With a fresh new year here, it’s only right to get a jump start on the health resolutions we couldn’t keep our previous years. Sure it’s a hassle at times and maybe even a pain to begin a new regimen out of the blue, but with a little help from us we could make this year our best year yet!
For starters, a clear distinction is often made between ‘mind’ and ‘body’. But when considering mental health and physical health, the two should not be thought of as separate.
Healthy living to most people means both physical and mental health are in balance or functioning well together in a person. In many instances, physical and mental health are closely linked, so that a change in one directly affects the other.
So when it comes to physical health, the two main components will be healthy eating and exercising.
Keep in mind you don’t have to go full on extreme dieting mode to accomplish your goals. Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as confusing or as restrictive as many people imagine. The essential steps are to eat foods mostly derived from plants- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)- and limit highly processed foods. But of course, keep an eye on portions. Sure, you can eat all the broccoli and spinach you want, but for higher-calorie foods, portion control is the key.
In recent years, serving sizes have ballooned. In restaurants, choose an appetizer instead of an entree or split a dish with a friend. Don’t order anything that’s been “supersized”. When reading food labels, check serving sizes: some relatively small packages claim to contain more than one serving, so you can have to double or triple the calories, grams of fat and milligrams of sodium if you’re planning to eat the whole thing.
Staying on top of your calcium and vitamin D is just as important, as these nutrients are vital for bone health. Get calcium from low-fat or nonfat dairy products and fortified foods such as some orange juices and soy drinks. If you can’t get 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day from foods, take a calcium supplement. It’s hard to consume enough vitamin D from foods, and getting it from sunlight is risky. Many people, those who are over 60, live at northern latitudes or have darker skin, may need a D supplement (800 to 1,000 IU a day).
When it comes down to the exercise aspect of this regimen, it’s simple. You don’t have to become a gym member to exercise. Take a walk, ride a bike, or jog around the neighborhood. During inclement weather, head to the local mall or exercise at home. Push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, lunges, and stretching go a long way toward improving your health. Getting families active is a goal in which Excellence ER is focusing on.
Not only is exercising beneficial for your physical health, but it’s beneficiary for your mental health as well. An inactive lifestyle contributes to misery without us even knowing. Consider a sunny walk or a trip to the park to improve your mood in short terms. Exercise is well known to stimulate the body to produce endorphins and enkephalins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones which can make problems seem more manageable. The simple fact of focusing on exercise can give us a break from current concerns and damaging self-talk. Further, depending on the activity, people may benefit from calming exercises, be energized, and get outside or interact with others, all of which are known to improve mood and general health.
The brain actually has a neat trick to get us back on track. Even small improvements in exercise levels or diet create positive upward spiral that increases the sensitivity of the dopamine receptors that signal reward, so that exercise will eventually become rewarding, even if that seems unimaginable at the outset.
Let’s use these tips to make 2019 our best year physically and mentally yet! If you guys have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call or pay us a visit. Remember, our waiting time is 0 minutes!