‘Exercise Your Mood’ to benefit your mental health

This week, from 4th – 12th May, Black Dog Institute are encouraging all Australians to Exercise Your Mood, to promote the importance of regular physical activity to help boost mental resilience and improve well-being.

As the accrediting body for Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) and Accredited Exercise Scientists (AES), Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) encourages the significant role physical activity can play when it comes to looking after our mental health and seeking the right advice from the right professional.

“We know that physical inactivity is the cause of approximately 9% of premature mortality worldwide, with people experiencing a mental illness being particularly vulnerable. By educating Australians on the benefits of exercise for their mental health, we can support people to take the first step to get active,” said Anita Hobson-Powell, ESSA Chief Executive Officer.

“The benefits of exercise on mental health include: improved memory, focus and thinking skills; improved sleep; reduced stress and anxiety; and prevention against depression and other mental health conditions. It also incorporates the opportunity to be social with others and can be a handy distraction tool from negative thoughts.”

With 20% of the Australian population experiencing a mental illness in any given year, overwhelming research has shown that physical activity is not only an effective part of treatment alongside standard care but can also help protect against future episodes of depression.

The Black Dog Institute are challenging all Australians to use one hour a week to improve their mental fitness, with the results of the HUNT study highlighting that 12% of cases of depression could have been prevented by just one hour of exercise a week.

“It’s important to remember that it’s not about what type of exercise is the best kind, it’s about what works for you, and that doing something is better than doing nothing at all,” said Ms Hobson-Powell.

“Sometimes, the hardest step can be that first one, and Australians are encouraged to seek advice from an accredited exercise professional, such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or Accredited Exercise Scientist, who can work with you to prescribe an individual exercise plan that’s right for your health.”

Just like any treatment plan, it’s best to work with a professional who has the skills and knowledge to help you manage your mental health condition. By consulting an accredited exercise professional, you will be working with someone who cares about your well-being and can prescribe an individual exercise plan to help you get started.

To contact your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist or Accredited Exercise Scientist, visit the ESSA website here.
To find out more, download our FREE Exercise & Mental Health eBook.
The Exercise Right website also offers a wide range of blogs, factsheets and resources on the benefits of exercise for mental health.