Mental Health

According to Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) postnatal depression is effecting more than 1 in 7 new mums each year in Australia.   Accredited Exercise Physiologist and women’s health expert, Esme Soan, explains why it’s important to understand the difference between ‘feeling a bit down’ and having a mental condition. “Postnatal depression is different from the ‘baby blues’, which many women experience in the early days after giving birth associated with hormonal cascades. Some signs of PND are consistent low mood, anxiety, feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness or hopelessness.” For a better over look at postnatal depression and its symptoms and signs, visit Beyond...

Using exercise with the sole purpose of improving quality of life through social engagement is proving to have a tremendous effect on the mental health of participants. While exercise and group classes can be targeted and tailored to a pathology a non-specific exercise social group activity can still help with individual outcomes. I’d encourage everyone, whatever their ability or health status, to find people to exercise with or find a local class or gym which offers exercise with an emphasis on social well-being. There is definitely a space for group exercise interventions for mental health outcomes. In this scenario inclusion is important,...

Generally speaking; individuals experiencing mental health conditions will also be experiencing some elements of poor physical health, and vice versa.   According to data from AIHW, Australia's Health 2016 national report card; mental health conditions were reported as a co-morbidity among: 36% of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 30% of people with back pain and problems 29% of people with asthma And those suffering from a mental illness: Are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from diabetes than the general population Almost four times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVD) Coronary heart disease carries the independent risk factor of...

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. Why Exercise Is So Important for Men’s Mental Health?   Exercise helps our body pump out endorphins. Endorphins are basically the body’s ‘feel great’ drug so we...

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...