I wrote this post with people who live in parts of the world, where winter is cold, gloomy and bleak in mind. During the winter months, this is the time of year where many are susceptible to being the unhealthiest. While summer yielded endless days of blazing hot sunshine, women unveiled their bikini ready bodies whilst the men displayed their ripped physique.
The impact of summer on health
Summer is the quintessential time for putting our best foot forward. Our clothing shifts into a direction where the entire body is accentuated or exposed. It is also a time of year where people are more body conscious, be it comparing ourselves to the latest hot celebrity or observing the body type of our male or female counterpart(s). This combination of image awareness, soaring temperature and determination to look flawless enforces the notion of optimising good health.
From a psychological aspect, our emotional state elevates during the summer time. We have a tendency to be more sociable, do outdoor activities and frolic. In other words, we become much more motivated. I find it amazing how people (myself included) manage to accomplish more during the sunny days. Continue reading
You could be exercising and eating right and still not getting the results you should. You know why? The surprising answer could be that you are suffering from the “nocebo” effect. It’s the evil twin brother of the “placebo” effect. Continue reading
Well, here we are again – New Year’s resolutions time! It’s that time when we resolve to do all the things we know we should do in order to live the better life we imagine for ourselves. And for most of us, those resolutions last all of ten minutes! Then we’re back doing the same old things that have brought us to a life that we’re less than happy with. And as the old saying goes: If you want things in your life to change, you have to change things in your life.
This is true for all areas of our life, but specifically we’re going to look at health and fitness in this piece. Most of us aren’t exactly where we want to be in terms of our health and fitness level. We want to be healthier, more trim and toned than we are at the moment.
We start off with the best of intentions. We decide that once and for all: We’ll eat more healthily, we’ll go to the gym and do all the things we know we need to do in order to get fit and healthy this year. So we do that stuff for a while, and then we stop.
What usually happens is that we reach a point where the temptation to eat or drink what we know we shouldn’t becomes too strong. We succumb to the bad weather blues when it comes to going out for a run, or we stay in bed for that extra hour instead of getting up and going to the gym for the workout that we committed to a few weeks ago. Then we gradually slip back into our old patterns of too little exercise and too much of the wrong kinds of food.
So how can we avoid slipping back like this and keep our new healthy eating and fitness regime going? Continue reading
Previously I talked about “The Crippling Effect of Stress on Your Organs”. We discussed the negative physical effects caused by stress ranging from heart problems to multiple sclerosis (MS).
Managing stress is all about taking charge of your life and your attitude towards dealing with problems.
Today we are going to look at the 3 steps that will help you manage and even overcome stress so that you don’t have to worry about the damage that stress can do to your body.
Step 1: Identify Source of Stress
Let’s face it; identifying the source of stress in our lives is easier said than done. We can easily overlook our own negative behaviour such as stress-inducing thoughts and negative attitudes. Continue reading
The tobacco industry claims that the purchase of cigarettes has fallen worldwide since heavy taxation and advertising restrictions have been implemented. The idea of taxing junk food in the same way as tobacco and subsidizing healthy food is a combination that could guide people to choosing healthier food (which will be cheaper after subsidizing) instead of the poisonous junk food (which today is way cheaper than healthy food but will be more expensive after taxation). In the long run, billions spent on healthcare due to the outcome of an unhealthy diet can be put to better use.
Those who oppose this idea claim that the government and the food companies are two different entities. Adjusting food prices will interfere with the free market and create a false economy. In fact the term “junk food” lacks a consensus on its definition. Some perceive junk food as anything that is processed, others define junk food as food that has certain sugar content or that contains preservatives. Same goes for how people define healthy food; is being organic good enough or does diet soda also fit the category?
It is a known fact that daily exercise is good for the body, but the recently discovered connection between physical and mental health might prove that exercise can be good for the mind as well.
Research has shown that exercise can help combat against mental ailments such as anxiety, ADHD, and depression. Likewise, exercise can help you:
- sleep better,
- improve your memory retention, and
- improve your overall mood.
Although there is no set age to start becoming more physically active, it is best to engage in exercise and other physical activities as early as in your teens, according to medcarehealth.com.
After all, starting out early can help you grow and mature with a mind and a body that is ready for anything.
But, before I delve deep into the connection between mental and physical health, let’s start with a simple question:
What is health?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person who is free from disease or disability is not immediately considered healthy. Instead, you must demonstrate physical, mental, and social well-being in order to be considered truly healthy.
Great, but how are those connected?
The Canadian Mental Health Association lists 3 concrete associations that demonstrate the connection between physical and mental well-being:
- Poor mental health increases the risk for chronic physical conditions.
- Patients suffering from serious mental ailments are at a greater risk of suffering from chronic physical conditions.
- Finally, people suffering from chronic physical conditions might also develop mental illnesses in the future.
These associations show that there is indeed a connection between physical and mental health.
Though there might not be a proven way to prevent these chronic illnesses from developing, acknowledging the relationship between your mind and body can help you minimize potential risks.
What benefits can you reap from exercise?
In a study that aimed to answer the question:” how does physical health affect mental health?”, researchers discovered that elderly adults who engage in regular exercise and are physically fit tend to possess much larger hippocampi than other people in their age group.
Wait, what is hippocampi?
The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for your spatial memory. Maintaining this part of your brain even in your older years gives you a great advantage.
Does mental health affect physical ability?
Meanwhile, in a study conducted by researchers at the Bangor University in Wales, it was discovered that people who engaged in mentally draining activities before performing difficult exercise tests reached exhaustion much faster than those who were mentally relaxed prior to performing the physical task.
This study shows that one of the benefits of nurturing your mental well-being can also affect your physical strength and endurance.
Can exercise combat depression?
According to Jane Collingwood, author of The Relationship between Physical and Mental Health, those individuals suffering from depression often have worse physical health than those who are mentally healthy.
Likewise, patients suffering from chronic physical diseases are also likely to suffer from depression.
Just a little exercise goes a long way
Exercise, even in moderation, can greatly improve both the mental well-being and physical health of those suffering from depression.
Physical activity can help encourage positive changes in your brain such as a surge of endorphin or “feel good hormones”.
Regular exercise can also help distract you from any destructive or negative thoughts and allow you to find your inner peace.
Exercise relieves anxiety
While you might think that the physical benefits that you reap from exercise are the things that make you feel good, its effect on your mind are probably the more likely reason for your happy feelings.
Exercises such as weight training can ease the suffering of people who are living with anxiety by elevating their mood and reducing their feelings of irritability.
Remember: Even moderate daily exercise can contribute to improved long-term mental health.
Reaping the benefits of exercise
As previously stated, you will not need to block off your entire day just to reap the mental and physical benefits of exercise. You will see a difference in 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
Additionally, while it might take months before you see any significant physical changes after exercise, the mental boost that it can provide is almost instantaneous (Weir, 2011).
For this reason, it would be more beneficial if you learn to focus on how good you actually feel after your workout than to simply look for the physical rewards.
This is particularly important for patients who are suffering from stress or mild cases of depression and anxiety since focusing too much on your physical appearance would only worsen your condition.
Don’t delay another day: simple exercises to get started
One of the easiest ways to sneak some physical activities into your busy schedule is by taking a quick walk to or from your office. Exercise can enable your brain to better manage your stress levels.
The Key Takeaway: Sweating it out even from a brisk walk can help relieve you of your physical pain as well as make you feel more at peace.
Another easy way to get an energy boost is by hopping on a treadmill, jumping on a rebounder trampoline, or lifting a few weights at home or at the gym.
Regardless of your age, weight, or gender, all you really need is the motivation and determination to keep moving.
Exercise and mental health – the undeniable bond
There is a significant amount of proof that supports the connection between physical and mental health. Physically fit individuals are better able to handle stressful situations and those who are mentally healthy are able to handle more difficult physical tasks.
Therefore, it is important to nurture both your physical and mental health in order to reap all possible benefits for your mind and your body.
Want more great health information?
Visit the Rebounder Zone blog to learn more about how you can improve your mental and physical health today.
Breene, S. (2013). 13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise
Collingwood, J. (2016). The Relationship between Mental and Physical. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-relationship-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2016). Connection between Mental and Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://ontario.cmha.ca/mental-health/connection-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Grohol, J.Psy.D (2009).The Connection between Mental & Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/02/25/the-connection-between-mental-physical-health/
N.A. (2014). 5 Ways Physical Health Impacts Mental Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://fitstar.com/5-ways-physical-health-impacts-mental-health/
N.A. (2016). Research Shows Connection between Mental Health and Physical Fitness. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.medcarehealth.com/health-problems-prevention/research-shows-connection-between-mental-health-and-physical-fitness-2/
Robinson, L., Segal, J. Ph.D., & Smith, M. M.A. (2016). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise:The Exercise Prescription for Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and More. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/exercise-fitness/emotional-benefits-of-exercise.htm
Weir, K. (2011). The exercise effect. Vol 42, No. 11. P.48. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx
Leonard Parker is a health blogger and owner of the eCommerce store, RebounderZone.com. Rebounder Zone offers rebounder trampolines, health equipment, and health information to mature adults.
Leonard is a graduate of Stanford University and has worked in a number of roles as a consultant and digital marketing specialist. Rebounder Zone was started because Leonard saw first hand how exercise and healthy living can change lives, and he wants to help others experience this fantastic feeling, too. For any inquiries, please contact Leonard at leonard(at)rebounderzone.com.
I often hear that people say soups are not a part of healthy or clean eating. Why not? It all depends on the way you cook a soup. If you add fatty pork meat as a base, lots of simple carbs (pasta or potatoes) and processed soup flavoring, then yes, it might turn out not that healthy at all. If we talk about canned soups, then definitely, this is not a healthy addition to your diet. Otherwise, soups that are based on relatively lean meat and filled with veggies create a wonderful way to stay satisfied for longer with no harm to your waistline.
Turkey sorrel soup is an example of a simple and healthy soup. Plus, it is a seasonal meal. Sorrel gives a tart taste to it. In combination with Greek yogurt, despite the fact you eat a hot meal, sorrel gives you a feeling of refreshment. Exactly what you need in during summer time.
When it comes to nutrients, sorrel is rich in vitamins C (immune system), B6 , A (eyesight), and minerals, iron (energy level), magnesium and potassium (blood pressure). Sorrel is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or cramping.
Warning: sorrel contains oxalic acid. For sensitive individuals, high-oxalate diets have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.
- 1 turkey wing
- 3-4 liter of water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp rice, soaked in water
- 4 cups of chopped sorrel
- boiled eggs and Greek yogurt for serving
- Rinse turkey wing under cold running water. Put it in a pot with water. Cook on medium heat. Add salt to taste.
- Add oil to a heated skillet. Add shredded carrot and chopped onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until golden and soft, mixing up occasionally. Set aside when ready.
- Check on water in the pot. You might want to collect brown foam that appears on top. In about 45-50 minutes (counting from start), add carrot and onion mixture. Then, add soaked rice. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse sorrel if needed. Chop it. Add to the soup. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Then, add chopped greens. Taste to see if more salt or pepper needed.
- Add sliced boiled egg and 1-2 Tbsp Greek yogurt, before serving.
Nutrition facts per portion:
Fat: 4 g
Carbs: 3 g
Protein: 15 g
Nutrition facts per portion when 1 boiled egg and 1 Tbsp Greek yogurt have been added:
Fat: 12 g
Carbs: 5 g
Protein: 24 g
Mariya Korolishyna is an ISSA certified fitness nutritionist. Born in Ukraine, the 36 years old is addicted to running and healthy lifestyle.
Society Is to Blame
Food is neither good or bad but we as a society have assigned moral values to food. So what happens is that when you eat a food, you believe is “bad”, then you consciously and unconsciously see yourself as a bad person for eating that food.
Good Food Versus Bad Food -You Decide
- How are my energy levels? Low, moderate, or high?
- How is my mental clarity? Do I have brain fog or am I able to focus and concentrate? Is my mental clarity sharp?
- How is my mood: irritable, stable, or angry? (note: Not the same as how you are feeling about eating that food because your answer will always be guilt).
- How is my digestive health: bloated, clear, or constipated?
- How did I sleep last night?
People React Differently to Food
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Rosalyn Fung is a Registered Psychologist & Founder of Holistic Body Love. She is a wellness speaker, consultant, mentor, writer & blogger. Roz specializes in Holistic Nutritional Psychology in which she empowers people in their relationship with food, body image, weight, as well as digestion, fatigue, immunity and mood.
Her approach is a combination of eating psychology, positive psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, family systems and nutritional therapy. She’s the go-to person to help you understand how to feel normal around food, and break-free from body image and weight struggles.
Follow Rosalyn on Facebook at Rosalyn Fung Holistic Body Love-Psychologist