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  • Ashley M. Walton

A Fit Mind is a Happy One

Depression sucks. I know, right? Tell you something you don't know. What you may not know is depression and anxiety are totally manageable through healthy living. Disclaimer: I am a Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor. I am neither a Therapist nor a Psychiatrist. But I do know quite a bit about depression and anxiety. They almost cost me my life. Now I'm determined to help save others.


My Short Story

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in my late twenties. But my family doctor had her theories during my college years. She told my mom the "asthma attacks" I was having during Physics exams were more likely anxiety attacks. I had been having these stress-related "asthma attacks" since I was a little girl. The first one I can remember was in preschool, after another little girl through an ice tray from our Kitchen Corner at my nose, causing it to bleed like a faucet. I had been having these "attacks" ever since. The reasons varied. At age ten, I nearly broke down over the disappearance of the baby from my dollhouse family. And then there was the time Senior Year when my friends had to pull me out of the Girls' Bathroom after I completely melted over losing twenty dollars. So at 20, I was pretty sure my doctor was right about the anxiety. My mom disputed any possibility of her perfect future doctor having mental health issues. She had her reasons. It took a nervous breakdown at 28 before I finally made my first therapy appointment. Therapy is amazing. It really helps to talk out your issues with someone who does not interject with their own. But what's my favorite method of mental health management? You guessed it. Exercise.


Why is Exercise A Cure for the Blues?

Just to reiterate, I am not a mental health expert. I just know my results and the results of my clients. Here are just a few:

  • better sleep patterns

  • greater sense of control

  • clearer thought process

  • decreases in mood swings

  • increases in self esteem

In other words, exercise makes people feel better. Doctors and mental health professionals are often prescribing exercise and healthy eating as some of the various treatments for anxiety and depression. The science is hard to ignore.


Overnight Success?

No, exercise will not cure anxiety and depression overnight. Results take time. It takes weeks to create a habit. The process is different for everyone. There are so many factors to consider:

  • family history

  • degree of severity

  • specific diagnosis

Talk to your mental health professional. It can take months, even years to feel better. But I assure you: It's worth every extra minute on the mat. #mentalhealth #fit #fitness #healthy #exercise #fitnesssaveslives #personaltrainer #pilatesinstructor #awal


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