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Link between Mental Health and Physical Well Being


There is a fundamental link between physical and mental health. The connections between chronic physical conditions and mental health play a significant role in an individual’s quality of life.

According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”… “there is no health without mental health”.

Associations between Physical and Mental Health

The relationship between physical well-being and mental health is most evident in chronic conditions. The associations between physical and mental health are as follows:

  • Poor mental health is a major risk factor for chronic physical conditions.
  • People who suffer from serious mental health conditions have a high risk of chronic physical conditions.
  • People who suffer from chronic physical conditions have a high risk of developing mental health problems.

Social determinants have an effect on both mental health and physical conditions. There are important aspects of prevention, which include access to nutritious foods, physical activity, ensuring that there is adequate income, fostering social support and inclusion and knowledge. With these, opportunities are created to strengthen protective factors and lower risk factors that are linked to aspects of physical and mental health.

Chronic physical illness and depression are in a reciprocal relationship with each other. Many chronic illnesses not only cause a higher rate of depression, but some chronic physical conditions have shown to be antedated by this mental illness.

In 2009, a study was conducted on patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and it was found that 22 percent of the patients suffered from mild depression, which is defined on the Beck Depression Inventory as a score of 14 or more. 17 percent of the participants were taking antidepressants. According to the researchers, depression is an independent determinant of quality of life related to health of the patients.

According to experts, patients with a chronic disease have a depression rate that is close to three times higher than the normal rate.

Research has shown that one of the best ways to relieve poor mental health is to improve physical well-being through exercise. Rigorous exercise may not be necessary; for instance a short walk every day can make a world of difference. There is no doubt that a body that is physically fit can lead to a mind that is mentally fit, and vice versa.

Knowledge is often overlooked, even in ideal situations. Access to healthy food options certainly makes an impact on health, however so does the ability to identify and discern which types of food are best for your body. Did you know, “eating right” does not have the same meaning for everyone? Green apples may be helpful in digestion for some while for others, strawberries are better. This is a direct result of the person’s genetic make-up. The answers are in your DNA.

Obesity among women is rising, and more common than in men: 40% vs 35%.

7856326 - women legs with overweight standing on scalesKatherine M. Flegal, PhD1; Deanna Kruszon-Moran, MS1; Margaret D. Carroll, MSPH1; Cheryl D. Fryar, MSPH1; Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD1
1National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland
JAMA. 2016;315(21):2284-2291. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6458.
Importance  Between 1980 and 2000, the prevalence of obesity increased significantly among adult men and women in the United States; further significant increases were observed through 2003-2004 for men but not women. Subsequent comparisons of data from 2003-2004 with data through 2011-2012 showed no significant increases for men or women.

Objective  To examine obesity prevalence for 2013-2014 and trends over the decade from 2005 through 2014 adjusting for sex, age, race/Hispanic origin, smoking status, and education.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Analysis of data obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a cross-sectional, nationally representative health examination survey of the US civilian noninstitutionalized population that includes measured weight and height.

Exposures  Survey period.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Prevalence of obesity (body mass index ≥30) and class 3 obesity (body mass index ≥40).

Results  This report is based on data from 2638 adult men (mean age, 46.8 years) and 2817 women (mean age, 48.4 years) from the most recent 2 years (2013-2014) of NHANES and data from 21 013 participants in previous NHANES surveys from 2005 through 2012. For the years 2013-2014, the overall age-adjusted prevalence of obesity was 37.7% (95% CI, 35.8%-39.7%); among men, it was 35.0% (95% CI, 32.8%-37.3%); and among women, it was 40.4% (95% CI, 37.6%-43.3%). The corresponding prevalence of class 3 obesity overall was 7.7% (95% CI, 6.2%-9.3%); among men, it was 5.5% (95% CI, 4.0%-7.2%); and among women, it was 9.9% (95% CI, 7.5%-12.3%). Analyses of changes over the decade from 2005 through 2014, adjusted for age, race/Hispanic origin, smoking status, and education, showed significant increasing linear trends among women for overall obesity (P = .004) and for class 3 obesity (P = .01) but not among men (P = .30 for overall obesity; P = .14 for class 3 obesity).

Conclusions and Relevance  In this nationally representative survey of adults in the United States, the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in 2013-2014 was 35.0% among men and 40.4% among women. The corresponding values for class 3 obesity were 5.5% for men and 9.9% for women. For women, the prevalence of overall obesity and of class 3 obesity showed significant linear trends for increase between 2005 and 2014; there were no significant trends for men. Other studies are needed to determine the reasons for these trends.

Healthy Low-Carb Meals in Under 10 Minutes

Recipes handwritten on a chalkboard surrounded by fresh ingredients

If you’re in a hurry and want to make a delicious and nutritious meal in less than 10 minutes, try these 3 recipes! Let us know on our Facebook page what you thought!

Veggies and Eggs in Coconut Oil: You can eat this meal for breakfast every day. It is full of flavor, keeps you satisfied for a long time and you will never get tired of eating it! To prepare this meal, you will need:

  • Eggs
  • Mix of frozen vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, etc.)
  • Coconut oil
  • Spices
  • Spinach (optional)


  • The first step is to add the coconut oil to a frying pan and heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the vegetable mix, eggs, and spices.
  • Stir until the spices blend in with the veggies.
  • If you like, you can add some spinach.
  • Stir fry until well-cooked and ready to serve.

This is a delicious low-carb dish that is bound to become a regular in your home.

Meat-Based Pizza: This amazing pizza recipe is sure to be a hit in your home as it is much better than the original. Plus no nasty ingredients in this one! You can also make changes to the recipe and add whatever you would like to it, such as different vegetables, cheeses, and mushrooms. You will need:

  • Ground beef
  • Shredded cheese
  • Bacon
  • Onions
  • Salsa
  • Garlic powder
  • Spice


  • First, cut the bacon and onion into small slices.
  • Mix the beef, onions, salsa, garlic powder, and spices in a baking dish.
  • Add the cheese on top and spread the bacon slices as well.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cheese and bacon look nice and crunchy.

That’s it! A delicious meat pizza that looks and tastes fantastic and is full of goodness too – all prepared under 10 minutes!

Ground Beef with Bell Peppers: If you have leftover ground beef, this is the perfect dish to make. It is delicious and makes a marvelous part of a low-carb diet. You will need:

  • Ground beef
  • Bell peppers
  • Spinach
  • Coconut oil
  • Onions
  • Spices


  • First, cut the onions into small pieces and put them in a frying pan.
  • Add coconut oil and stir.
  • Add the ground beef, spinach, and spices (black pepper and chili powder are also great options if you want things a little spicy).
  • Stir fry until well-cooked and ready.
  • Slice bell peppers and serve with the meat.

Delicious, hearty, satisfying, and healthy – this is a marvelous meal when you want to cook something that is easy and quick.

7 Treadmill Myths That Can Change the Way You Work Out

running on treadmill in gym or fitness club - group of women and men exercising to gain more fitness

The treadmill can be an extremely effective and useful tool in any workout regimen. However, it is not surprising that there are a large number of myths and misconceptions about this piece of fitness equipment. Here is a look at some of the most common myths about treadmills that can change the way you work out.

Myth 1: You will run outside at the same speed as you do on a treadmill – This is a total myth. You may be able to run a 6-minute mile on a treadmill, but it does not mean that you can do the same outside. The world outside is very different with lots of other variables such as weather, hills, uneven surfaces, headwinds, traffic, and more. Moreover, the spinning belt of the treadmill actually allows you to run a little faster than you do outside. This is especially important to remember if you are training for a competition race.

Myth 2: Calorie counters on treadmills are accurate – Our bodies are very unique. You cannot believe that a treadmill can give an accurate calculation of caloric burn simply with your age and weight typed in. Calories burned given in a treadmill should be used more as a general guide.

Myth 3: Treadmill running is harsher on joints – This is another common myth that many people believe. The truth is that running on a treadmill is actually gentler on joints. This is because its surfaces are padded which helps in lowering the impact when you land on your heels as compared to running outside. This helps significantly in preventing joint strains that are commonly associated with running on a tarmac or concrete surface.

Myth 4: Cardio should always be performed before strength training – If your goal is weight loss or cardiovascular endurance, it may be a better idea to start with cardio – this is when you have a set of legs that are still fresh. If your ultimate goal is muscle strength or size, you should hit the weights first while before your energy levels begin to dip. Actually, the order of strength training versus cardio does not make much of a difference – it is more important to work out in a way that works for you.

Myth 5: You should hold treadmill handles while running – This is a myth. It is dangerous to hold on to the handles of a treadmill, especially when you are moving at faster speeds. It also makes fundamental changes to the way your body moves and can lead to less stability when you are running or walking without a treadmill. Moreover, when you hold on to treadmill handles while moving at an incline, it actually negates the incline.

Myth 6: Outdoors running is simulated when you run at a 1% incline – Due to the fact that it is easier to run on a treadmill, adding a 1% incline can help in increasing energy output and it can also help in better simulating outdoors running. However, you need to keep in mind that the 1% incline is very general and is an oversimplification; this has been found to be accurate only when you run at speeds of 7 mph or faster.

Myth 7: Treadmill running results in less knee injury – Treadmills have padded surfaces that soften the impact and in regards to running outdoors, running can be tougher on the legs and knees. However, researchers have found that treadmill runners use a stride that is slightly modified as opposed to when they run outside. They tend to have a bouncier run and may also over-stride. Such differences in running form actually may have an impact on the knees.

Yoga versus Cardio – Comparing the Health Benefits

Yoga, Yoga Class, Spirituality. There is fantastic news for those who practice yoga and worry about whether they are getting enough cardio exercise. According to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, yoga may be just as beneficial as cycling, swimming, and brisk walking for reducing your risk factors for heart disease. Studies show that movement-based yoga practices like vinyasa, hatha, and lyengar reduced risk factors including body weight, high blood pressure, body mass index, and cholesterol. Each form of exercise has its own pros and cons and should be chosen based on your fitness goals and DNA. Here is a look at yoga versus cardio and a comparison of the two to help you decide which you think may be best for you. Fat Loss Fat loss occurs when more calories are burned rather than consumed. Cardio exercise burns about 600 calories per hour, depending on your rate of movement. This can be on an elliptical machine for example. A moderately-intensive yoga class, such as ashtanga yoga, burns approximately 350 calories. However, the whole story is not in the calories burned. Lean muscle gain from yoga helps in slightly improving basal metabolic rate. Nevertheless, when you engage in cardio exercise five days a week for an hour, you can burn off more pounds more than yoga under the same circumstances. This shows that when it comes to fat loss, cardio is the winner. If you really want to burn some calories. Play 3 on 3 basketball for about an hour – that will burn some calories. Strength and Endurance Although cardio exercise promotes endurance – being able to sustain an activity for an increased amount of time – it does quite little to boost strength. Strength is increased when the demands put on a muscle go beyond its ability and adaptation is forced. A study in 2011 followed a group of 79 male and female participants who practiced sun salutations six days a week for 24 weeks. The study found that strength and endurance increased significantly among both men and women whose bench press one rep-maximum went up by 15 and 6 pounds, respectively. Yoga is the clear winner here. Changes in Mental Outlook With both yoga and cardio exercise, you gain sustained changes in mental outlook immediately, including improved self-esteem, reduced depression and anxiety, and a greater overall sense of well-being. Some of the changes that are seen with both yoga and cardio exercise can be attributed to improvements in the composition of the body. However, according to a 2010 study, it was found that those who do cardio workouts experience an improvement in mood immediately and for 12 hours thereafter, which suggests that exercise itself plays an important role in improving mental outlook. In other words, yoga and cardio tie when it comes to improving mental outlook. There is no doubt that both yoga and cardio can do a world of good. Apart from weight loss, they come with a number of health benefits.