As the saying goes, your health is your wealth. It is important to maintain a good weight, eat well, and exercise. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia can develop from poor health habits. A declining physical health can become a contributor to poor mental health. Self-care is very important for anyone struggling with a mental illness. When depressed or anxious, people tend to eat more due to seeking the comfort of food. As a result of their stress and emotional eating, they may put on unwanted pounds which may be tough to reduce. On the flip side, I do meet patients who eat less, and have unhealthy weights that can also be problematic to their health. It not easy maintaining great health because its easier to eat available junk food and sit without activity. These decisions can have compound effects on your overall physical and mental health. However, with the development of new habits and making better decisions, you can be on the road to your optimal health.
Here are some practical tips to achieve a better you:
- The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that adults should aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.
- You can run, walk, swim, dance, and lift weights for your exercise.
- Instead of taking the elevator, you can take the stairs. Also, when going to the mall or store, park further away, so you can have a longer walk which increases physical activity.
- If it is difficult to get motivated to go to the gym or exercise at home or your community, find at least 1 person, who can exercise with you and keep you accountable.
- Hiring a personal trainer can provide structure and education in properly exercising well so you do not hurt yourself. They will act as a coach that will push you to be your best and become the healthy person who envison yourself to be.
- Eating the right meals can help prevent diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
- Monitoring your caloric intake and reading ingredients can be a great skill set that help control what you consume.
- Drinking at least 8 glasses of water can help you stay hydrated and have great effects for your overall health.
- Replace sweet and salty snacks with healthy options such as blueberries and almonds
- Your diet and exercise can complement each other for improved results
- Hiring a nutritionist can be the right step in guiding you to make proper food choices. They may be able to create a meal plan for you that has the amount of proteins, carbohydrates,fats, and calories that will be apart of your daily food intake.
- Preparing your meals for the week, can help reduce the chances for you to eat out and consume food that may have high fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
Losing weight can seem like a daunting task. However, with simple lifestyle changes and patience, you can eventually get to your ideal weight. Your mental health can improve based on your new outlook towards life. Self-care can be a winning formula for your mental health success. If you look good, you can feel good.
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Dr. Ifeanyi Olele
Ifeanyi Olele, DO, MBA, MS, is a board-certified psychiatrist who sees adolescent and adult patients in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area at Genesis Psychiatric Solutions. Dr. Olele is a dedicated psychiatrist in the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma-related stress disorders, and attention deficit disorders. Dr. Ifeanyi Olele is one of the few psychiatrists who utilizes psychotherapy (talk therapy) as part of his treatment plan.