Demands on WA employees has seen a 25% increase in approved stress-related workers compensation claims in the past four years. If you are off work on stress leave, you can help get your life back by including exercise in your plan. Studies have shown that exercise is a great stress reliever; it can help people cope with the little everyday stresses right through to those people battling depression.
Power of Endorphins
During exercise your brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. The receptors in your brain reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings. With regular exercise, the positive feelings can lift your mood and improve your depression. A more energised outlook on life is possible after an exercise session. Many people with stress or depression will also suffer from poor sleep and exercise is known to improve sleep.
Good for your Mental and Physical Health
Exercise has a two prong effect. The endorphins will make you feel better and work towards improving your mental health. It will also improve your general physical health. Getting your blood pumping and heart working will boost circulation and improve your body’s tone. Seeing and feeling physical changes in your body can give your self-esteem a boost.
Make exercise part of your daily routine. If you used to go to work each day before depression, exercise could be your reason for getting out of the house at a set time each day. Exercise will give your day purpose and keep you connected to the community rather than sitting at home in a quiet house. Exercising in a group provides you with an accountability partner and the feeling of support.
You don’t need an expensive annual gym membership to benefit from exercise. Think about what activities you enjoy and the setting prefer, either indoor or outdoor. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start slow with 20-minute sessions a few times a week then increase the duration and number of sessions per week as your fitness improves. Choose one or more of these exercise activities:
- Walking or jogging
- Dance classes
- Tennis or golf
- Bike riding
If you want to be committed to continuing your exercise, sign up for lessons in a sport you want to learn how to play or with a personal trainer who will expect you at a regular pre-arranged time. Mix up your exercise so you keep it interesting, and you will be more inclined to stick with it.
If you would prefer to do the majority of your exercise at home, Momentum Health Solutions can assist with an Active at Home program. Your specially-designed exercise program is based on your previous exercise history, fitness level and any injuries you may have suffered in the past. Exercise equipment can also be supplied to use at home.
If you would like more information about our Active at Home program or how exercise may help you, contact a qualified exercise physiologist at Momentum Health Services by calling 9200 2240.