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Can exercise improve your mental health?

September 14, 2016

 

Mental illness affects so many us of, according to Beyond Blue 3 million Australians are living with depression or anxiety. Following R U OK day last week, we thought we’d investigate how exercise can play a play a part in improving your mental health.

 

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed or a little bit down, sometimes exercising is the last thing you want to be doing. So can coming to bootcamp or exercising really make you feel better when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, depressed or anxious? Well quite simply yes!

 

 “Exercise makes you feel good because it releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. If you exercise regularly , it can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues.” http://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/exercise-and-mental-health

 

Endorphins are chemicals produced by the brain that make you feel good. Serotonin acts like little transmitters and is responsible for carrying these endorphins around your body. So by exercising you’re getting these chemicals going thus making you feel good.

 

Whilst this is all very technical is there actually evidence that exercise can benefit your mental health? Put simply yes!

 

 The Black Dog Institute states that….

·         "Numerous studies have shown that people who exercise regularly experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who do not exercise regularly

·         Several trials have shown that regular exercise of moderate intensity can be an effective treatment by itself for mild to moderate depression

·         Both aerobic exercise (e.g. brisk walking, cycling or jogging) and resistance or strength training (e.g. weight-lifting) have been found to be beneficial for depression."

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/gettinghelp/exercise.cfm

 

 So when we harp on about how bootcamp is a good stress release and being out in the fresh air makes you feel good, we are actually telling the truth. Next time rather than having a wine, a bag of chips or a block of chocolate when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed why not throw on some runners and get out and exercise, you’ve got nothing to lose. If you know someone else who is suffering why not invite them to come along to bootcamp or even make a date to go for a walk or run.  

 

If you need further help/information or know someone who suffers from mental illness and needs help, Beyond Blue, R U OK? and The Black Dog Institute are fantastic organisations there to provide help.  

 

 Gav, Tiff and Haylee

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