You already know many of the things that can have a big impact on your physical health. Experiencing a personal injury will definitely impact your long-term health, as will the food you eat. You probably know that sitting too much is dangerous to your health, while being exposed to germs from others will definitely increase your chances of getting sick.
Those are all important things to think about and pay attention to if you’re trying to take care of your health, but there’s a lot more to consider. There are a lot of things that can affect your physical health that you may not know about!
You know that stress can affect your mental health, but chronic stress can do much more than that. The most immediate effects of dealing with stress include headaches and upset stomach. You may also experience problems with sleep, which comes with a whole host of additional health problems. Those who experience stress often are more likely to experience high blood pressure and chest pain.
Stress can also lower your immune system, causing you to get sick more often. As your body is flooded with stress hormones that are only supposed to be released rarely when faced with serious threats, organs become chronically inflamed, which means your immune system can’t fight off germs.
Loneliness can cause some serious health problems, especially for older adults. Seniors with poor social relationships are 29 percent more likely to experience heart disease, while those who have experienced heart failure in the past are 68 percent more likely to find themselves in the hospital again in the near future.
For those who are socially isolated, health consequences are even more dire. Seniors are 50 percent more likely to experience dementia when socially isolated from others, and social isolation increases your risk of premature death from any cause. This finding is similar to other things that you already know affect your health, like smoking and inactivity.
Although much of the research has been done on seniors, you aren’t out of the woods if you’re a younger person experiencing loneliness. It can affect your mental health in many ways, ultimately affecting your overall health, and impacting your health as you age.
Exercising Too Much
You know that exercise can affect your health, but you’re probably thinking that the more you exercise, the healthier you will be. That’s definitely not the case. Did you know if you exercise too much you can experience negative health consequences? The obvious possible result of exercising too much is experiencing an injury, but it can affect you in other ways too.
When you exercise too much, certain chemicals are released in the body, depressing the immune system. If you push yourself too hard or you hit the gym a little too often, you could actually find that you get sick more frequently.
Your brain is a powerful organ. What happens in your brain can greatly affect your health, and that includes how you see the world. Negative thinking can actually make you sick. Whether you are cynical, you regularly feel hostile and angry, or everything just seems to make you feel sad, negative feelings come with a whole host of possible health problems that include:
- Higher chance of heart disease
- Higher risk of stroke
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- Greater chance of having a disability
- Decreased immune function
The good news is that neural pathways change minute by minute throughout your entire life. Practice seeing the world through rosier lenses and you could greatly impact your physical health for the better.
One of the most surprising things that can have an effect on your physical health is your commute to and from work! Some of what makes commutes so dangerous to your health is the fact that they can create a lot of stress, but that’s not the whole story.
The longer your commute, the more time you spend sitting, which isn’t good for your health, and your commute itself could cause high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of heart disease. Not to mention, when you’re always on the go, you’re more likely to go through the drive thru and eat heavily processed foods that aren’t good for your body either.There are a lot of things that can affect your physical health. By all means, eat better and sit a little less, but you can do even more to preserve your physical health when you follow the guidance on this list.