A healthy lifestyle for better mental health - Video

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A healthy lifestyle for better mental health (Video file)

A healthy lifestyle for better mental health

This film highlights the connection between physical health and mental health and gives some top tips to help you keep physically and mentally well.

My name is Stacy Washington and I am the lead nurse responsible for the Wellbeing Support Programme in Oxleas.

Research has shown there is a clear connection between physical health and mental wellbeing. People with mental illness tend to be at an increased risk of a range of physical health problems, including coronary heart disease; diabetes and greater levels of obesity. This is because they are more likely to smoke, eat an unhealthy diet and take less exercise. Drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs can make an existing mental health problem worse or lead to mental health problems in the future. Smoking can also decrease the effects of some medications.

Both physical and mental health are equally important to a person’s wellbeing and we all need to take care of both. For people with mental illness, eating healthily and taking regular physical exercise can be an essential part of their recovery. Things that you can do to improve your physical health include:

  • Give up smoking
  • Exercise for 30 minutes five times a week
  • Eat 5 pieces of fruit and vegetable a day
  • Eat more fiber and drink more water, and
  • Drink safe levels of alcohol - that’s 3-4 units per day for men and 2-3 units per day for women.

If you would like some advice, you can:

  • Visit your GP for an annual health check
  • Talk to your Doctor or Nurse about healthy activities if you are an Oxleas service user, or
  • Visit one of our wellbeing clinics if you are an inpatient.

Smoking is the single greatest cause of illness and premature death in the UK, so quitting brings immediate health benefits. A healthy balanced diet can help reduce the risk of cancer, obesity, coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes. People who exercise regularly are a third less likely to develop heart disease than those who do not. Oxleas is committed to treating people’s physical and mental health needs as a whole, and helping them to find solutions that will aid their recovery.