A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. Let your children know they are not to blame for your illness. Explain this to them while keeping their developmental level in mind. For young children, it may be easier to say you aren’t feeling well or that you are taking medication to help you feel better. Older children can also be affected. They may be concerned about who will take care of them or what they can and can’t depend on. They may be more focused on how your mood disorder affects them than how it affects you. If they do not understand that your mood disorder is an illness, you may want to explain that you are going through a very difficult time but are getting help, and still care very much about them.
Sleep – Sleep deprivation increases appetite (and often body weight) and decreases brain function. So proper sleep helps your energy, weight maintenance and your ability to think and concentrate. We spend our lives sitting – at our desks, in front of the TV, in a meeting or on the phone. New research is emerging highlighting the potential risk to health from all our sitting behaviour. So break your sitting time by standing for five minutes and reap the health benefits.
Calories accompany the nutrition in foods, and if you don’t expend them all, you’ll gain weight. Carrying extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Your lifestyle should support a constant healthy weight, so remain active daily. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services outlined the Physical Fitness Guidelines for Americans, and these guidelines focus on muscle strengthening exercise, such as weight lifting, along with aerobic exercise, such as walking or running. The guidelines suggest working toward completing 150 hours of exercise a week, but inactive adults should build to this gradually under the supervision of their doctor. You should also include exercise, such as yoga to improve flexibility.
Eating less certainly seemed to help the monkeys, but calorie restriction is much tougher for people out in the real world. For one, our access to regular, high-calorie meals is now easier than ever; with companies like Deliveroo and UberEats, there is no longer a need to walk to the restaurant anymore. And two, gaining weight simply comes more naturally to some people.
The idea that what a person eats influences their health no doubt predates any historical accounts that remain today. But, as is often the case for any scientific discipline, the first detailed accounts come from Ancient Greece. Hippocrates, one of the first physicians to claim diseases were natural and not supernatural, observed that many ailments were associated with gluttony; obese Greeks tended to die younger than slim Greeks, that was clear and written down on papyrus.