Eating healthy, well-balanced meals and getting regular exercise are important habits for good mental health. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and improve your sleep.
Both can also support weight loss and weight management, leading to increased energy, fewer mood fluctuations, more endurance, improved ability to focus, a strong sense of well-being, and an overall happier outlook.
Any form of exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, and positively affect your mental health. For the most benefit, aim for at least 20-30 minutes a day. Even a 10-minute ‘energy’ walk can help lift your mood and increase energy levels.
Exercise should be fun, so find something you enjoy doing. You might find an exercise class on YouTube to take, go for a walk with your neighbor, or try something new like HIIT, Pilates, or TRX. Add a variety of exercises to your routine, so you don’t get bored.
When the sun is shining, take a break from your computer screen and go for a walk. Sunshine is a natural ‘pick-me-up’ that stimulates the natural production of serotonin in the brain. If you exercise daily, it will have a positive effect on your mental health.
A healthy diet is important. For example, a deficiency in folic acid can cause depression and personality change. A lack of Vitamin B-12 can contribute to memory problems and depression. Minerals also help prevent irritability, depression, and mood swings and include calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, and zinc. A healthy diet plays a key role in maintaining good mental health. What can you do?
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast
- Eliminate highly processed foods
- Choose lean sources of protein and build a meal around vegetables
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Include dark, leafy greens
- Enjoy healthy fats from nuts, avocadoes, and olive oil.
The benefits of a healthy diet combined with exercise go far beyond physical appearance. Both can have a positive effect on your mental health.