Active body, fit mind

Now the warmer days are upon us, getting out and about from the comfort of our own home is the key to shaking off that slothful winter feeling.

Most of us understand that gentle exercise and communication with others rejuvenates the body and mind. Exercise can help stave of illness such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. In a controlled study conducted by Nalin A. Singh, Department of Geriatrics, Balmain Hospital, NSW, exercise has been found to be just as beneficial as antidepressant medication or social contact in the treatment of depression in older people.

Exercise also has the physical benefits of increased endurance, healthier muscles, joints and bones, makes you feel more energetic and can help with better sleep patterns. The great thing about exercise is that it can be done anytime, anywhere, with no expensive equipment necessary. Simple changes in lifestyle such as taking the stairs rather than the lift, walking places rather than taking the car and even rotating your joints when watching television can all have positive effects on your wellbeing.

Many city councils understand the importance of providing exercise opportunities in a social setting and can provide details of clubs and classes in your area. Simply contact your local city council for more details.

To find out more about the benefits of exercise as an antidepressant, visit Beyond Blue.