A healthy active lifestyle and mentally healthy are two separate things, but both equally important.
Whilst physical health generally depends on two main things: a reasonable amount of active movement and a balanced, well-considered diet, feeling mentally healthy requires one to be in tune with their body, mind and soul, and take steps to figure out what each one needs in order to feel nourished.
Whilst the two require different inputs in order to thrive, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t huge lifestyle similarities in physical and mental health. There are. Just as eating well and ensuring that you get plenty of exercises will undoubtedly help your mental health, feeling confident and comfortable in your body and mind is also likely to encourage you to continue good physical habits.
With all that in mind, here is our short hints and tips guide to a healthy, active lifestyle:
1. Stay hydrated
First and foremost, your body and mind cannot work well, or in tune with one another, if they are not treated well and supplied with plenty of water. A well-hydrated mind and body will think, work and sleep well, and also be ready to take on anything that the day (or night) brings. We appreciate that this can be difficult for those who have incontinence issues, especially in colder months (and when accessible bathrooms are not nearby), but try your best, wherever possible, to not neglect your body’s need for water.
2. Raise that heart rate
Not all of us are able to get up and go for a run, and even fewer of us would probably enjoy that anyway! But, wherever possible, a moderate amount of exercise every day (30-60 minutes) that leads you to be slightly out of breath is a good thing to strengthen your body and clear your mind. Exercise doesn’t have to be ridiculously strenuous either. Stretching, walking or pushing, swimming and even sex are all good forms of exercise!
3. Eat thoughtfully
It’s certainly not healthy or a good lifestyle choice to get too worried or anxious about what you are eating, but eating mindfully is a good start to a healthy, active lifestyle that nourishes you physically and mentally. Think about what your body wants before you eat. Sometimes we need fats and sugars, and other times we just eat them because we’ve got into a habit of doing. When you eat intuitively, you can’t go far wrong (and it’s much more pleasurable than a strict diet!)
4. Limit screen time
Let’s face it, workdays rarely end at 5pm anymore. We have emails popping up on our phones, an evening conference call with a different time zone or an event that we really should show our face at. Remember that conversations over dinner and reading the kids a bedtime story are also events that deserve your attention, too. Being present isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.
5. Practise self care
Remember to factor in the things that make you happy and are important to you. It might be ensuring that you get 9 hours of sleep every night, taking a long bubble bath, reading in the sun or going to your favourite street food market. Engaging in our passions and being kind to ourselves also make us happy which, in turn, does wonder for our physical and mental health.
Want a more healthy, active but also intuitive lifestyle? Follow these 5 steps and enjoy!
If you would like to read more articles like this, such “The health and wellbeing benefits of exercise for disabled people”, be sure to check out the rest of Invacare’s Passionate People’s blog site.