It was Exercise Right Week (May 25 to 31) and a couple of local health nuts want to see Coasties embrace this year’s theme, ‘Movement is Medicine,’ to kickstart their health.
Central Coast Health Emergency Department Doctor, Ash Bowden, has teamed up with Wyong Physio Connex Performance Clinic’s Scott Howard to look at how exercise impacts physical health and body functions and its effect on mental health.
Together Dr Bowden and Howard are unpacking the link between moving well and feeling good.
Dr Bowden has been an advocate for improving health and happiness through exercise and physical activity since he settled into life on the Coast; so much so that he’s become known as Dr Do More.
He picked up the title after he created The Do More Directory, a comprehensive guide to all the ways people can work up a sweat on the Coast.
The online directory lists activities, venues, trainers, services and providers covering all forms of movement and exercise and can be tailored to suit all ages and fitness levels.
Dr Bowden hopes Coasties will embrace the message.
“Mental health is something we all possess.
“It’s not simply the absence of mental illness, but our enjoyment of life, ability to cope with stress and sadness, fulfilment of goals and a sense of connection to others,” Dr Bowden said.
“Mental illness however, is a disorder diagnosed by a medical professional that significantly interferes with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities.
“Disorders include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
“A growing body of research demonstrates the protective power of physical activity and exercise on our mental health,” he continued.
Dr Bowden wants people struggling with their mental and physical health to take three key findings away from the growing body of research exploring the link between physical and mental health.
One: You don’t have to be an athlete – as little as 5,000 steps a day can improve mental health.
Two: Instant benefit – even a single bout of exercise can improve mood and wellbeing.
Three: Movement is Medicine.
Dr Bowden said studies reported that exercise and standard antidepressant treatments were equally effective and that when using exercise as an adjunctive treatment for depression, patients showed a significant depressive improvement after the exercise period.
“Mental health is as much an element of health and wellbeing as physical health and can be supported by a variety of different therapies.
“If you’re struggling with your mental health, consult with your medical practitioner or access these 24/7 mental health services,” he said.
Such services include: BeyondBlue 1300 224 636; Lifeline 13 11 14; and the Kids Helpline (ages 5 to 25) 1800 55 1800.
Press release, May 25
Leonie Arnebark, Reality Marketing