You Don’t Need To Be A Marathoner, But Get Some Exercise

Your physical health. I especially want to focus on those folks who suffer and experience mental-emotional disturbances. I don’t pretend to be a medical provider. However, years of service as a mental health provider to countless clients has provided license to discuss this salient matter. Generally, mental health providers perform an assessment to determine the nature and specificity related to a client’s mental-emotional state. Included, generally, is a physical assessment. Given a probable nervousness in the initial assessment a client may unwittingly forget important personal and family physical-medical history. This information is vital to the holistic approach of the mind-body-spirit connection.

This critical element cannot be over-emphasized in its value and importance for treatment. For example, a client with a family history of diabetes who presents clearly overweight needs to be his/her best advocate for good health and well-being. If a client is unable to provide this vital information, a family member’s advocate must be available. Privacy laws only allow such if the client signs a release form allowing the family advocate to be included in treatment. A good health assessment will aid the provider to make informed choices on the client’s health and be a partner with a prescribing psychiatrist if the client wishes. Back to the diabetes example. Many psychiatric medications have a side-effect of weight gain. We’ve learned over the years how many medications contributed to weight gain and possible onset diabetes.

Those who choose treatment and forgo psychiatric medications still need to maintain a regular connection with his/her family health provider. We’ve been inundated with education material on the subject of STRESS. We’ve learned how chronic untreated stress from various sources can realize stress-related illnesses. Headaches, G.I. problems, for example, are frequently seen as possible links to overly-stressed lives. Now, not all headaches and G.I. problems are stress-related. Nevertheless, a good at least, annual complete physical may stave off exacerbation of a condition even unknown beforehand.

Diet is a critical piece of the overall health puzzle. Sugar drinks, even diet drinks, are known to be harmful to one’s health. Drinking adequate amounts of water can be healthy. Eating fruits and vegetables and staying free from fast foods will be a healthy choice. Ask your doctor for a referral to a certified registered dietician for more exacting information. Vitamins may also be a healthful source of added nutrition. In short, consult with your medical provider and educate yourself to what works well for your health.

Oh, before I forget, get some exercise. You don’t need to be a marathoner. Movement keeps the flow and can prevent constipation, another possible medication side-effect. Be aware, be careful and I wish you all the best of health. Thank you.

Marshall Greenstein holds a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling and is a licensed marriage and family counselor and a licensed mental health counselor in New York state. He has regular office hours at Hutton and Greenstein Counseling Services, 501 E. Third St., Suite 2B, Jamestown, 484-7756. For more information or to suggest topics, email