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The Case for Exercise and Mental Health, and Why It’s so Important to Be Sensitive About It


When you think of exercise, you may think its hard work. You’re going to sweat, you may feel sore, but at the end of it all you’re grateful for the health benefits. Exercise has been touted as one of the best activities one can perform. With exercise you can build a better body and a healthier life. The list of health benefits is long and it’s also been shown to improve mood, and assist with anxiety and depression.


[National Posture Institute] The Case for Exercise and Mental Health, and Why It’s so Important to Be Sensitive About It


How many people experience anxiety, depression, and other mood states? There’s too many to count. Everyone goes through hard times, but they impact us all differently. Some people struggle with debilitating conditions; they can’t get up in the morning or lay down at night without something on their plate and it’s truly sad when those individuals feel alone or can’t receive the necessary assistance.


You know where this is going; how many people’s lives are lost or negatively impacted as a result of these conditions and how many more could be saved right now if they had the treatment or assistance necessary? It’s early in 2018, but mental health tends to get swept under the rug until there’s a problem; I refuse to wait until there’s a major issue to start discussing it.


So, how does this relate to exercise? A YouTube personality recently spoke about depression. People with depression should take responsibility for their feelings; this was the gist of it. Exercise was also mentioned as a way of dealing with such states. The crowd response was mixed. While some of the person’s accompanying statements were unsavory, especially for those who deal with issues related to this, some say there were valid points.


While it’s not a black and white subject, it begs the question of how much control does one really have for these issues?  Some of the responders felt the comments trivialized the subject. As a result, some responded with outrage; they felt they were being made to feel ashamed or guilty for their conditions. It goes without saying that there are ways to cope or manage the proverbial cards one is dealt but it’s never a simple issue. Yes, some will argue that more could always be done, but what if what’s being done is enough? While we can “take responsibility” for some things and make changes, other problems aren’t so simple and distracting ourselves may not work as intended.


The other issue here is the age old argument of non-professionals, gurus, and so called “experts” offering advice and solutions in areas like this. It’s a slippery slope, one that’s best left to the real professionals. It’s no wonder there was outrage from some responders; it’s difficult for someone to hear this subject when they’ve been taking medication for years or they’re undergoing a serious family issue that’s brought on grief. We can certainly manage or cope, but these are not enough to solve the underlying issues.


This opens the discussion for being more informed and sensitive regarding this topic. Let’s be sensitive when we work with people experiencing related issues. It’s not enough to say if someone is struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mood states that they should just exercise. Exercise isn’t the cure all; it certainly helps, but it won’t make the underlying problems vanish. They may need to seek professional assistance, but regardless it’s important to use a level of prudence and compassion when discussing these issues.


It people feel blamed for their problems they’ll shut down; they won’t listen and they’re more likely to retaliate because they feel their world is being attacked. Remember, some people can’t control the problem they can only manage and cope with it. As fitness professionals we work with people from all backgrounds, whether we’re trying to offer advice or an opinion via videos or through other outlets it’s a good idea to be mindful of who we’re speaking too, what we’re speaking about, and how our words will make them feel.


Before we end here, I’d like to take a moment to remind you about our free webinar: How To Profit From Posture Assessments. If you’re looking to bust into a growing area of the fitness industry, posture is where it’s at. You’ll learn about posture assessment and how you can start making money performing them.


Check out the link here >>

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