Riding a bike to manage mental health
Managing mental health with exercise

On World Mental Health Day 2017, we look at the role of exercise in combating the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of World Mental Health Day, which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and channel efforts towards support of better mental health.

Mental health affects a large proportion of our community. According to the ABS, one in five Australians will experience a mental illness in the next year. 

While the physical benefits of exercise are well established, many studies also show that getting active, can be an effective way to prevent and combat the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

A recent study of more than 33,000 people showed that even one hour of exercise a week could be enough to reap mental health benefits.

Getting active on a regular basis is also a great tool to manage your ongoing mental health, promoting a happy and healthy lifestyle. 

University of Queensland's Dr Nicola Burton told the ABC that when it comes to exercise "we're not only talking about preventing poor mental health or treating it, but promoting good mental health. Even if you don't have depression or anxiety or a serious mental illness that you want help managing, you can enhance your wellbeing and vitality."

Many people find that riding a bike to and from work is the easiest way to squeeze some extra activity into their day. It not only helps clear the mind and reduce stress, it also can boost mood, alertness and concentration.

While the relationship between exercise and mental health can be complex and bidirectional, it’s important that if you are suffering from a mental illness that you talk about it, reach out and get the help you need.

For more information, resources or mental health support, please visit: