So, here it is, my first ever blog post and it is focussed on my most passionate subject areas, Mental Health, Physical Health & Fitness. It's quite a personal one and one close to my heart so I hope you enjoy reading it and it helps you get to know me and why I do what I do a little better!

I decided to set up my business to combine my two passions in life - Health & Fitness and to help push forward the notion of exercise being an effective form of therapy for those who may suffer from any type of mental or physical health condition and as a preventative measure. Mental health can be crippling, as much as, and even more so than some physical conditions and yet it is still carries a stigma. I started working in Mental Health services 9 years ago and during my time I qualified as a fitness instructor on one of the wards where we had a gym facility built. This was used as an intervention alongside normal treatment options to measure the effect it could have on peoples overall wellbeing and recovery. We had some fantastic results from this and it really set something off for me. Since studying Psychology at University I have always been fascinated with the mind and the interaction between the body and mind. We are so quick in this day and age to push tablets as forms of treatment rather than looking at the simpler and often more effective interventions.

My Personal Experience

The tipping point for me was when I suffered the bereavement of my Dad at the age of 23. This was a huge shock and caught me and my family off guard. This triggered severe anxiety and depression and I didn't know what to do with it! I went out a lot, drank too much and never stopped to give myself anytime. I was a scatty mess and ended up being given anti-depressants from the doctor along with diazepam to calm me down. The truth is, these did calm me down, however, it wasn't solving the problem or helping me to deal with what I was actually struggling with. I quickly realised this was just not for me. I am not saying for one moment that these tablets are bad and should not be used, however, it doesn't necessarily have to be the first and only port of call. After several months I decided to be a pro-active and attend a fitness class. This was a big step. This was a Zumba class and I had no idea what it was all about or whether I would even like it! I LOVED IT and I can honestly say it changed my life. I was in a really bad place and didn't know how to help myself. The class was full of lovely, friendly faces and I felt absolutely great both during the class and after. This became a regular for me, I wouldn't miss it and if anyone tried to book me on those nights I would always make sure I went to my class. Why? because it made me feel good and I got to know some amazing girls who to this day have become some of my best friends. That's the thing about fitness. It doesn't have to be boring. You just have to find that ‘thing’ that makes you excited and feel good and if something feels good why wouldn’t you keep doing it? I still love Zumba now, I try to go whenever I get a night off because it still makes me feel as good as the first time I walked in the door.  I am using my personal experience here as an example. Everyone has a different story and it affects them differently.

Fitness Is Powerful

That is my message here. Never underestimate it. It releases the happy ‘feel good ‘hormones’ called endorphins (that's the science bit!) but that's not all. Fitness helps you to feel empowered. It can increase confidence and make you feel happier in yourself as well as in your mind. It is something each and everyone of us should try to build into our daily lives. Its not for the six pack and for the ‘perfect’ body, it's about so much more than that! Of course we all want to look our best, why would we not? But essentially it is a journey. Everyone has to start somewhere and even if it is 5 minutes a day to begin with that's a start and it's progress. That 5 minutes can make the difference between having a ‘bad’ day and having a ‘pretty good day’! Sometimes we put fitness into a negative category and make it sound like a chore but it shouldn't be viewed as that. It should be viewed as a feel good tool that we all have the ability to use and if we can use it, why not? There is always something that you can do in a day to make it a little bit more active and a little bit more positive. It's all about discovering your self-worth and finding happiness in the things you do. Do something today that makes you proud!