One in five people live with a mental health challenge in a given year, says Mental Health America. And five in five of us – i.e. ALL of us – deserve mental health support.
Yet mental health challenges are still stigmatized. I might say, "I feel anxious," or even, "I have anxiety attacks," yet I would not be eager to say, "I have a mental health issue." Along with that is our very human tendency to categorize ourselves and others based on labels. Nobody wants to singled out with a mental illness label.
Yet really, we're all in the quest for good mental health together. At StudioFit TD our idea is that regular group fitness classes are a superior way to build up each of our 'mental health' wealth accounts. Similar to a savings account, each time you take a self-care fitness class, a little dividend goes into that health and wealth account.
The science backs this hypothesis. A growing body of evidence suggests physical activity holds great promise in managing mental health. Not just yoga, but also aerobic exercise, and resistance training. Patrick J. Smith and Ronda M. Merwin of Duke University found abundant evidence, yet they also were careful to note the "critical importance of sustained physical activity engagement." Translation=we can't quit!
And that's where group fitness classes really prove their worth. A class we love is one we'll return to. A class we love that others also love is a double boost because of the benefits of the exercise AND the camaraderie.
Before the fun days of summer become the cooling nights of fall (and you know it will happen faster than you think!) establish a group fitness habit that is fun and sustainable. Because in addition to the physical fitness benefits, you'll be building your mental health wealth.
In our next blog post we'll explore how physical activity contributes to this health wealth.