Physical and mental health are inextricably linked. It’s true that what benefits the body often benefits the mind. Your day and life will be transformed by knowing what you can physically do to achieve this effect.

The monthly blog of the Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is Physical Activity Is Good for the Mind and Body. Health and Well-Being Matter

Even if they aren’t aware of it, everyone has their own unique way to “recharge” their sense of well-being—something that makes them feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know that walking around the block or even just getting up from my desk and doing some push-ups can quickly make my day better. When I can, an ideal activity would be a forest hike. I am, however. Not only do I enjoy these activities, but they also literally make me feel better and help me think clearly.

There are numerous well-established mental health benefits of physical activity. These are included in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and include better brain health and cognitive function (the capacity to think), a lower risk of anxiety and depression, better sleep, and a higher quality of life overall. Increased physical activity directly contributes to better mental health and overall health and well-being, despite not being a cure-all.

Getting screened for depression and regularly learning how to manage stress are both excellent preventative measures. During this time of year, when it can be more likely and more jarring to break healthy habits and choices, awareness is especially important. Routines can be disrupted by shorter days and colder temperatures, as can the holidays, with all of their joys and stress. It may happen unconsciously or seem natural to be distracted from being as physically active when the temperate months’ abundant sunshine and clear skies give way to unpredictable weather, less daylight, and festive gatherings. However, this tendency is precisely the reason why it is so critical that we pay ever-increasing attention to our mental and physical health throughout the holiday season and to the ways in which we can preserve both.

At some point in their lives, roughly half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder, with anxiety and anxiety disorders being the most common. Another of the most prevalent mental health conditions, major depression is a leading cause of disability in middle-aged adults. Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can make it harder for people to engage in health-promoting activities like physical activity. Additionally, issues with one’s physical health can exacerbate mental health issues and make it more difficult for people to receive mental health treatment.

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