Exercise & Mental Health

Exercise and Your Mental Health

Depression refers to a variety of mental health problems characterised by a persistent low mood, loss of interest in regular activities and experiences, and a wide range of associated emotional, behavioural, physical and cognitive symptoms. Depression and other relevant mental health conditions, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, can have a debilitating impact upon the individual, their families and the community. The underlying pathophysiology of these mental illnesses can at times be quite complex, which presents challenges when trying to determine the best mode of treatment. 

Exercise & Mental Health

Although not necessarily a proven cure of mental illness, exercise is a treatment option that can significantly reduce depressive symptoms, improve physical health and overall quality of life. In contrast to other treatment options, exercise is a cost effective, readily accessible, low risk option for managing mental health issues. However, due to the often-debilitating nature of mental health disorders, people with mental health issues are particularly vulnerable to live inactive lifestyles. This can quite commonly lead to worsening of symptoms, or the development of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

How an Exercise Physiologist can help

As university qualified allied health professionals, Accredited Exercise Physiologists are best placed to implement lifestyle interventions incorporating exercise, to improve the overall health and well-being of people living with mental illness. Exercise Physiologists are trained to create exercise programs that are tailored specifically to the individual, while also helping address potential barriers that may be preventing engagement in regular physical activity. Current guidelines recommend that Australian adults should be getting 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a minimum of five days per week. This could come in the form of a walk around the neighbourhood, a yoga class, a friendly game of basketball with friends or a strength training session at your local Kieser. The important thing to remember is to find something you enjoy doing, as doing something is always better than doing nothing at all.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue, please visit your nearest Kieser centre and book in an appointment with an Exercise Physiologist to help get you started with a suitable tailored exercise program.

Written by James Andrews, Exercise Physiologist (Kieser Ringwood)

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