The mind and body are deeply and intrinsically linked. What we put into our body influences how we feel mentally, and our mental state will affect how we feel and perform physically. There is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained. Luckily, we can take care of our bodies and our minds with diet and exercise. These are two lifestyle elements that greatly influence our overall wellbeing.
You can see the mind-body connection in many ways. For example, particularly stressful life events can lead to a weakened immune system, weight loss or gain and tension headaches. The physical manifestation of stress on the body is why it’s so important to have methods to cope with stress and why it’s so important to understand the deep connection between our minds and our bodies. Diet and exercise are two lifestyle elements that affect our mental health and overall wellbeing.
You can improve your overall wellbeing by incorporating exercise into your daily routine, as exercise is a great way to improve your mood. When we exercise, our brains release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that help us to relax and feel happy. Regular exercise can even help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression, as having a daily exercise regimen provides purpose and structure to the day. Plus, exercising outdoors can provide a much-needed mood booster, as exposure to sunlight positively affects the pineal gland.
The mind-body connection also manifests in the nutritional arena; what we put into our bodies affects how we feel on a day-to-day basis. Our bodies are a lot like a car, if we put the wrong kind of gasoline into the tanks, then the car won’t run well and it can break down over time. According to , “A balanced mood and feelings of wellbeing can be protected by ensuring that our diet provides adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water.”It’s important to have a well-balanced diet in order to have a balanced, positive mood.
There are various health benefits of regular exercise and a nutritious diet, including:
- Improved sleep
- Stress relief
- Less anxiety and depression
- Weight reduction and weight management
- An improvement in mood and sense of wellbeing
- Increased energy and stamina
- Higher endurance
Our diet and our nutrition, or how and what we eat, also have serious implications regarding our long-term health. According to : “Nutrition is coming to the fore as a major modifiable determinant of chronic disease, with scientific evidence increasingly supporting the view that alterations in diet have strong effects, both positive and negative, on health throughout life. Most importantly, dietary adjustments may not only influence present health, but may determine whether or not an individual will develop such diseases as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes much later in life.”Nutrition can be used as a preventative measure. Making positive lifestyle changes now can extend the quality of one’s life. It’s important to eat the right kinds of foods now in order to protect your body down the line. By eating a diet filled with healthy macronutrients, one that is tailored to your specific DNA and metabolism, you can feel great now and for years down the line.