Did you know 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental health issue at some point in their life? (Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra).
Additionally, the onset of mental illness is typically around mid-to-late adolescence and Australian youth (18-24 years old) have the highest prevalence of mental illness than any other age group.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health exists on a broad continuum, from feeling good and functioning well at one end, through to severe symptoms or conditions that affect people’s thoughts, feelings or behaviour, at the other end. Just like your physical health, your mental health can move up and down on your own personal continuum.
It’s important to realise that even if someone is not diagnosed with or experiencing a mental health condition, that their mental health may still not be doing well. Likewise, it’s possible to be living with a mental health condition while feeling your mental health is in a good place.
Mental illnesses vary in type and degree of severity. Some of the major types are depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, personality disorders, and eating disorders.
Heard about the Push-Up Challenge?
The Push-Up Challenge started in 2018 to raise awareness of mental health in Australia. The goal of the challenge is to help reduce the number of Australian lives lost to suicide by increasing awareness and raising funds for Headspace; an organisation that addresses the barriers young people face to accessing mental health support.
Over the month of July, participants are challenged to complete 3,128 push-ups in total, representing the number of lives lost in Australia due to mental health issues in 2017.
Exercising with a partner increases your motivation. Check out the video below to see some exercises you can do.
How can exercise and an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) help?
There are many benefits of exercise for mental health and it is well recognised that exercise plays a major part in the treatment plan of those with mental health conditions. Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood and make you feel good. Exercise also helps you to sleep better and feel more energised during the day, gives you a sense of accomplishment and often provides a social connection.
The Australian Physical Activity Guidelines for adults is at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most, if not all days of the week. You can make up 30 minutes over the day by combining shorter 10-15 minute bouts of exercise.
An AEP designs and delivers exercise programs that are tailored to individuals needs and goals. They provide support, care, motivation and accountability to individuals every step of the way.
Tips to move more!
Timetable exercise into your weekly schedule so you aren’t relying on motivation.
Do something you enjoy- exercise is meant to be fun!
Make a commitment to others- you’re less likely to opt out if you have someone relying on you to be there.
Longevity has AEP’s at our four locations in Sydney – Edgecliff, Lindfield, Randwick and Marrickville. Get in contact with the team on 1300 964 002 to find out how we can help you improve your physical and mental health!