WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
Mental health is the psychological wellbeing of an individual, which may impact on cognitive, behavioural and social functioning. Some mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar and personality disorders. Mental illness can impede work, socialising and physical activity to the extent of social isolation and poor physical health. Approximately 1/5 Australians experience some form of mental illness each year with 54% of those with a mental illness not having access to any form of treatment. Every day at least 6 Australians complete suicide and a further 30 Australians attempt suicide.
WHY IS EXERCISE IMPORTANT?
Evidence suggests that exercise is an effective treatment for people suffering both acute and chronic mental illness. It has been suggested that exercise is as effective, if not more effective in treating mental illness as pharmacological interventions. Exercise is medicine with even as little as one workout a week being shown to improve mental health. Exercise increases the level of endorphins within the brain, which play a role in improving a person’s mood. Exercise improves energy levels, improves sleep, provides a distraction, enhances social interaction and improves self-esteem. Regular exercise can also counteract the side effects of mental illness medication (e.g. increased weight gain, blood pressure, muscle weakness and falls).
WHAT TYPES OF EXERCISE?
Slowly and safely progress towards 150-300 minutes of light to moderate exercise per week. Starting off with as little as 5-10 minutes of continuous exercise for 1-2 days a week and progress towards 30-60 minutes 5-7 days a week. This should consist of cardiovascular exercise (e.g. walking, cycling, swimming or boxing), resistance training (e.g. machine weights, free weights, bands and body weight exercises), stretching and balance activities.· Perform a variety of types of exercise and choose ones that you enjoy the most.Set realistic short-term goals, plan to exercise at a time that is most suitable for your schedule and lifestyle and keep track of your progress. It’s important to remember that it may take some time for you to notice the benefits of exercise. Research has shown a significant reduction in mental illness after 8 weeks of participating in regular exercise.· .
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
Our exercise physiologists will complete a comprehensive assessment to ensure exercise prescription is safe, and individualised to your conditions and needs. We offer a range of services including but not limited to: Hydrotherapy Gym-based exercise therapy Home-based exercise therapy Group sessions Pilates It is recommended that you to speak with your general practitioner or specialist prior to commencing an exercise program.