh and rested, for example when one wakes up after a restful sleep.
Note that in all of the above expressions, the verb we use is estar and not ser, because we are talking about a physical condition of the person, and not an essential characteristic of the person.
A fourth medical Spanish phrase to express good health is having an iron health (él/ella tiene una salud de hierro), which uses a very strong image: who could damage an iron health when iron is the most used metal for machines, weaponry, and construction?
These are only some examples of expressions used in Spanish to illustrate good health. If you find health an interesting topic and want to study all aspects of health, illness, treatments, and so on in Spanish, have a look at our medical Spanish classes, a specific and officially approved course that will help you improve your Spanish and discover the vocabulary, expressions, and communication skills you need to know in the medical Spanish field.