What does Healthy Body, Healthy Mind mean?
We hear the phrase “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” everywhere, but what does it mean, exactly?
It doesn’t take a scientist to recognize that the body and mind are deeply connected. So naturally, if you have poor mental health, your body will suffer, too. If you have an unhealthy body, your mental state will deteriorate also.
So, what are some ways to take care of both our physical and mental health to find the healthy body healthy mind balance?
It starts with the basics
We don’t need fancy tactics, expensive drugs, or long retreats to the deep jungles of wherever to maintain good health. We need exercise, nutrition, and adequate sleep.
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve both your physical and mental health. Best of all? It’s completely free. You don’t need fancy equipment, you don’t need to pay for a coach, and you don’t need to spend money on sports drinks and supplements.
All you need to do is move your body. You can do that in so many ways:
• Enjoy being in nature? Go hiking on the weekends.
• Something interesting happening in a nearby town? Take your bike and cycle there.
• Want to build strength and muscle mass? Hit the gym three to four times per week.
• Want to get more flexible and athletic? Take up pilates or just get a regular stretching routine.
Simply put, making exercise a regular habit is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, and your health will improve.
Your eating habits can profoundly affect how you feel on a day-to-day basis and how your health is in the long run.
Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, nuts, meat and you’ll have more energy, feel better, maintain healthy body weight, and keep a clear head.
Eat more fast foods, highly processed grains, and foods that are high in trans-fats and sugar, and you’ll feel bad. Your energy will be low, you’ll experience sudden spikes and crashes (due to the large number of sugars), your health will deteriorate, and you’ll gain weight because these foods are very calorie dense.
Next to quality nutrition and regular exercise, good sleep is the third crucial pillar of good health. Without it, you’ll never be healthy or have an elevated mental state.
And I’m sure you can attest to this:
Think back of a period in your life where sleep was scarce (this might be happening right now): a newborn baby, too much stress at work, launching a new business or project, health problems, etc.
How did you feel during that period? Were you mentally sharp, energized, and highly productive? Likely not.
That’s because, to function optimally and maintain good health, we need at least 7.5 hours of quality sleep every night. Some people can do just fine on less, but the majority need at least 7.5, and some fare best on at least eight.
You need to find your functional range and make it a priority to sleep enough every night. Your body will thank you for it in many ways.
Physical and mental health are intertwined. If one deteriorates, the other one follows soon. For example, Psoriasis (an auto-immune condition commonly triggered by stress) is often characterized by red, flaky sores (physical symptom).
But this physical condition can affect your mental state profoundly:
• Most people feel annoyance with it;
• As much as â…“ experience anxiety, depression and humiliation;
• 10% of patients admit thinking about suicide;
A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to numerous physical health risks such as increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity (, , , ).
But a sedentary lifestyle can also lead to mental health risks such as depression, anxiety, social isolation, and an increased risk for suicide (, , ).
We must see physical and mental health as two sides of the same coin and treat them as such.
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