My names India and I am a new Sports Therapist working at Emma James Physiotherapy. Today I will be talking about exercise and mental health, but more specifically how outdoor water sports may be exactly what you need to try!
The benefits of canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting on mental health have long been a reason why many people take up the sport. The ability to get out on the water for a relaxing paddle, or run river rapids after a stressful day, provides many people with an escape from every day life. Exercising on or near water and greenery has been shown to reduce depression and anger, as well as improve confidence. Water sports can also introduce variety into your life, there’s so many places you can paddle and soak up that vitamin D!
For the past 6 years I have been representing Great Britain in white water rafting. As an athlete juggling A-Levels and a 4-year degree, training allowed me to de-stress from a busy day of dissertation writing and clear my mind. There is nothing better than a sweaty lactic run on your lunch break to get the endorphins flowing before returning to the desk!
Can exercise help to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety?
Recent studies have shown that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.
Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins.
‘Teamwork makes the dream work’
I am a strong believer that exercising in groups can increase commitment to a fitness routine, enhance consistency, duration and motivate individuals to achieve their goals. As well as offering classes at our Hemel Hempstead Clinic, at the FCO, DFID and Hanslope Park we offer lunch time fitness classes, pushing you to your limits before heading back to work, so why don’t you come along and give it a try! You can form new social groups with people who have similar interests. Building new social groups is never a negative! More people to talk to, interact with and learn from whilst keeping fit at the same time… bonus!
‘You can achieve anything you set your mind to’
I hope you liked my first post, Ill be writing again soon 🙂