09:00 Saturday 29 June 2013

GUEST BLOG: Physical health in relation to emotional health

Written byTony Vogel

This is the fourth post in a series of articles on various subjects regarding healthcare written by Poppins Home Care Service. Click here to see the previous post and keep checking back regularly to see updates.

Taking care of your body is a powerful first step towards mental and emotional health. The mind and the body are linked. When you improve your physical health, you’ll automatically experience greater mental and emotional well-being. For example, exercise not only strengthens our heart and lungs, but also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that energize us and lift our mood.

As well as the added benefit of strengthening bones, increasing circulation, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure - even more important as we get older. And don't forget you are never too old to start, it is just a matter of gradually increasing your activity. Always consult your doctor before you start an unaccustomed exercise regime.

The activities you engage in and the daily choices you make affect the way you feel physically and emotionally.

Get enough rest. To have good mental and emotional health, it’s important to take care of your body. That includes getting enough sleep. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to function optimally.

Learn about good nutrition and practice it. The subject of nutrition is complicated and not always easy to put into practice. But the more you learn about what you eat and how it affects your energy and mood, the better you can feel.

Exercise to relieve stress and lift your mood. Exercise is a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety, and depression. Look for small ways to add activity to your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going on a short walk. To get the most mental health benefits, aim eventually for 30 minutes or more of exercise per day, but build this up gradually over a period of time.

Get a dose of sunlight every day. Sunlight lifts your mood, so try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sun per day. This can be done while exercising, gardening, or socializing.

Limit alcohol and avoid cigarettes and other drugs. These are stimulants that may unnaturally make you feel good in the short term, but have long-term negative consequences for mood and emotional health.

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