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    How does exercise affect mental health?

    As everyone is acutely aware, the COVID-19 has affected everyone in one way, shape or form. Exercise is one of those activities that has been difficult to maintain particularly for those who regularly went to the gym or group fitness classes. Motivation to exercise during these times can be quite low especially trying to fit a workout in the confines of your own home. There are a range of online options and social media is full of videos demonstrating home workouts substituting common gym equipment with items in your home. Our clinic has a range of online supervised exercise programs including our Telefit program.

    Despite these difficult times, exercise for many, is an imperative way to maintain one’s positive frame of mind and to simply pass the time. Exercising whilst following appropriate social-distancing is another great way to remain social and improve our mental health. Our physiotherapist Vernon Mittal investigates the relationship between exercise and mental health.

    Beyond Blue has outlined four ways that exercise has a positive influence on mental health:
    1. Promotes release of “feel-good” chemicals in your brain such as serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA)
    2. Enables a better night sleep which makes you feel energised the next day
    3. Gives you a sense of accomplishment as you tick off fitness/exercise goals
    4. Improve your social connection as exercise is commonly done in group situations

    Dopamine and serotonin release are the key pillars when discussing exercise and mental health. Despite their own individual functions in the body, they are both neurotransmitters/hormones that play a critical role in emotional well-being, sleep and memory. They are commonly referred to as “happy hormones” which is essentially what happens when these hormones are released during exercise; it makes you feel happy.

    In relation to exercise, higher levels of dopamine and serotonin are released in the brain which improves mood, enable better sleeping patterns and allows people to make better eating options. This is why exercise is critical in the fight against depression which exhibits the opposite benefits. The type of exercise is not readily understood however some research has shown that particularly aerobic exercise (running or cycling) leads to high levels of dopamine and serotonin release which is why you may have heard of “runner’s high”. Simply put, any form of “meaningful” exercise is appropriate for release of “happy chemicals”.

    Outside of hormonal release, being able to have purpose or achieve certain exercise goals gives one a sense of accomplishment. Currently, the wider community may be struggling with purpose during their day as social distancing restrictions are in play. Being able to exercise at home daily or go for a solo run/cycle can help provide structure to your day and maintain your own individual exercise goals. Linked to this, exercise enables one to “shut off” from negative thoughts and providing a form of “mindfulness” such that you are focusing on your body’s specific movements and nothing else. Tie this in with “happy hormone” release, and you will be in a much better state mentally as well as physically.

    Essentially, exercise is a critical component to one’s mental health. It is well documented that exercise improves one’s physical condition but we cannot forget the effect on one’s mental condition. The primary release of “feel-good” hormones particularly serotonin and dopamine directly improves one’s emotional well-being, mood, sleep, diet, etc.  Of course, having the right form of exercise, specific to your own goals is a critical step in the process.

    Should you feel you need professional help in developing an individual exercise program that can be done at home, please feel free to contact the clinic on 9571 6888 or book online and one of our friendly physiotherapists will be more than happy to help.


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    Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone. Shoulder impingement can be incredibly frustrating and painful. 

Tony has been working closely with our physiotherapists Vernon and Dilen to get on top of his shoulder pain. His treatment plan has included hands-on physiotherapy and individualised exercises in our hydrotherapy and strength programs.

    You Deserve to Feel Good.

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