Healthy Mind and Body
15th May 2011
Posted by Edd Power
Edd Power is my guest blogger this week as I wanted a personal fitness trainer to write a little about why exercise is important for mental health. You can contact Edd for more information at the bottom of the page.
It has been well known for thousands of years the link between mind and body and today the concept of a holistic approach to health and fitness is rapidly gaining popularity and acceptance.
Doctors have for a long time advised us to get more exercise and have outlined the benefits of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and numerous research has proven that exercise can also be the best defence against stress, depression, ADHD, addiction, menopause, Alzheimer’s and we could in fact have the key to the fountain of youth right under our noses. Not only does exercise help you look good, but it also helps you feel good. When engaged in any form of exercise the body releases endorphins which very much like opiates produce a feeling of well-being. How much exercise? Well that’s another topic entirely but any form of regular activity that challenges you and raises your heart rate.
However let us not forget that it is not only our levels of activity that we need to consider in regards to being healthier but also the food we eat. Eating a balanced diet is an important part of a healthy life; some argue it’s in fact the most important part. What’s the balance? Well this can be quite confusing with various schools of thought on the matter but the general consensus is to have a mix of proteins, fat (yes I did say fat), carbohydrates in the form of vegetables /fruit and water. As much of 80% of us are walking around dehydrated! Maintaining a healthy diet will not only benefit your body but your mind as well and given that our brains utilise about 20% of the daily calorie intake is easy to understand that what we put down our throats can have a direct effect on the mind
Another essential (and often forgotten) factor we need to think about when looking to improve physical and mental health is sleep. Getting enough sleep will boost your health and productivity, and it will rejuvenate your body and mind. Numerous studies has shown that we should be aiming for around eight hours sleep a night and lack of sleep can take quite a dramatic toll on your brain’s ability to function, your appearance, and on your overall long-term health.
Our body and mind should be a top priority in our lives but today’s often hectic lifestyles can have such a negative impact on them but a healthy diet and regular exercise will improve overall health and wellbeing.
Here are my top tips:
- Engage in regular activity – Wether this is walking or running marathon. Find something that you enjoy but try and push your boundaries and up the intensity increasing your heart rate.
- Eat a balanced diet – Comprising of proteins, fats and carbohydrates
- Get enough sleep – Aim for eight hours a night.
- Stay hydrated – Government guidelines advise that we should try and drink at least eight glasses of water a day
You can contact me Edd Power here