The Black Dog Institute's 'Exercise Your Mood Month' is a national campaign designed to increase awareness of the importance of regular exercise for maintaining good mental health.
The NRL are proud to support Exercise Your Mood Month as a part of its State of Mind program. The State of Mind program aims to reduce stigma around mental illness, create positive discussion and connection in our communities, and stimulate help seeking behaviours by improving mental health literacy.
Mental health is Australia's single biggest health issue and, as Australia's biggest sporting community, the NRL is playing a pivotal role in improving the outcomes of those affected.
Joel Thompson, St George Illawarra Dragons forward and NRL State of Mind Ambassador, is getting behind Exercise Your Mood Month to promote active lifestyles and good mental health.
"Exercise is like medication for me. It makes me feel good about myself and helps clear my mind," Thompson said.
"Keeping active, along with a balanced diet helps me to have more energy on a daily basis.
"All of these combined with a conscious effort to surround myself with positive people, keeps me in a positive frame of mind.”
Research has found that exercise can significantly reduce mild to moderate depression. Exercise can help boost serotonin, which plays a key role in the brain in regulating mood, sleep and appetite. It can increase your levels of endorphins, which have natural mood-lifting properties. Exercise can also provide a distraction from worrying and provide an increased sense of control while promoting social interaction.
During the month of September the NRL will be providing its staff with two boot camp sessions through Total Body Conditioning PT.
Set yourself a personal fitness goal for September. It could be to walk to school or work each day for the month or to take the stairs instead of the lift.
Participate in one of the hundreds of events around the country, organise a group activity such as a pedometer challenge, mini Olympics or football game. Raise awareness and funds for mental health research and programs.