The Black Dog Institute is encouraging us to Be Active This September. The National campaign aims to increase community awareness about the link between exercise and mental well-being. Considerable research has demonstrated that exercise can reduce mild to moderate depression. The explanation is currently thought to be due to the boosting of serotonin, one of the hormones important to mood regulating, sleep and appetite. Exercise also can increase endorphins, which have natural mood-lifting effects.

According to the Black Dog Institute exercise may reduce the symptoms of depression by:


  • Increasing energy levels
  • Distracting your thoughts from worries
  • Providing social support and reducing loneliness if done with other people
  • Increasing a sense of control and sense of self esteem by allowing people to take an active role in their own well-being

The level of exercise to improve mental health does not need to be very strenuous to provide a benefit. The suggestion is to start small and find something you feel good about doing,  other suggestions are :


  • Set yourself a personal fitness goal. Walk or cycle to work or school each day for the month or take the stairs instead of the lift Park further away from the train stop and add a walk to the daily commute.
  • Use a personal tracking device to keep a record of improvements and achievements in exercise amounts done
  • Participate in one of the events such as fun runs regularly held throughout the State
  • Organise a group activity such as a pedometer challenge, mini Olympics or football game
  • Set a time to exercise regularly and stick to it. You are more likely to find time to be active if you do it at the same time each day and the same day each week
  • Try something new. Enrol in a yoga or dance class, or go to one of the trial days for rowing, orienteering,

The has further information regarding the link between exercise and mental well-being. Their YouTube channel has a Black Dog Institute Exercise Your Mood playlist available to listen to.

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