Someone asked me “What’s the connection between our mind and our body?” Look no further than your primary care physician’s checklist that you have likely completed. No longer does it ask for your (and your family’s) physical health/illness history, but also your emotional and mental health history as well.
The reason: they are interconnected. There is a “strong, positive correlation between increase in physical activity and increase in mental wellbeing.”1
The World Health Organization (WHO) goes further and defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”2
So in this edition, we will put it all together: Mind, Body, and Social/Relationship Health through a personal example.
I hated running — HATED IT. And I played college basketball. But after marrying a runner, I acquiesced. I ran no more than 3 miles for decades. An occasional 4-mile road race was my marathon.
Then after depression and anxiety set-in, I realized that running harder and longer distances helped me feel better:
- Just getting out of bed & outside
- The positive, endorphin rush that comes with an intense workout
- My mind was somehow calmer
- The simple sense of accomplishment helped fuel positive thoughts about myself
Though even with these short-term benefits, it can be difficult to self-motivate and maintain a consistent schedule by yourself over a long period of time. I recommend connecting with a partner for at least one of your weekly workout routines.
Personally, I stumbled across a running partner about 8 months ago. Eventually, two more runners joined us. Not only do we motivate each other, but have formed connections and friendships that I otherwise would not have had.
Fast forward to today, by the time you read this article, I will have run a 28-mile race. That’s right, 1.8 miles longer than a marathon. That never would have occurred without connecting with my running partner. I am now in the best physical, emotional, and social “shape” of my life.
Regardless of what you do for your physical health, connect with someone — meet at Deer Haven Park. Your mind and body will thank you.