Valuable lessons discovered while coaching and navigating my life journey.

Mental Health and Exercise

My Story

For a long time in my own mental health battles, I have desperately wanted them to disappear. The hardest times were always in the mornings, where I just didn’t want to get up.

This may be a surprise to a lot of people who know me as an energetic positive person, yet it was the lonely secret that I kept, and also didn’t understand.

In some ways since I always had this dark cloud over me in the first hour of my morning especially, I thought it was normal yet at the same time I knew in the back of my mind it probably wasn’t.

It wasn’t just in the mornings either. It also came and different surprising times. This is what sent me on a journey of self-discovery trying to understand my mind, body and soul.

5 key things have helped me get to a much better place, and I want to talk about one of them today, but here they are in bullet form…

  • Wake up at the same time and don’t think (this needs explaining and I will one day)
  • Super Hydrating with water instead of caffeine first thing in the AM
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Cold end to my showers (30 seconds)
  • Regular exercise

Exercise is what I want to unpack today.

I have entered into an exercise rhythm over the last year that are HITT workouts (20 mins) each work day, with weekends off.

This is not only easy to fit in, but I feel my body and especially my mind is clear.

I feel it works my dark mind out of my head through my sweat (sorry if that’s gross)

The university of South Australia has some fascinating research that follows this line of thinking. Click here for full article

Here it is…

Mental Health and Exercise

In our fast-paced and stress-filled world, the importance of mental health cannot be overstated. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders affect millions of people worldwide.

While medications have long been the primary treatment option, a growing body of research suggests that exercise can be a highly effective and accessible alternative.

The University of South Australia, renowned for its expertise in mental health research, has contributed significantly to this evolving field.

Let's delve into how exercise has emerged as a powerful tool for managing mental health conditions, as supported by the University of South Australia.

Exercise and Depression

Depression is a common mental health condition that affects people of all ages. The University of South Australia conducted a study that revealed the positive impact of exercise on depressive symptoms.

Regular physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators. The study found that exercise, such as aerobic activities, could be as effective as antidepressant medications in reducing symptoms of mild to moderate depression.

Anxiety and Exercise

Anxiety disorders can significantly impair an individual's quality of life. The University of South Australia's research has shown that exercise can alleviate anxiety symptoms and improve overall well-being. Physical activity increases the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play a vital role in regulating mood and anxiety. Engaging in regular exercise can help reduce anxiety levels, enhance self-confidence, and improve sleep patterns.

Stress Management

Chronic stress can lead to a range of mental and physical health problems. The University of South Australia's investigations have highlighted the positive effects of exercise in managing stress. Exercise serves as a healthy coping mechanism, reducing the production of stress hormones and increasing the brain's resilience to stress. Incorporating activities like yoga, prayer or mindfulness-based exercises can provide additional benefits in stress reduction and relaxation.

Exercise as a Preventive Measure

Beyond managing existing mental health conditions, exercise has proven to be effective in preventing their onset. The University of South Australia emphasizes the importance of physical activity in maintaining mental well-being.

Regular exercise has been associated with a reduced risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders. Moreover, exercise enhances cognitive function, promotes better sleep, and fosters a sense of achievement and self-worth, all of which contribute to overall mental health.

The University of South Australia's research provides really interesting evidence for the benefits of exercise as a tool for managing mental health conditions.

My encouragement to you is to think about regular physical activity as a powerful way not just to improve your strength but to literally get you out of your dark mindset.

I am very careful here to say this is not medical advice but it is my story and how it has helped me.

I hope it can add a positive step to the journey you are on.

Helping business leaders who struggle to balance their high pressure job with the commitments of family, create healthy life rhythms



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