Mental Health

Yoga is sometimes overlooked or not considered as a tool to help with the symptoms of mental health conditions.   In Australia, it's estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise, originating in ancient India.  Although there tends to be a negative stigma that follows yoga and its Hindu roots, it can be a fantastic way to stretch and de-stress your body. There has been evidence to suggest that yoga is a potent anti-depressant that matches with drugs. Child’s pose, Warrior One, Triangle Pose and Downward Dog. One...

5-10 years ago, mainstream media had a lot to answer for in terms of portraying unrealistic body image ideals. However, the tables started to turn and it became common knowledge that celebrities appearing in magazines and ad campaigns were digitally modified so that they appeared to have no imperfections, blemishes, cellulite, lumps or bumps regardless of their shape or size – just perfectly edited toned, tanned torsos.  We started to not compare ourselves as much or have unrealistic expectations as we were fully aware these images literally weren’t real and looked at them with a critical eye. Fast forward to 2016 and...

It is the sad reality that each year, 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness.  That number is almost double the global average.   Mental illness is also ranked as the third leading cause of disability burden in Australia. Mental health needs to be in the spotlight. As October is Mental Health Month we will shed light on the benefits of exercise on mental health and how exercise can help Australians improve their mood, self-concept, work behavior, and more. In the early 2000’s a study in Finland found that people who exercised 2-3 times per week displayed lower levels of depression,...

We live in a world where stress seems to be increasing and physical activity decreasing. So what are the barriers and how do we overcome them?   Almost one in five Australians report that current stress levels are having a very strong impact on physical health (Stress and Wellbeing survey). Interestingly enough, most Australians (79%) agree that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to them. So if Australians are realizing that a healthy lifestyle (exercise/diet/sleep) is important, then what is stopping them from actively living it? The stress and wellbeing survey noted in 2014 that the main barriers to a healthy lifestyle were:...

It’s an incredibly terrible fact to know that suicide is in the top ten causes for death among Australian men, and it’s a statistic that shows no sign of slowing.   If you would like more information on this, or would like to speak to immediate support contact Beyond Blue. We all know that exercise is good for our bodies, but do we actually take the time to think about how physical exercise can make us feel stronger mentally. Take the Exercise Right quiz to find out how to Exercise Right for your uniqueness. Why Exercise Is So Important for Men’s Mental Health?   Exercise helps our...

Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Alanah Dobinson, tackles the tricky topic of exercise and restrictive forms of eating issues for Exercise Right.   Eating disorders are not only a condition of the psyche, but also of the body. Why, then, does current practice neglect physical movement as therapy?   Eating Disorders: The stats 1 million Aussies have a reported eating disorder (key word: reported) (NEDC, 2012) Mortality rate for those with anorexia nervosa (AN) is 10-12 times higher than the general population (Birmingham et al, 2005) Cost of AN is second only to cardiac artery bypass surgery in Australia’s private hospital sector (NEDC, 2012) Most complications...

It is accepted worldwide that exercise is an effective treatment and management tool for mood related disorders, including depression.   In fact, exercise is listed as a recommended part of treatment in the American Psychiatric Association guidelines for treatment, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK) and the Canadian Psychological Association guidelines. As well as having a significant effect on mood, regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of diseases commonly associated with depression such as heart disease and diabetes, the rates of which are higher in people with a mental illness (Rozanski, 2012). As an accredited exercise physiologist, I...

Depression has often been described as the black dog, but in a new campaign launched by Exercise Right, How to train your mental health monsters takes a different approach to both visualising and managing mental illness.

  How to Train Your Mental Health Monsters’ is a national campaign designed to increase community awareness of the importance of regular physical activity for maintaining good mental health, and its role in the prevention and management of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a throwback to Cornish artist Toby Allen’s series of drawings which helped to reduce the stigma and increase understanding around mental health conditions, Exercise Right’s illustrated ‘How to train your mental health monsters’ campaign hopes that the use of visualisation, imagination and evidence-based exercise tips and suggestions will make the discussion around mental health management easier, less scary and also highlight the positive role that exercise can play in this process. In Australia, mental disorders are the third most prevalent disease after cancer and cardiovascular disease. One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The onset of mental illness is typically around mid-to-late adolescence and Australian youth (18 – 24  years old) have the highest prevalence of mental illness than any other age group. Over one in four (26%) young Australians experience a mental illness every year [1]. Mental illness can be a scary thing. It is confusing, it can be crippling, and affects not only the individual, but the lives of carers and loved ones. It can also be a hard thing to understand for many. 65% of people with mental illness do not access any treatment [2,3]. This is worsened by delayed treatment due to serious problems in detection and accurate diagnosis. The proportion of people with mental illness accessing treatment is half that of people with physical disorders [2]. That’s why for Mental Health Month, Exercise Right hopes to shed light on mental illness and the benefits of exercise in helping to managing the sometimes scary scope of mental health with 'How to train your mental health monsters. There is a strong relationship between physical activity and symptoms of mental illness. Studies show that regular physical activity is associated with better mental health, emotional well-being and lower rates of mental disorders. Exercise doesn’t have to be extremely strenuous to provide a benefit. Even a brisk walk each day can make a real difference. If you feel daunted, start small and find something you feel good about doing. For more information on how to train  your mental health monsters talk to your local accredited exercise physiologist, who is the expert in prescribing the right exercise to help you. And for more information on managing mental illness, please contact a medical health professional**. And in the meantime, get some great exercise tips to help improve your mood in Exercise Right’s How to Train Your Mental Health Monsters campaign which provides evidence-based exercise themed training tips to help manage your mental health monsters. **If your mental health monsters are getting too hard to handle, we recommend consulting your local GP or mental health organisation such as beyondblue for more information.      

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

Feeling anxious? Movement is medicine. In a world of deadlines, distractions and information overload, it’s nice to know that feelings of anxiety can be soothed using 5 simple steps.   Did you know that one in every six young Australians is experiencing anxiety? Chances are, you might be one of them, or at least know someone who is. Feeling worried is actually a normal part of life, but occasionally the fear response gets turned up too high, when nothing is posing a danger to us.  Along with consulting your GP, who may refer you to counselling under the Mental Health Treatment Plan,...

As recent studies have shown us, exercise can become boring and leave you feeling unmotivated if you don't find new ways to keep it interesting.   Fortunately, spring is here and with it is a fresh opportunity to mix up your routine, learn a new sport, and motivate yourself to move. Check out our six top tips to spring clean your routine and overhaul your everyday exercise habits!   6 Top Tips to Spring Clean Your Routine   1. Revamp your sports wardrobe Did your kicks take a beating this winter? A good rule of thumb is to replace your walking shoes every 400ks.   2. Take your workout outdoors Studies...