Lifestyle and Better Moods - Part 3
Updated: Oct 2, 2018
By: Rebecca Ramdeholl, C.H.N.C.
In this final post of my 3 blog series of Inflammation and mood, we discuss how lifestyle also has a huge impact on our health and well-being. While foods are very important, good food won't cut it if you make crappy lifestyle choices. Read on....
Better lifestyle for better moods
Foods aren’t the only thing that can be upgraded to improve your mental health and inflammation. Your lifestyle can have a big role too!
Both exercise and sleep are important factors that can improve moods and inflammation.
Lifestyle factor #1 - Exercise
People with mental health issues are more likely to lead sedentary lives. This is another factor that can increase levels of chronic inflammation. There is a lot of evidence that exercise helps to reduce the risk, and symptoms, of mental health issues. Regular exercise reduces inflammation. We know this because CRP levels are lower in people who regularly exercise, than those who do not. Plus, people who exercise at a higher intensity have even lower levels of CRP.
I encourage you to reduce the amount of time you are sedentary, and take active breaks. Or better yet, take the leap and join a gym, yoga studio, or hire a personal trainer if budget permits. I personally am not a fan of gyms, but it's an excellent place to gain motivation, socialize and get out of the house. Working outdoors as well, is an excellent way to exercise because of the added fresh air, and variety of terrain that challenges your workouts.
Lifestyle factor #2 - Sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in our physical and mental health. Lack of enough high quality sleep is very commonly associated with mental health issues. People who experience insomnia are at higher risk for later developing mental health issues.
Lower amounts of sleep can affect the immune system and increase chronic inflammation. Increasing levels of CRP and inflammatory cytokines have been measured with sleep deprivation.
If you’re not getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night, start trying to make it a priority. Why would you not want to sleep?! Moms and Dads, do you NOT remember being sleep-deprived when the babies came? TV is not that important. Sleep is one of the topics I discuss in my book, The Little Book of Ass-Kickers: 5 Ways to Get Your Health Back on Track Naturally.
Inflammation is one of several factors that is linked with mental health and mood issues. It may be a factor for up to one-third of people who suffer from these.
The link between inflammation and mental health issues is thought to go both ways - inflammation can contribute to mental health and mood issues, and vice versa.
Eating a nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory diet, and getting regular exercise and quality sleep can help to reduce inflammation, and improve mental and overall health.
It’s an exciting area of research that will continue to answer more questions about this link. In the meantime, try eating a more health-promoting (anti-inflammatory) diet, and getting enough nutrients, exercise, and sleep for easier, healthier and more fulfilling days.
NOTE: None of these are a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any of these conditions, make sure you’re being monitored regularly by a licensed healthcare professional.
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