Health and Wellbeing

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This essay will outline the national guidelines for physical activity, discuss in depth the contribution of physical activity, and healthy eating in the maintenance of overall physical and psychological wellbeing. It will describe the benefits of physical activity, healthy eating towards enhancing psychological wellbeing. It will outline some of the barriers encountered in the process of improving these areas for individuals and suggest ways of overcoming these barriers. We will explore the concept of psychological wellbeing discuss its components, outline some negative influences that threaten psychological wellbeing and ways to combat them. Finally we will discuss discuss how all three aspects of physical activity, eating behaviour and psychological wellbeing together contribute to overall health. Health and wellbeing are vital aspects for all populations. There are many benefits for individuals who engage in physical activity and adhere to a healthy eating balanced diet. In 2003 The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) states that Physical activity “Interacts positively with strategies to improve diet, discourages the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, helps reduce violence, enhances functional capacity and promotes social interaction and integration.” The Health service executive (H.S.E) have produced the national guidelines for physical activity. The guidelines vary for age groups from children to eighteen. Eighteen to sixty five, and sixty five up. These guidelines are valuable to individuals, parents, health care workers and in the area of health promotion. Young people and children are recommended to partake in at least 60 minutes physical exercise a day. The Health behaviors in school children (H.B.S.C) 2010, a report done with 43 countries in conjunction with the World health organization (W.H.O), showed that Ireland ranked 2nd with 47.9% of children engaging in physical exercise four or more times a week. This study also showed that children from the lower economic group were more likely not to engage in physical than those from higher economic groups. The study also highlighted the decline in physical activity as the age groups increased, particularly in girls with a fall from 38% of 11 year olds to 13% of 15 year old girls who engaged in physical activity. The national guidelines recommended for the age group 18 - 65 year olds is at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week. These guidelines encourage those who do not already engage in physical activity to began slowly and work toward achieving the recommended 150 minutes. Moderate exercise is outlined as activity that increases heart rate and breathing more than normal. Vigorous physical activity is outlined as activity that increases heart rate, breathing and body temperature. The guidelines for over 65 year olds remain the same at 150 minutes the type of physical activity recommended for this age group center on strengthening muscle, balance and aerobics. The guidelines are important for the health promotion of Ireland’s population. The benefits of physical activity for individuals are according to the US Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2008 that there was Strong evidence for better cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness, less weight gain more weight loss – combined with eating fewer calories better weight maintenance after weight loss. According to the Irish Heart foundation Studies have shown that lack of physical activity increases risk of stroke by 50%. People who engage in physical activity have fewer falls reduced levels of depression and it has shown to increase better cognitive function in older adults. There was also some evidence of stronger bone density and reduced risk of hip fracture. People who engage in physical activity enjoy better sleep quality and reduced abdominal fat. One of the underlying points at the center of the national guidelines is that engaging in any activity is better than none so it is important to be...
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