Beat depression with fitness

Did you know that 4.5 million Australians will experience some form of mental illness in 2011? Regular exercise is a proven treatment for depression and people who exercise regularly experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who do not.

On September 1st, Spring 30 Days of Feel Good Fitness will launch nationwide. Spring is an initiative to get people moving, demonstrate the impact exercise has on their mood and raise over $500,000 for the Black Dog Institute.

All you have to do is sign up, do 30 minutes of exercise for 30 days during the month of September and pay just $30 for the Spring online fitness program personalised to beginners, intermediate or advanced participants. All money raised will go directly to the Black Dog Institute to help research and treat depression.

Gretchen Masters, Personal Trainer and Founder of Spring 30 Days of Feel Good Fitness says, “Growing up in a house that often felt dominated by my Mother’s bi-polar disorder was extremely difficult. My mum has been in and out of psychiatric wards for as long as I can remember. I decided I wanted to do something to help raise awareness of depression, and the effects it has on families, as well as raising funds for research into how to combat this devastating disease.”

Both aerobic exercise and resistance or strength training have been found to be beneficial for depression. Exercise can help treat depression by increasing serotonin levels in the brain which helps with mood, sleep, appetite and other functions. It also helps by releasing more endorphins, the ‘feel good chemical’.

“It feels like depression has always dominated our family life. My mum’s illness has improved vastly in the last number of years through the launch of a government program that helped her get a part time job and an exercise plan. It’s incredible how vastly her condition improved since. I can’t remember the last time she was in hospital. The Black Dog Institute requires vital funds to maintain and increase the levels of research and training to continue the battle against depression. Spring is the perfect way for people to help and, in doing so, help themselves look and feel better,” Masters says.

The Black Dog Institute has carried out research into the benefits of exercise and how it impacts on your mental health. Several trials have shown that regular exercise of moderate intensity can be an effective treatment by itself, for mild to moderate depression.

Not only will you help fight the battle of depression and get fit doing it, but you will also recive:

1. A 30 minute exercise plan each day by email for the month of September. Plans include strength, fitness, circuits, yoga and core.
2. A feel-good recipe each week.
3. The knowledge that they are supporting a fantastic cause.

So why not sigh up today and join the Spring 30 Days of Feel Good Fitness!

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