What are the benefits of staying mentally healthy? Intuitively we know that we need to look after our mental health, but what is the real significance of neglecting that?
It falls into three simple things:
We need to look after our mind and stay mentally active and mentally fit to ensure that we have good longevity of health span when it comes to our cognitive performance. We want to be fit, well and thinking sharply and on our feet as we age. Ways that you can do that would be focusing on exercising the brain in the same way that we exercise the body. You could try learning a new skill, getting into your discomfort zone every now and again, doing crosswords, doing games that actually blend – this has been proven with scientific studies, that you should blend physical movement with mental agility. A great example of that would be a sport like badminton, where you’re having to think about where you’re placing the shuttlecock, as well as actively covering the court.
Longevity of health span
When we are mentally sharp it’s going to significantly extend our health span from a fitness perspective. Most people who keep their mind’s fit are also keeping their bodies very active – you’re also more likely to have a longer health span. We don’t want to have a long life, but for the last 20 years you’ve been assisted in walking, in feeding yourself, in taking yourself off to the toilet. You want to have longevity of health span for as long as you possibly can. My ambition is to still be fit both mentally and physically by the age 100. I still want to be walking, I still want to be doing everything for myself – that’s my goal.
The last benefit of staying mentally active is resilience – it helps us to respond better to stress, so your personal sustainability. How you endure stress and respond and bounce back from it is absolutely critical. When we’re mentally active and our resilience is better, we’re going to better deal with stressful situations. We’re also going to have more bandwidth to look after our physical health. That’s looking after our sleep, our energy levels, our body composition, our digestive health, our overall holistic fitness for the rigours of daily life.
As important as the body is, the mind is just as important to stay fit and healthy!
What’s your Health IQ?
If you’re reading this, you’re are probably in a reasonably senior position, running your own business or have a busy life running the home and juggling other responsibilities. Either way, you’re busy. The convergent pressures of work and family life have probably meant that the time you did have to spend on health and fitness has disappeared. Why not talk to us and see how we can help.
Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.