INSHAPE NEWS LIFESTYLE – It’s Mental Health Week So Get Out & Active to Improve Your Mind’s Wellbeing
What activities are on during Mental Health Week?
Mental Health Week runs from Monday 8 – Saturday 14 October, 2017 to highlight the fact that one in five Australians are impacted by mental illness. Plus, this week is also a time to shine a more positive light on the issue.
So why exercise? According to Health Direct sound mental health and exercise work well together. In fact, they are the best of friends, with one complementing the other so they achieve great results.
These findings have also been backed-up by research. A new study from Griffith University, published in Frontiers in Public Health, defines exercise and relaxation are two of the most powerful antidepressants available. So, getting out those trainers and dusting them off, and putting on comfy walking wear and that sun hat, then heading out into the great outdoors may be the best move you’ve made in ages. Why? Well, the Griffith study shows that physical activity in nature can prevent, delay, or alleviate the mental health components of chronic disease.
This news comes as no surprise for Wild Women On Top Founder and Chief Adventure Chick, Di Westaway who’s built a career out of motivating women to get outdoors. Westaway is always aiming to improve mental and physical health through exercise and hiking adventures.
“I know thousands of women who use hiking to improve their mental health. Hiking ticks more boxes for mental wellbeing than a gym workout or an urban jog because it’s natural movement in nature. When you’re outside you have the wind in your hair, sunshine on your skin, trees and birds and gorgeous views, all these things make us feel good inside. Throw in some girlfriends for a good bit of conversation and you have the perfect recipe for mental wellbeing.”
“We need to embrace the fact that exercise and other lifestyle changes have been shown to improve mental health, and we need to make it easier for people to access them,” says Westaway.
To celebrate and demonstrate the incredible feeling a hike in nature can have on one’s mental health Wild Women On Top ran another FREE hike along Sydney’s stunning coastline on Tuesday, 10th of October. Plus, she is running a 4-week hiking program for women. Called ‘Spring into Hiking’ this program
Called ‘Spring into Hiking’, this program prepares the mind and body for what Westaway defines as ‘life-changing adventures’ because every minute of exercise awakens the body. In celebration of Mental Health Week, the Spring into Hiking program is offering an Intro Pass until October 31st, 2017.
When: Various Days & Times – Check Out the Calendar
Location: NSW at Various Locations (see the calendar above)
Time: See Session Times on the Calendar (above)
Cost: $49 (special intro pass only)
If you want even more, then consider Coastrek. An event that’s raising more than the heart rate.
Wild Women On Top are famous for their annual Coastrek events in Sydney, Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast. Coastrek is a team trekking challenge where participants hike either 30km or 60km’s to get happy and support charity. Since it began in Sydney in 2010, Coastrek has inspired more than 23,000 trekkers, mostly women, and raised nearly $20m for The Fred Hollows Foundation. It’s a great match because nearly 60% of the world’s blind are women.
Sydney Coastrek 2018 registrations are now open for a March 16th event in 2018. It is one of the state’s most popular adventure challenges because it’s not a race. 4,000 trekkers, (at least 50% female), will hike the beautiful beaches, bays and clifftops of Sydney Harbour from Manly or Kirribilli to Bondi to raise $2.8 million for The Foundation to continue its fight to end avoidable blindness.
To register for Sydney Coastrek 2018 head to www.sydney.coastrek.com.au
About Wild Women On Top
Wild Women On Top, founded in 2002, is the solution to a mid-wife crisis faced by founder Di Westaway. Deciding she needed more in life, Westaway discovered hiking and took part in a mountain quest that transformed her life. Today, Westaway and her team create Wild Adventures for women and are experts in Trek Training.
Other Mental Health Week Events
The Festival of Now
Friday 13 October: 10am – 3pm
Light Square, Adelaide
In its fifth year, the Festival of Now brings the mental health community together to showcase creativity used in the healing journey and break down the stigma of mental illness. Attractions at the festival include live music and performance, free food, peer sharing circles, arts and crafts, circus skills, animals, face painting and more!
ABC’s Mental As
Feel like a chat? Visit forums for people living with a mental illness or for family, friends and carers.
Mental As was an initiative held during Mental Health Week from October 4–11 2015, with programming across TV, radio and online focused on mental illness, health and wellbeing. But, you can still access all of the fabulous goodies.
Mental Health Week WA
The list is long in this state for activities that stimulate the mind, body and soul. Whether you’re into outdoor yoga, paddling up the creek or playing beach volleyball, there’s something for everyone.
Queensland Mental Health Week
Mindfulness on the beach, movie nights, a family fun day and walks galore are on the menu in this state. So, grab a friend and let’s get going.
Northern Territory Mental Health Events
Alice Springs Stress Less in the Park. A free event for all looking to chill-out.
New South Wales Mental Health Events
Mindful Meditation, a Visual Journey of Recovery, the Walk of Pride and the Peace of Mind Expo are all fun events that get you in amongst the action and get the mind and body active.
Mental Health Council of Tasmania
The calendar of events this Mental Health Week is full in Tasmania. So, there are no excuses for not finding an activity that’s appealing.
Victorian Mental Health Foundation
Walks, art and creative writing are the stimulants of this year’s week of awakening.