It has taken a while, but finally it seems, gyms are being recognised now more as places you go to FEEL good and improve your mental wellbeing, as opposed to just places to go to look good.
Over the past couple of years there has been a paradigm shift in how “gyms” are being viewed and utilised.
1. For the first time ever, more people go to the gym to feel better than look better (Source: AUSactive).
2. Exercise is by far the best non-pharmaceutical intervention for a variety of mental health issues. This is something that is not promoted or driven enough, especially considering the mental health struggles we are currently facing.
3. The Health and Fitness Industry is perfectly positioned to be the driver of preventative healthcare.
4. For many Kiwis, gyms are now a social experience to attend with friends. And are replacing less healthy alternatives such as going to the pub. We are seeing a big shift from binge drinking culture, especially amongst younger generations.
Its point #2 we want to focus on more. The benefits of exercise on your mental wellbeing.
Here’s a quick look at some statistics around exercise and mental health:
1. Exercise lifts your mood – especially aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, running, cycling or resistance training.
2. People who are inactive are up to twice as likely to have depressive symptoms than active people.
3. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of Dementia and Alzheimer's disease by up to 40%.
4. Another mental benefit of exercise is reduced stress levels—something that can make us all happier.
5. Improved sleep - exercise has a calming effect which has shown to increase sleep quality.
6. Brain boost - From building intelligence to strengthening memory, exercise boosts brainpower in a number of ways.
So with these facts in mind, we are challenging our community to use exercise as far more than a tool for physical gains, but instead to look at the mental and social benefits that come with ALL forms of movement. One of my favourite quotes from Joseph Pilates sums this up - “Change happens through movement, and movement heals.”
Jimmy - ReDefined Founder