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Does Physical Health Impact our Mental Health?

Are mental health conditions related to our physical health? The short answer – yes.

So what’s the long answer?

Check out these stats:

“People with cancer, diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure are at greater risk of a range of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.”1

“Of people with severe symptoms of mental health problems, 37.6% also have a long-term physical condition.”1

These are some depressing stats, but the Mental Health Foundation notes that mental health care providers are at fault for some of these problems for not taking the time to check up on their patients’ physical well-being along with their mental health.2 On the other hand, mental health care providers already have a lot to take care of, so maybe we can help them out.

So what steps can I take to maintain my physical health?

Exercise

Okay so we all know we need to do this, but how hard is it to actually DO it?! Although it seems difficult to, it’s really important that you exercise to help produce the hormones your body needs to relieve stress.3

We’ll also include some tips to get exercise a regular part of your routine:

  1. Take a look at your schedule and see what days and times of the week work best for you to exercise. According to Mayo Clinic, exercising 30 minutes a day is a good goal to strive for.4 Once you know where you have open space, block out that time for your exercise.
  2. Don’t stress yourself out by downloading a bunch of complicated or money-hungry apps for your exercise routine. Besides that, you might not even like the weight-lifting, muscle stretching exercises they have you do. Instead, stick to simple activities like biking or walking. If you do need an app suggestion, our social media manager uses the MapMyRide app to record and track her bike rides.

Diet

Uhhh, this one we know is important too! We also know that donuts and ice cream look really good as well. If this stat helps you out, NAMI national says that healthy eating, “can help lower your risk for chronic diseases, and help stabilize your energy levels and mood.”3 How about some tips on this one too:

  1. Again, don’t download a bunch of apps to help you with your diet. Instead, simple strategies will probably take you a lot farther.
  2. Try to eliminate sugary foods from your diet.
  3. Add at least one fruit or vegetable to every meal.
  4. Eat healthy snacks.

Go to the Doctor

If your mental health professional isn’t checking your physical health, check out a doctor who specializes in physical health care and schedule an annual check-up. These doctors will help you watch out for any physical symptoms you might miss as you maintain your mental health.

Resources:

1 https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-physical-health-conditions

2 https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/physical-health-and-mental-health

3 https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Taking-Care-of-Yourself

4 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916

 

 

 

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