28 Jul Shaping your mental muscle
For Good Vibes Run participant, John Shoemaker, his strongest motivation for supporting mental health awareness came from none other than his wife, Kelli – someone he considers a warrior. A lover of running and the outdoors, John decided that joining the Good Vibes Run would be a great opportunity for him to show his support.
Watching Kelli struggle with depression and anxiety has changed John’s perceptions of mental health. Overcoming these struggles together has shared life circumstances strengthened their relationship and deepened their connection. Also incredibly supportive of Kelli, is her employer Zimmer Biomet, rendering assistance for her insurance coverage and any approvals necessary.
John believes that sport helps in mental wellbeing by keeping the body strong, and in extension, the mind too. In addition, the teamwork, socialising, and camaraderie in some sports activities can help create a great support system as well.
Although exercise has been traditionally linked to weight loss and management, there has been a recent shift in emphasis to its mental health benefits.
Some of these proven benefits of exercising:
- Stress relief
The endorphin rush (what makes you feel good) from physical activity helps you reduce the negative effects of stress. With numerous harmful effects, it is unsurprising that weight gain and low moods are some side-effects of stress. Some exercises to relief stress include include low-impact activities like yoga, and taichi.
- Better memory and focus
Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. The release of growth factors stimulated by exercise is a direct benefit of working out. If you find that you are unable to focus at work, consider taking a break, and taking a short walk to enjoy the sights and sounds around you.
- Helps prevent depression
The chemicals that are released by our brain when we exercise, often form part of antidepressant drugs. With the improvement in brain functions, it helps one feel better in general. However, it is worthy to note that exercise alone would be insufficient in managing depression.
- Mood and self-esteem boosting
Exercise has been found to improve self-esteem, and reduce social withdrawal. The psychological component of exercising, coupled with the social elements especially in group workouts. Moreover, the improved body image and health makes it hard for one not to feel a mood boost! (This also echoes John’s sentiments shared above.)
Here at MetaSport, we believe it is important to increase the awareness of mental health issues, and it was with this in mind that the Good Vibes Run was launched. The non-competitive vibe means there will be no need to fret about finishing times or personal records. Instead, you can soak up the sights and sounds, and enjoy your evening with friends or family, even your kids!
So take a break, take the time to admire and appreciate the scenery, and allow your mind and body to relax, because mental health is important too.