What is Considered Being “Mentally Healthy”?

What is Considered Being “Mentally Healthy”?

What is mental health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social health and well-being. It is important at every age. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), mental health is “… a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” It is important to note that the WHO stresses that mental health “is not just the absence of a mental disorder.”

Why is it important?

Mental Health is important because it affects us every day, in almost everything we do. It impacts how we function, interact with others, and how we feel about ourselves and our lives.  Furthermore, it can have a profound impact on our bodies and physical health as well.

What can be done to improve mental health?

For children and adults, learning how to identify and understand our emotions is a vital component in improving mental health. Emotions are not bad – however, we need to better teach people to identify and understand their emotions and most importantly, what to do with them.  We also must teach and develop personal coping skills so that one can process and use their emotions in a healthy and productive manner.

There are several key things we can all do to improve and maintain our mental health which includes keeping a regular schedule, especially ensuring adequate sleep. Getting regular exercise (even low intensity like walking counts) every day. Try to reduce the amount of time you sit for, as they say, “sitting is the new smoking”! Try and eat a healthy well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Connecting with others and helping others can also improve our mental health. Lastly, don’t be afraid to get professional help if you need it!

How someone can get help if they need it?

It doesn’t always feel like it, but there is help everywhere.  A few national resources that are available to anyone are the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255), Textline (741741), and online chat. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI.org) is a great resource not just for those who are struggling with their mental health, but also for their families.  For the LGBTQ+ population, Trevor Project has a hotline (1-866-488-7386), Textline (678678), online chat and multiple other online resources too.

Individuals should also contact their healthcare provider to learn more about the resources that they offer.  At Kaiser Permanente, our mental health resources include a wide range of services for all ages from medication management, individual therapy, group therapy, wellness phone coaching and in-person classes through our Center for Healthy Living as well as numerous online services. 

There are also people around you that are there to help, whether it’s a teacher, a coach, a religious leader or spiritual counselor, a supervisor at work or an Employee Assistance Program.

Kaiser Permanente also has a great website called FindYourWords.org which provides resources and help for those wanting to help someone else or those looking for help themselves. 

Mental Health Tip!

One of my favorite exercises to recommend to patients is gratitude. Thinking of three things you are grateful for every night before you go to bed has been shown to significantly improve your mood. It doesn’t have to be anything outrageous, you can be grateful for having a bed to sleep in, or for your bad day being over, or for the amazing thing that happened to you that day. But, remember just three! No more, no less, even if every night it’s the same three and kids can do it too. Try it for a week, see how you feel!

Ashley Zucker

MD, Chief of Psychiatry , Kaiser Permanente, San Bernardino

Responses contributed by Ashley Zucker, MD, Chief of Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente in San Bernardino.


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The Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients

The Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients

After finding out they have cancer, people want to know what’s happening to their body. They have questions about what their treatment options are, how likely those are to succeed, and what sort of side-effects they may encounter, to name a few. Many people are curious about exercise, and whether it can play a role in their cancer journey.  

Physical activity and exercise can be a key part of someone’s cancer-control regimen. That’s one of the many answers that can be found in the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®—available for free at NCCN.org/patients—a series of understandable and informative books from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®). That’s the same nonprofit organization responsible for the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) which many doctors rely on for up-to-date, evidence- and expert consensus-based recommendations for high-quality cancer care. 

According to Robert W. Carlson, MD, breast cancer oncologist and CEO of NCCN, “Studies have shown that staying physically active is one of the best ways for people who’ve been diagnosed with cancer to take special care of themselves before, during, and after treatment. However, it’s important that patients talk with their doctor or physical therapist about the type of exercise they’re considering, so they can make sure it will be safe for them. Physical activity and exercise recommendations should be tailored to individual abilities and preferences.” 

Uterine cancer survivor and advocate Colleen Johnson, PhD, knows a thing or two about individual abilities, and how to push herself beyond all limitations. When Colleen was first diagnosed with cancer at age 57, she was a self-described couch potato with an unhealthy BMI. Her first course of treatment involved major surgery, so she needed a few months of recovery before ultimately taking up running—a hobby that helped her to lose weight, get rid of diabetes, and take back control over her body. Colleen completed her first full marathon just 17 months after surgery. After that, she set her sights on ultra-marathons, and now runs at least one 100-miler every year to remain healthy while also raising awareness for uterine cancer.  

“You have to find hope, somewhere,” Colleen said. “I found it in exercise and diet. In the beginning, I thought it was probably false hope, but I didn’t have anything to lose by trying it. I was amazed when it turned out to be true—exercise and weight loss really did help fight my cancer.” 

Colleen is now featured on the cover of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Uterine Cancer, which can be read and downloaded for free at NCCN.org/patients. Her advocacy around this rarely discussed but increasingly common type of cancer—which is also known as endometrial cancer—inspired NCCN to include it in the growing library of patient guidelines, which also include Breast, Colon, Lung, Prostate, Stomach, and other cancer types accounting for approximately 88% of all cancer incidences in the United States. 

Of course, running ultra-marathons isn’t for everyone. Swimming, jogging, biking, and even walking can get your heart rate pumping. Work with your doctor to customize your exercise routine to whatever fits best for your life. Some answers can only come from within, but free, reliable, and empowering information about cancer care is available—if you know where to look 


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Goals vs. Resolutions – Podcast Ep. 15

Goals vs. Resolutions – Podcast Ep. 15

Welcome to the 15th episode of the Living Healthy Podcast, presented by LA Fitness.

Woohoo! We’re back with Season Two (Did you miss us? Because we missed you!)

On this episode of Living Healthy, we speak with LA Fitness Personal Training Director, Tristen Alleman, who shares what he’s seen in his four years of experience in the clubs when it comes to members successfully accomplishing their resolutions.

We also beg the question, “Are resolutions really that different from goals?”

And we give tips on how to succeed on the goals you set for yourself this year. It’s a jam-packed episode, full of health advice, a special segment on the history of New Year’s resolutions from the crowd favorite, producer Matt, and Andrew and I share our own resolutions for 2019.

Enjoy!

How Are We Doing? 


This podcast should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.


Timecard Markers – Goals vs. Resolutions – Podcast Ep. 15

Intro    

Begins at 0:01    

Producer Matt on The History Lesson You Never Knew You Wanted 

1:18 

Personal Training Director, Tristen Alleman, Joins the Show 

Begins at 5:17 

Tristen’s Personal New Year’s Resolutions  

5:35  

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make? 

6:03 

Are There Certain Traits That People Have That Make Them More Successful Than Others? 

8:21 

Does it Make More Sense to Start a Resolution Before or After New Year’s/January 1st?  

9:51 

Matt on the Street Segment  

10:44 

How to Keep Yourself Motivated 

12:49 

Resolutions vs. Goals 

16:39 

How to Keep Persevering  

18:32  

The Impact Social Media Has on Fitness 

20:26 

Cutting Out vs. Adding-In Resolutions 

21:50 

How to Change Your Thinking on Resolutions 

23:44 

Outro 

24:40


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What to Do When You Feel Like Quitting – Podcast Ep. 9

What to Do When You Feel Like Quitting – Podcast Ep. 9


Welcome to the 9th episode of the Living Healthy Podcast, presented by LA Fitness.

On this episode of Living Healthy, we speak with LA Fitness Master Trainer, Geoff Fox, and get his advice on persevering even when you feel like quitting.

How Are We Doing? 


This podcast should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.


Timecard Markers – What to Do When You Feel Like Quitting – Podcast Ep. 9

Introduction 

0:01 

Show Begins 

0:20 

Master Trainer, Geoff Fox Joins the Show 

Begins at 1:38 

Why Do We Quit? 

Begins at 1:51 

Biggest Culprit Leading People to Quit 

Begins at 2:39 

Plateaus  

Begins at 3:26 

Learning to Move Forward 

Begins at 6:54 

Working Out with Others 

Begins at 11:07 

Changing Your Thinking  

Begins at 13:05 

Embrace the Struggle  

Begins at 16:38 

Ask a Trainer Throwback Break 

Begins at 19:39 

Actionable Advice  

Begins at 21:28 


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Member Spotlight | Mini and Mighty

Member Spotlight | Mini and Mighty

“Everyone starts somewhere. It is important to do your personal best and not let your size, age, or anything that may appear as a barrier stop you from achieving your goals.”

Rachel M.

LA Fitness Member

Mini and Mighty

It’s said that some of the best things in life come in small packages – and that describes Rachel M. perfectly. Known by her friends and family as “Mighty Mouse,” this 4’9” powerhouse has become an inspiration to fellow LA Fitness members in her hometown of Valencia, CA. However, she wasn’t always this way.

Growing up, Rachel suffered from multiple health complications that caused her to dread physical activity. She didn’t enjoy P.E. and ended up on teams by default; oftentimes being the last one “picked” for team events. It would usually take Rachel 10 minutes to run a mile, with breaks in between to stop and use her inhaler. She reflected back on a moment she will never forget, when one of her coaches had to give her a piggyback ride because she could not complete the run on her own. Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of a series of troubling events Rachel faced.

Next thing she knew, Rachel was hospitalized in the ICU with severe pneumonia. While she was admitted, she was told that she was pre-diabetic and had hyperlipidemia. Rachel had previously undergone cataract surgery and suffered from retinal detachment and spondylolisthesis – all at a young age. She knew she had to do something to change the harmful direction her health had taken.

Before

After

 

Small Changes, Big Results

Both of Rachel’s parents were members of LA Fitness and were constantly trying to persuade her to join them at the gym. But working out felt like work at the time, which made Rachel skeptical about giving it a go. However, she was determined not to rely on daily medication while only in her 20s, so she joined her mom for a cycle class.

In that first class, she could not last five minutes without having to use her inhaler. However, as she continued with cycling, she became stronger and stronger with each class, until she could complete a full class. As time went by, working out and focusing on health and fitness became her new passion.   This had great results, as she was slowly taken off all of her medications.

She credits being a member of LA Fitness as a huge part of her fitness journey. She would tell herself, “You’re stronger than you think,” “You could do anything for a minute”, and “You’ve got this.” She shared that fellow LA Fitness members would encourage her, and believed in her so much, that she began to believe in herself.

A Closer Look at Labels 

Along with working out, Rachel started paying close attention to food labels and ingredients. Now she incorporates proteins (chicken, ground turkey, egg whites, lean ground beef), carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa), healthy fats (nuts, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil), and greens into most of her meals. She enjoys snacking on nuts, veggies with hummus, and brown rice cakes with almond butter. Rachel enjoys foods that have minimal ingredients, and she tries to stay away from processed foods, or foods with additives and colors.

Where is Rachel now? 

Rachel hopes to inspire others through fitness and enjoys meeting people at the gym who share goals similar to hers. She continues to strive for her personal best, by increasing her rep counts, developing better endurance and lifting heavier than before. Her focus on fitness is inspired by her goal to stay out of the hospital, off medication, and to be living proof of Shakespeare’s quote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

“Don’t compare yourself to others. You’re as strong as you think. Celebrate baby steps. Progress is progress. Believe in yourself. Believe in others such that they believe in themselves. Empower. See someone that inspires you? Let them know. Pay it forward.”

Rachel M.

LA Fitness Member

Results will vary. Rachel M.’s story reflects an exceptional result, which does not apply to the average person, and is not representative of or a guarantee that you or anyone else will achieve the same or similar results. Do not attempt to change your diet, fitness routine, or any other activity related to your health without first obtaining the advice of a medical professional.


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