Exercise for Mental Health
Most people are aware that physical activity is good for your body but did you know it’s also vital for your mind too? There is a wealth of research documenting this.
Exercise is an evidence-based treatment for depression (Schuch FB et al 2016). The importance of exercise as a treatment option for people with anxiety and stress disorders is also documented (Stubbs B et al 2017). For schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorders we know that exercise helps, but unfortunately the reality is that the levels of exercise, in this patient group, are very low (Vancamfort D,2017).
For this reason as chartered Physiotherapists we want to spread the word…… Keeping active helps with mental health issues, of every severity.
Being active doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. When exercising for your mental health remember what you are doing it for. What are your goals?
It doesn’t matter if you are running, walking, swimming or cycling. It doesn’t it matter if you are winning races or coming last, chances are it is doing you a world of good. There are so many ways to be active and taking part in a form of exercise that you really enjoy can lift your mood, help you meet people and give you a sense of purpose. Exercise can also offer the mindfulness we all need to give our heads a rest from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
We have done a bit of research this week and it would seem that Balbriggan/Skerries and surrounding areas, have a great variety of activities on offer. Ardgillian park run is a great way to kick off the weekend starting at 9:30am its a 5k route, you can run or walk, bring the kids, take the dog. Our local community centres and the Bracken court hotel have various classes running. Although we don’t have a local pool (don’t mention the war), Aura in Drogheda and Integral in both Drogheda and Bettystown provide both swimming and Aqua-aerobic options. There are gyms and small group training sessions, running clubs, a walking club and various sports clubs including tennis, golf, cricket, rugby, and GAA. It is all going on around you, so get involved!
As chartered Physiotherapists, we are here to help you get a move on.
Too often having sustained an injury or after a period of acute illness, be it physical or mental, we see people shy away from exercise. This can lead to a downward spiral of both physical and mental health.
We are here to help you overcome that injury or help you build your fitness from a low level and get you going again. Sometimes people don’t know where to start or are fearful they will be doing themselves harm. Come and discuss your concerns with us, we have a wealth of knowledge and skills help you get active for both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Zara Bowler, The Physio Clinic Balbriggan
Chartered Physiotherapist, MISCP