Research shows that there are connections between physical health and wellbeing.
A healthy heart
Exercise improves cardiovascular fitness and decreases blood pressure which in turn reduces the possibility of heart disease and other chronic diseases.
A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for chronic disease. The Department of Health commissioned a panel of experts to review evidence on sitting and the recommendation was that an active break should be taken from sitting every 30 minutes.
Exercise, when paired with a balanced, nutritious diet, can help you to lose weight by increasing your metabolic rate, which burns more calories.
Feel good factor
Exercise has also been proven to decrease symptoms of depression and stress and to improve mood. This happens because exercise releases endorphins, which are the body’s feel good hormones. Exercise also provides distraction, which can reduce feelings of anxiety.
As you age, you will lose muscle mass. This not only slows down your metabolism, meaning you burn less calories, it can also result in injuries or disabilities. Regular exercise combined with proper nutrition maintains muscle mass and strength.
Exercise has been found to have a positive impact on energy levels. In fact, regular exercise can reduce feelings of fatigue and increase energy levels in individuals living with progressive illnesses.
Because exercise increases your heart rate, it increases blood flow and oxygen to your brain, which improves brain function and protects your memory. Researchers have found that exercise increases the size of the part of the brain responsible for memory – the hippocampus.
What the NHS says
The NHS calls exercise “the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long neglected to take”. Exercise can reduce the risk of major illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes, by up to 50%. It can also reduce your risk of early death by up to 30%. (Source: https://www.nhs.uk/ Livewell)
Nutrition = the food you eat to fulfil your body’s dietary needs.
What you eat plays an essential role in your overall health. You will probably have heard the term ‘balanced diet’ and possibly the advice that it should be combined with regular physical activity. This is because balanced nutrition and exercise are considered by doctors and the WHO to be the foundations of good health.
Eating well can improve your overall health. Conversely, poor nutrition can have a range of negative effects on your physical and mental health.
Improved immune system
The vitamins and minerals you get from good nutrition boost your immunity and healthy development, making you less susceptible to falling ill. Good nutrition can help protect you against certain diseases, including obesity, diabetes, skeletal conditions and some cancers. It helps reduce the risks associated with the Covid-19 virus.
By reducing your fat and sugar intake, you will find it easier to reach your ideal weight and maintain it.
Foods that are high in salt, fat and cholesterol, such as fried foods and red meat, increase your risk of developing heart problems.
A diet that contains vegetables, fruits, low-fat products and complex carbohydrates such as grains and legumes will help protect your heart and keep it strong.
Stable Blood Sugars
Fatty, sugary and refined foods make your blood sugar unstable. Eating a balanced healthy diet and regular meals allows your body to maintain steady blood sugar levels, which prevents low-energy dips and keep you energised throughout the day.