Physical And Mental Health

Updated: Jan 8

PHYSICAL HEALTH








Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. 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.

Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, poor mental health can negatively impact on physical health, leading to an increased risk of some conditions. Since the founding of the NHS in 1948, physical care and mental health care have largely been disconnected. There is an increasing call on healthcare professionals to consider psychological wellbeing when treating the physical symptoms of a condition and vice versa.


HOW MENTAL HEALTH AFFECTS PHYSICAL HEALTH


There are various ways in which poor mental health has been shown to be detrimental to physical health.

People with the highest levels of self-rated distress (compared to lowest rates of distress) were 32% more likely to have died from cancer.Depression has been found to be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.


LIFESTYLE FACTORS

These lifestyle factors can influence the state of both your physical and mental health.



Exercise











Physical activity in any form is a great way to keep you physically healthy as well as improving your mental wellbeing. Research shows that doing exercise influences the release and uptake of feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain. Even a short burst of 10 minutes brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood.



Diet









Good nutrition is a crucial factor in influencing the way we feel. A healthy balanced diet is one that includes healthy amounts of proteins, essential fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. The food we eat can influence the development, management and prevention of numerous mental health conditions such as depression.


Smoking










Smoking has a negative impact on both mental and physical health. Many people with mental health problems believe that smoking relieves their symptoms, but these effects are only short-term.

Nicotine in cigarettes interferes with the chemicals in our brains. Dopamine is a chemical which influences positive feelings, and is often found to be lower in people with depression. Nicotine temporarily increases the levels of dopamine, but also switches off the brain's natural mechanism for making the chemical. In the long term, this can make a person feel as though they need more and more nicotine in order to repeat this positive sensation.


In as much as we disregard our mental and physical health we should try to improve and educate ourselves on how to properly treat our bodies and mind, this way we are able to prevent such damages.


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