Healthy Living Blog

2023’s Biggest Need Is Mental Wellness

As a result of the lockdowns and associated COVID stress, ONE IN FIVE Americans now battles with mental health and addictions. But like New Zealand’s Sir John Kirwin’s televised messages and those of Mike King of I AM HOPE you and I can help greatly by helping to de-stigmatise the condition.

We can become ‘better listeners’ and simply to ‘be there’ for people. A team from Club Physical attended a seminar in San Diego this week lead by Kevin Mc Hugh of the Atlantic Club, Lyn Brick of The John Brick Mental Health Foundation, Derek Gallop of the UFC Gyms, and psychologist Dr Karlie Interkofer.

“On average, exercise almost cures depression” says Lyn Brick. “Moderate intensity workouts are the equivalent or better than a depression drug like Zola”. Aside from the natural chemical benefits of exercising at moderate to high intensity, Lyn encourages gym users to include the mind-body aspect of training in every workout. Your routines could include Yoga, Breathwork, Stretching, Sauna or some form of relaxation and perhaps finish with a brief stimulating cold shower. Even ‘meeting’ new people at the club helps creates the natural chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins associated with exercise.

Sadly the American Government deemed alcohol outlets and even strip-clubs as essential services to be open while valuable community support services like churches and health clubs were closed – not unlike what occurred here in Auckland. The panel agreed that there needed to be increased education of the value of exercise as a ‘coping mechanism’ for mental WELLNESS. Dr Interkofer admitted that the first reaction of many doctors is to prescribe drugs for depression and suggested that this might be encouraged by the profitability involved in doing so.

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