Throughout the majority of 2020 and well into 2021, our world has been grappling with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have we been faced with the physical effects of the virus, which has proved to be very serious in some cases, we’ve also seen just how mentally exhausting it can be. With so many people at risk we’ve seen a rise in concern for one’s physical health, as well as their mental health. May is National Mental Health Month, a great time to highlight why mental health is just as important as physical health. The cardiologists at AMS Cardiology are sharing some simple ways to improve physical and mental health and how the two coincide.
The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Health
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” While the WHO unifies both physical and mental health, oftentimes we prioritize our physical well-being at the expense of our mental health. Because of this it’s estimated that about 15% of the world’s diseases are mental illnesses, with over 40 million people suffering from some sort of mental disease each year.
Although the relationship between the two is complex the connection is evident regarding chronic conditions. They relate in the following ways:
- Poor mental health is a common risk factor for chronic physical conditions.
- People who suffer from serious mental health conditions have a higher risk of experiencing chronic physical conditions.
- Those who experience chronic physical conditions have a higher risk of developing poor mental health.
Simple Ways to Improve Physical and Mental Health
Your mental health can have a significant effect on your physical health and vice versa. There are several different things you can do to improve each. The top-rated cardiologists of AMS Cardiology are sharing some tips to incorporate into your daily routine.
Your physical health can be defined as the proper functioning of the body, with the ability to perform daily tasks and live comfortably in one’s body. To protect your well-being, try to:
- Exercise regularly – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest 150 minutes of exercise a week- which is just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Running, biking, walking and even dancing are all great ways to get up and get moving.
- Drink more water – Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water. Staying hydrated is the best way to help your cells function more efficiently.
- Focus on your diet – Limiting processed foods & sugary beverages and incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally.
- Get quality sleep – This helps your body restore, repair and reboot itself. Aim for 7 – 9 hours a night.
- Schedule yearly checkups with your doctor – Annual visits with your doctor can help identify potential problems before they become serious issues. If you’ve been searching for a top-rated cardiologist near me, the doctors at AMS are here to help.
The WHO defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively & fruitfully and can make a contribution to his or her community”. Because of this, mental health is just as important as physical health. To protect your mind, try to:
- Stress less – Chronic stress can present itself in many physical ways like headaches, upset stomach and heart problems. Journaling, going for a walk and laughing can all help you stress less.
- Meditate – Practicing breathing exercises and meditation can improve your mental health.
- Spend time with friends and family – Building strong, healthy relationships with your loved ones can protect you against the harms of stress.
If you still have questions about the relationship between physical and mental health, we’re here to help. We have been providing comprehensive heart health solutions to our patients for over 40 years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.