Benefits of being mentally and physically fit - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Benefits of being mentally and physically fit


MADISON (WKOW) -- Mental health is just as important as staying healthy physically, and studies show being fit overall can help improve a person's level of happiness, as well as give them other positive outlets for life.

Anna Marie Hoffmann, a registered nurse and a health educator at Madison College, says being physically fit can really improve someone's mental health. 

"They're related; they're directly related, and if one of them isn't in sync and right on target, the other one suffers," Hoffman said.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, poor mental health is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, while good mental health is a known protective factor.

"There's the physical part of staying healthy, but the mental part is just as important in terms of diseases, stress, anxiety; all of those are affected," Hoffman said.

Hoffman says there are many ways to improve your mental health. She says having a positive outlook will help. She also says doing things like crossword puzzles and brushing your teeth with the opposite hand will help make new connections in our brain, that actually increase the overall health of our brains.

Other things Hoffman said you can do to help improve your mental health is to learn new hobbies and skills, nurture friendships and relationships, be physically active, eat healthy, and get enough sleep.

Hoffman says you need to carefully balance your physical and mental health.

"I think it's being in tune with yourself, and really kind of doing a daily check everyday on how everything's going," Hoffman said. "And being willing to recognize when maybe something isn't working, and being OK asking for help."

Hoffman joined us on 27 News at 5 on Monday to talk about this.


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