In the name of health, it’s important to take everything in your body into consideration. Overall health isn’t just the absence of disease or sickness; it’s about making sure that your entire body (from head to toe) is healthy and thriving.
Including your mental state, since there is a STRONG undeniable link between mental and physical health. As the WHO states, “there is no health without mental health.”
Mental health can be affected:
Your Work Environment
While physical health can be affected:
You Diet (Nutrition)
Level of Physical Activity
But how are they connected? I'm talking about six ways your physical health is connected to mental health.
Exercise. There is no doubt that physical activity makes you feel good! Not only does it keep your body feeling energized, but it also has a positive impact on mental health as it helps improve brain function, increase endorphins, and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. Physical activity can be any movement that uses your muscles and expends energy, so anything from farm work to HIIT to gardening counts. If you can, try to aim for 15-20 minutes of exercise for five days a week.
Nutrition. Have you ever heard of that old saying “you are what you eat”? Well it's true when it comes to mental health. Compare how you feel after you eat a balanced meal with Proteins, Complex Carbs, and Healthy Fats to when you have just finished a double-double hamburger combo; chances are you feel more alert and less sluggish when you consume that balanced meal! If you’re consuming a healthful diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, you’ll be getting a plethora of vitamins and minerals and it will do wonders on both your physical and mental health. Not only will you have more energy, but you’ll feel better overall knowing that your diet is keeping your brain and body healthy.
Sleep. Have you ever been short on sleep and then feel irritable, hungry, and exhausted the next day? Whether it’s chronic sleep deprivation or a night of bad sleep, that nightly shut eye is crucial to both mental and physical health. Scientists have found that lack of sleep affects levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones, while impairing your thoughts and emotions. In addition, lack of sleep can lead to depression, anxiety, weight gain, and heart disease, truly the list is never ending. The recommended amount of sleep is between 7-9 hours so, how are you working with your nighttime routine for optimal physical and mental health?!
Socialization. When you spend time with people who are important to you, you’re sure to see an uptick in mental health! But you don’t have to just hang out with people in person to notice a positive difference—you can still get these benefits from phone calls or video chats! Studies have shown that people with strong social ties are happier and live longer than people who distance themselves. It also reduces the risk of cancer, depression, and cardiovascular disease. All the more reason to hang out with your friends (either in person or virtually tribe with in Farm Fit Training)!
Immune System. Did you know that your mental state can impact the immune system? Research has found that if you feel depressed, then your body can suppress its’ response to viruses and bacteria, which makes it easier to get (and stay) sick. Having a weak immune system can also lead to more severe allergies or asthma!
Anxiety. Being anxious every so often is a natural feeling. After all, who hasn’t been anxious about one thing or another over time? Anxiety is usually brought on by stress or external sources, so if you’re chronically anxious, it has been known to lead to heart disease, other physical ailments, and mental health conditions. You can help reduce anxiety by limiting stress, taking time off, exercising, or meditating.
BONUS: Building a community of Ag-Fit Family. Just like number 4, external forces have a HUGE impact on us not only Physically & Mentally. That is why I created a space in the Farm Fit Training app to connect with like-minded individuals. All on a mission to become the BEST damn version of themselves. Sounds awesome...RIGHT! ;) All on a mission of GROWTH!
What are some ways that you boost your mental and physical health? Let me know by hitting the REPLY back button!