Mental Health 

1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness each year, which negatively impacts a person’s cognitive, behavioural and social functioning. This can include struggling to engage in their regular work, social and physical activities, often leading to social isolation. Individuals suffering from mental illness are also more likely to concurrently experience weight gain and develop other chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

 

Mental illness includes anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and personality disorder. 

 

There is an increased amount of research that now supports exercise as an effective treatment method for individuals suffering acute or chronic mental illness. Exercise can: 

  • Help increase mood by releasing happy chemicals (serotonin, endorphins and dopamine) in the brain 

  • Counteract the negative metabolic effects from medication by improving overall physical health 

  • Improve sleep and increase energy levels 

  • Provide a distraction from negative thoughts 

  • Offer opportunities to socialise with others 

  • Increase self-esteem through weight management

  • Reduce skeletal muscle tension to make you feel more relaxed 

 

Link to fact sheets: 

http://exerciseismedicine.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/EIM-FactSheet_Depression_Public-2020.pdf (depression) 

http://exerciseismedicine.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/EIM-FactSheet_PTSD_Public-2020.pdf (PTSD)