Ways to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health

  • Regular exercise has shown to have positive effects on your mental health by combating issues such as depression.
  • Websites and apps such as Myfitnesspal can be a lifesaver.
  • Nature walks can improve memory and lower problematic cortisol levels.

Your health is a beautiful but intrinsically complex machine, one cog out of order can have a cascading ill effect. Here are four areas to look at when trying to improve your mental and physical health.

Exercise

Your body is full of muscles that need to be trained to work optimally. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person should get just over two hours of aerobic activity a week. 30 minutes of running or speed walking should suffice. This not only helps your body by reducing blood pressure, and lowering the risk of health issues such as heart disease and many other diseases but according to a publishing by Harvard Health, regular exercise has shown to have positive effects on your mental health by combating issues such as depression.

Nutrition

Like all machines, the human body needs fuel to run. What we consume has a significant effect on both our mental and physical health alike. With a seemingly endless amount of diet advice, what’s best can easily get lost. Websites and apps such as Myfitnesspal can be a lifesaver here. You track what you eat and how much you eat. These apps are great for keeping track of your caloric intake and caloric output as well as breaking down individual nutrients and pinpointing where you’re lacking.

Treatment

Sometimes proper exercise and nutrition aren’t enough though. Treatment plans can vary by location and medical professional, and sometimes the best option for you is not available due to insurance or legal issues. When stuck wondering if you’re doing what is best for you, I like to remember ADO:

  • Ask Questions
  • Do your Research; and
  • don’t be afraid to get another Opinion.

Environment

Your environment may be more influential to your health than you think. Beyond the direct effect environmental pathogens such as air, water or noise pollution may have on you, what you simply surround yourself with has shown to have significant impacts on your health. A study in 2011 surveyed women and their households. Women who had less organized homes showed an increase in cortisol levels whereas the women with tidier homes were less depressive. And when things aren’t so pretty indoors, going outside might be the key. A study by the National Institute of Health showed walking outside increased creativity in 81% of the participants. While another study showed nature walks to improve memory and lower problematic cortisol levels.

This is not a simple topic to tackle, especially as our lives get busier and busier, but as with the most complicated topics, breaking the issue down into smaller parts can be the right step to identify and improve your mental and physical health.

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Victoria Ward

Victoria Ward is a freelance writer with a profound interest in psychology, holistic health, and fitness. Her hobbies include tennis, cooking, writing, and yoga. When she's not working she can be found playing with her corgi, Milo.

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