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R U OK Day and the Mental Benefits of Exercise

by Adele Rogers on Monday 2 September 2019

Photo cred: @TheUpsideSport

It is an unfortunate reality that each year, 1 in 5 Aussies will battle a mental illness of some kind.  

Every year, over 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt. When you break it down – that’s nearly 178 people per day.  

Lucky for us, we are grasping a better understanding and acceptance of mental illness in mainstream culture. We're seeing many not-for-profit orgnisations getting behind research and helping remove the stigma that has been associated with mental health.

So what is R U OK Day? The organisation behind this viral question you've seen on your social feeds is about encouraging to speak to one another openly about mental illness. 

R U OK?'s mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them. 

It’s more important than ever that we can ask the question ‘are you ok?’, and that people feel comfortable enough to speak up when they’re struggling.   

So, how does Virgin Active relate? We know that a little exercise can go a long way in improving someone’s mental state. Several researchers have found exercise to be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. If it’s a happy drug you’re after, a 45 minute group exercise class at Virgin Active will get your body pumping out endorphins, which is the body’s natural feel-good drug.  

People who are physically active tend to be not only happier, but also score higher on self-esteem and quality of life. It’s argued that physical exercise can contribute to your personal growth, and social integration. The perfect opportunity to feel good, and connect with people!

For the month of September, our clubs are rolling out some great activities to help encourage connection, community and mind body wellness. Be on the lookout on our club screens for meditation classes, fitness challenges and even cake offs.

Staying connected and having face-to-face, meaningful conversations about life is something that we can all do. So for the month of September (and especially on R U OK Day), commit to starting a conversation with someone new, or reconnecting with someone you’ve lost touch with.  

Not much of a talker?  That’s ok. Start by getting your bod moving for your mental health. Book your tour and get started at our club today.

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